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  • Airport Security?

    Any opinions on this Heatwole kid, the 20-year-old who was able to sneak box cutters onto four different planes? The 'adults' have decided the kid should be sent to prison for several years. Stephen McHale, deputy administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, has declared that 'amateur testing of systems like this does not in any way help us or show us the flaws in the system'.

    Come again? If an 'amateur' college student is able to get through security more than 50% of the time, this should tell them their security 'system' isn't working very well. It seems this McHale guy is more afraid of losing his job than learning from this.
    "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

    Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

  • #2
    Makes you wonder what the $50 airport security surcharge is going towards.

    Anyways, intent is important in crime and no one got hurt.. I think rather than sending this kid to jail they should ask him what exactly he did and put a stop to it. But that's too practical - besides he embarassed the government so heads will roll. Instead, politicians will bicker over it, commision a "report" (aka buy time) and sooner or later everyone will forget it ever happened while Heatwole rots in jail, bartered around like a pack of cigarettes.

    Or maybe I"m just looking too far into this.
    "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

    – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

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    • #3
      Someone does need to be fired for this. It's been two years since 9-11 and billions have been spent on extra security.
      "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

      Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

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      • #4
        Have you seen the pictures? In Isreal they wouldn't have even let someone who looks like that get on a plane regardless of how well their bags have been checked. But honestly this kid isnt the sharpest tool in the shed, if he can do it twice then its more than a whoopsies, its a serious security issue. Bush can get up on the pulpit and rant about better public vigilance, but if the screeners dont go their job.. then how can we be help? He had clay shaped like plastic explosive, thats horrifying, the kid should get an award and Norman Minetas job.
        Doesn't read Al Franken, can't watch Al Jazeera, will attack dumbasses. Anyone but Rumsfeld '04.

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        • #5
          No, I didn't see the pictures. What do they look like?
          "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

          Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

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          • #6
            I just read this guy is a Quaker. Finally a real christian steps up to the plate.
            "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

            Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

            Comment


            • #7
              ???

              I don't get why someone wouldn't allow this guy on an airplane based on his looks. He looks... harmless.

              You can find Heatwole's picture here.

              http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/10/20/ai...are/index.html

              Poor guy. If he goes to a federal penitentiary he's going to be eaten alive.
              "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

              – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah, sending him away to prison is going to serve a great purpose. People wonder why the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
                "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

                Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chuck
                  I just read this guy is a Quaker. Finally a real christian steps up to the plate.
                  Chuck,

                  This is off-topic.

                  Excuse me, he may attend a Quaker college, but he isn't particularly a religious man. You should know that many universities were once founded by Christian people. For example, Gallaudet University was founded by a Christian evangelist Thomas Gallaudet, it was originally established to teach the Deaf people the Christian tenets and the Bible. Today, Gallaudet University is a secular liberal arts school, way off from what Thomas Gallaudet originally intended it to be.

                  There are other universities like Darmonth, Princeton, Yale, and even Havard that were once fine Christian universities. Now, they are no longer Christian, they're all secular and liberal. Too bad. Kinda disappointing for me, at least to say.

                  Dan
                  Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                  "Aim small, miss small."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cheetah772
                    Chuck,
                    There are other universities like Darmonth, Princeton, Yale, and even Havard that were once fine Christian universities. Now, they are no longer Christian, they're all secular and liberal. Too bad. Kinda disappointing for me, at least to say.
                    That's true.
                    "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

                    Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Maybe the FBI was too busy investigating this kid...

                      Boy's Internet research snags him in FBI web

                      Michael Olesker

                      Well, wE live in nervous times.

                      The terrorists arrive that awful Sept. 11 morning, and the nation spends the past two years trying to cope. The government investigates shadowy places where it never previously stuck its nose, and the civil libertarians shudder. Is Big Brother getting too snoopy? A 12-year-old kid at Boys' Latin researches a paper on the Bay Bridge, and suddenly the FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force shows up in the headmaster's office.

