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Unsafe at any Altitude: Failed Terrorism Investigations, Scapegoating 9/11, and the Shocking Truth about Aviation Security Today Hardcover – October 3, 2006

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews



"An important new book, Unsafe at Any Altitude, highlights a number of glaring holes in aviation security that were supposed to have been plugged after the 9/11 attacks and the creation of the Transportation Security Administration."
U.S. News & World Report

"Susan and Joseph Trento, who have used the lens of investigative journalism to write several books on the ins and outs of federal government, spend most of their latest book, 'Unsasfe at Any Altitude,' outlining in great and captivating detail every...possible omission and profit-tinged venture that keep our airports and our planes open to terrorism... They write that the major problem with airport security both before and since Sept. 11 lies not with the screener on the ground but with the country's 'sloppy and arrogant' intelligence agencies and the way they fail to properly collect information and communicate with one another... 'Unsafe at Any Altitude' tracks the contradiction between the governmental line on terrorism and real-world politics and commerce...'Unsafe at Any Altitude' makes a very convincing argument that, despite all the money and attention spent in the last five years, our airport security system remains porous...[A] persuasive argument of a book."
Los Angeles Times

"The authors - she's a former congressional staffer, he's a former CNN reporter- say five years after 9/11, no-fly lists are out of date, [and] mismanaged. The book takes readers beind the scenes at big-city airports and inside what they term 'the remarkably inept' Transportation Security Administration. "
— The Boston Herald

About the Author

Susan B.Trento is an author and journalist who began her career on staffs in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. In
Congress she was the youngest chief of staff of a Congressional office at the time. Her investigations into space shuttle safety issues led to her coauthoring Prescription for Disaster, a history of NASA leading up to the Challenger disaster. She also co-authored Widows, a history of counterintelligence. Her book Power House, about the lobbying and public relations industries in Washington, was compared by critics to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Jessica Mitford’s American Way of Death, because it looked at the issue of lobbying and influence peddling in a revolutionary way. She also has taught graduate writing at American University’s School of Communication. She cofounded in 2000 and is the managing partner of Film and Ink Productions, which has produced four books.
Joseph J. Trento is the author of six nonfiction books and an internationally known investigative reporter for over thirty-five years, and he has been a correspondent for CNN’s investigative unit. He now serves as the president of the Public Education Center, a nonpartisan and nonprofit foundation that conducts investigative reporting on environmental and national security matters. He is the author or co-author of numerous books on national security and intelligence issues, including Prescription for Disaster, Widows, The Secret History of the CIA, and Prelude to Terror.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Steerforth; 1St Edition edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158642128X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586421281
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,696,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Seem on October 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I saw the advance publicity for the "60 Minutes" report last night and

went out to get a copy of "Unsafe at any Altitude," the book the report was based on. Not only did this book's authors, Susan

and Joseph Trento, obtain the copy of the no-fly list that "60 Minutes"

used as the basis of its report, but that list is only one of many interesting revelations as this book explores how flawed

our aviation security system is.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book offers a professional analysis and it brings the aviation terrorism phenomenon into the front of the stage, by highlighting some evidence regarding some of the major aviation terrorism incidents of the pase decades. As an academic researcher of aviation terrorism, this book certainly may be useful for those who are interestd in the 'story behaind the story'.

Dr. Hillel Avihai
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the country was looking for a scapegoat so the government, under the guise of the newly created Homeland Security Department, served up Richard Argenbright of the eponymous Argenbright Securities. The only problems were that he no longer owned the company at the time of the highjackings and the terrorists carried on items that were still considered legal (boxcutters) to implement their plans.

Today, many years later, TSA struggles to catch 50% of the material now prohibited while charging the Federal government (read: taxpayers) billions. The private, pre-9/11 screeners routinely caught 85 - 90% of all prohibited material while charging the airlines about $650 million!
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Format: Hardcover
It costs a lot for responsible government officials to play the game: Don't blame me don't blame you -- blame that fellow behind the tree. The author's tell you how that game was played in respose to 9/11. And because this billion dollar game was played with the screeners at airports, the extra billions of dollars spent are not providing any more safety than before 9/11. But the mind set of the post 9/11 air traveling public must make us safer. The passengers now know if they fight for the control of the plane there is a chance for life -- if they don't fight death is certain.
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