January 29th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 4
Who's in Charge
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
stock photo
Feature Writer
A news story this past week has me wondering about the idiots running the world. A man I once worked with told me that to understand people you have to figure out what they are committed to. It may not be something you agree with – but everyone is committed to something. And if you figure out what that something is, you are on the right path to understanding why they do what they do.

And so I have spent the past week trying to figure out what the ding-dongs at the Edmonton Airport are committed to when they don’t inform the RCMP that they’ve found a pipe bomb on a passenger. How is that possible when people are still grieving the lives lost when Al-Qaeda pilots dive-bombed the twin Trade Towers? What’s the point of making bare-foot travellers prance through security holding their shampoo in a baggie when you don’t stop 18 year olds carrying pipe bombs? Why do the rest of us have to remove belts, gum wrappers, nipple rings and the steel plates in our heads just to keep the scanning equipment from going berserk, when sitting in a bin with the contraband hairspray is a steel pipe with a three metre long fuse?

Garda, the private company contracted to provide security at the Edmonton Airport, regularly issued denials to its own workers, the people whose lives were in immediate danger, that anyone had tried to smuggle a homemade pipe bomb in their luggage.

Finally, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), responding to calls from concerned Garda employees, sent out an internal memo saying that an explosive device had been seized and a person charged, but it did not specify where or when the situation occurred. “The incident highlights why your role in providing effective security screening is critical,” the memo states. You don’t say.

What the CATSA memo doesn’t mention is that even if an employee does notice a pipe bomb sailing through the x-ray machine, his or her supervisor has the right to tell the employee not to say anything. And the supervisor’s supervisor has the right to keep the incident from the police and let the would-be terrorist go on holiday with a plane full of unsuspecting passengers.

Even when CATSA finally contacted the RCMP, some genius there decided to hide the incident from the public. The police issued a news release announcing a charge against 18-year old Skylar Murphy, but didn't mention in the three-sentence statement that Murphy had carried a fully functioning pipe bomb into the security screening area at the Edmonton Airport.

What makes me so crazy is that the people in charge – at Garda, CATSA and the RCMP think the public are such nincompoops that we can’t handle the truth. That we will run screaming through the streets and anarchy will ensue should we ever discover what is really going on.

We already think the worst of the organizations that run our world, I’m not sure anything would surprise us. We’d probably be shocked if it was announced that airport security staff discovered a pipe bomb, the area was cleared, passengers and employees were informed what was going on, the bomb squad was called, everything was handled quickly and professionally, and someone was arrested, charged and thrown in jail. Then we’d be shocked. How sad is that?

After a week of pondering what the idiots in charge are committed to, I’ve concluded that it’s protecting their own asses. And that is more important than staff safety, passengers flying with a guy who just brought a pipe bomb into an airport, the law, even their own lives.

What does that say about our world?

I’m not sure I even want to know the answer to that question.
January 29th ~ Vol. 84 No. 4
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