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Federal Government. They need to be on perhaps higher alert and more careful alert. And those are matters that we shall pursue through this committee and in cooperation with others. And now, Mr. Hudson. Mr. HUDSON. With all due respect, Mr. Chairman, to Ambassadol McManaway, I for one cannot take his statements any longer a face value. Last Tuesday, I was at another hearing held by Senatol Lautenberg's committee, and it was asked of Mr. Salazar, and I be lieve Mr. McManaway also, if there were any other threats ol warnings issued, other than this one in early December that has been called a hoax by our Government now for two months. And the response was that there were none. Now we find out last Thursday, two days after that testimony that there were at leas two others, one issued in late November by the FAA, which Par Am admits they received, and another one issued on Novembel 22nd by the British Transport Authority, and a third one on De cember 19th, which apparently was not received until mid-January by the airline. There is a position that has been conveyed that the earlier threa of December 7th was a hoax. But when I asked the number two person at the FBI whether that person who committed this hoax had ever been arrested, or charged—because it is certainly a crime even in Finland, to submit a warning or threat whether it be false or true—and the answer I was given is no, that person was nevel arrested or charged. And I asked if our officials, our FBI, our secu rity officials, had interviewed this person. I, myself, Mr. Chairman am a former criminal justice official with the State of New York for 10 years, and with all due respect, I cannot accept the bare as sertion that this was a hoax without proof. And we have not seer any proof. Mr. OBERSTAR. Neither have the members of this committee. The gentleman from Iowa, Mr. Lightfoot. Mr. LIGHTFoot. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and in the interest o the hour growing late, I’ll keep my questions short. Ms. Cummock, you listed a series of suggestions that you'd like to see changed and applied to flights, unless I misread it, I didn' get a specificity in it. Are you talking strictly of internationa flights, or would you apply your suggestions to all flights, both do mestic and international, or do you have a criteria there? Ms. CUMMOCK. I think that they should be both internationa and domestic. It's very hard for us to go to other countries and tel them how to run their airports and what to institute on our air lines when we're not even addressing our own security here. The March issue of Life Magazine, I don't know if you're familia with this, talks about the El Al security expert that went through American Airports and concluded that no airport is safe in the United States, with curbside check-in, that he could virtually buy a ticket on any airline, check on a bomb, and get in the next cab out I don’t think that the United States would have any credibility going and trying to enforce any policies and procedures interna tionally without first taking a good hard look at what the potentia risks are domestically. There are terrorists in this country. I think that they're not going to go away, and that they will look for op portunities.
Mr. LIGHTFOOT. One of the things that always concerns me about articles such as that in a free society, such as ours, is that article doesn’t become a training manual for somebody that wants to do this kind of thing. Ms. CUMMOCK. Sir, with all due respect, I think they're about 50 yards ahead of us on all of this. I think this is a revelation for me and for the average citizen, but I think that these people for sure know what options are available to them, because it must be their full time job. Mr. LIGHTFOOT. So then you would, all the recommendations you made, you would apply that to domestic flights from here to Chicago, as well as from New York to Paris? Ms. CUMMOCK. Yes. And again, we reiterate that those are on— certain bits of my recommendations are on flights with bomb warnings. We're not asking you to do El Al search procedures on every flight that leaves the area. Mr. HUDSON. Mr. Lightfoot? Mr. LIGHTFOOT. Yes, Mr. Hudson. Mr. HUDSON. One clarification. With regard to the stop-gap measures contained in the written testimony, the organization is recommending that these be adopted on an immediate basis for international flights where they originate from the U.S., or other locations. It's certainly true, we need to increase the security here as well as abroad, but the experts that we have talked to indicate that the highest threats, for the most part, are in certain foreign airports. And I believe some of that has been alluded to here. Mr. LIGHTFOOT. I appreciate your clarifying that for us. Ms. Wolfe, you mentioned in your testimony that “x-ray devices which are on the market which can pick up the differences between inorganic materials and organic materials like plastics” are not being used. Could you, in the research you've done, be a little bit more specific on why you think that those devices are not being utilized? Ms. WoLFE. I think because they don't have a 95 percent effectiveness like the TNA device. I saw a tape that was done by the manufacturer of the E-scan device, and this tape showed how it was used, and how it could pick up the plastic that was used in the explosive, which does turn brownish-orange. I think one of the problems with the device is that if sheets of plastic are too thin, which is how terrorists apparently place things in luggage, they can't be picked up by the device. However, there are people who say if you have trained operators who know what they're doing, that you can deal with this. In the situation of Pan Am 103 there was so much explosive used, that the terrorist would have had to double up on some of those sheets, so this would have come through the machine. Maybe for a very small bomb, it would not be detected. However, a much smaller bomb would never have blown up the entire plane and caused the loss of all lives. There have been other international incidents where maybe one or two, or three lives were lost. And I’m not saying that those lives should not have been lost, or weren’t