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May 04, 2010

Update on Taliban Teabagger

That audio I just posted is not the plane being ordered back to the gate so that Shahad can be arrested.

Supposedly (and I'm not sure who's zoomin' who here) Shahzad was arrested and taken off the plane before it left the gate. Then it was cleared for take-off. Then it was instructed to return to the gate, because some Einstein finally figured out that if there had been a terrorist on-board just minutes before, maybe they ought to screen the plane for thoroughly for a hidden explosive or additional fleeing accomplices.

A senior US official is saying that Napolitano is just "trying to put lipstick on a pig" by pretending, once again, "the system worked."

NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports that a senior U.S. official familiar with events surrounding the capture of Shahzad says if the security system had worked properly, "He should have never been able to get on that airplane."

According to the official, Shahzad's name was put onto the U.S. "no-fly list" about 11 a.m. Monday, some 12 hours before he was taken into custody aboard that United Arab Emirates flight that pulled away from the gate at JFK, bound for Dubai. As required, once the plane was locked up and started to pull away from the gate, the airline submitted the final manifest to customs. According to one official, "We're extremely fortunate that alert agents caught the name, and ordered the plane to return to the gate."

But the official says Shahzad's name should have set off alarms throughout the ticketing and boarding process before he ever buckled his seat belt. The system should have first been triggered when he purchased the ticket. If he purchased the ticket before his name was placed on the "no-fly list," then the airline and authorities should have been alerted when he got his boarding pass, either from an agent or one of the self-service kiosks. That's especially true on an international flight, because his passport would have been electronically scanned before he was issued a boarding pass. Even at the boarding gate, there are systems that alert TSA and customs officials to someone on the "no-fly list" attempting to board a flight.

Although Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano said even if the plane would have taken off, U.S. officials had the authority to turn the plane around, one official pointed out that since the suspect had allegedly attempted to set off a bomb in Times Square, there's no predicting what may have happened on board the plane in flight.

"She was just attempting to put lipstick on a pig," the official said. "If that plane would have gotten into the air, heads would have rolled. We need to do a better job."

Thanks to DrewM.


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posted by Ace at 06:03 PM

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