Let’s get real about why so many governments are searching for the missing Malaysian airliner, and how they are all shooting themselves in the feet.
Professionals responsible for keeping us safe are all fearing this was caused by terrorists conducting a prototype run for a coming large, multi-plane simultaneous hijack.
After all, no one has ever done as much damage as 21 hijackers did, accomplishing three-quaters of their goals, on 9/11. So their murderous desire for the most shocking results will inevitably drive them back to using big, fuel-laden planes as big kamikazes.
Does that mean hijackers secretly landed the Malaysian airliner in some remote place, to use it in a future attack? No, it likely crashed. And if that was done deliberately, it was done purposefully, and the purpose could have been to test whether those who planned it know how to make a giant plane untrackable, to make it disappear in flight.
There’s more. If bad guys took it, they needed to learn if there were hidden systems that would allow tracking after the transponder was switched-off. They have long needed to learn about that so they can overcome it.
And whether terrorists took the plane, or it was some kind of accident, either way, all the reporting and TV’s endless panels of talking experts is giving the terrorists those answers.
There will be a period of time after the terrorists learn those new things, and before the aviation industry adapts and makes system changes to fix them. We are now in that period of time, that window of opportunity for those who do very bad things.
Last year was the safest, ever, in the history of commercial aviation. Flying may be no fun anymore, with no food, extra fees for your suitcase, and your knees in your armpits, but it has been safe, and unprecedentedly so.
Keeping it that way depends, at the moment, on three things:
- Stopping the deluge of hemorrhaging information that terrorists can use. This is difficult for all of us advocates of a free press. But all of us are watching it happen.
- Fully funding regulatory agencies that are necessary to protect public safety. And this requires having a mind-set that “austerity” is insane because regulation is important, across the board, from food safety to auto safety to seaport/ship/container/import safety to aircraft, air freight, and airline safety.
- Learning from the sudden new international cooperation / competition, not as an ad-hoc, fear-driven / national-ego-driven search for one airplane, but as a serious ongoing commitment by the governments of the world to make global travel safe for everyone. This is being complicated by regional military powers afraid of revealing capabilities to potential regional military and political adversaries. It’s also telling terrorists how to exploit reluctance between some countries to work cooperatively.
What do you think?