U.S. AVIATION SECURITY BEFORE AND AFTER
THE SEPTEMBER 11 TERRORIST ATTACKS
by E. MARLA FELCHER
"For decades, the FAA, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and
Congress knew that the U.S. aviation system was an easy target for terrorists.
In the years between the 1988 attack on a Pan American jetliner over
Scotland attributed to Libyan agents and September 11, 2001, the GAO
issued more than forty reports warning Congress what every frequent flyer
knew: a motivated terrorist would have little problem slipping past airport
security and onto a plane. The Office of the Inspector General in the
Transportation Department issued dozens more reports, all saying essentially
the same thing.
Two presidents, the elder Bush and Clinton, convened
blue-ribbon commissions to study the problem. Both groups seconded the
opinions of the GAO and the inspector general, concluding that aviation
security was lax.
The reports culminated with interminable congressional
hearings, widespread finger-pointing, much passing of the buck, and few
meaningful security enhancements."
You expected President Bush to do it in 9 months?