Security Theater Watch
Posted by aogTuesday, 27 January 2009 at 16:32 TrackBack Ping URL

Via Samizdata is a report about “security theater” —

The same one-size-fits-all regulations will apply to both passenger airliners and non-commercial, business-owned jets that are used to move cargo and personnel. For instance, the “no-fly” list and Air Marshall provisions will apply to business planes even though the pilots usually know everyone on board personally. The definition of “large aircraft” is arbitrary, applying both to planes as small as 12,500 pounds and to 747’s ten times that weight. Items that are prohibited in passenger jets will also be banned to employees in these smaller business planes, even if they are needed for their work. (Just think of what that will do to business efficiency in this time of recession.) Airplane owners will be forced to pay, at their own expense, for audits of their safety compliance. The audits won’t even be done by government inspectors, but by private consultants. These rules can potentially expand to all aircraft and all airports.

Yes, clearly we need protection from the endless waves of attacks by private aircraft. And I am sure this will be a big help in these tough economic times.

P.S. I couldn’t access the actual post cited by Samizdata but did get to this page from the AOPA which describes the proposed regulation.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
David Cohen Tuesday, 27 January 2009 at 21:01

Yes, but if we make politics into a game of gotcha, where whenever something bad happens the opposition tells stories about how a perfect government would have stopped it — Al Gore would have come into office with a 90 day plan to reinforce cockpit doors; everyone knew that the levies were going to collapse, it was obvious — then how do we expect government to react?

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 28 January 2009 at 08:33

How does accountability differ from “gotcha”?

David Cohen Wednesday, 28 January 2009 at 12:36

Part of the point of gotcha is that the citizenry is completely unaccountable. We say that we’re willing to trade big increases in efficiency and convenience for small to microscopic increases in risk but if the small risk turns up the popular response is not, “Oh, well, that’s the deal we made.” The popular response is that government failed to keep us perfectly safe and any idiot would have known that Al Qaeda was planning to hijack private jets. And God help us if anyone in government ever suggested jacking up security on private planes but was overruled. That becomes ignoring a clear warning and selling out to moneyed interests, etc.

This is all covered in PJ O’Rourkes Parliament of Whores. The government knows perfectly well that lots of what it does is nonsense, but it’s nonsense that the public demands.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 29 January 2009 at 16:58

Quite. There are few flaws in politicians that can’t be ultimately traced back to the people who vote for them. Gods of the Copybook Headings is an early take on the same theme.

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