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Don't Gamble in the Air: Militarize the Air Industry Now!

13 October 2001

President Bush is promising more "sky marshals" on airplanes; he's marshalled the national guard to guard the airports, and he wants to reinforce the cabin doors of the cockpit. All these measures are just fine -- for the next few months -- but they will not solve the fundamental problem with the nation's airlines and airports. Our airports and planes are vulnerable. They are sitting ducks.

As terrorist targets, they are penetrable by determined individuals. Cockpits are penetrable by terrorists, or by the merely "deranged" as a recent American Airlines incident shows us. No piecemeal series of initiatives, each working on its own, is good enough to stop the next attempt (or the one after that, or the one after that, world without end). America needs one security blanket to protect the air industry from top to bottom, inside, outside, on the ground and in the air. That can only be done by making every airport in America an extension of the United States Air Force.

A new Federal bureaucracy is precisely what is not needed. The Federal Aviation Administration, which has for years failed to do what was necessary to truly protect our airlines from hijackings and other terrorist threats, should be dismantled and its funding given over to the military. Airline security is a national defense issue, as the use of our own planes as bombs has graphically shown us.

For want of a better name, I'll dub this arm of the Air Force, the Air Patrol, and it will be staffed from top to bottom with highly skilled, well-trained, patriotic and motivated soldiers. Once an individual passenger enters an airport, he is no longer on public property -- he is in the hands of the United States military.

Similarly, everyone who works in the airport will also be under the command of the military. Air Patrol agents must be at every stage of passenger check in and departure; they must watch every piece of luggage and every luggage handler; they must oversee every catering service that brings food onto the plane. Even Fed Ex, the US Postal Service and other mail-package delivery systems must be overseen by them. No mechanic works on a plane without an Air Patrol agent watching.

Air Patrol agents should not, however, be stuck in any one job. For example, watching passengers and their carry-on luggage can get boring. I've seen this every time I've flown; "security" personnel almost dozing off or relieving their boredom by chatting, while essentially ignoring most of the passengers and luggage going through the check points. Instead, all the Air Patrol agents will rotate duties, from air marshals to carry-on checkers, etc.

Of course, once the airports are militarized, there will be a price to pay, both economically and in terms of our civil rights. The cost for such high-powered security must be shared by the travelling public (a tax on tickets) and the non-travelling public (a tax on all goods transported by air, including air mail). Laws must be in place so that these taxes go directly to the Air Patrol of the United States Air Force, without passing through the hands of congressmen and women looking to fund pet projects.

On the civil rights front, the impact will be simple. Once on military territory, a wide range of civil rights just won't exist. Your luggage can be searched and you can be searched. Your picture can be taken by "facial recognition" technology and compared to the FBI database of known criminals and terrorists. These and other measures must be in place and anyone going to an airport must be aware of them.

If you think air travellers have been skittish to fly after this recent terrorist attack; after the next attack you will not see any air travellers at all. The only way to secure our air industry against such an event is to make the United States Air Force the be-all and end-all of the air industry's security.

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Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete