President Obama Says We Won't Live in Fear

President Obama says we won't live in fear. Really? Who's he fooling?

  • Federal agents are questioning a man after device found in his carry-on bag
  • Police in Massachusetts scrambling to track down a Penske truck
  • FBI agents working frantically to verify car bomb terrorist threat
  • Flight to Baltimore diverted after 'suspicious behaviour' by passenger
  • Snipers line roofs at World Trade Centre site, as service gets underway
  • Internet shut down in buildings near Ground Zero as safety precaution
  • Suspicious object discovered at Dulles airport, 22 miles from Washington DC
  • Three people have come to U.S. with 'intent' to carry out plot, say officials

Making Out in Frontier flight restroom causes arrests and fighter jets to shadow plane from Denver to Detroit. Three passengers were hauled off the flight. No arrests were made. [More...]

Going to the bathroom too many times (whatever that is) caused fighter jets to shadow an American Airlines flight to New York. The three men were later cleared.

These are the times we live in. This is what the future holds. More here.

By the way, how is a fighter jet escort going to prevent a passenger on a plane from blowing it up? Or prevent the plane from going down? Or rescue people?

Update: From a passenger on the Frontier flight:

"All of a sudden, a SWAT team went through and saying, `Please place your hands on the seat in front of you.'"

Update: More ridiculous fear, over cookies no less.

< Concert for New York City Replaying on VH-1 | Airline Passenger Reports a Cookie Monster On Borad >
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  • Display: Sort:
    I think the fighter jet is there (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:07:12 PM EST
    to shoot the passenger airplane down if the plane is taken over by terrorists. Shoot it down so that it cannot be flown into a building.

    are you serious? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:29:25 PM EST
    That can't be. They'd be killing a planeful of people.

    I am serious, J. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by caseyOR on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:36:21 PM EST
    If the fighter jets cannot make contact with a suspicious airliner, or if they make contact but learn it is now controlled by terrorists, the fighters may be ordered to shoot down the passenger plane.

    The fighter pilots don't make the call to shoot it down. That comes from much higher up. One would think the president has to make that decision.

    As horrible as it would be to kill the passengers, we are never going to allow another airplane to be used as a flying bomb, not if we can get our jets to it in time.

    Cheney came very close to ordering some planes shot down on 9/11, after the Twin Towers went down. Fortunately, before that could happen contact was made with the pilots, who did not yet know about the Twin Towers.


    NYT has complete 9/11 tapes (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Madeline on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:20:04 AM EST
    from FAA and NORAD.  There are same time, actual recordings. Every tape, including the 'shoot down' request. Very interesting.



    That is exactly right (none / 0) (#5)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:46:22 PM EST
    See Jeralyn, it is always worse than you think.

    It's absolutely beyond (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 10:53:31 PM EST
    my comprehension. None of the news articles explains what "escorting" the flights entails or the purpose. They all say it's to make sure the plane safely reaches its destination. I wonder how the passengers would feel if they knew. Just another reason not to fly any more than absolutely necessary.

    Military pilots ... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Yman on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 09:03:31 PM EST
    ... are even being trained to shoot down hijacked civilian airliners, in order to overcome their natural reluctance to do so.

    That makes my heart hurt (none / 0) (#31)
    by sj on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 08:52:41 AM EST
    Unfortuatly (none / 0) (#33)
    by nyjets on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 08:58:18 AM EST
    There may be a time when it will be necessary to shoot down a passenger plane in order to stop more deaths. I wish to heaven it was not true and I pray it will NEVER be necessary. But you never know and we do need to be prepared for that possiblity.

    That's not what hurts me (none / 0) (#37)
    by sj on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 09:54:32 AM EST
    That may be true, but I still think it's wrong to deliberately desensitize our pilots to the enormity of what they are about to do.  They should be reluctant.  It may be necessary to carry out the order.  I grudgingly accept that.  I do.  But humanity and compassion shouldn't be conditioned away.

    Gotcha (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by nyjets on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 10:08:53 AM EST
    And I agree with that 100 percent. While it may be necessary, we should never be comfertable actually doing it.
    I did not realize that is what you meant by it.

