Letter to the Editor

Airport screening gives false hope of real security

Friday, January 3, 2003

To the editor:

The airline security our government put into effect on New Year's Eve is one more example of how our lawmakers and law enforcers have a way of making people feel safe.

The federal screeners are required to screen all luggage for explosives. The men who hijacked the planes on Sept. 11, 2001, did it with box cutters, not bombs. They had to have the planes in working condition.

Around the world there are one or two airliners blown up every five years or so. No system is perfect, so the law of averages tells us that no matter how much we spend it is still going to happen. It would seem that the well-financed terrorists are not going to waste their time on a bomb and a planeload of people. That's not enough bang for their buck. They have seen that they can kill 3,000 or more people.

The latest news is that five or six possible terrorists crossed from Canada into the United States on Christmas Eve. Now the Justice Department says it has their names, photographs, addresses and point of entry -- but they still walked into our country.

At the local coffee shop an old veteran told us jokingly that our government is sending billion-dollar aircraft and missiles to Afghanistan to kill a guy that by most accounts rode out on a donkey.

DOUGLAS FLANNERY

Whitewater