How Homeland Security explains the menace of Photographers.

Here is a true life reenactment of how Terrorists plan to blow up planes. After all, how can you blow up planes without a picture of a plane? Or something. Whatever... It's this kind of travestiy which makes all photographers Terrorists! So now if you're a plane buff, you're obviously in the pay of Al Qaeda View: original size http://carlosmiller.com/2010/09/07/tsa-publishes-new-posters-depicting-photographers-as-terrorists/ Dave

Yes, this type of scaremongering is so off the mark that I can't believe the authorities are serious. What do they hope to gain by criminalising photographers? It'll make no difference whatsoever to their "security".

Most of this stuff is scare mongering "form over content." And does anyone else think the name "Homeland Security" sounds vaguely . . . Germanic, circa 1938?

This type of hysteria keeps the public busy. Additionally those plane spotters could discover some inconvenient truths. If I remember right, plane spotters were involved in uncovering US rendition flights to torture states. In France the misuse of the Algerian presidential airplane for private travel of spouses was uncovered by plane spotters.

Eike Welk wrote: This type of hysteria keeps the public busy. Additionally those plane spotters could discover some inconvenient truths. If I remember right, plane spotters were involved in uncovering US rendition flights to torture states. In France the misuse of the Algerian presidential airplane for private travel of spouses was uncovered by plane spotters.
Doesn't looks like a plane spotter to me. Just how naive do you think I am? How do you make someone taking a photograph of an airplane, in broad daylight, look sinister? So they dressed him up in a Hoodie, gave him a furtive posture, put a long lens in his hands. And just what is he doing that could aid a terrorist? Clearly a hi-jacker! And how can anyone in their right mind hijack a plane without a photograph? Dumb as a rock too... Doesn't matter, the man is obviously up to no damn good... Let's not take chances, photograhers are a seedy lot at best... Dave

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Eike Welk wrote: This type of hysteria keeps the public busy. Additionally those plane spotters could discover some inconvenient truths. If I remember right, plane spotters were involved in uncovering US rendition flights to torture states. In France the misuse of the Algerian presidential airplane for private travel of spouses was uncovered by plane spotters.
That about sums it up perfectly

sounds like the old gun control theory. scare the public into thinking they are being protected. like England and Australia and maybe sometime soon Canada .... some people confuse movement with progress. the general public can be convinced of anything. they get the government they deserve, much to my dismay .

G. Gray wrote: sounds like the old gun control theory. scare the public into thinking they are being protected. like England
Hey ... what about Scotland? We're part of the UK too ...
and Australia and maybe sometime soon Canada ....
I notice you conveniently omit Northern Ireland, where the American commitment to gun ownership helped to cull the population significantly ...
some people confuse movement with progress. the general public can be convinced of anything. they get the government they deserve, much to my dismay .

timo wrote: I notice you conveniently omit Northern Ireland, where the American commitment to gun ownership helped to cull the population significantly ...
I do believe there was a war on over there? Last time I checked, such activities are bad for the health. Dave

Chato wrote:
timo wrote: I notice you conveniently omit Northern Ireland, where the American commitment to gun ownership helped to cull the population significantly ...
I do believe there was a war on over there? Last time I checked, such activities are bad for the health.
War? There was a wave of terrorism between varied factions of Catholics and Protestants. And he's right. When this terrorism was at or near its peak, every NYC or Albany Irish bar I walked into took up a near nightly collection to help in the fight against the British. Of course, those weapons often went to kill more Irish than British, just as is the case in the Middle East right now. For all I know, it's still happening. I no longer live in or near NYC, and I no longer drink. In Virginia, our brilliant politicians set up a new law allowing non-drinkers (supposed) to carry a concealed pistol in bars. So far (about 10 weeks), only one person was hurt by a gun in a bar. This jackass was carrying his pistol in his pocket. He reached into his pocket for something and shot himself in the leg. He had been drinking. He's now facing several charges, including discharging a firearm in an occupied dwelling. I'd guess he is only the first of many dimwits and loonies over-stepping the bounds.

