Flying the Confused Skies

More government money doesn't mean the airline industry's security problems are solved

Homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff tried to explain last week why air security has been given greater priority than protecting mass transit on the ground. "A fully loaded airplane with jet fuel ... has the capacity to kill 3,000 people," he said. "A bomb in a subway car may kill 30 people." That brought an outcry from many city officials. But it shouldn't reassure anyone that all the security problems in the air have been solved. Take the troubled no-fly list of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

One problem, it seems, is that federal agencies can't agree on who belongs on the...

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