Originally published August 31st, 2010.
Meanwhile they frisk little grandmothers in Iowa. I would imagine some of the stuff flight crew have seen after 9/11 would chill you – but of course nothing is said for fear of scaring away future passengers.
colocomment and I were talking about the book Touching History – it was the day of 9/11 from an ATC – air traffic control’s – perspective.
From the fact that the head honcho – the guy responsible for the whole thing – was on the job for the first day – it was his decision to ground everything not military – to the Otis AFB’s base commander who made his own decision to arm his F16s and F15’s and get up there – circumventing a long chain of command to go though for permission for armed combat air patrols over the continental US – and precious minutes/hours wasted – to the pilot taxing his 757 out on Newark’s tarmac – seeing the burning twin towers in the distance – and not getting a satisfactory answer from the tower as to “what is going on?” (they didn’t really know at this point) – he told the passengers that the plane had a mechanical issue and was taxiing back – some unclaimed luggage was full of al-Queda literature –
With all this in the background our bureaucracies – as usual – know what is important 😉 It’s the individual; people who make the difference when the going getws bad –
And they put chubby blond haired, blue eyed white women thru the backscatter x-ray, then insist they must pat her down anyway due to the decorations on her shirt.
A smattering of sequins and beads, none measuring more than 3mm.
Yes, this would be me on my last flight back in May. I always request the backscatter since I have a hip replacement that will set off the traditional metal detectors. The TSA idiots listen to me about half the time, so the personal pat down is something I have now experienced 3 times out of 4 flights just this year. The last one was the final straw; after voluntarily subjecting my body to x-rays, I got the pat down anyway.
I have warned The Oracle that for our next trip we need to arrive at the airport 2 or more hours ahead of time. I will have 2 hip replacements by then and I will brook no B.S. about the x-ray and the pat down. I will only go thru the x-ray and someone tries to pat me down after that – there is going to be trouble.
Because quite frankly – I am NOT the person they should be afraid of.
…truth be told…incorrigibly chatty…chubby, blond haired, blue eyed white women scare the flippen bejesus out of me…ICSFTH…good Labor Day weekend all…Best, Frank C.
Snake – nice to know that you are afraid of something…
Yes. Touching History. Awesome book. I go along with all that you say, Bill, and as a civilian who had unthinkingly assumend that all was prepped and planned and “wargamed” for the unexpected, I was utterly astounded by the lack of direct communications capability between & among all the parties: FAA, NORAD, SAC, Defense, ATC, airline dispatchers, and more.
Yes, like the brave souls aboard Flt. 93, individuals made the difference that day between some responsive actions and utter chaos and confusion to no avail whatsoever.
PS: how do you get italics?
Colo: you need to use the following characters, in order:
Type the word/words you want to italicize
No spaces in between the carrots and letters; cases must match in both tags. To do bold you use the letter “b” instead of the “i”.
And I have learned you hafta make sure it is exact or the rest of your comment will be italicized 😉
On Flight 93 I saw the movie and it was chilling – I would hope I had the intestinal fortitude to do what those passengers did – but it is one of those things you don’t know until faced with it – Think of what they faced – knowing you will most likely die – the difference between that flight and the other 3 was that the passengers on Flight 93 knew
Another good book on that fateful day is 102 Minutes – they profile dozens of people trapped there – and the decisions they made – in this case the herd thinking was usually wrong –
The hero among heroes in those towers that day – Rick Rescorla – the head of security for Morgan Stanley and Dean Witter – who, despite assurances from security that “all was safe” – the first plane had just hit Tower 1 – he ordered the evacuation of 2700 people and saved most of them – quite a story on him by himself – but a102 Minutes is quite a read too He was also a hero of Vietnam – in the Ia Drang Valley
‘kay, I’ll give that a try.
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