Charlie Self wrote: And he's right. When this terrorism was at or near its peak, every NYC or Albany Irish bar I walked into took up a near nightly collection to help in the fight against the British. Of course, those weapons often went to kill more Irish than British, just as is the case in the Middle East right now.
The Irish (Northern Irish) that these weapons were used to kill were British too!!! It is funny how back in those days sponsoring terrorism was an ok thing to do in the US (NORAID), since the US was attacked it is now illegal...

Mike Walters wrote: It is funny how back in those days sponsoring terrorism was an ok thing to do in the US (NORAID), since the US was attacked it is now illegal...
I think this is a very interesting and valid point. If the "troubles" had been ongoing in 2001 the outcome might have been very different, and probably not for the better because there would have been no possibility of "negotiating with terrorists". This is all a bit off topic though... -- I just like the pictures.

Charlie Self wrote: And he's right. When this terrorism was at or near its peak, every NYC or Albany Irish bar I walked into took up a near nightly collection to help in the fight against the British. Of course, those weapons often went to kill more Irish than British, just as is the case in the Middle East right now.
pity we(British) didn't have predator UAV's back then, we could of Hellfired that bar out of existence -- Mandolin, haha, nope sorry! That, my friend, is a Banjo :)?

illy wrote:
Charlie Self wrote: And he's right. When this terrorism was at or near its peak, every NYC or Albany Irish bar I walked into took up a near nightly collection to help in the fight against the British. Of course, those weapons often went to kill more Irish than British, just as is the case in the Middle East right now.
pity we(British) didn't have predator UAV's back then, we could of Hellfired that bar out of existence --
That bar? Do you have any idea how many Irish bars there in NYC? I sometimes think every tenth Irishman to land here started a bar as soon as he saved up enough.

timo wrote:
G. Gray wrote: sounds like the old gun control theory. scare the public into thinking they are being protected. like England
Hey ... what about Scotland? We're part of the UK too ...
Hey, my wife is Scottish, so I didnot intentionally leave out.
and Australia and maybe sometime soon Canada ....
I notice you conveniently omit Northern Ireland, where the American commitment to gun ownership helped to cull the population significantly ...
I donot pretend to understand your statement, I only touched on the basics of the stupidity of removing guns from the hands of responsible citizens while leaving weapons in the hands of criminals. All in the name of protecting a confused public !!!
some people confuse movement with progress. the general public can be convinced of anything. they get the government they deserve, much to my dismay .

I only touched on the basics of the stupidity of removing guns from the hands of responsible citizens while leaving weapons in the hands of criminals. All in the name of protecting a confused public !!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11274481 Responsible citizens like the above thread.

Quoting an isolated case of somebody in a trailer park in Kentucky USA does not bolster your argument. Most deaths from guns are from turf wars, drugs and gangs as you well know. Removing guns friom the hands of legitimate responsible owners is only to placate a confused public into believing they are made safer Gun culture in the UK, Australia and Canada is very similar. Do not confuse it with USA
Fish323 wrote: I only touched on the basics of the stupidity of removing guns from the hands of responsible citizens while leaving weapons in the hands of criminals. All in the name of protecting a confused public !!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11274481 Responsible citizens like the above thread.

G. Gray wrote: Quoting an isolated case of somebody in a trailer park in Kentucky USA does not bolster your argument. Most deaths from guns are from turf wars, drugs and gangs as you well know. Removing guns friom the hands of legitimate responsible owners is only to placate a confused public into believing they are made safer Gun culture in the UK, Australia and Canada is very similar. Do not confuse it with USA
The fact that you firmly believe gun control does not increase saftey does not mean you are correct. It just means that you believe it strongly. Obbjectively, the balance of evidence would seem to be against your belief. -- I just like the pictures.

