Interesting antiterrorism idea

The author has hit upon a brilliant idea that could dissuade terrorists on aircraft, and at the same time raise the level of civility in our society.
Althouse: Change the federal marshals’ dress code?

via Instapundit


  1. SuperMom says:

    I KNOW I’m “old school”, but this sounds sensible to me.

  2. Aerospace Genius says:

    That’s a good start, but the enemy’s tactics have shifted:

  3. Nurse Kelley says:

    Boy, that is a really scary article!

  4. I fly on El Al occasionally and there is no doubt in anyone?s mind who their version of the ?Sky Marshall? is. It?s the ?twenty-something? kid with the short haircut sitting in ?First Class? getting the ?economy class? meal tray!

    I always felt that there had to be a few more scattered around and he was the ?bait? for the bad guys, not a job I would relish!

    I also noticed that there are fewer bathrooms on El Al aircraft than in the same version aircraft flown by other airlines; more security?

    Finally, did you know that an El Al security guy killed a would be highjacker several years ago during a flight to London? ?Struth

    To avoid embarrassing questions by British authorities the shooter crawled out of the El Al aircraft on the ramp at Heathrow and crawled into another El Al flight departing at the same time, leaving the aircraft captain to explain a bullet holed body to the Brits. I understand the Brits are still miffed!

  5. is this 1952? says:

    The article linked to by “Aerospace Genius” is so full of hatred and discrimination that it makes me want to puke on that awful, awful woman who wrote the article. Quite frankly, I’m more worried about the ultra right-wing gun-toting maniacs blowing up buildings (um, anyone remember Oklahoma City?) than by a bunch of Arab musicians. What if we took the same extreme with white guys driving vans, because in the past it just so happens that a white guy used a van to blow up a building? Should we be stopping all white males in vans? HARDLY. Nor should we debase ourselves by stopping all Middle Eastern men, simpley because of a few bad seeds among them! It is wrong to racially profile anyone–this is America, people, where we respect everyone and people are innocent until proven guilty. What do you think the outcry would be if we said we were going to stop all Black men before they entered planes because, heck, they just might belong to a gang and shoot up some people on the flight. There would be outrage from ALL people! We should be outraged at that woman’s article and her ridiculous self-ritiousness. (but please people, she doesn’t hate Muslims, she spent a few months living in their villages!). Oh, and for all the other idiots living in bubbles–NOT ALL ARABS ARE MUSLIMS (my God, some of them are CHRISTIANS–let’s not forget where Jesus was born), AND NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS.

    I’m sorry if gruntdoc wants to change my comments or not let them be seen, but I cannot in good conscience hold my tongue here. I am a regular reader of this site, and would be pretty upset if I couldn’t visit it any longer.

    On a completely unrelated note, I think people should be getting dressed up when on planes like in the old days…it makes the journey that much more exciting, like you’re part of something special. Although, to be fair, the airlines do recommend that you wear flat shoes so you could use the escape slide and jeans because they are less flammable than synthetic fibers. but I digress.

  6. Aerospace Genius says:

    Dear 1952,

    You have seen the names and faces of the 19 highjackers. I refuse to allow political correctness to override common sense, especially if my life or yours may be in danger.

    There is a long, slow war in progress right now. It is between dangerous Arab radicals who want to destroy Western culture and those in the West who want to prevent it. Refusing to accept this reality will not make it go away.

    The time scale required for victory in this conflict will be much like the cold war: generational. Maintaining the national will to win will require steadfast fortitude for decades. Or do you prefer another 9/11?

  7. is this 1952? says:

    It’s funny how quick some are to give up others’ freedoms, but not their own. I ask you to put yourself in ANY Arab’s position to feel the humiliation of being stopped and stared at.

