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One week ago today we got our first look at Joe Ayala and Larry Chen's late-night shenanigans at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as documented in the short film Stuck, which, in short order, would become a national story because of security concerns raised by some (including Friend of Unfair Park Betty Culbreath, a DFW board member). And that's just nonsense, writes Patrick Smith on Salon this morning.
Smith's an airline pilot and writer -- a former punk fanzine self-publisher, matter of fact -- who maintains the "Ask a Pilot" website featuring log-rolling raves from the likes of Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner and James Fallows of The Atlantic. "Ask a Pilot" is also the name of his Salon column, in which he writes today that Ayala and Chen's hijinks weren't "exactly a threat to national security" or "indicative, as some are claiming it is, of a glaring weakness in the system." Instead, he writes:
In a nation where more than 2 million people fly each day, we cannot expect total invulnerability at airports -- or anywhere else. The idea of absolute, zero-tolerance security is not only impossible but dangerous to the country's fiscal and libertarian (with the small "l" if not the big one) well-being.