So U.S. border security officials learned enough about alleged Nigerian bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab while Flight 253 was airborne that they planned to question him when he landed. I guess they wanted to be sure the horses were well clear of the barn.
Had a sky marshal been aboard this high-risk flight, as we were promised by our government after 9/11, it would have been a simple matter to have the airline send the flight crew a data message while en route, whereupon the sky marshal could have handcuffed the suspect, then searched him -- while the horses were still safely in the barn.
Is this administration nuts, or is it me?
It's always a simple matter, isn't it? That 20/20 hindsight sure makes things nice and clear, doesn't it? Damn, if I ran the circus we'd have some awesome shit.
There are over 30,000 commerical flights in the air every day in this country. Let's just say one air marshal can handle being on two a day. That means we'd need 15,000 trained air marshals in action every day. So, taking weekends, vacations and personal days into account, we really need about 25,000 air marshals.
How much does an air marshal make? If answer.com is to be believed, between $36,400 and $83,900. You can do the math. Nah, I will. If we take a pure average, we're looking at $1,503,750,000 a year. I suppose that's chump change when you compare it to the bank bailout or, heck, any of our foreign wars. But do we really want to add this to our already anxiety-ridden flights?
So, after sending everyone through a full body scan, removing their shoes, digging through all of their bags and making them sit quietly in their seats for at least the last hour of the flight with no book to read, no iPod to listen to and no snacks, stress-reducing grippy things or barf bags we'll have a sky marshal in there to whom we can send a text message so he'll know which dude got through all of the other stuff. Oh, and rather than watch the dude like a hawk, he'll just cuff him. 'Cause that's how we roll now.
Yep, it's you.