“Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste!”… An Obama Administration Adage!
By Marion Algier - AskMarion
When virtually all the U.S. media is covering anything 24/7, especially when it didn’t happen in the United States and doesn’t involve us directly, it is time to worry!
The list of the obvious, official and not so obvious questions as well as the mystery revolving around the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is growing daily.
Since Malaysian Air Flight 370 went missing, CPAC-2014 has come and gone, Russia-Ukraine is Escalating, the House Has Traced the IRS Scandal to Obama, President Obama has Ordered the Review of Deportation Practices to Promote His Amnesty Agenda and President Obama is Turning Over the Control of the Internet (Our Privacy) to the United Nations. Yet, U.S. news coverage is still Obsessed with the Missing Malaysian Plane… the latest: Malaysian Air Flight #MH370 Could Have Flown to Taliban-Controlled Region in Pakistan?!? The coverage is endless, but are we being directed to that diversion to take our eyes off what is really going on, away from what is important? It seems like there has been a fair amount of important news to cover, there were only 3 Americans on the missing plane, our government does not seem to be pressuring anyone to take the lead on this search, and Americans generally are not extremely interested in International news for an extended period of time… We just aren’t.
The DailyBeast says Americans have an obsession with unsolved mysteries…:
What happened to Malaysia Flight 370? Did it veer off course? Was it hijacked? Could a meteor have hit it? And others… like Was it pilot error? Does China has photos of wreckage?, etc. were all headlines involving this missing flight.
All of these questions have made headlines at major cable news networks and websites. In the five day since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared en route to Beijing, the public has been consumed with an unending series of questions about how a commercial airliner could seemingly vanish into thin air without leaving a trace.
All plane crashes attract a certain level of morbid fascination, but what’s really driving our Flight 370 obsession is the fact that it’s still missing. “We’re not seeing it as an airline accident anymore. It’s a mystery story,” says Patrick Smith, a pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections, Ask the Pilot: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel and askthepilot.com.
Missing planes, missing people, missing objects—they often make up the biggest stories of the news cycle. Think last year’s manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers (not to mention our decade-long search for Osama bin Laden), or the ‘Where in the World Is Edward Snowden’ game. It’s the stuff of legend and Hollywood movies—Indiana Jones searching for the Ark of the Covenant, the Mossad tracking down fugitive Nazis, Joel Cairo sniffing around for the Maltese Falcon. Without our fascination, there would be no Unsolved Mysteries, Cold Case Files America’s Most Wanted or CSI. There wouldn’t be countless Internet forums and books dedicated to the unknown fates of Ambroise Bierce, Anastasia Romanov, Jimmy Hoffa or Amelia Earhart—and, now, to Flight 370.
When something disappears in modern times, it’s uncanny. This is the age of satellites and radars and Google Earth, of cellphone cameras (and cellphone towers) and IP addresses. It’s almost impossible not to leave a data trail these days. And with the recent revelations about the NSA, Americans may assume that it is impossible to truly ever go off the grid. That’s why the thought of Flight 370 disappearing from radar is so fascinating and perturbing. That the plane apparently continued flying for at least 45 minutes after its transponder signal was lost is all the more baffling.
“That’s what is riveting to people—because there’s so much immediacy in the media now people are used taking it for granted,” say Smith, the pilot and author. “People are demanding answers right away, and with air crashes, that’s not the way it happens. Sometimes, it takes months.”
Smith cites the Air France Flight 747 crash in 2009, which is “still not fully understood” even five years later. “Technology is only going to take us so far even in the field of modern aviation, as sophisticated as it. The world is big and a Boeing 777 in that context is tiny.”
With the recent revelations about the NSA, Americans may assume that it is impossible to truly ever go off the grid.
In truth, Flight 370’s disappearance shouldn’t seem so strange to us. If anything, it’s a reminder that there are still pockets of mystery in our overly-connected world. For one, we’re wrong to assume radar coverage is absolute. “It’s sort of like technological subjectivism,” says Thomas Anthony, Director of the USC Aviation Safety and Security Program and former FAA Regional Division Manager for Civil Aviation Security in the Western Pacific Region. “Just as some people move from one country to another and expect one country to have the same culture, there are vast areas of the world that are not covered by radar coverage.”
Anthony says that even a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu may at times be outside of the scope of radar. “Radar signals can only go 200 miles because it’s a line of sight technology,” he explains. “Even if you put it on a big building, the curvature of the earth prevents radar from going to the airplane.”
In theory, a commercial airline is always in contact with people on the ground. There are a variety of ways for the pilots to communicate, including high-frequency radio, FMS datalink, or CPDCL (controller-pilot data link communications). But Smith says the bottom line is that while “the technology is there, it’s not infallible all the time.”
That concept of technological vulnerability can be difficult, even frustrating, to accept in 2014, but it can still occur. “Somehow all of that equipment ceased working. Either it was done so intentionally or because of some bizarre catastrophic power failure.”
“If you lose all of your power or its intentionally disabled, how are you going to communicate?” asks Smith. “You can’t go on social media if someone pulls the plug out of your computer.”
Still, these rationalizations do little to diminish our hunger to know what happened. It’s one of the few times when we actually want a Big Brother surveillance system to swoop in and tell us where the passengers and pilots are.
“I think especially in this case we have a lot of expectations about how surveillance and tracking of international air traffic is supposed to work. There are a lot of ways in which the things we have taken for granted failed,” says Sara M. Watson, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “There’s the disconnect from what we expect to happen and what is happening.”
The 24-hour cable news cycle only exaggerates our impatience when there is a lack of solid knowledge or answers, especially in a crisis situation. “Part of it gets into the problem of constant coverage and not feeling like any progress has been made in what’s really been a short period of time,” said Watson. “But it’s not short for the news cycle.”
Anthony agrees that the level of news coverage on Flight 370 is more intense than anything he’s ever experienced during his 25 years serving the FAA. “There has never been more unrelenting media interest in any other aviation accident,” he says.
The constant coverage can obscure the logistics and timing of an investigation, and Anthony knows the pressure from being on the other end of it. “You must make decisions fast, you have to find information, and you have reporters on your doorsteps. These things don’t happen at convenient times,” he says.
Unfortunately, our patience and timing aren’t the only thing we’re losing sight of in our obsessive hunt for answers. The potential tragic loss of 239 human lives is ultimately overwhelmed by our hunt for titillating clues and explanations. “It’s the missing-ness of the airplane that’s really the story now,” says Smith.
And others will say that Americans are obsessed with conspiracies and like to create one whenever we can’t explain something, but when you have two of the president’s team, Rahm Emanuel and Hillary Clinton separately make the statement “Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste!” and the dots about the event itself don’t connect and the amount of coverage just doesn’t add up, it is time to start wondering! Wondering about what you ask? How about “What exactly has been going on behind that curtain… or behind the door(s) at the White house while many Americans have been hypnotized by the endless and ever changing coverage about the missing Malaysian Air flight 370 that normally would hardly be getting a second thought by most Americans. Using the media in this manner is a form of mind control or Propaganda, promoted and extolled by Edward Bernays.
Is finding out what happened to Malaysian Flight 370 important… probably if we act on the findings to stop something like this from happening again. Is knowing what is happening behind the curtain important… absolutely, for our very survival!!