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Military Jets escorting flights into the USA

Military Jets escorting flights into the USA

Old Jan 31, 04, 5:33 am
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Military Jets escorting flights into the USA

You hear of this in the news almost every week that they suspect that something might be suspicious with a flight.

Was wondering just exactly what would they do if a situation was to arise in the air above a big city before landing?

Or even before entering a cities airspace.... Would they just blow up a jumbo with 400 people on there?
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Old Jan 31, 04, 5:48 am
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While I very much doubt that the decision to shoot it down would be taken while the jumbo jet is still far out over the ocean, or if the government was convinced that this was the old fashioned "Take me to Cuba" type hijacking, I am certain that as a last resort measure the jet would be shot down.

No one is going to take the chance that the jet will slam into a major building or a crowded sports stadium -- not after 9/11.
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Old Jan 31, 04, 8:21 pm
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So they'd rather send a plethora of plane pieces, weighing anywhere from several hundred to several thousand pounds, crashing down onto a whole bunch of major buildings, one or more of which might be a crowded sports stadium? The cure is worse than the disease. Shooting down an airliner over a populated area would create a swath of destruction several miles long. At least when the aircraft is in one piece there's only so much damage it can do.

[This message has been edited by Factotum (edited Jan 31, 2004).]
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Old Jan 31, 04, 8:25 pm
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And why do the government, media, and general public all have this fetish fantasy about terrorists crashing planes into crowded stadiums? It's like the TSA and shoe bombs - except the TSA waited until the shoe bomb threat actually became real before acquiring their fixation.

[This message has been edited by Factotum (edited Jan 31, 2004).]
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Old Jan 31, 04, 8:29 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Factotum:
And why do the government, media, and general public all have this fetish fantasy about terrorists crashing planes into crowded stadiums? It's like the TSA and shoe bombs - except the TSA waited until the shoe bomb threat actually became real before acquiring their fixation.

[This message has been edited by Factotum (edited Jan 31, 2004).]
</font>
Security is almost always reactive. Preventing the last attack; fighting the last battle lost.
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Old Jan 31, 04, 10:48 pm
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Shooting down a passenger plane would end the political career of the President authorizing it, which may become a goal in itself for some nations/groups.
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Old Feb 1, 04, 8:01 am
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So why do they escort planes in then?
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Old Feb 1, 04, 8:36 am
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Certainly a plane that is being escorted and regarded as a real enough threat that shooting it down is authorized could be directed to a flightpath and an airport that doesn't require flying over heavily populated areas?
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Old Feb 1, 04, 8:54 am
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But that doesnt make any sense... If it has been hijacked then you cant really convince a terrorist to change its path.

So if that was the case then would they blow it up over a major city?
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Old Feb 1, 04, 11:41 am
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Don't forget the risk of a weapon detaching itself from the support pylons on the jets and exploding in a major city.

Plus what would they do if a plane suffer a major malfunction which cuts communication and they have to divert to another airport?

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Old Feb 1, 04, 4:24 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by pynchonesque:
Shooting down a passenger plane would end the political career of the President authorizing it, which may become a goal in itself for some nations/groups.</font>
Don't count on that ending the political career of the President. The POTUS has already been insulated from such an eventuality and the political fallout. The order to shoot down a passenger airliner need not be made by a cabinet level member or the Pres or VP. This has been explicitly discussed and mentioned by a variety of government officials and certain high-ranking military officers are "ok'd" to give such an ok.
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