The best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray.
If you ever needed proof of that adage, look no further than Van Nuys Airport in California, one of the largest commercial airports anywhere.
In a fear-driven climate where little girls and little old ladies alike can’t board an airplane without being sexually molested by security personnel hell-bent on looking for terrorists, somehow a gang of punks managed to break through airport procedures unseen last weekend and commandeer an entire jet long enough to cover it in graffiti.
The Learjet, which belongs to a Malibu-based aviation company, was redecorated with the words “FLAME” and “RIP,” along with the initials of the “artiste” on one side of the fuselage, and clusters of other initials on the nose and tail section. Total damage is estimated at about $100,000.
The crack investigators at the airport and Los Angeles Police Department believe the graffiti to be “gang related and gang initiated.”
It’s astounding, the powers of observation L.A. law enforcement have after the fact.
“This is a big deal to me, to have somebody who could get onto the airfield and who could do that kind of damage, that kind extensive graffiti to an aircraft, and not be seen,” the L.A. Times quoted Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon as saying. “I’m not happy about it.”
The FBI’s reportedly not happy, either, as their agents have taken charge of the investigation into why a gang can break into a secure area of a major airport and linger while they do their dirty work. It’s obvious from the elaborate design of the graffiti that the punks took their time.
If kids with a spray can are able to so elaborately deface a plane, how difficult would it be for some Islamist to sneak onto the airfield with a bomb or chemical agent like sarin?
The union that represents airport security officers has chimed in with its solution: more money, more officers. Union leaders say this is a “wake-up call” for airport management.
I should say so. It’s a wake-up call that they should fire the current staff and get some people who want to work.
Gannon, for his part, has assured the public that steps are being taken to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. Big steps. Important steps. Major, impressive steps.
Like moving the airplanes to where security can better see them. Presumably that means next to the break room.
Gannon also said that everyone, including residents of the area around the airport, is responsible for security.
He didn’t mention when “everyone” will be receiving their paychecks and benefits packages.