Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Things that don't make sense or are unclear about the laptop flight ban

1. Why doesn't it apply to U.S. carriers?
2. Why only those 10 airports?
3. Why is it only for U.S.-bound flights and not outbound flights from the U.S.? (It can't be because outbound flights have screening by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. U.S.-bound flights from Abu Dhabi are screened by DHS personnel stationed in that airport)
4. Why are tablets and laptops banned  but not smart phones?
5. Are phablets banned?
6. Couldn't terrorist just put an exploding iPad on a flight to the U.S. that originated somewhere else?
7. Doesn't the ban create more danger for passengers?
8. Why is Britain imposing a similar ban?
9. Why are the countries affected by the British ban different from the ones in the U.S. ban? (Britain included flights from Lebanon and Tunisia, which are not included in the U.S. ban, and the British ban does not include Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, or Morocco, which are included in the U.S, ban)
10. If this is based on some specific intelligence, why aren't other allied countries imposing similar bans?

It is really hard to see how this isn't just a ham-handed effort to give a competitive advantage to U.S.-based carriers posing as an anti-terrorism measure. The only thing that gives me pause in reaching that conclusion is the British ban (which applies to both British and foreign airlines).

ADDING: James Fallows calls this Trump's first credibility crisis.