valuable, but the fact is that a whole plane load of people would not have died if that bomb was detected using a device that ca pick up plastics. Mr. LIGHTFoot. Thank you very much. My time has expired, bu we know this hasn't been the easiest thing for you folks to do, bu we do appreciate your coming here today very much. Mr. OBERSTAR. We do have a vote in progress on the House Floo The Chair would recess for 15 minutes, and when we return we' begin with the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Laughlin. [Recess.] Mr. OBERSTAR. The subcommittee will resume its sitting, wit apologies for the longer interval than we anticipated on this vot Questions have been raised about the use of the Aviation Trus Fund for the purposes of security, and I think for the record should be stated that the trust fund can and does pay for securit devices owned by airports or owned by the FAA. Passenger screer ing devices are the responsibility of the airlines. And they are no now eligible for trust fund purposes. Originally the FAA did pu chase some passenger screening devices for use by the airlines wit Aviation Trust Fund monies, but that was just to test them and t get the program started. Since then, passenger screening device are the principal responsibility of the airlines. But the trust fund also supports FAA research and developmer on new and improved security devices, and those are important ex penditures. The new security devices for screening of luggage tha is carried as checked baggage are matters that should be eligibl for funding by the trust fund, and for emplacement in foreign ai ports, matters that can be funded through State Department appr rooms. And we will continue to pursue those matters appropr ately. Now, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvani Mr. Kolter. Mr. KolTER. Mr. Chairman, I missed so much of the testimon, I’ll have to pass at this time. Mr. OBERSTAR. Does the gentleman from Iowa have any furthe questions? Mr. LIGHTFoot. No, Mr. Chairman, I think we've pretty well co ered it. Again, we appreciate the testimony of the witnesses. think they did an outstanding job presenting their case to us, an we certainly will take under consideration the recommendation you folks have made, and as the Chairman said earlier, try to pus things along as rapidly as we can. That's probably the best promis we can make you at this point in time. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. OBERSTAR. We are going to bring together an intercommitte effort. Already representatives of the House Government Ope ations Committee have been sitting in on the hearings, profession. staff of the Foreign Affairs Committee have sat in on our hearing and you have already testified at the Foreign Affairs Committe and at the Senate Committee hearings, and I have talked with m counterpart in the Senate, Senator Wendell Ford, about securi matters. And we're going to just make effort to bring together a the resources that we can bring to bear on this problem. I think insofar as the matter of a full Congressional investig tion, as you put it, that matter must await the complete report
internal investigations by the NTSB, and by the FAA, by the State Department. Those are all now reaching their final stages. I think we need to have the detailed documentation of the crash investigation by the responsible investigative authorities. No investigation by a committee of Congress, or committees of Congress, would be effective, useful or accurate without having that information ahead of time. But we are monitoring that information on a weekly basis, and we assure you that we're staying on top of those agencies to make sure that there is no delay. And we've also had meetings already with the aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, who have had their experts at the site and piecing together the destructive event and their information, not yet complete, but reaching completion, is going to be essential to answering many of the questions that you and others have raised. We shall not go without closing the circle, I assure you. I’ve been awaiting the arrival of our colleague from Texas, Mr. Laughlin, and the Chair recognizes at this time, the gentleman from Texas. Mr. LAUGHLIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just want each of you to know that I admire your courage and your testimony today. I find it very compelling and I want to assure you I'll be working with this committee to find the answers to the questions you've raised. Thank you very much, and I'm sorry you had to be here today. Mr. HUDSON. Thank you. Mr. OBERSTAR. May I ask the panel if you have any further comments or questions at this point? Mr. HUDSON. I’d just like to commend you, Mr. Chairman, you and the committee, for your last statements, and we look forward to working with you in a prompt and in an appropriate manner to, as you say, close the circle. Mr. OBERSTAR. I think the final words of Thornton Wilder would appropriately close this portion of our testimony in the Bridge of San Luis Rey: “But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.” Your testimony is that bridge from your loved ones to the future, and to the result that we expect to come from your and our efforts. Thank you.
[The prepared statements of Ms. Cummock and Ms. Wolfe follow:]
M. VICTORIA CUMMOCK FOR
Before the House Sub-Committee Aviation
March 21, 1989
Today, March 21, marks three months after the destruction of Pan Am 103. I am here representing the families and friends of the American citizens who were murdered when Pan Am Flight 103, from Frankfurt/London to New York were obliterated by a brutal terrorist bomb. Nothing we can say or do can bring our loved ones back. But we are here because of what you can say and do as our legislators, to improve airport/airline security, can prevent this horrible part of airline history from repeating itself.
We believe that the 270 lives lost on Flight 103 could have been saved-that this bombing could have been prevented. We believe that those who conclude that little or nothing can be done about terrorist attacks on airlines are grievously wrong, motivated by either:
O Commercial Considerations.
o Dereliction of Duty.
o Efforts to conceal/tolerate inadequate efforts.