Tristan Cope wrote:
G. Gray wrote: Quoting an isolated case of somebody in a trailer park in Kentucky USA does not bolster your argument. Most deaths from guns are from turf wars, drugs and gangs as you well know. Removing guns friom the hands of legitimate responsible owners is only to placate a confused public into believing they are made safer Gun culture in the UK, Australia and Canada is very similar. Do not confuse it with USA
The fact that you firmly believe gun control does not increase saftey does not mean you are correct. It just means that you believe it strongly. Obbjectively, the balance of evidence would seem to be against your belief. -- I just like the pictures.
There is no balance of evidence. What one can say with absolute certainty is that those States that have recently liberalized the right to carry weapons have not experienced a jump in murder rates. Some States with the right to carry have low murder rates, some States where guns are verbotten have high rates. It's a mixed bag, but all the predictions of 365/24/7 mayhem have proved false. Dave

Tristan Cope wrote: The fact that you firmly believe gun control does not increase saftey does not mean you are correct. It just means that you believe it strongly. Obbjectively, the balance of evidence would seem to be against your belief.
Wrong. http://www.amazon.com/More-Guns-Less-Crime-Understanding/dp/0226493660/

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/75359 I don't own a gun, but I wish more did.

Kack wrote: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/75359 I don't own a gun, but I wish more did.

G. Gray wrote:
Kack wrote: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/75359 I don't own a gun, but I wish more did.
Many reasons why crime can go down. These statistics prove only one thing - Those who predicted an immense rise in shootings, and gun related violence are totally and completely wrong. And if there had been some statistical glitch where violence HAD gone up, they would be out there braying to the moon to shout that they were right. I found the comments where these same people more or less said, "Big deal," as if these facts don't mean anything, the very essence of classic hypocrisy. Proved wrong? "Duh, we never said that." Dave

All kidding aside. When economics conditions are great, then good citizens will "observe the law" BUT, if it turns sour then we all will fight to save our families. I am reminded of an expression. (if I can remember it) All governments greatest fear is .... "MASS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE" Statistics say that 39% of housholds in the USA have a gun. In Canada it is 29% which is more than the military and police combined. In the UK or Australia & other countries it is much less. Go figure 9
Chato wrote:
G. Gray wrote:
Kack wrote: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/75359 I don't own a gun, but I wish more did.
Many reasons why crime can go down. These statistics prove only one thing - Those who predicted an immense rise in shootings, and gun related violence are totally and completely wrong. And if there had been some statistical glitch where violence HAD gone up, they would be out there braying to the moon to shout that they were right. I found the comments where these same people more or less said, "Big deal," as if these facts don't mean anything, the very essence of classic hypocrisy. Proved wrong? "Duh, we never said that." Dave

G. Gray wrote: sounds like the old gun control theory. scare the public into thinking they are being protected. like England and Australia and maybe sometime soon Canada .... some people confuse movement with progress. the general public can be convinced of anything. they get the government they deserve, much to my dismay .
I think what you actually meant to post was old gun control fact. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir_percap-crime-murders-firearms-per-capita -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/scraff/

G. Gray wrote: sounds like the old gun control theory. scare the public into thinking they are being protected. like England and Australia and maybe sometime soon Canada ....
You really want to compare Australian 'death by gunfire rates' with US 'death by gunfire rates' across population? Are you serious? So what are you proposing is actually 'equalling rights' of other nations to reach the US level of street violence and gun-misuse by forcing them into fear and insecurity psychosis, so US policies on 'allowing personal weaponry' can finally "compare" with some from the the civilised world, not just with blazing warzones and Doom 3 games?

First, I have no idea what you are talking about. I would never compare the UK, Australia, Canada to the USA regarding gun culture. I am only suggesting that the general public has been misinformed about the dangers of gun ownership in the UK, Australia, & Canada ! Any sensible person would realize that if the powers that be really wanted to protect life and limb they would look at deaths by traffic "accident", medical malpractice, suicide, or any number of things that result in many more deaths than gun misuse.
Uluru wrote:
G. Gray wrote: sounds like the old gun control theory. scare the public into thinking they are being protected. like England and Australia and maybe sometime soon Canada ....
You really want to compare Australian 'death by gunfire rates' with US 'death by gunfire rates' across population? Are you serious? So what are you proposing is actually 'equalling rights' of other nations to reach the US level of street violence and gun-misuse by forcing them into fear and insecurity psychosis, so US policies on 'allowing personal weaponry' can finally "compare" with some from the the civilised world, not just with blazing warzones and Doom 3 games?

