Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Our Cessna in Red Square

TB Man -- Andrew Speaker -- showed us how vunerable our border security is nearly six years after 9/11. The story of a man -- red flagged as a bio threat -- skirting security to fly around the US and Europe pulls back the curtains on what the Homeland Security Department says they've done to protect us from a terrorist threat -- to let us see how little they've really accomplished.

And TB Man's flight was just the hook that nabbed public attention. From the Washington Post:

"In August, a congressional study said investigators who used fake identification documents and posed as American travelers reported breaching U.S. land border inspections 93 percent of the time in 2002 and 2003, succeeding in 42 of 45 tries. In 2006, testers got through on all 18 attempts."
TB Man is similar to "the Cessna in Red Square." Back in 1984, 19-year-old German Mathias Rust flew through Soviet bloc radar screens and anti-aircraft defenses to land a single engine Cessna on Red Square in front of the Kremlin.

He spent 432 days in a Soviet labor camp -- but showed that the Soviets had a highly flawed national defense. His flight dramatically changed the Soviet's bargining position on treaties with the west -- because he showed the world how vunerable the USSR actually was to an attack.

Andrew Speaker has become the Cessna in America's square. (WaPo)

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