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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Captain's Responsibility

Wall Street Journal has an excellent piece out today that discusses the situation where the six Imam's were removed from Flight 300.

They give the background of what actually happened which I have dealt with here in a few posts myself, but he then goes into the depth of responsibility that a Captain of any flight has to their passengers.

Here's what the flying public needs to know about airplanes and civil rights: Once your foot traverses the entranceway of a commercial airliner, you are no longer in a democracy in which everyone gets a vote and minority rights are affirmatively protected in furtherance of fuzzy, ever-shifting social policy. Ultimately, the responsibility for your personal safety and security rests on the shoulders of one person, the pilot in command. His primary job is to safely transport you and your belongings from one place to another. Period.

This is the doctrine of "captain's authority." It has a longstanding history and a statutory mandate, further strengthened after 9/11, which recognizes that flight crews are our last line of defense between the kernel of a terrorist plot and its lethal execution. The day we tell the captain of a commercial airliner that he cannot remove a problem passenger unless he divines beyond question what is in that passenger's head and heart is the day our commercial aviation system begins to crumble. When a passenger's conduct is so disturbing and disruptive that reasonable, ordinary people fear for their lives, the captain must have the discretionary authority to respond without having to consider equal protection or First Amendment standards about which even trained lawyers with the clarity of hindsight might strongly disagree. The pilot in command can't get it wrong. At 35,000 feet, when multiple events are rapidly unfolding in real time, there is no room for error.

The Captains job is NOT to be "politically correct" or worry about hurting someones feelings...Their job is the safety of the flight...thats it!!! To get their passengers from one place to another and to take every precaution THEY deem necessary to obtain that goal.

Likewise, flight attendants are confined in the back of the plane with upwards of 200 people; they must be the eyes and ears, not just for the pilot but for us all. They are not combat specialists, however, and to compel them to ignore all but the most unambiguous cases of suspicious behavior is to further enable terrorists who act in ways meant to defy easy categorization. As the American Airlines flight attendants who literally jumped on "shoe bomber" Richard Reid demonstrated, cabin crews are sharply attuned to unusual or abnormal behavior and they must not be second-guessed, or hamstrung by misguided notions of political correctness.

I do not care if these people are Muslim, American, Chinese or anything else. If anyone at all is perceived to be a danger to a flight BY the Captain, the Captain has the obligation to deal with the situation in a way where he/she can determine that they are safe to take off and complete their trip. Period.

Ultimately, the most despicable aspect about the imams' behavior is that when they pierced the normally quiet hum of a passenger waiting area with shouts of "Allahu Akbar"and deliberately engaged in terrorist-associated behavior that was sure to trigger suspicion, they exploited the fear that began with the Sept. 11 attacks. The imams, experienced travelers all, counted on the security system established after 9/11 to kick in, and now they plan not only to benefit financially from the proper operation of that system but to substantially weaken it--with help from the Saudi-endowed attorneys at CAIR.

US Airways is right to stand by its flight crew. It will be both dangerous and disgraceful if the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation and, ultimately, our federal courts allow aviation security measures put in place after 9/11 to be cynically manipulated in the name of civil rights.

Amen!!! It is time we stop letting people use OUR laws and political correctness to allow them to endanger our citizens.

To allow our laws and our media and our political systems to be used against us, to be manipulated in a way that furthers the dangers to our country is to be completely irresponsible.

Others discussing this:
Power Line.
Riehl World View.
Hot Air.
Captain's Quarters.
JunkYard Blog.
Blue Crab Boulevard.

7 signs of terror activity--#6 is Dry Runs.
Deliberately "Terrorizing" an Airline.
Muslims Removed from Plane and CAIR.
Spoon Fed Hatred, Morning, Noon and Night.
The Nature of our Enemy.