Aviation Security

Determined father pursues Sept. 11 lawsuit; ‘I want people to know that 9/11 could have been prevented’

Determined Father Pursues Sept. 11 Lawsuit
While Most Families Have Renounced Legal Claims, Mike Low Wants Case to Be Finished in Court
September 5, 2009 (CBS) This story is by CBS News’ Jeff Glor and Phil Hirschkorn

Since the 9/11 attacks, almost every victims’ family has settled its wrongful death complaints, except just a few, and only one has a trial date scheduled. Jeff Glor reports on a determined father.

Mike Low wishes his trial was already over. Alone among nearly 3,000 families that lost loved ones in the September 11th terrorist attacks, Low, from Batesville, Arkansas, has a trial date set for his wrongful death lawsuit against airlines and airport security companies.

“I want people to know 9/11 could have been prevented. These Saudi thugs could have been stopped,” Low told CBS News. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers that day were from Saudi Arabia.

Low’s 28-year-old daughter, Sara, was a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to strike the World Trade Center.

“This is an excruciating thing as a parent to continue this, but I don’t have a choice,” Low said. “I could just not quit until I know I’ve gone as far as I can go, because I would have her image hanging over me the rest of my life saying, ‘You quit, you quit.'”

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Obama secretly ends program that let pilots carry guns

On November 19, 2002, the Federal Flight Deck Officers program was approved in the Senate, by a vote of 90 to 9, as part of H.R. 5005, “A bill to establish the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes.” While Senators Akaka, Byrd, Feingold, Hollings, Inouye, Jeffords, Kennedy, Levin, and Sarbanes all vote against the DHS bill, the Federal Flight Deck Officers portion of the measure had overwhelming support on both sides of the aisle. Three days later, the House passed the final bill without objection and it became Public Law No: 107-296.

The vast majority of those who voted to arm commercial pilots are still Members of Congress so where is the outrage now from them over this?

TSA: Airline pilots sane to fly; too crazy to be armed

At Pajamas Media, Annie Jacobsen writes that an Oklahoma doctor contracted by the Transportation Security Administration is disqualifying airline pilots from flying armed under the Federal Flight Deck Officer’s program.

I asked Dr. Hogan to speak about subjecting pilots — who are routinely drug-tested, by the way — to the Hogan Test. “There is a distinction between technical talent and emotional maturity. You can fly a plane and be crazy — or at least be a complete hot-head — which is what we find all the time,” Hogan said.

Captain Mackett cited an example from the written part of the psyche test — since changed — that asked: “Would you like to be a fighter pilot?” Considering that many commercial pilots are and have been fighter pilots it’s natural that many would answer that question with a “Yes.” According to Mackett, the TSA concluded that these pilots “had overly aggressive personalities and disqualified them from the program.”

Thanks to this doctor and the loony leadership at the TSA, otherwise qualified pilots — who are licensed, trained, and willing to carry firearms — are allowed to fly yet denied the means to aggressively defend their passengers and planes.

Inexperienced airport screeners becoming air marshals

Not long ago, The Aviation Nation’s Annie Jacobsen reported the Transportation Security Administration had experienced an 120% turnover in personnel in a mere five years of existence. Not all was lost, however; some of those disgruntled employees are now protecting passengers in-flight:

CNN’s Drew Griffen interviewed air marshals who said screeners with “no college, no law-enforcement no military background” are becoming air marshals. “It’s an embarrassment. I know I wouldn’t want them on my flight, I wouldn’t want them as my partner,” one air marshal said.

“Trust me, you do not want to mess with those guys,” [TSA chief Kip] Hawley said. “Anybody who messes with a flight having a TSO on it who is now an air marshal will be dead.”

Trust him? He has to be kidding.

Prosecutors in U.K. air terror case show ‘martyr’ video

ABC News reports:

Allah “loves us to die and kill in his path” says a man who is accused of plotting to blow up passenger jets as part of an al Qaeda plot. The martyrdom video was shown to jurors in the United Kingdom today in the conspiracy trial of eight alleged plotters who hoped to use liquid explosives to blow up airplanes in the summer of 2006. The 19-minute video features 29-year-old Umar Islam speaking in English with a British accent as he praises Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar. A shorter four-minute version was released to the public by British authorities, while jurors watched the full-length video.

Islam said no British citizen would be safe so long as the country is at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Most of you are too busy, you know, watching “Home and Away” and “Eastenders,” complaining about the World Cup, drinking your alcohol, to even care about anything,” Islam says. [Watch video.] The video was played on about a dozen large monitors throughout the courtoom. A BBC News reporter who was in the court when the video was played said the jurors and others in court appeared transfixed by the videos. At one point, Islam is asked by someone off-camera if he is brainwashed. His answer, yes: “I would. Yes, my brain has been washed, and it has been washed by the clean and cleansing water of Islam,” he says.

Here is ABC’s online report, complete with related article.