Senator Amy Klobuchar Re: "All we have to fear, is fear itself"-FDR Dear Senator Klobuchar As a member of the Senate

Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation I would strongly encourage you to push for the TSA to take a deep breath and step back from the back scatter machines and the new aggressive pat downs. Here is why. Although I am now the co-owner of a small business manufacturing our products here in Minnesota (www.ursawagon.com) who travels to trade shows frequently, I was formerly employed in corporate finance at Pan American World Airways and in marketing at Northwest. Airlines and the love of flying have been a part of me since my earliest memories. With that as background, I am extremely sensitive to the destructive acts that have, and can, occur to commercial airliners. In fact, as part of the closing on one of our aircraft deals while at Pan Am in 1988, I was talking to dispatch when the first reports came in that PA 103 had dropped off radar. We were all mortified and incredibly sad. But, we also knew that it was our responsibility to *not* let this insane and senseless act deter us from helping people from around the world move and come together. It was *not* an attack on Pan Am, it was an attack on the U.S. and we needed to, with sadness in our hearts, carry on. And we did. Now 20+ years later the courage that seemed to be present in 1988 has abandoned us. For every attempted terrorist attack a new level of "protection" is layered onto the TSA screening procedures, regardless of whether they are effective or make

any sense on any sort of cost/benefit basis. The *greatest* increase in security since 1988 and 9/11 is not from the fancy machines but from the change in airline, crew, passenger and governmental procedures and attitudes. No longer will *anyone* stand by while an attempt is made to hijack or disable an aircraft. Prior to 9/11 this was not the case, the protocol was to cooperate. That was why simple weapons could wreak such devastation. The goal was to get everyone out alive by cooperating with any reasonable demand of the hijackers. And it was why, on 9/11 itself, the attack on the U.S. Capitol failed because the passengers on that flight realized that the times had changed and, among themselves, decided on a new protocol. With the new reality and procedures (and better cockpit doors), all the box cutters, pen knives and scissors in the world could be sitting in a plane and there will *never* be a repeat of 9/11. Moving up in weapon severity to firearms, we have dealt with firearm hijackings since the 70s with magnetometers and they have been remarkably successful. While a firearm which might have made it through could, pre 9/11, have allowed an aircraft takeover, today that is not the case. The cockpit doors are closed and will remain so. So with the new protocols and the magnetometers we are actually safer now than we were in 2001. Which brings us to explosives. First, let's be clear, explosives have destroyed aircraft, as I well know. And they have been smuggled onto aircraft by the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber. But let's note a few things. First, because of the change in passenger and crew responses neither of the smuggled on-the-person bombers succeeded. Second, the amount of explosive that can be smuggled on-the-person is limited. Third, aircraft, while vulnerable, are not made of glass. As the Aloha "topless" incident demonstrates, they can withstand a large amount of damage and still fly. There have also been

many incidents of cargo doors coming open, engines disintegrating and causing holes, etc. where the aircraft has been able to land safely. Fourth, the most devastating bombings have not been caused by bombs on persons, but in cargo holds (see Pan Am 103). It is easier to pack a large amount of explosives into suitcases than on a person so intensive scanning of the luggage/cargo makes perfect sense. For all these reasons, while bombs on the person are a concern, they should not so concern us that we are unwilling to make reasonable judgments about what threats and responses are appropriate. To pretend that trying to take all risk out of the equation is possible is fool hardy and illogical. Stepping back, if I were to tell you that 30,000 people were dying every year in the air you would be appalled and demand something be done. I can already hear the calls that: -"Whatever the 4th amendment says, we need to strip search every passenger to stop the bloodshed." -"Whatever the cost, we need to stop the bloodshed." -"Whatever the inconvenience and time required, we need to stop the bloodshed." Now, obviously, this is not happening in the air but it is happening on the roads *every year*. And we *can* stop that bloodshed! How? By limiting vehicles to no more than 10mph. If every vehicle was so limited, the death toll would plummet and all that bloodshed would be but a memory. Yet we, as a society, are *not* willing to do that because we *are* willing to make cost/benefit tradeoffs. There is no denying that by allowing speed limits to be over 10mph and cars to travel at such higher speeds lives are being lost. But the benefit in quality of life is judged to be more than offset by such losses.

Similarly, we need to be examining TSA procedures to see if the extra cost, inconvenience, radiation exposure, and intrusive searches are *in fact* providing a benefit at all proportionate to the cost. And, given my background and the thoughts outlined above, it is absolutely clear to me that the current use of back scatter machines and groping has not, and cannot, demonstrate a benefit at all commensurate with the costs. I will finish up with one final note on the equal application of these procedures. As a member of the (rapidly shrinking) middle class I am not in a position to conduct my business via private jet. Therefore, according to the TSA, I *must* accept either the scanning or the intrusive pat down in order to work. But the wealthy are able to avoid not only the time but the indignity of these procedures by flying privately. Yet step back. A Gulfstream business jet is very large and could cause serious damage to buildings or sports arenas if flown into them. It is very conceivable that a private jet could be commandeered by a paying terrorist and crashed to cause a large loss of life. Or by timely bombing, the business jet wreckage could be fatal to many people on the ground. Why is it then that people flying in private jets do not have to go through the *same* level and intrusiveness of screening that we poor people have to endure? It seems to me that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. cc: James Fallows, The Atlantic
Regards, James R. Ehrler <ursawagon.com>

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