I cant see how anyone can imagine that having everyone walking around with a gun is going to make anyone safer. If I get into a conflict with someone and I kow they have a gun I am going to use my gun to extinguish the threat. If he is not armed I am less likely to use it.... Just what I think anyway....

Mike Walters wrote: I cant see how anyone can imagine that having everyone walking around with a gun is going to make anyone safer. If I get into a conflict with someone and I kow they have a gun I am going to use my gun to extinguish the threat. If he is not armed I am less likely to use it.... Just what I think anyway....
gun deaths in the US from the statistics, we are still near the top of the murder rate. Guns, in and of themselves have little to do with violence. Some European countries have as high a gun owership as we do, yet far fewer fatalities. The fact that someone owns a gun doesn't bother me at all. Dave

bananahead wrote: How do you like your eggs? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11274481
Who went bonkers. Lost his job, being evicted, and anything at all could have triggered him. Best you can say is that he would have killed his wife with a knife, and yes, maybe the neighbors would have not been killed. Saying that, in the US it's considered justified homicide to shoot up the cook at a restaurant who gives you sunnyside up when you asked for scrambled... Dave

If you have done your research you would not even discuss this. In Canada or UK or Australia you do not walk around with a gun unless it is a long gun (rifle, shotgun) and only in legal hunting areas with the proper licences !!!! In the USA they have in some states , carry permits for handguns. BUT not in Canada. In Canada handguns have been registered to legal owners since the 1930s It has not stopped crime by illegal handguns. Some people believe that stopping gun ownership by legal means it will stop crime. How stupid can you get ???? Your statements do not make any sense at all !!!!!!!
Mike Walters wrote: I cant see how anyone can imagine that having everyone walking around with a gun is going to make anyone safer. If I get into a conflict with someone and I kow they have a gun I am going to use my gun to extinguish the threat. If he is not armed I am less likely to use it.... Just what I think anyway....

I don't think anyone really thinks that stopping gun ownership eliminates crime. What people might think is that it eliminates accidental shootings of children, and school massacres. But it won't stop illegal gun ownership and associated crime, of course it won't. What needs to be understood is the cultural differences towards firearms between the US and the UK. In the US, it's a constitutional right to arm bears, sorry, bear arms. This right, incidentally, is inherited from English law. Given the history of the US, it's perhaps unsurprising that this is seen as a fundamental right and part of being a US citizen. In the UK, however, we simply have a different cultural view on guns. To us, the idea of wholesale gun ownership is simply beyond our understanding, and we don't see it as a freedom in any way, but as a potential hazard - and on such a crowded little island, we're probably right. For all that the Second Amandment was based on our Bill of Rights, it's not something we've ever been used to, nor something we want - we've not given up any freedoms, as we've never availed ourselves of it, and we can't see any possible advantage to us in so doing. We see refusal to limit the supply of guns as some form of madness, not an assertion of freedom - we genuinely can't understand why it is such an issue. But then few of us have any knowledge of US history. Equally, in the US you probably can't understand what a big deal it is for us that our police aren't routinely armed. By and large, they don't need to be, as few criminals are, drug gangs excepted. To us, their unarmed status is a reminder that they police by consent (although that's more in doubt than ever before, due to similar idiocies as the starting point for this thead), and is thus a mark of our freedom. So to cut a long story short, we consider being free the need not to be armed, and you consider the right to bear arms being free - it's entirely a cultural thing, and each side throwing brickbats at the other and not understanding that gets us all nowhere.

