Whistleblowers punished for warning of aviation security lapses

Barbara Hollingsworth
Washington Examiner
December 29, 2009

They’ve been frantically trying to warn America for the past six years: Aviation security is a joke, and it’s only a matter of time before terrorists destroy another airplane full of innocent passengers.

The close call in Detroit on Christmas Day has vindicated a group of highly experienced experts — including former airline pilots, federal air marshals and Federal Aviation Administration inspectors — who were fired or demoted for pointing out obvious flaws in the nation’s post-9/11 aviation security system to their chain of command.

Even now, facing financial ruin after their careers were trashed and their families destroyed, courageous members of the Whistleblowing Airline Employees Association ( airline-whistleblowers.org) refuse to be silenced.

Former United B-777 Captain Dan Hanley was forced out of the cockpit after filing federally mandated complaints in 2003 about the lack of federal air marshals and onboard cabin cameras aboard his high-risk London-to-New York flights. Six years later, there was still no federal air marshal aboard Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit, even though both cities are well-known hotbeds of radical Islamic activity.

Robert MacLean, hand-picked as one of the first federal air marshals, was fired for publicly criticizing the Transportation Security Administration’s plan to remove marshals from nonstop, long-distance flights — in violation of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 — because the agency didn’t want to pay their hotel bills…

…The dirty and dangerous secret about airline security is that it’s all just political theater designed to calm passengers’ very real fears. If the system allows a young, radicalized Islamist known to U.S. authorities to board a plane with 80 grams of pentaerythritol tetranitrate sewn into his pants, nobody is safe.

Meanwhile, your government is too busy bailing out failed banks and car companies and taking over the health care industry to provide for the common defense.

Just don’t say you weren’t warned.

The entire article is at the Examiner.

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