John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Remember that name. Here is another arrogant, politically appointed servant of the people who refuses to listen to the fears of those who will possibly face a dangerous situation.
Unilaterally Pistole made a decision to allow small knives, baseball bats, hockey sticks, and golf clubs in the cabin of U.S. commercial flights. He has ignored serious concerns expressed by pilots, flight attendants, airlines, and even some TSA employees.
They all fear that a similar situation that allowed a small group of terrorists to commandeer aircraft that slammed into the World Trade Center, killing thousands of innocent people, could happen once again.
On September 11, 2001, terrorists armed with box cutters high jacked four American aircraft resulting in the most severe attack on American soil in history.
Above all, the flight attendants have a right to fear for their personal safety. Cabin doors have been reinforced to prohibit entry into the cockpit, but those in the cabin are not afforded the same protection.
All of the listed items could be used as weapons. So why is Pistole ignoring the valid fears and complaints of those who actually fly in the aircraft? He claims it is because he believes the focus of TSA officers should be on the detection of explosives, not on small knives, and sporting equipment. He states that searching for and confiscating these small objects is too time- consuming.
Pistole stood firm as he faced questions and criticism from lawmakers.
“I think the decision is solid and it stands,” Pistole said. “I plan to move forward with it.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, criticized the logic behind the move, arguing that threats posed by bombs do not mean knives aren’t dangerous.
“Just because this is a new threat does not mean that old threats don’t still exist,” he said.
Swalwell co-authored a letter to Pistole saying he was “mystified” by his decision, calling it “another example of a questionable TSA policy.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said Pistole needed to change course on the rule change — fast.
“You need to stop this now,” she said. “These cause bleeding. These cause injury. These can cause a terrible tragedy. And I don’t want to take it to the next length. It can possibly cause someone to lose their life.”
Personally, I refuse to fly on our nation’s airlines. I was employed by one at LAX for almost 10 years in the late sixties, and early seventies. During that time, because of numerous “hijackings”, secure entrances onto the aircraft became necessary. I believe it is more necessary today, but the process of screening is less effective than it was in the 70’s.
I did not feel safe when I was required to travel by air on business in the last several years. That, combined with the inconvenience of air travel, forced my decision to travel by train or automobile in the foreseeable future.
Pistole is concerned with expediency, instead of safety. His position is ludicrous.
In general, the airline industry is poorly managed, and a failed business entity. Even a small increase that might lessen the safety of those foolish enough to travel by air, is a monumental mistake.
Truthfully the TSA is a disappointing solution to the safety of air travel. To add even a seemingly minute percentage of danger is unacceptable. If you think I am wrong, check into the Israeli security procedures at their airports. They do not take chances with the lives of their air travelers.
Columnist-The Guardian Express