Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Few Untapped Resources -- Must Read Article!
The Patrick Henry Center ^ | November 11, 2001 | Gary Aldrich

Posted on 11/13/2001 8:35:17 AM PST by Taxman

A Few Untapped Resources
By Gary Aldrich

This article ran exclusively in the Washington Times - Forum Section on Sunday, November 11, 2001.

I've flown several times since September 11, 2001 and I can truthfully admit that I was not that comfortable with getting on any airplane when I knew that the lowest bidder had won the airline contract to screen the passengers and secure the working areas of most of our nation's international airports.

As I sat in the waiting room I looked at each waiting passenger. I had promised my wife - also a former FBI Agent - that I would do as much as I could to assure my family that I would return safely. Of course they did not want me to go.

As I scanned the crowd looking for odd people, violent looking people, or those who might match a terrorist profile, I suddenly realized I was back on the job!

Two federal marshals walked down the corridor and stopped in my area to do the same thing I was doing. They scanned the group, including me. They were in uniform, and were armed. I was younger than both were, and I knew from their appearance that I was more physically fit. I mention this only because the thought occurred to me that except for the gun, I had everything they had to protect my flight against a terrorist attack.

When I entered the plane, I looked at each sitting passenger and attempted to establish eye contact. Some people will not look up no matter what's going on, because they don't want anyone to see their eyes. Often they behave this way because they're shy. Sometimes they avoid the look because they are trying to hide something. It is against human nature to not look at the arriving passengers. Some are handsome and pretty, some unusual, but all humans are interesting to law enforcement officers - on the job, or retired.

Everything looked good, but I saw no sign of any air-marshal or other official who might be armed and in a position to defend the flight. Most law enforcement types can spot each other in a hurry, and I saw nobody who resembled a cop, or a federal agent. Soon, one of the pilots came out of the cockpit and walked to the back of the plane. He tried to look casual, but he was doing the very same thing that I had done. He looked at each passenger. After he returned to the front of the plane, the second officer took a stroll to the back, and then returned to the front.

Having done as much as I could to spot a dangerous person, I went to the back of the plane to get a magazine. Two stewardesses were in the galley, speaking softly. I leaned in and whispered that I was a 26-year veteran of the FBI. They requested my row and seat number, and it was obvious they were quite pleased to hear about my presence on the plane. Even though it had been years since I'd carried a gun and a badge, I was confident I knew a lot more about security and self-defense than most of the passengers and the crew.

After we landed safely, the crew came up to me and thanked me profusely. I had really done nothing more than let them know I was on the plane. But if things had turned bad, I could have drawn upon my years of experience and training to assist the crew to the extent that anybody could when faced with odds that multiple terrorists would probably have some weapons, whereas the crew and I were thoroughly frisked and disarmed at the magnetometer.

As I drove home I began to wonder why the federal government doesn't tap into the enormous pool of former law enforcement and military personnel who are part of every community. There must be thousands of us in every major city, and I know that the smaller towns have numerous former military, because that's where a great number of our fighting men are recruited.

And, so far our terrorists have lived in larger cities - New York, for example - where it is impossible for people like me to own and carry weapons. Think of it: Thousands of former law enforcement and military personnel, trained in security most willing to do whatever it takes to protect our women and children, and our facilities. Yet, federal and state governments have disarmed us.

Moreover, in the case of at least one federal agency - the FBI - they are turning down the good faith offers of former FBI agents to do volunteer work - any unpaid work - including answering the phones, or even taking out the trash - just so that a contribution of time can be made to fighting the terror that faces us all.

Why are these obvious good resources being ignored? Simple. As a society and government we are still thinking inside the box of pre-911, before we were so terribly attacked on our own soil. The ramifications of that attack have not fully sunk in. Everyone should be on the look out - but trained law enforcement officers, now retired or in another profession, can do more.

Lots of eyes and ears watching and listening is a good thing in wartime. Thousands of former law enforcement officers armed and engaged would be a terrific infusion to the already over-taxed law enforcement agencies, now straining under the weight of enormous terrorism investigations, trying to back-fill the vacancies in the ranks caused by military call-up.

The Patrick Henry Center is a 501©(3) nonprofit, non-partisan Educational and Charitable Foundation. It does not support endorse or oppose candidates, or proposed legislation.
We are located at 10525 West Drive, Fairfax, Virginia, 22030
Please visit us on the web: WWW.PatrickHenryCenter.Org
To Interview Mr. Aldrich, call Katherine L. Garstka (703) 691-2301

TOPICS: Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: banglist; taxreform
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-40 next last

1 posted on 11/13/2001 8:35:17 AM PST by Taxman (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: *Taxreform; *bang_list; All
Gary makes a very compelling argument to improve homeland security.


