Lighting a legal fire

Laudable lawsuit asks for airline accountability over terrorists on planes

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We don’t know if the airlines are the right party to go after – and we aren’t big fans of scattershot lawsuits – but we sure appreciate the sentiment this time around.

Theophilus Maranga, who was injured helping prevent the “underwear bomber” from blowing up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, is now suing two airlines for $10 million. He claims they were negligent in allowing the confessed would-be terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to fly.

You have to wonder if the case is fair to the airlines. Consider: They’re getting sued when they don’t profile and when they do. We’re putting them in a no-win situation.

Plus, there were plenty of dropped balls and red flags along Abdulmutallab’s route.

His British student visa had been yanked that May and he was on a British “watch” list and was barred re-entry. U.S. intelligence was hearing chatter about a Nigerian-born terrorist in Yemen – which is what and where Abdulmutallab was. They had a recording of a conversation he had with an al-Qaida member. And in November 2009, his father was concerned enough about his son’s expressed desire of “sacrificing” himself that the father went to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria to warn us.

The smiling stewardess was just the last hurdle.

Besides, don’t the various governments involved have the lion’s share of responsibility for tracking and trapping terrorists?

We’ll let the courts sort all that out. All we know is, there’s a veritable buffet of accountability to heap on the plate.

The bomber himself owns most of the blame. But clearly someone besides him definitely needs to have a fire set under his rear.

Comments (16) Add comment
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burninater
9943
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burninater 01/02/12 - 11:26 pm
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And if this "laudable"

And if this "laudable" lawsuit emerges victorious, we should follow the lead and sue Fresh Market for letting that armed robber into their store ... right?

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 01/03/12 - 07:59 am
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Let's use the standard, "Its
Unpublished

Let's use the standard, "Its all George Bush's fault." Hey, liberals use it for everything bad in the world.

onlysane1left
223
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onlysane1left 01/03/12 - 08:06 am
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A British visa that was

A British visa that was revoked and he still stayed here? Wow, I guess the only illegals that people wants us to go after are the ones who are from the south of our border!

allhans
24964
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allhans 01/03/12 - 09:09 am
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Nigerian-born terrorist in

Nigerian-born terrorist in Yemen – which is what and where Abdulmutallab was.

onlysane1left
223
Points
onlysane1left 01/03/12 - 11:51 am
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Plus, there were plenty of

Plus, there were plenty of dropped balls and red flags along Abdulmutallab’s route.

His British student visa had been yanked that May and he was on a British “watch” list and was barred re-entry. U.S. intelligence was hearing chatter about a Nigerian-born terrorist in Yemen – which is what and where Abdulmutallab was.

TParty
6004
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TParty 01/03/12 - 12:35 pm
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The TSA is a government

The TSA is a government entity, which does all the screening.... Airlines are forced to have the TSA. TSA needs to be disbanded.

burninater
9943
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burninater 01/03/12 - 01:27 pm
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TParty, the primary reason

TParty, the primary reason entities like the TSA exist is because there are certain necessary services that private companies DON'T want to pay for. Why would airlines foot the bill for passenger screening when they can get the American taxpayer to do so for them?

As long as the private sector and the related gov't agencies maintain their lovey-dovey ties, things like the removal of the TSA are not going to happen.

justthefacts
25475
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justthefacts 01/03/12 - 02:20 pm
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burn, I believe according to

burn, I believe according to the U.S. Constitution that it is incumbent upon the Federal gov't to provide for the common defense of it's citizens. I am surprised that you would want to privatize that responsibility. Having said that, if the Gov't did, it would sure make air travel for us road warriors easier as the price of air travel would sky rocket.

TParty
6004
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TParty 01/03/12 - 02:37 pm
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"I believe according to the

"I believe according to the U.S. Constitution that it is incumbent upon the Federal gov't to provide for the common defense of it's citizens."

Where do you draw the line between providing defense, and ignoring our liberties? Should TSA be at bars and clubs in the Augusta area? What about the mall, or the Green jacket stadium? What about TSA patrolling our streets? If they are already protecting private businesses like airlines, why not taxi and bus drivers?

