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« Times Arts Frownlines 4 | Main | Paul Johnson »

August 28, 2002

Policy Break -- 9/11 Power Grabs

Dear Michael,

As I'm sure you've noticed, the disaster of 9-11 has been repeatedly cited by left-wing editorial page writers as an object lesson in the value of "big government"--oddly, in my view, since despite the bravery of New York's firefighters and policemen, the entire event seems largely to have amounted to a colossal failure of all levels of government to provide security to U.S. citizens (including, but not limited to, the intelligence, law enforcement, immigration, military and airline regulation functions of state and federal government.)

The following (from the Wall Street Journal) doesn't exactly make me change my mind:

Federal aviation officials, increasingly worried that U.S. airlines won't install bulletproof cockpit doors on all their aircraft by April's deadline [19 months after 9-11!!!], are stepping up pressure on the industry...The budding controversy--with some large carriers complaining about FAA foot-dragging while commuter operators fret they are getting short shrift in the regulatory process--shows how tough it has turned out to be to carry out what was viewed as one of the most clear-cut security enhancements. The finger pointing also comes at a time when the Transportation Department faces escalating criticism on Capitol Hill and elsewhere for problems in hiring screeners and installing bomb-detection equipment at every airport. Bulletproof and impact-resistant materials for the doors were developed many years ago, and Boeing drew up preliminary designs years before September's hijackings. Shortly after Sept. 11, Congress and the Bush administration agreed to set aside almost $100 million to subsidize the work...The FAA's move comes after weeks of manuvering by carriers. In a letter to departing FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, the industry's top lobbyist, Carol Hallett, warned that without immediate FAA Design approvals, the "threat of service interruption grows ever more serious.



posted by Friedrich at August 28, 2002


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