Unsafe at Any Altitude: Failed Terrorism Investigations, Scapegoating 9/11, and the Shocking Truth about Aviation Security Today

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Steerforth Press, 2006 - Political Science - 274 pages
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If you think you are safe getting on a plane in the United States . . . THINK AGAIN
Unsafe at Any Altitudereveals for the first time:
• That Saudi intelligence, on which the United States relied for information about Al Qaeda, was penetrated by the terrorist group long before 9/11. Information provided by the Saudis lulled the president and his team into believing they had Al Qaeda under meaningful watch.
• What the 9/11 Commission did not share with the public, including the probability that weapons were put on planes in advance by exploiting security vulnerabilities at airports. To this day, while passengers are forced to stand in line, hundreds of thousands of airport workers remain unsearched and unscreened.
• How the White House and Justice Department created a diversion to place blame for the 9/11 attacks and avoid the wrath of the American people.
• How a partnership the United States made in the 1980s with Iran and Hezbollah terrorists who killed and kidnapped hundreds of Americans and hijacked our planes contributed to a sequence of events that made 9/11 possible.
• That the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Department of Homeland Security refuse to give the airlines an accurate no-fly list, thereby allowing the world’s most threatening terrorists to continue to fly.

Unsafe at Any Altitudewill help readers tell the difference between the eye candy of sharp uniforms on federal officers and what would amount to effective security at our airports.

We may be less safe flying today than we were before 9/11, and we have spent billions of dollars in tax money going backward.Unsafe at Any Altitudegoes behind the scenes at our nation’s airports and penetrates the government to paint a picture of a Transportation Security Administration that is remarkably inept, and reveals the great lengths that U.S. carriers and their lobbyists have gone in order to make certain that serious airline security has not been instituted in this country. Susan and Joseph Trento also trace the evolution of security failures along a continuum that led directly to 9/11: the hijackings of passenger jets to Cuba decades ago, Iran- Contra, Hezbollah’s bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, its hijacking of TWA flight 847, the Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie tragedy. These and numerous other episodes exposed vulnerabilities in our nation’s policies and practices that we failed to heed.
9/11 has resulted in the creation of massive new law enforcement bureaucracies and programs, and a sense of vigilance has certainly arisen among the American public. The Trentos’ disturbing investigation reveals, however, that many key aspects of what went wrong on 9/11 have never been carefully examined, rendering meaningful reform impossible. For instance, the TSA was created to replace the low-wage private screeners who once guarded our airports. But no investigative body, including the 9/11 Commission, has ever concluded that the private screening firms contributed to 9/11 by failing to do their jobs, and this book reveals for the first time the breathtaking story of the Bush administration’s concerted effort to deflect blame onto those private companies. Inspired by the belief that true vigilance is impossible without an honestly informed citizenry,Unsafe at Any Altitudeshines the bright light of truth on past and present practices that have remained in the dark for far too long.

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Hell Over Earth I
On a Silver Platter I
Creating a Terrorist I

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About the author (2006)

Susan B.Trento is an author and journalist who began her career on staffs in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. In
Congress she was the youngest chief of staff of a Congressional office at the time. Her investigations into space shuttle safety issues led to her coauthoring Prescription for Disaster, a history of NASA leading up to the Challenger disaster. She also co-authored Widows, a history of counterintelligence. Her book Power House, about the lobbying and public relations industries in Washington, was compared by critics to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Jessica Mitford’s American Way of Death, because it looked at the issue of lobbying and influence peddling in a revolutionary way. She also has taught graduate writing at American University’s School of Communication. She cofounded in 2000 and is the managing partner of Film and Ink Productions, which has produced four books.
Joseph J. Trento is the author of six nonfiction books and an internationally known investigative reporter for over thirty-five years, and he has been a correspondent for CNN’s investigative unit. He now serves as the president of the Public Education Center, a nonpartisan and nonprofit foundation that conducts investigative reporting on environmental and national security matters. He is the author or co-author of numerous books on national security and intelligence issues, including Prescription for Disaster, Widows, The Secret History of the CIA, and Prelude to Terror.

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