    The plane that crashed (none / 0) (#41)
    by the capstan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 10:48:34 AM EST
    in PA was being shadowed by a fighter.  Itwas piloted by a young woman who was prepared to ram if ordered since she did not have the correct arms on board.  Interview with her in yesterday's paper.

    Do you have link to that? (none / 0) (#46)
    by sj on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:23:57 AM EST
    I would be interested in reading it.

    Mine, too (none / 0) (#34)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 09:21:17 AM EST
    To be honest, though, I could see circumstances where it might be necessary to prevent further loss of life.  OTOH, the thought of some panicked pol in a bunker somewhere giving the order makes me very afraid of the potential for an accidental shootdown.

    I also can't imagine being the pilot of the intercepting plane.


    Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 09:33:06 PM EST
    RawStory, September 8th, 2011

    Newly published audio this week reveals that Vice President Dick Cheney's infamous Sept. 11, 2001 order to shoot down rogue civilian aircraft was ignored by military officials, who instead ordered pilots to only identify suspect aircraft.

    That revelation is one of many in newly released audio recordings compiled by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, published this week by The Rutgers Law Review. Featuring voices from employees at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and American Airlines, the newly released multimedia provides a glimpse at the chaos that emerged as the attack progressed.

    Most striking of all is the revelation that an order by Vice President Dick Cheney was ignored by the military, which saw his order to shoot down aircraft as outside the chain of command. Instead of acknowledging the order to shoot down civilian aircraft and carrying it out, NORAD ordered fighters to confirm aircraft tail numbers first and report back for further instructions.

    Cheney's order was given at "about 10:15" a.m., according to the former VP's memoirs

    Cheney's order was outside the (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by caseyOR on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 11:21:59 PM EST
    chain of command. AFAIK, the vice-president has no place in the military chain of command. An order like that can only come from the president.

    I realize that in Cheney's mind he was the one in charge, that GWB was merely a means to Cheney's ends. Thank goodness the military's view was based in reality.

    People thought Al Haig was overreaching when Reagan was shot. Cheney was in a class by himself.


    There's an article today (none / 0) (#22)
    by Green26 on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 11:05:03 PM EST
    discussing how two air national guard planes were launched to take down the plane that crashed in Penn. The first two planes were launched before having time to load missiles. The pilots intended to crash their F-16s (?) into the airliner. One would hit the cockpit. The second would take off the tail, so the point would drop straight down and have less impact on the ground. One of the pilots was a woman.

    And the #$%! Blue Angels (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Towanda on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 10:45:29 PM EST
    with their air shows -- where I lived, under their flight path, that meant three to four days of  several hours apiece for practice, followed by two days of several hours apiece for the air show.  The amount of fuel expended must be astronomical, plus many other costs for equipment, staffing, etc.  These are purely for entertainment purposes.

    We were happy not to have them for a year, after all of their air shows were canceled because of a cowboy who caused a fatal crash killing civilians, as I recall.  Fun! for your taxes.  Not fun for those being dive-bombed in their backyards.


    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jbindc on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 09:29:29 AM EST
    When I leived near one of the lagest Air National Guard (ANG) bases in the country and the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds were in town for the air show, I thought it was pretty cool when they'd practice and fly over the neighborhood.

    Of course, living close to an ANG base, we got used to the the sounds of the F-14's and C-135 transport planes flying over all the time - the sound of the sound barrier breaking was an everyday event.

    But as to the cost of the game flyovers, well, here's a little background:

    The Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force all participate in flyovers of one sort or another. Generally, these spectacles are arranged through the appropriate service's public affairs or community relations office.

    They don't come cheaply: It cost $36,000 for six F/A-18A Hornet fighter jets -- from the Navy's Blue Angels squadron -- to fly over the University of Phoenix Stadium before the 2008 Super Bowl [source: Robbins]. (A Blue Angels press officer told the Orlando Sentinel that the cost was worth it in order to increase the Blue Angels' and the Navy's visibility [source: Robbins].)

    The cost is deducted from funds used for training, but for some special services, like the Golden Knights skydiving team, the event organizer (if it's a private organization) may have to pay for lodging, meals and transportation -- up to $3,000 a day.

    The military views flyovers as promotional and recruiting opportunities for the armed services. They allow ordinary citizens to see the military up close in a way that's normally not possible.