Canada and the UK are much alike in their attitude towards guns. But having said that, we both have many immigrants from other countries that fear guns. The politicians of the day play on that fear and say you will be safer if we limit the guns in the hand of its citizens. The Uk went through that and Australia went through that. Is The UK or Australia any safer after their purge of guns ??? The powers that be wave this red flag at people and say you will be safer but really it diverts attention from the things that should be looked after. IF YOU (or any politician) are really serious about saving lives I invite you to look at leading causes of death. Do a google search. http://library.thinkquest.org/16665/causes.htm Of course it would be expensive to fix what really needs fixing. I notice on the chart that people in the UK are more likely to die of heart disease etc than in the USA
Rock and Rollei wrote: I don't think anyone really thinks that stopping gun ownership eliminates crime. What people might think is that it eliminates accidental shootings of children, and school massacres. But it won't stop illegal gun ownership and associated crime, of course it won't. What needs to be understood is the cultural differences towards firearms between the US and the UK. In the US, it's a constitutional right to arm bears, sorry, bear arms. This right, incidentally, is inherited from English law. Given the history of the US, it's perhaps unsurprising that this is seen as a fundamental right and part of being a US citizen. In the UK, however, we simply have a different cultural view on guns. To us, the idea of wholesale gun ownership is simply beyond our understanding, and we don't see it as a freedom in any way, but as a potential hazard - and on such a crowded little island, we're probably right. For all that the Second Amandment was based on our Bill of Rights, it's not something we've ever been used to, nor something we want - we've not given up any freedoms, as we've never availed ourselves of it, and we can't see any possible advantage to us in so doing. We see refusal to limit the supply of guns as some form of madness, not an assertion of freedom - we genuinely can't understand why it is such an issue. But then few of us have any knowledge of US history. Equally, in the US you probably can't understand what a big deal it is for us that our police aren't routinely armed. By and large, they don't need to be, as few criminals are, drug gangs excepted. To us, their unarmed status is a reminder that they police by consent (although that's more in doubt than ever before, due to similar idiocies as the starting point for this thead), and is thus a mark of our freedom. So to cut a long story short, we consider being free the need not to be armed, and you consider the right to bear arms being free - it's entirely a cultural thing, and each side throwing brickbats at the other and not understanding that gets us all nowhere.

It may make you think that gun control may be ineffective at saving many lives and really efforts should be aimed at those things that really matter. http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html
G. Gray wrote: Canada and the UK are much alike in their attitude towards guns. But having said that, we both have many immigrants from other countries that fear guns. The politicians of the day play on that fear and say you will be safer if we limit the guns in the hand of its citizens. The Uk went through that and Australia went through that. Is The UK or Australia any safer after their purge of guns ??? The powers that be wave this red flag at people and say you will be safer but really it diverts attention from the things that should be looked after. IF YOU (or any politician) are really serious about saving lives I invite you to look at leading causes of death. Do a google search. http://library.thinkquest.org/16665/causes.htm Of course it would be expensive to fix what really needs fixing. I notice on the chart that people in the UK are more likely to die of heart disease etc than in the USA
Rock and Rollei wrote: I don't think anyone really thinks that stopping gun ownership eliminates crime. What people might think is that it eliminates accidental shootings of children, and school massacres. But it won't stop illegal gun ownership and associated crime, of course it won't. What needs to be understood is the cultural differences towards firearms between the US and the UK. In the US, it's a constitutional right to arm bears, sorry, bear arms. This right, incidentally, is inherited from English law. Given the history of the US, it's perhaps unsurprising that this is seen as a fundamental right and part of being a US citizen. In the UK, however, we simply have a different cultural view on guns. To us, the idea of wholesale gun ownership is simply beyond our understanding, and we don't see it as a freedom in any way, but as a potential hazard - and on such a crowded little island, we're probably right. For all that the Second Amandment was based on our Bill of Rights, it's not something we've ever been used to, nor something we want - we've not given up any freedoms, as we've never availed ourselves of it, and we can't see any possible advantage to us in so doing. We see refusal to limit the supply of guns as some form of madness, not an assertion of freedom - we genuinely can't understand why it is such an issue. But then few of us have any knowledge of US history. Equally, in the US you probably can't understand what a big deal it is for us that our police aren't routinely armed. By and large, they don't need to be, as few criminals are, drug gangs excepted. To us, their unarmed status is a reminder that they police by consent (although that's more in doubt than ever before, due to similar idiocies as the starting point for this thead), and is thus a mark of our freedom. So to cut a long story short, we consider being free the need not to be armed, and you consider the right to bear arms being free - it's entirely a cultural thing, and each side throwing brickbats at the other and not understanding that gets us all nowhere.