    I wasn’t going to admit this before, but I am a US citizen (born and raised here, have never gone to the Middle East) with the great fortune of being of Jordanian-Christian descent, but the misfortune of having a Middle Eastern last name. I’m also a 24-year old 3rd year medical student at one of the top medical schools on the East coast. Before that I was a student at an Ivy League university (graduated summa cum laude). I have never been in any type of legal trouble. I cannot describe in enough detail the humiliation I feel EVERY time I attempt to board a plane and am “randomly” selected for a search where they empty my bag and all its contents–I’ve even had a woman open up tampons in front of everyone to “check them out”–like I was going to have something illegal INSIDE a tampon? They like to pull me off the line and not tell me in advance, b/c gosh, I’d probably get spooked and bolt. Now, I’m all for national security, and as a native NYer, I don’t think my psyche could stand another terrorist attack. I just don’t think the way to go about preventing terrorists is by racial profiling! I can tell you that I DO NOT look threatening at all–in fact, I’ve been told I look like Katie Holmes (so much so that I’ve had people ask for autographs). There are a handful of bad people from ANY group, but it is wrong to hold an entire group responsible for the bad seeds.

    There is a problem when people are willing to sacrifice the civil liberties of others who are “different.” What if, when I become a practicing physician, I subject only my ‘white’ patients to be searched before I agree to see them because I’m afraid of “them”? That scenario would be horribly unethical and downright scary. For one moment, take yourself out of your own world and put yourself in someone else’s shoes. As an “aerospace genius” you should have enough intelligence to be able to see things from different perspectives, and I ask you to at least try.

  8. Geez, why don’t you just cry because someone wanted to search you??? Quite frankly, I would not be so upset if I was in your situation. Its not like anyone refused to let you do anything because of your last name. I am a 22 year old white male with a not-so-common last name. I get searched all the time before boarding aircraft. In fact, the past 6 times I’ve flown, I’ve been searched on 4 occasions. Yes, its uncomfortable…Yes I do get nervous when I have my bags searched in the presence of a soldier holding an M-16 at Dallas-Ft Worth…And yes, it does take up time…But I look beyond the SELFISH notion that I’m being persecuted for my last name. The way I see it, I am DAMN HAPPY that someone is taking the initiative to screen passengers before boarding.

  9. Furthermore – and this is an attempt to inspire critical thinking on EVERYONES part – before you admonish other people for failing to “take yourself of your own world and put yourself in someone else’s shoes”, you should seriously consider your own statement. Did you ever think that when passengers see random people being screened, that it makes them feel a bit safer? a bit calmer on the flight? Many people are quick to accuse others of wearing blinders, but few people actually realize the blinders they are guilty of wearing as well. (Again, this is a general comment. “You” is not meant to be directed at any single person, and I am just quoting 1952 to direct readers to the origin of this observation. I want to avoid attacking the person, instead focusing on the idea.)

  10. is it 1952? says:

    Um, read more carefully my previous entries please. The point is not that I personally was searched, the point is that not all people are being searched–certain people are being singled out because of their ethnicity. The point of my story was to encourage “aerospace genius” to envision what it is like to have to be subjected to racial profiling. My argument was not that I don’t want to be searched, but rather that racial profiling is both discriminatory and unethical. It punishes the vast majority for the crimes of the few.

    Instead of searching anyone with a Middle Eastern last name, how about we search people with criminal histories or suspicion of ties to terrorist groups? Or how about we search every 5th or 6th passenger, so that no one is singled out, and everyone has to pay the price of their civil liberties being violated?

  11. 1952, It it not just people with mid-eastern last names that get searched. I’m a 52 year old American grandmoher with an american name and nothing about me looks even slightly anything other than American. While getting ready to board on a recent flight to visit my dying mother, I was randomly pulled out of line and searched .My purse dumped for all to see and even my lipsticks were checked. I could throw a fit here by saying “show me the facts where any 52 year old American grandmothers have highjacked any planes and caused damage similar to 9/11?” Oh yeah, one more thing, I was also dressed up…You need to get over it!