    A flyover flight actually counts as training for the pilots, but with a flyover essentially consisting of a brief flight between two points, labeling it "training" could be viewed as rather generous.

    I make every effort not to be home during (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 10:49:22 PM EST
    Miramar Air Show and practice runs.  Really, really loud.  

    Yes, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 09:48:01 PM EST
    Horrible, but yes.

    Cheney came very close to giving the order on 9/11. The only thing that stopped him was the total surprise, and utter confusion of the moment. They didn't know how many planes were involved. I remember, as all the rumors were being tossed around that morning, some "unconfirmed" claims were being reported that as many as 20 planes had been hijacked.

    As terrible as the thought of our Air Force shooting down our own passenger planes is, had they shot down American Airlines flight 11 & United's flight 175, 200 innocent people would have been killed......instead of 3000.

    Thank God I will never have to make any decisions like that.


    a lot of people think (none / 0) (#39)
    by CST on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 10:05:54 AM EST
    that's exactly what happened to the plane in PA.

    Now a lot of conspiracy stories abound about what happened that day.  But whether this one is true or not, it's both believable, and frankly... understandable to some extent if they knew that the plane was hijacked, which they obviously did.


    "Too many" trips to on board bathroom. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:21:51 PM EST
    Wondering how many is "too many"?

    At outdoor amphitheater at Getty Villa last night.  Seating capacity is 400.  Neighbors famously resisted the addition of this amphitheater--noise, traffic.  We are all asked to leave quietly, talk quietly, etc.  But, during the gripping performance of Anne Bogart's take on Euripides' "Trojan Women," a helicopter and and plane went over--very loud and quite unusual.  

    Unfortunately, I know quite a few men (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Peter G on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 09:50:16 PM EST
    of my age group who find they have to go the bathroom "too often."

    I've decided it is better to make as many (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 09:58:08 PM EST
    trips as needed to be comfortable as poss. on long flights.  Who cares what anyone else thinks?  Oh, wait.  

    Is Monsieur Depardieu in your (none / 0) (#28)
    by observed on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:06:38 AM EST
    age cohort?

    Oui, oui (none / 0) (#58)
    by Peter G on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 04:25:03 PM EST
    as it's spelled en français.

    Indeed (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 09:57:22 AM EST
    Perhaps the airlines could accept a Doctor's excuse:

    "To whom it may concern. The bearer of this note will require 6 trips to the bathroom for every 1 beer or 1 coffee he consumes.

    Serve at your own risk."


    Hm (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by chrisvee on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 08:05:26 PM EST
    Perimenopausal women obviously need to give longer flights quite a bit of thought.

    Hey Obama, a lot of us are a lot more (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:52:58 PM EST
    afraid of spending our last years in poverty than we are of terrorists. Wish you would worry a little more about that.

    Obama is working very hard on (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 10:15:51 PM EST
    that issue. Many of the cuts to the safety net programs he continues to push will go a long way in making sure that more people will spend their last years in poverty. But hey, there will be more money for defense, wars, kinetic military actions and large reductions to the marginal tax rates for corporations and the upper bracket. Pete Peterson approves so what more can people want.    

    I doubt making out (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by CoralGables on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 10:07:35 PM EST
    was what they were doing.... Not that there is anything wrong with being a club member.

    No they weren't (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 09:31:37 AM EST
    Kinky...n/t (none / 0) (#44)
    by kdog on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:12:11 AM EST
    I agree with Obama and Clinton (none / 0) (#7)
    by CoralGables on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 09:02:25 PM EST
    people can live in fear if they want but I'll pass. And I'm happy to have people on guard to spot the Timothy McVeigh's of the world before they strike. It's better to stop them before they act than to say afterwards, we never could have envisioned anything like that happening.

    And the things you describe Jeralyn, that's not fear, those are precautionary measures. There is a huge difference.

    this is beyond precautionary (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 02:14:12 AM EST
    I do not want to be on a plane stormed by a SWAT team because of a flight attendant's concern that someone is in the bathroom too long, or even worse, because some hyper passenger thinks so.  Nor do I want to be told to "put my hands on the seat in front of me" as they push their way down the aisle with guns drawn. Nor do I want to be delayed 2 hours or more after landing while they question 100 + passengers.