Where do we draw the line for the government doing everything for us, in the name of security? When did we become so fearful, we are willing to give up everything we stand for, eroding our freedoms just for countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved safety while doing little or nothing to actually improve security....

justthefacts
25475
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justthefacts 01/03/12 - 02:44 pm
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0
"If they are already

"If they are already protecting private businesses like airlines, why not taxi and bus drivers?" They are not protecting airlines, they are protecting the passengers. Blowing up airplanes is an act of war.

burninater
9943
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burninater 01/03/12 - 03:01 pm
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JTF, I can see your point

JTF, I can see your point about the common defense. I'm of two minds on it -- if it were just the fate of the airline passengers (and don't get me wrong on this, I fly one or two round trips per month so I'm not saying "not my problem") I really don't see it as a function of common defense. I don't think that "common defense" means "making every individual safe from potential acts of aggression", but rather that it means defending the country as a whole. On that point though, the potential that a hijacker could fly a 747 into a nuclear reactor near a major population center would be a "common defense" situation. Armoring and arming the cockpit prevents that latter situation, so I return to my former stance. Preventing exploding planes goes a long way towards helping major airlines continue to operate profitably, and I would rather arrive safe on the ground myself, but I don't think it is specifically a "common defense" role.

TParty
6004
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TParty 01/03/12 - 03:04 pm
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Okay, well those same

Okay, well those same passengers go to malls, ball games, concerts, ride buses, go to college, work, apple stores when a new product comes out... Is blowing up anything an act of war? Is what Timothy McVeigh did an act of war? Eric Rudolf? Ted Kazinsky?

justthefacts
25475
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justthefacts 01/03/12 - 03:29 pm
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Burn, OK, so do you want your

Burn, OK, so do you want your safety in the hands of a profit motivated airline or the Feds doing their constitutional duty (even if you argue that it is not the duty of the gov't to protect passengers). BTW, I am not saying that airlines would not do the right thing, but....

burninater
9943
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burninater 01/03/12 - 03:32 pm
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TParty, private, for-profit

TParty, private, for-profit companies (i.e. CONTRACTORS) are the primary recipients of govt spending of our tax dollars. This is why defense spending is treated as a sacred cow. It's BIG MONEY for the private sector. So I suspect, if they can get away with it, they'll call EVERYTHING in this category, going forward, an "act of war". The big Black Friday events for private contractors (ex. Vietnam, Iraq), are getting harder and harder to sell to the American people, so these contractors and their Congressional love-buddies need to come up with ways to diversify their market reach. Enter the eternal war against terror!

justthefacts
25475
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justthefacts 01/03/12 - 03:33 pm
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TParty, look, I go through

TParty, look, I go through security 4 to 6 times a month. Hate it. However, I want to get home to my family. If it could be shown that there were enemies of this country targeting Malls, I would want the Fed government to help protect shoppers.

burninater
9943
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burninater 01/03/12 - 04:28 pm
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JTF, profits are a pretty

JTF, profits are a pretty strong motivator. An airline is going to do anything in its power to NOT be the one whose plane blew up because their security was lax.

In fact, I bet that the airlines' security would be even MORE stringent than the TSA's. I don't think they'd necessarily be able to do it cheaper -- we see the public sector inefficiencies more readily because they're public record events, and think therefore the private sector does a better job, but numerous studies of operating efficiencies show the public and private sectors operate at near-parity (private sector inefficiencies occur behind closed doors, and are written off as operating costs).

I imagine you'd essentially see the TSA as it exists contracted by airlines as a private entity, with costs borne by passengers rather than spread across the entire tax base as it is currently.

TParty
6004
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TParty 01/03/12 - 05:23 pm
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JTF- I want to get home too.

JTF- I want to get home too. In 2009 there were 30,797 fatal traffic accidents in the United States alone. 34,172 the year before that. Should there be government agencies everywhere conducting check points, screenings, and whatever it takes to prevent all the people dying? Should the TSA be driving for us to ensure we get to our points safely? Or should we only involve the government in everything if it has the label "war on terror" stamped onto it?

Fact of the matter is, the TSA doesn't do its job very well. Case in point, read how Maranga got injured- doing what the TSA should have done. The reality is that since 9/11, cockpit doors have been secured and locked to prevent anyone taking over the plane. The passengers on the plane will not stand for anyone trying to do the wrong thing. These two acts alone will prevent any attack like 9/11 again. This searching the elderly by having them strip in private rooms is wrong. Searching children, lifting their shirts at the security check points is wrong. This throwing water bottles away is pointless. It's all theatrical, and all worthless, and very costly.

Once we take the step that TSA can do whatever they want at airports because we are afraid, the government will extend that to other places where we are afraid. While giving the government more power and control, and violating our rights- they aren't even doing their job correctly. See the underwear and shoe bomber as examples. Take baby formula away from a mother a child, but allow shoe bombs on the plane.

It's costing the tax payers, and the military industrial complex is becoming bigger and bigger. Burniator is right- war on terror is so vague with it's definitions and what we would consider a win- it will go on forever. Eroding our rights.

Obama signed a bill just recently, the NDAA (which both parties supported), which gives a scary expansion to the executive power. Obama said "my administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens." even though the bill he signed gives him that power.

Chillen and others can now comment and provide examples on how honest Obama has been, and how much we should trust his word.

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