The government can implement many new methods to increase security, or better yet give off the image of better security which is what they have predominantly done, yet ultimately there will always be a way to bypass or come up with a new way to infiltrate that measure. The government so far has done a variety of things ranging from the closing of the Dulles airport (permanently), working with the FAA on new security measures, having pilots carry handguns, and a not so specific, profiling.
Well the first and easiest of the new security measures is the permanent closing of the airport, which is very near the heart of our nation’s political machine. Seeing how airplanes were used as weapons of mass-destruction officials were left with no choice but to shut down the airport. Even though other airports, which were closed, are now reopened, Dulles vicinity to the incident and to other major government facilities will keep this airport permanently closed. The government rational in this situation actually makes sense because they would not want to have any other incidents and the proximity of the airport is a major key.
There has been a measure brought to congress by the largest pilot union, boasting over 66000 members to carry handguns in the cockpit and be trained by law enforcement officials. Strict psychological testing would be done on all the pilots and the FBI would train all of them. Before these incidents, this proposal would have not been considered, yet in light of this situation there could be possible implementation of this program.The government as well as private conglomerates agrees that this plan could work, because the cockpit has to be defended at all costs, hence, now pilots are being trained to use a crash-ax, equipped on every plane, as a possible killing weapon. The government believes that this will work because if the cockpit is infiltrated, the pilots will have a form of defense that could overpower the terrorist and save the plane and the world from such atrocities witnessed September 11. The FAA has considered many new measures to increase the safety of flight and to make sure that the aviation system is not compromised by acts of terrorism. Federal marshals are being hired at exponential rates so more will be on flights to insure security. There is consideration of making a secure cockpit door that cannot be broken down if locked; yet, this is a waste of time and money in my opinion, because the terrorist can still threaten the life of the passengers. Security checkpoints at airports will be monitored by FBI agents, not by hired people to monitor eye movements and other such behaviors in hopes of catching the “not typical but otherwise looks like a normal passenger” passenger. Carry on luggage will be effected severely as now, they will scrutinized with a fine tooth comb and no longer will they be so liberal on what can come on and what can not. The federal government will install the latest technology in bomb-sniffing, x-ray, and whatever other devices are available, to detect any explosive or incendiary devices checked on an airplane. With all these new regulations plus a list of similar ones, there will be several unpleasant side effects for the citizens of this country. Passengers should expect to arrive 2.5-3 hours in advanced to make sure you will make your flight. There will be a new security tax on all tickets which will up travel prices. In addition, more electronic gadgets, which are very often used by the business traveler of today and tomorrow, will be banned and strictly checked. However, the upside is that it should make citizens feel safer about traveling.
The fourth way of tightening security is more on a psychological scale. Last week in Minneapolis, Northwest Airlines officials hauled three Arab-Americans off a flight to Salt Lake City when other passengers refused to fly with them; the men were grilled and allowed to board a later flight. In Trenton, N.J., a nervous driver called authorities when two suspicious men speaking little English got on his bus; the police held the men at gunpoint before releasing them. Such profiling, which critics say makes a mockery of the constitutional notion of equal protection, is only one of the challenges to civil liberties emerging in the wake of the terrorism attacks. This is one of the measures that is going to be hard to implement and perhaps impossible to implement. The government gave Immigration and Naturalization Service the right to detain immigrants and hold them indefinitely (this is a change from 24 hours). This is a fundamental problem that is being seen, which is Americans attacking Americans because of their color, accent, ethnicity, and religion. Perhaps the melting pot idea is a figment of imagination to psychologically soothe everyone from the reality that even though Americans are Americans they have not assimilated with one another, but actually encourage their individual diversity. It is proven that crude profiling is ineffective, and will just create more animosity among supposed brotherly Americans. In Britain, this was seen with the Irish and even here, in the US has acted similarly with Japanese during WWII. It seems that if you are now of any type of Middle Eastern descent, you will be scrutinized more heavily. This is a problem with no solution though, because security personal will be more wary of Middle Eastern people and more likely to search personally and ask more questions, etc., the real problem lies with how Americans profile other Americans. This is an extremely large unpleasant side effect of this incident. In addition, now US citizen’s privacy will be infringed upon because the administration is expanding surveillance authority to tap phones, obtain voice-mail messages, monitor computers and obtain customers credit-card information from Internet providers with minimal judicial oversight. Since terrorist use e-mail and cellular phones, “roving” taps (which basically allow to tap anything used by the person suspected and all the people he contacts) are allowed, and the government has been given more rights to invade the privacy of citizens. While this might all be ok with everyone right now, in the wake of the attacks, a little down the road Americans will be angry, as citizens privacy from the government has always been a classic argument. As one could see there are going to be unpleasant side effects from the unpleasant acts of terrorism, yet how effective they are will not be so easily measured. However, one could safely say that the usual hurdles which are put up by citizens themselves (privacy issues, waiting in line, etc.), are not being cleared sky high, yet when normalcy returns, there will be disputes over the clearing of such hurdles. Yet overall, even though it is unfortunate that the attack serves as a wake up call, it does, for American airports and flight security, which has always been lacking. Even though America was slow to implement security measures, in consideration of this incident, efforts to have stellar security will surely be expedited.
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