    The frontier flight:

    With guns drawn, authorities removed three passengers in handcuffs from Frontier Airlines Flight 623 and interviewed 116 passengers for at least two hours after the 4:22 p.m. arrival.

    That's not precaution, that's overbearing law enforcement. And if I was flying with a child, I'd be furious that my child had to witness that. Great way to instill fear of police and aversion to authority at a young age.

    Not to mention, from the other comments here, the purpose of the fighter jets was to shoot down the plane if there was a terrorist on board who had taken control. Maybe passengers would have disarmed the terrorists or an air marshal on board with a gun could have taken them out. Once they shoot the plane down, everyone on it is dead. That sounds like a good solution to you?  A planeload of people should be killed because some pilots believe more damage will occur if they don't? What if they're wrong? None of these people today turned out to be a threat.


    One flight I had to make last year (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Edger on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 08:38:06 AM EST
    when my father passed away, airline security gave me a choice - give up my mustache scissors with the one inch long blades, or don't get on the plane.

    They also asked me what was in the toothpaste tube I had in my carry on... and took about ten seconds to make a reluctant decision to let me through with it.

    Security Trumps All


    Actually Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:03:06 AM EST
    the best thing you can do for your children today is to instill a mistrust of police and an aversion to authority.

    SWAT teams on planes. Get used to it. Start reading Balko. We have SWAT teams for everything now. PD's have the toys and are determined to use them.


    I guess there's the difference (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by CoralGables on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:33:27 AM EST
    You'd be furious, and I'd be happy everything turned out just fine and laugh and tell stories about it.

    When it comes to flying perhaps I was programmed for difficulty and confusion. As a kid we flew on passes so we might spend hours in an airport missing flight after flight. There was potential every time we went to the airport that we'd never get where we were going, or arrive at different times on different flights and sometimes on different days. It led to a far more relaxed and laid back attitude concerning flying.

    You fly only when you have to. I fly whenever I can.


    I did that too (none / 0) (#49)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:10:56 PM EST
    It was a summer during college when they had student standby, all flights for $100.00 round trip. We'd camp in the NY airport for two days if necessary for a $100.00 round trip flight to Puerto Rico and other warm places.

    And until 2008, I was on a plane at least every ten days. Then I quit cold turkey. I don't have days to waste any more waiting in security lines on airports, behind people that hold up the process, or in cramped airplane seats waiting for takeoff or after landing, or the energy to memorize the changing rules. I went a lot of places and took a lot of pictures and have good memories. I'm done with all that.


    Accepting this IS living in fear (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by sj on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 08:56:10 AM EST
    And I'm happy to have people on guard to spot the Timothy McVeigh's of the world before they strike. It's better to stop them before they act than to say afterwards, we never could have envisioned anything like that happening.

    On the contrary (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by CoralGables on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:04:48 AM EST
    I don't give it a second thought.

    I flew very soon after 9/11 and have no idea if I was worried or not, I fell asleep in the seat while taxiing and woke up when the wheels touched down. There are people that are scared of their shadow though, and those people will always think the stranger is out to get them.

    And to be clear, if I'm on a plane that is shot down to protect others, I'm fine with that.


    It is fear that allowed our society (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by sj on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:22:02 AM EST
    to become comfortable with intrusion.  To which you now give not even a second thought.

    Not living in fear would be traveling comfortably without the intrusion into our lives.

    As to whether or not you are fine being shot down, I think that's completely irrelevant.  Presumably it would happen without your advance knowledge.  And if there were advance knowledge, your behavior at that moment would be governed by your own personality and experience.  Any reaction from blubbering hysterically to stoic acceptance isn't going to be "selected"  -- it will just be.

    I am far more afraid of the TSA and Homeland Security than I am of a terrorist.  A horrible act by terrorist has a beginning and an end.  The former is an ongoing horrible act.  

    But you see them as precautionary measures.  I still see it that you have made fear of the "what if" more significant than the freedoms of movement that we enjoyed in the year 2000.  You casually gave up a truer freedom in the name of "precautionary measures".


