Friday, June 18, 2004

Interesting People List: post 9/11 telecom actions by Government

Interesting People List: post 9/11 telecom actions by Government

From: paul foldes

Subject: post 9/11 telecommunications preps by Govt? More harm than

Reading about the 9/11 panel's report about the necessary improvisation
by people close to the 'action' due to lack of adequare preparedness
and confusion among FAA and other agencies tasked with our collective
defense, I am persuaded that the heroism of the passengers on flight 93
and that of the first responders at the WTC and the Pentagon were the
most 'effective' responses that day.

The notable common thread among those effective responders was their
ability to communicate via a common means; cell phones -- not the
specialized communications designed for emergencies.

Notably, it was not the government, or the military that responded so
effectively; it was ordinary civilians, and first responders who
prevailed in not so small ways over the snafus prevelant that day.

Note: lets remember what SNAFU is an abbreviation for: 'situation
normal all ------- up'

Those who forgot, learned its lesson, again -- as we did, on 9/11.

And how was one group of heroes able to respond so effectively?

The passengers of flight 93 got word of other hijackings from loved
ones through their cell phones -- absent such communications, who knows
where flight 93 would have crashed?

Now, post 9/11, the government has reportedly established procedures to
command cell phone call completion priority to 'priority callers' --
presumably government and related officials.

Imagine the consequences that fateful morning if 'ordinary' people
would not have been able to make cell phones to flight 93, and from
flight 77 and other flights hijacked -- as they did on 9/11.

Has anyone examined whether the governments changes in procedures may,
possibly, make things worse rather than better in case we are attacked
again; which is expected as a near certainty according to news reports

Similarly, as Blackberry's worked in NYC and Washington, DC when cell
phones didnt on 9/11 the Congress, in its inimitiable wisdom decreed
that every member, and their key assistants it seems, be issued a

Yet, as this previous frequent Blackberry user in Washington, DC area
know -- Blackberry's, just like cell phones, also can be unavailable
when there is an overload on their system; which presumably would
happen if there was another terrorist incident in Washington, DC.

Is the government really adequately prepared after 9/11 regarding its
ability to communicate, and receive valuable intelligence from 'those
close to the action'?

I think not.

Will the governments 'priority cell calling' rules prevent future first
responders from getting adequate, timely intelligence absent
interference from well meaning, but not fully thought thru rules?

As it is axiomatic that one can't anticipate and train for all possible
future contingencies -- will changes post 9/11 actually make things
worse the next time around?

I dont know, nobody does. But it would be a good subject for
substantive journalists to investigate.



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