After The Crash: The Feds Take On Airport Security

Senate Republican leader Trent Lott was in Times Square last Monday morning, punching the button to open NASDAQ trading, when a now familiar image of smoke rising from rubble flashed across a nearby bank of television screens. "Is that Afghanistan?" Lott aide Ron Bonjean whispered to the NASDAQ official standing next to him. "No," came the answer. "It's Queens."

Whether the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 was an accident or an act of terrorism, Lott knew at that moment it was imperative for Congress to end a month of political bickering over aviation-security legislation. Voters would be outraged if no...

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