09.17.11, 05:52 AM #1
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Court Filing Details Shortcomings of Airport Screeners on 9/11
Okay, so the TSA likes to grope my grandmother a little too much, but at least they know what a can of Mace is when you hand it to them! Cripes!
The five terrorists who boarded United Airlines Flight 175 in Boston on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, passed through a security checkpoint that was staffed by some screeners who could not speak or understand English, did not know who Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda were, and, in one case, could not identify what Mace was, according to new court documents.
The documents, which include details not previously made public, were filed on Friday by lawyers for the family of Mark Bavis, a 31-year-old passenger on Flight 175, in the only remaining wrongful-death lawsuit out of nearly 100 filed after the attacks.
The documents, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, offer the most comprehensive look yet at what the lawsuit contends were failures by United and a security firm that ran the checkpoint used by the terrorists at Logan International Airport.
“This document demonstrates that 9/11 was completely preventable at the checkpoint for this flight, and that United did not live up to its responsibilities for security,” Donald A. Migliori, a lawyer for the family, said.
In focusing on the Logan checkpoint where the terrorists boarded Flight 175, the lawyers’ filing argues that the screeners lacked the necessary training and experience to do their jobs.
“Many of United and Huntleigh’s security screeners on duty on 9/11 were unable to speak or understand English,” the lawyers wrote. “One pre-board screener had such a poor grasp of the English language that she required an interpreter during her deposition,” they added.
Other screeners’ training records “failed to show their ability to read airline tickets and marking labels,” they said.
One supervisor was a 19-year-old employee with about three months of experience, the lawyers said.
Citing deposition testimony, they said at least nine screeners on duty on Sept. 11 had never heard of Bin Laden or Al Qaeda. “Astoundingly,” they added, nor had several Huntleigh officials.
Citing the terrorists’ use of Mace against the passengers, the lawyers argued that the screeners should have been able to identify the product in order to prevent it from being carried onboard the plane.
“Four screeners working the Flight 175 checkpoint did not even know what Mace was,” they wrote. “One of the screeners was still unable to identify Mace when handed the Mace canister.”
Don't read this.
09.18.11, 06:53 AM #2
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That's America for ya.
Not sure why this story is surfacing 10 years later. But 9/11 was an example of a country on cruise control. We were caught off guard by this. Our pre-9/11 world was casual and unthreatened, unfortunately it was like this at the airports as well. But there really is no excuse for working airport security and not knowing what a can of mace was. Not to mention having an incredible language barrier. Honestly, they shouldn't have been hired if they couldn't speak a word of English. Yes, I said that, don't write me any letters.
I was watching one of the 9/11 10-year anniversary specials and they were talking to 2 of the ticket counter workers (one from the Maine airport and one from Logan). They both thought something was up as they checked in the terrorists. The guy working the Maine airport said that one of the terrorists was holding up his license and smiling and acting very jumpy. Both agents thought about contacting security, but both felt guilty of racial profiling. Hopefully no one will ever shy away from that again, especially in that kind of capacity.
The problem I still have is why anyone was able to get into the cockpit. To me, that should have been sealed off--even before 9/11 I thought that part of the plane should be impenetrable.2-time Fantasy Baseball Champion.
09.18.11, 10:11 AM #3
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I hear you man and I saw that same special. I can't imagine what it would be like to be one of those guys, having to think about that for the rest of your life. All because they didn't want to appear to be racial profiling, which they absolutely should have been doing given the ethnic origin of many terrorists. It would have been a completely different story if say half of the hijackers would have been turned away. Of course without the major wake-up notice of 9/11 our overall security would have remained lax and they would have polished up their act and most likely tried again. Cockpit doors, that one bugs me to this day. There was even a recommendation to look into doing that and it was either ignored or put on the back burner. That would have pretty much shut down the entire hijacking operation right there. Of course overall security was so lax that the hijackers could have probably brought a tiny amount of C4 on board to blow the locks. I guess no amount of theorizing after the fact is going to bring any of these victims back.
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