                      You could laugh if you didn't know the jangled nerves that set off such a reaction.

                      This fall, Dorsey Boyle, a middle-school teacher at Boys' Latin, the venerable Lake Avenue private school, assigned his classes a series of research papers. The first, on some famous individual. Seventh-grader John McLean picked Abner Doubleday, the baseball legend. The second, on some famous structure. McLean picked the Bay Bridge.

                      "He went to the Internet to research as much as he could," Bruce McLean, John's dad, was saying last week. He laughed a little ruefully. "He wanted to know how it was built and financed, how much concrete and steel went into it. But he was having trouble getting information. So Mr. Boyle told him a couple of Web sites where he could ask questions."

                      One was a Bay Bridge Web site. The other, the Maryland Transportation Authority's.

                      Several days later, John's mom, Rosemary McLean, arrived at Boys' Latin at the end of the school day. Boyle spotted her on the parking lot.

                      "You're John McLean's mother, right?" he said.

                      "Yes."

                      "The infamous John McLean?" he asked. The words were a little surprising, but Boyle had a twinkle in his eye. "Are you here because of what happened?"

                      John plays on the seventh-grade football team. His mother thought maybe he'd been hurt at practice that day.

                      "I'm just here to pick him up," she said. "What's happened? What's he been doing?"

                      Just writing a little paper about a bridge, that's all - and getting red-flagged by the government because of the questions he was asking.

                      When the McLeans talked about it that evening, they still had very little information. As it happens, John McLean shares a name (though not the same spelling) with the Bruce Willis character in the terrorist movie Die Hard. Did some FBI investigator stumble into this and think it was a terrorist's taunting alias?

                      As it also happens, Bruce McLean, who works for Mercantile Trust, coaches baseball. "I put the kids through a pretty good regimen," he says. "I go back to the old Oriole way." Discipline, hard work. A friend, photographer Harry Connolly, gave Bruce McLean a nickname, which has been used in light-hearted e-mail messages: Saddam. Did the FBI add that comic moniker to their list of suspicions?

                      "But the truth is," says Bruce McLean, "we were laughing about the whole thing. In fact, I said to John, 'I have to talk to you.' He said, 'What did I do wrong?' I said, 'I want you to be perfectly honest with me, son. Do you know where Osama bin Laden is?' We made it a whole joke. Because you have to laugh at it."

                      In an uptight time, laughter helps.

                      When the Boys' Latin middle school headmaster, Rick Brocato, went to school the previous morning, he had an unexpected visitor: Jim Drotar of the FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force.

                      "We need verification," Drotar said. "About someone who claims he's a student here. It's about the Chesapeake Bay Bridge."

                      Brocato, relaxing on a couch in his office the other day, laughed about it. "I knew some of the boys were investigating bridges," he said. "The FBI had initials, but not a name. The initials were J.M." (The FBI had no tie-in to the Bruce Willis character, or any "Saddam" suspicions.)

                      "Somewhere in his questioning," said Brocato, "John had mentioned Boys' Latin. And the FBI guy said, 'All I need to know is, is he a student here?' He said terrorists can impersonate people to get information. I assured him John McLean was a student, and he was doing a paper on the bridge. He said, 'You need to know, students need to identify themselves.' They're very sensitive about bridges and tunnels."

                      All of this leaves one question: How did the FBI stumble onto the information? Are there agents who spend their days monitoring millions of private messages?

                      "In today's environment," says Baltimore FBI spokesman Barry Maddox, "we take all leads very seriously. We had to make sure this was a legitimate school project. The kinds of questions he was asking about the bridge, we have to have a sense of caution.

                      "But, no, we don't sit around monitoring e-mails. This was based on a referral from the Transportation Authority. They're the ones who red-flagged it, based on the questions they were getting. We followed up. We have enough work without checking e-mails."

                      In a nervous time, the mistaken identity's merely a rueful little laugh.
                      I have no problem at all with being proved wrong. Especially when being proved wrong leaves the world a better place, than being proved right...

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