08 December, 2005

Did the Air Marshals do the right thing?

When passengers boarded American Air flight 924 bound for Miami this week, no one suspected it would be anything but a routine flight. But for Rigoberto Alpizar, and the US Air Marshals, it turned out to be anything but routine.

We have all seen the coverage of what happened that day. We have heard spin from both sides. Where do you come out? I tend to lean towards the “they did the right thing” side.

Reports are coming out that he may have not been all there. Reports are that he is bi-polar. His wife reported that he had not taken his medication.

On the other side of the cone, we have all known for several years now that the last thing you want to say anywhere near a commercial flight is “bomb”. In the days since 9-11, it’s worse than shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre.

Who’s at fault? How were the Air Marshals to know his mental state? Can anyone, even a highly trained psychiatrists, spot diagnose people with such conditions? If so, can we trust these snap decisions? We have seen terrorist groups adapt as law enforcement tactics evolve.

To get a true feel on why it was handled correctly, you have to ask yourself some serious questions. What would the reaction have been if it had been a terrorist and the Marshals had reacted differently? Is it out of the realm of possibility for an Al Qaeda operative to feign some sort of mental deficiency to dissipate attention and suspicions?

In my opinion, the Marshals that reacted should be applauded, not criticized. Keep up the good work guys, you make it safer to fly than we can ever know.

1 comment:

School employee said...

In our public schools if a kid so much as says 'bomb' or 'kill' or writes such words on a desk or notebook or bathroom wall he/she is automatically suspended, zero tolerance,no exceptions,no questions asked.
Since 9/11 any person chosing to board a US airliner and then chosing to toss the 'B' word around should be prepared to get what he is asking for. No doubt this man got just that.