Meticulous planning, including rather extensive reconnaissance, has been characteristic of al Qaeda affiliates' operations, and anyone who planned, eg, to get access to a parked aircraft in order to place a bomb on it would take photographs of the area - to record where the security posts were, which parking areas were out of the security posts' line of sight, etc. Sure, there is only a small chance that a person taking photographs of airports and aircraft is a terrorist and not a plane spotter, but what are you saying? That the TSA should just ignore that small chance?

Les Olson wrote: Sure, there is only a small chance that a person taking photographs of airports and aircraft is a terrorist and not a plane spotter, but what are you saying? That the TSA should just ignore that small chance?
Sure, there is only a small chance that a pilot had his brain washed during his last vacation in middle east, but what are you thinking? That the TSA should just ignore this small chance? you're a great example of the biggest problem US faces today - everybody is scared of small chances resulting in things like ban of forks in the school and toxic fire detergents in everything. and what do you get in return? bad food in school, toxic homes and now inhumane airport security. The chances of you getting killed by terrorist are much lower than getting into some strange lethal accident. stop worrying and live happily, that's the best you can do to fight terrorism. too bad for government it is beneficial to keep everyone scared.

laurynas wrote: stop worrying and live happily, that's the best you can do to fight terrorism.
The breadth of your knowledge on the topic of terrorism is astounding. Even if you don't agree with some government responses to terrorism, it is a threat, and there are real people working very hard so you can "stop worrying and live happily".

453C wrote: ...it is a threat, and there are real people working very hard so you can "stop worrying and live happily".
Sounds like Jack Nicholson in "A few good men" -sorry, I couldn't resist Bogdan

No problem with that at all. Nicholson's Colonel Jessep obviously had a few problems with his good men, but he also had a point. There are real threats, and they do need to be taken seriously. The response to those threats needs to be appropriate, or we end up with the government making poor decisions (see the Graber case). A difficult balance needs to be maintained, and pretending otherwise, regardless of which side you're on, is dangerous.

laurynas wrote: you're a great example of the biggest problem US faces today - everybody is scared of small chances resulting in things like ban of forks in the school and toxic fire detergents in everything. and what do you get in return? bad food in school, toxic homes and now inhumane airport security.
Actually, I am not an example of that. Fear of what have been called "the hazards of everyday life" is certainly a common American failing, but not one I share. Actually, the problem is not so much being scared of small risks as the idea that risks can be identified and eliminated one by one and then there won't be any risks left - like the idea that if you eliminate the faults in your pictures due to your camera, then the faults due to your lenses, then the faults due to your tripod, then the faults due to your technique - there will be no faults left and your photographs will be perfect.

Les Olson wrote: Meticulous planning, including rather extensive reconnaissance, has been characteristic of al Qaeda affiliates' operations, and anyone who planned, eg, to get access to a parked aircraft in order to place a bomb on it would take photographs of the area - to record where the security posts were, which parking areas were out of the security posts' line of sight, etc. Sure, there is only a small chance that a person taking photographs of airports and aircraft is a terrorist and not a plane spotter, but what are you saying? That the TSA should just ignore that small chance?
Using a DSLR with a huge lens in such an obvious manner? That's nonsense. Terrorists today may be vicious creeps, but they're not complete idiots. Why wouldn't Homeland Security ignore it? They ignore the fact that 95% of ship traffic, in unopened containers, isn't checked by anyone when it arrives and is unloaded and passed into the U.S. There's nothing in checking those containers that makes a good photo to scare people into believing the billions of dollars that flow through politicians' hands and into bureaucrats' hands, thence on to contractors is worthwhile. An inaccurate photo like this, though, is dramatic, even if it's evidence of nothing.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Fish323 wrote: They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
You beat me to it. Thank you.

