November 20, 2009
Okay, call me crazy, paranoid, even “a conspiracy theorist.” Egads! But I heard it first on the news this morning. Then it flashed across my computer screen this afternoon in a story from the Washington Post. FAA: Computer system restored, delays persist. Oh-oh! Remember I’m the guy who wrote two stories about Hasan being a jihad patsy. And that seems to be panning out, especially since Webster Tarpley added his article to the mix. But methinks someone’s being naughty, not, nice again.
Let’s hope Santa has one of those new Prius-type sleighs, bullet and stinger-proof, that get 50 miles to the gallon to deliver some joy to all. Here’s the deal. The astute Federal Aviation Administration officials tell us a failed computer system that affected flights across the country is back working again. But they warned travelers to expect “residual delays.” And what else? The system that failed integrated basic flight plan data, automatically distributing it to air traffic controllers across the country before planes can take off, officials said. It does not deal with radar coverage or any communication with aircraft.
But this morning, when I heard it on NY1, the New York-dedicated channel, said as well that the automatic component was down, and flight planners would have to manually punch in all the details of every flight, I though, my god, think of the potential for disaster here if someone messes up, something that could diminish even the enormity of 9/11. Even the thought of someone not knowing about the glitch before they discovered it was scary, as well as what could have happened, or can happen if the glitch should decide to return. And I’m not the only who was bugged.
“Doug Church, a spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said the FAA has been able to reboot the system, located near Atlanta and Salt like City.” He added, “The outage itself is over. But by every stretch of the imagination, this was a very serious nationwide outage that will take the rest of the day to recover from.” So it’s not just me with the worries.
The association did identify the system as the National Airspace Data Interchange Network, which is a central piece of the FAA’s nationwide infrastructure. As the Post puts it, “The system processes flight plans and information for every flight in the country. Church said the group was working with the FAA to pinpoint the source of the problem.” Ah, wouldn’t we all like to pinpoint it, followers of near and demonstrated catastrophes. After all, “One single glitch was able to shut down the entire system.” And, as we all know, we are entering the busiest flying time of the year, ding a ling, ding a ling! Anyone hear bells going off?
Also, even the agency did not rule out “hacking as a source of the problem.” Now, who would want to do a nasty thing like that — certainly not some crazy Muslim who had ties to the International Islamo-fascist network?” Muslim folks, don’t get me wrong. I’m just anticipating the “party line.” In New York City, we’re dealing with a new round of circus trials with Khalid Shaik Mohammed and three other “terrorists.” Khalid, who confessed to being the mastermind of the 9/11 tragedy, did so after 183 rounds of waterboarding. After being faulted with the quality of the confession, Bush sent in a “clean team” to help Mohammed re-confess in a clean way, whatever that means: more bad news for Muslims.
Also, I know you thought Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind 9/11. But the FBI later took bin Laden’s name down from the Most Wanted list because they didn’t have enough evidence to prove that statement. Yet, how many glued-to-the-TV-news Americans know that? Go head, ask your neighbor! He’ll look at you like you’re from the moon. Tell him a world-renowned 9/11 scholar named David Ray Griffin wrote a whole book, Osama bin Laden – Dead or Alive? Yes, and on page 1, without my meaning to spoil the surprise, he quoted some “Bin Laden Funeral Reports.” In fact, here’s some of the material from Page 1 . . .
“On December 29, 2001 an article entitled “News of Bin Laden’s Death and Funeral 10 Days Ago” appeared in the Egyptian newspaper Al Wafd. Based on a story in Pakistan’s Observer that was published on December 25, it said:
‘Islamabad: A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement announced yesterday the death of Osama bin Laden, the chief of al-Qa’da organization, stating that bin Laden suffered serious complications in the lungs and died a natural and quiet death. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, stated to The Observer of Pakistan that he had himself attended the funeral of bin Laden and saw his face prior to burial in Tora Bora 10 days ago. He mentioned that 30 of al-Qa’da fighters attended the burial as well as members of his family and some friends from the Taleban. In the farewell ceremony to his final rest guns were fired in the air. The official stated that it is difficult to pinpoint the burial location of bin Laden because according to the Wahhabi tradition no mark is left on the grave.’
“According to this article, therefore, bin Laden’s funeral took place ten days before December 25, 2001, which would have been December 15. Given the Muslim custom of burying the dead quickly, this would mean that he had probably died only a day or two earlier, hence December 13 or 14. . . .”
So agree or disagree, the book makes a very convincing and factual case for bin Laden’s exodus from this troubled world. But I digress.
Also, observe the Fort Hood Lone Muslim Gunman story going on; then the next round of Muslim “terrorists” 9/11 confession trial occurring, and a repeated, media-promised event of enormous proportions to be executed some time soon by more Muslim terrorists. Could they be hacking at FAA computers, causing major havoc on the ground and in the air this Christmas season? It seems to me more like an actionable opportunity for the merry pranksters of Langley, Va. If I’m wrong fellas, I apologize in advance. My fruitcake is on the way.
But FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown did say that travelers should “expect delays throughout the day.” Let’s hope that’s all. The Post also reported that “In August 2008, a similar problem delayed hundreds of flights throughout the country, including in Baltimore and Washington. The FAA ultimately blamed a computer system that was housed in a facility near Atlanta. The system also failed in June 2007.
“At the time of the 2008 failure, a backup system in Salt Lake City came online but was immediately overwhelmed. Employees had to enter flight data manually, resulting in delays throughout the afternoon. The agency resolved the backlog later in the day. The FAA is currently asking Congress for hundreds of millions of dollars to modernize air traffic control equipment.” Good luck.
This is the same FAA whose air controllers on 9/11 could not tell whether what was happening in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania was real (live) or a drill. The same was recently said about soldiers at Fort Hood, that when the shooting started many thought it was a drill similar to many they had experienced before. It was only when soldiers thinking they were hit with rubber bullets noticed the blood that they realized the situation had not only gone live, but deadly, leaving 13 dead and 29 wounded.
So, call me a worrywart, a party-pooper, a “conspiracy nut.” Truth is, the administration’s popularity is declining, particularly American support for an expanded, continued war in Afghanistan. The most prominent reason for citizen recalcitrance, aside from U.S. exhaustion from the death and carnage, is that our economy is tanking, running on fumes as it were, with joblessness at Depression-like highs of 17.5 percent. People are hurting and tired. They want jobs and peace.
So let’s hope Santa has one of those new Prius-type sleighs, bullet and stinger-proof, that get 50 miles to the gallon to deliver some joy to all. We wouldn’t want Christmas Eve to be a dark night of the soul, and still another victory for the forces of darkness right here at home. More welcome would be, “Peace on earth to all men of good will.”