    You can choose (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CoralGables on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:48:49 AM EST
    not to fly if you're concerned you might be inconvenienced, but I'm pretty certain if it turned out the people on the plane were of questionable character and you were a passenger, you'd be thanking everyone involved for every step they took to protect you.

    so now you are advocating (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:15:10 PM EST
    action towards "people of questionable character?" A determination made by someone's appearance (as in they seem foreign) and actions like frequent trips to the bathroom? What's next? Someone speaking in a foreign language on an airplane?

    Let's call it (none / 0) (#51)
    by CoralGables on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:41:20 PM EST
    a poor choice of wording on my part for not wanting to use the seemingly ubiquitous word "terrorist".

    Quite the opposite... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:54:54 PM EST
    for me (granted I'm odd:)

    Last time I was in the Houston terminal, some yahoo starts screaming "security! security!" because of an unattended bag.  Whole time I'm thinking "stfu yahoo, they're gonna put the whole terminal on lockdown and I wanna fly outta here".  Luckily the owner of the bag came forward before security heard the fraidy cat yahoo screaming like a lunatic.  


    I'll be flying (none / 0) (#53)
    by CoralGables on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 02:24:07 PM EST
    through Houston next Monday. Hopefully I don't get that yahoo. And yes, thankfully for you the owner popped up quickly if you were on your way to Mexico

    In a free country... (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 02:39:59 PM EST
    I would have yelled "stfu!" instead of only thinking it, but the PA system was warning us "inappropriate comments or jokes can lead to arrest."  

    That's not a new phenomenon (none / 0) (#56)
    by CoralGables on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 03:20:18 PM EST
    My neighbor was detained at Miami International in the late 60's. While on board prior to takeoff he jokingly said, "I hope we don't end up in Cuba" and was removed from the plane. Even in telling the story he acknowledges it was a dumb thing for him to say at the time. He ended up on the next flight out.

    Being threatened with arrest, (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 03:03:36 PM EST
    missing your flight, etc. for merely questioning instructions by TSA is hardly being "inconvenienced." As I was recently at Harrisburg Int'l Airport. The airlines can go screw. I drive or take the train now. Have a business trip coming in a few weeks to Canada. Told my employer, that under no circumstances was I flying up there. They got me a rental car.

    San Diego early in the morning. Sometimes (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 10:00:05 PM EST
    someone will advance those with the closest-in-time flights around the lines.  Sometimes not, muttering, you shoulda got here earlier.

    They lived about a mile (none / 0) (#25)
    by Madeline on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:36:35 AM EST
    from home I have in a small town south of Palm beach.  Used the same drugstore, grocery, restaurants ...and bars,.... yes bars, in this little community.  

    It was a nice apartment, gated community and all. when they didn't return and were traced to this location, the government released pictures of the inside; plain furnishings, books, pamphlets of prayers, wall hangings, some personal stuff.

    No one really remembers them except for the druggist who said Mohammed Atta bought some skin medicine and a few people remember them or think they do, from the bars they frequented.

    I think there were different places as they changed back and forth but this one they left their things.


    A friend who was at Laurel Highlands w/ (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:00:01 AM EST
    us sd. the local paper indicated the memorial for the plane which went down in PA is quite close to where we were last week.

    oops. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Madeline on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:38:53 AM EST
    I meant to post this in a different place. sorry.  

    obama (none / 0) (#57)
    by cpinva on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 04:01:21 PM EST
    lives in the white housem surrounded by heavy security as routine. i seriously doubt he has the slightest clue just how truly stupid it's gotten in the real world.

    It was stupid before he was in the WH (none / 0) (#59)
    by sj on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 04:55:24 PM EST
    He made it stupider.  I'm pretty sure this isn't a case of the tsar  not knowing...

    Fighter jet (none / 0) (#61)
    by diogenes on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 09:19:07 PM EST
    "By the way, how is a fighter jet escort going to prevent a passenger on a plane from blowing it up? Or prevent the plane from going down? Or rescue people?"

    I think that the fighter jet shoots down the plane if it is veering towards an urban area and refuses to respond.  There was actually were two fighter jets scrambled towards flight 93 (which was going towards Washington); unfortunately they had no missiles, so they planned to ram the plane and take it down.  In fact the passengers took it down first.