Les Olson wrote: Meticulous planning, including rather extensive reconnaissance, has been characteristic of al Qaeda affiliates' operations, and anyone who planned, eg, to get access to a parked aircraft in order to place a bomb on it would take photographs of the area - to record where the security posts were, which parking areas were out of the security posts' line of sight, etc. Sure, there is only a small chance that a person taking photographs of airports and aircraft is a terrorist and not a plane spotter, but what are you saying? That the TSA should just ignore that small chance?
You confusing a commando raid on an armed military base with a public airport? You think a photograph of a camera is some sort of meaningful intelligence? These are Public places, not secure military commands. Want to see what it looks like? Walk over and take a look. AL Qaeda own intelligence manual recomends Google Earth for it's photographs, and warns it's members to keep a low profile. Dave Dave

Les Olson wrote: Meticulous planning, including rather extensive reconnaissance, has been characteristic of al Qaeda affiliates' operations, and anyone who planned, eg, to get access to a parked aircraft in order to place a bomb on it would take photographs of the area - to record where the security posts were, which parking areas were out of the security posts' line of sight, etc. Sure, there is only a small chance that a person taking photographs of airports and aircraft is a terrorist and not a plane spotter, but what are you saying? That the TSA should just ignore that small chance?
Since they are now bringing out cell-phones with 12mp cameras that have sensors larger than the averege P&S - isn't it far more likely likely that any smart al Qaeda operative is going to discreetly use one of those rather than an attention grabbing DSLR with a 300mm zoom lens?
  • C

What they should do is remember that we're governed by a Constitution which places great weight on personal freedoms. Tyrants have ALWAYS used national security as a reason for curtailing freedoms. Do your job, TSA, but please take care not to needlessly brand your citizens as criminals.

Les Olson wrote: Meticulous planning, including rather extensive reconnaissance, has been characteristic of al Qaeda affiliates' operations
The 19 people who took part in 9/11 took photos of planes using zooms? Why would they do that? What part of 'carry some box cutters onto the plane and threaten to kill people with them' requires information you're going to get from taking photos? All they needed to do was to take a few internal flights with box cutters and see how often they were stopped and what happened. Very meticulous.

poldie , Les is correct. There was quite a bit of planning involved in recruiting the proper folks, getting them in the country, funding them, communicating with them, getting them trained to fly, selecting targets, and getting them into position to act out a coordinate plan. I'm likely leaving out plenty of other important steps, but those are some of the broad strokes. Photographic needs aside, 9/11 wasn't carried out by a group of dudes wandering about with some box cutters.

453C wrote: poldie , Les is correct. There was quite a bit of planning involved in recruiting the proper folks, getting them in the country, funding them, communicating with them, getting them trained to fly, selecting targets, and getting them into position to act out a coordinate plan. I'm likely leaving out plenty of other important steps, but those are some of the broad strokes. Photographic needs aside, 9/11 wasn't carried out by a group of dudes wandering about with some box cutters.
No, I disagree. Finding people was easy - look at Iraq. People are literally lining up to be suicide bombers. These people fear nothing, so they're not going to get all sweaty and nervous being checked out by security etc. A few of them needed to learn how to fly a plane - not hard at all (if you exclude taking off and landing, which they didn't need to know). You can get your skills up at that on a PC flight sim. Funding requires no skill, just money. It doesn't cost much money to live in the US for a few months. There was no security paranoia back then, so 'communicating with them', by which I assume you mean 'communicating with each other' as they needed no off-shore help once they were in the US would presumably be done with emails and telephone calls. People using codes and talking in 'foreign' are never going to be caught (and if you did catch them, they'd not tell you anything especially interesting). Co-ordinating would have been planning which flights to take so that the 'action' happened at roughly the same time, but this is easier than it sounds. IE assume you were going to do it - you'd just look online for flight details. Selecting targets - two of the planes attacked a target al-queda had already attacked in the past (Are you suggesting that picking targets was in some way complicated?). These guys had already decided to pursue this plan when they were abroad, so the minimal the high level planning they needed to do (which guys, where are they going to live, reducing the amount of chatting they needed to do once they were in the states, whether they'd have bank accounts or cash, etc) would have been done out of earshot of the US authorities. They didn't have fake ID, or need to evade security/detection (because once in the US they weren't doing anything suspicious - just booking some flights). Generally, the people suggesting they were doing some sort of state of the art espionage, costing millions, backed by foreign states etc etc are people attempting to deflect criticism for doing such a poor job of defending people. This article is interesting: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/06/the_war_on_phot.html this guy talks a lot of sense about security (it's his job!). His chats with people at the TSA when they recognize him ("This isn't the sort of job that rewards competence, you know.") are pretty funny too.

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