Earlier this month the Washington Post reported that TSA had caved in to industry objections and scaled back its plan to regulate the use of General Aviation aircraft (that is, small private airplanes). The crucial part of that determination was a May 2009 report by the DHS Inspector General which called the security threat from small planes, "limited and mostly hypothetical." I don't think that Joseph Stack got the message and I'm sure that the IRS employees in Austin are taking comfort in the hypothetical nature of the attack on them yesterday.
All too often our security responses are condemned as "too reactive." We are always protecting against the last attack and never looking forward enough. The IG report is an almost tragic example of the opposite trend -- when someone makes the effort to think constructively and proactively about as-yet-unrealized threats they are accused of fear mongering and engaging in "hypotheticals." Well, the hypothetical became reality yesterday.
One only hopes it is enough to shame the general aviation industry into forgoing its opposition to helpful security measures and to embolden TSA to do the right thing.