2 posted on 11/13/2001 8:36:46 AM PST by Taxman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
Give 'em free airfare when they go on a trip maybe and deputize them during the flight if they are qualified?
3 posted on 11/13/2001 8:41:07 AM PST by thefactor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
Good article.

The same can be said of most people who have concealed carry "permits" in the various states, and civilians' statistics for accidental bystander shootings, etc., are actually better than those of the police. Why can't WE carry on board the planes? Why can't the pilots?

The answer is simple - it would undermine YEARS of brainwashing by the government and the media that Guns Are Evil. And it would set back the plan for disarming America by decades. That's why there's been no mention of citizens being armed and vigilant whatsoever, by the government mouthpieces or by "our" leaders themselves, since 911.

4 posted on 11/13/2001 8:43:20 AM PST by Jefferson Adams
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
If volunteers were not going to be paying union dues, I would not expect any support for this idea from law enforcement "organizations".

Other than the likely resistance it will meet, it is a great idea.

5 posted on 11/13/2001 8:43:59 AM PST by Fixit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: thefactor
Yep, that and create a special "Federal Deputy Marshall" category, provide basic training, etc., and encourage them to continue to uphold the oath of office all took upon entering military or federal service.

Even more than airborne threats, trained eyes and ears on the ground and in the villages, towns and cities of the US would free up police officers and the military to do their jobs.

I think Gary has an excellent idea. Wonder if we can push it forward?

6 posted on 11/13/2001 8:48:00 AM PST by Taxman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
Pardon my ignorance, but I did not realize it was illegal to own or carry a gun in New York. Have the criminals been notified?

Gary Aldrich has made an excellent point in this article (yet again). Why waste the manpower when they offer it so freely? It's beyond me.

7 posted on 11/13/2001 8:48:47 AM PST by Quilla
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
I heard on the radio that there is a town in New Jersey that is resurrecting the old civil defense force they had 60 years ago during the war. At least they are trying to. They will train civies to take patrol walks, look for anything suspect, etc... Sounds like a plan. Maybe the ex-FBI types could help with the training.
8 posted on 11/13/2001 8:51:03 AM PST by thefactor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
To read later
9 posted on 11/13/2001 8:51:31 AM PST by Fiddlstix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
Again Gary hits it solid on the nail.
10 posted on 11/13/2001 8:55:18 AM PST by blackbag
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
bttt As usual, Gary is on the mark.
11 posted on 11/13/2001 9:05:04 AM PST by n-tres-ted
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
Why are these obvious good resources being ignored? Simple.

Because their loyalty to the interests of agency heads and ability to be silenced cannot be ensured? Because anything which grants enhanced credibility to retired LEOs makes said LEOs more difficult to dismiss in official spin activities?

Now where did I put that Reynolds Wrap?

12 posted on 11/13/2001 9:54:23 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thefactor
Bet they do not arm them. In WW II, they were armed!
13 posted on 11/13/2001 10:11:11 AM PST by Taxman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Quilla
See post #4. Jefferson Adams has a grip on it.
14 posted on 11/13/2001 10:12:32 AM PST by Taxman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: DeaconBenjamin
That is a most astute observation, Deacon!

No tin foil needed!

15 posted on 11/13/2001 10:14:47 AM PST by Taxman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
The Bush Administration has shown some willingness to tap into unusual sources for creative thinking in the War on Terror, i.e. Hollywood. I would like to see them give an attentive ear to this, very inventive, common sense, suggestion. Sounds good to me.
16 posted on 11/13/2001 10:23:01 AM PST by reflecting
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jefferson Adams; Taxman; Fixit
Gary Aldrich must have been reading Free Republic and understood that unless and until all the good law abiding citizens of the USA become actively engaged in defending this nation from the threat we are now facing we shall remain very vulnerable to attack. There are way too many plausible targets for any terrorist organization to strike here. From electric transmission lines to power plants we have our infrastructure spread out across this land that is our home and the World's hope for liberty.

There are not enough Soldiers sailors Marines and firefighters to do all the jobs that need to be done. It is time for us to get serious and start volunteering on a local level.

Stay well - stay safe - stay armed - yorktown

17 posted on 11/13/2001 11:35:15 AM PST by harpseal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
"A well-regulated (i.e.: equipped, trained & prepared) militia being necessary to the security of a free state..."

Security comes from the bottom up, not the top down.

18 posted on 11/13/2001 11:39:24 AM PST by ctdonath2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
I guess what the government is afraid of is counterfeited CCW cards. What we need first is a National CCW card, which I don't want, since I like the idea of Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. serving as our bad examples. If we had a National CCW card, then we can have grades on where you can carry.

This, of course, is opposite of what the Second Amendment means.

19 posted on 11/13/2001 12:07:12 PM PST by Shooter 2.5
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Taxman
I would feel very safe if Gary was anywhere Gary is.
20 posted on 11/13/2001 12:57:21 PM PST by carenot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-40 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson