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Germany can't shoot down hijacked passenger planes

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BBC News: German court rejects hijack law

 

 

Germany's constitutional court has scrapped a law allowing the military to shoot down passenger planes suspected of being hijacked for terror attacks.

 

The judge found that the law infringed the right to life and human dignity.

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i have just discovered that germany has no right to defend itself under its own constitution, is this right?

Nope!

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The ruling is that it's not permissable to kill innocent civilians - even if it is to potentially save others.

 

Over the years many, many hijacks have occurred all over the world and most have ended without everyone on the plane getting killed. Just because a couple out of the literally thousands were used to crash into buildings on one day a few years ago, doesn't mean it will happen every time.

 

Finally a victory for common sense over hysterical knee jerk reactions...

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i guess.

just wondered with the world cup coming up,

what would they do in a similar situation, with a hijacked plane heading towards the opening

ceremony

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Indeed. A sensible verdict IMHO. 6 years ago nobody even gave the idea of using planes to fly into major buildings the slightest thought. Now everybody thinks it is the only plan these terorists have apparently. IF, and it is a very big IF, you are faced with such a problem again then the chances of the government being in the position to actually make such a decision are slim to say the least, but it gives certain governments a chance to abuse such a law.

 

The Allianz Arena is close to the airport. Not a chance of intercepting an aircraft at all. And just how in hell would you shoot down the aircraft safely? Say it is heading over a major city going for its target (after all, if you were to scramble aircraft every time there appears to be a danger then the skies would be overcrowded with military "escorts"), what would you consider acceptable? An impossible task

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Well it is VERY unlikely to happen first off. The reason 911 was able to happen was that the US had a VERY laxidaisical attitude to air transport security for domestic flights that astonished (say) Europeans.

 

If there was a policy of shooting down the plane the hijackers would have "nothing to lose" and aim when hijacking for mass death and destruction of those on the ground too.

 

TBH, IF it happened better to let them fly to Mogadishu, Tripolli or wherever and release the passengers and crew unharmed rather than risk even greater casualties in the name of TWAT.

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The ruling is that it's not permissable to kill innocent civilians - even if it is to potentially save others.

 

Over the years many, many hijacks have occurred all over the world and most have ended without everyone on the plane getting killed. Just because a couple out of the literally thousands were used to crash into buildings on one day a few years ago, doesn't mean it will happen every time.

 

Finally a victory for common sense over hysterical knee jerk reactions...

Fair enough point, but I don't think the laws that allow a plane to be shot down are meant to shoot down any hijacked plane. I think the idea behind them is that "if" the plane is going to be used to kill many more people than they want the authority to have the ability to use this as an option. It is meant to be a method of last resort .

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Another 9/11 with an airplane is unlikely to happen. AFIK there hasn't been any major airplane hijacking since then. Before 9/11 the passengers would stay calm and normally it would be resolved with out anyone being hurt or killed. Now people know of the possiblity of crashing a hijacked plane so it would be very difficult for the hijackers to overpower a plane load of people who in this day and age would fight back. 5-10 hijackers armed with Gillett Mach 3s, plastic knives and metal forks are no match for 50+ passengers desperate for their lives (and in no rush to see if there are virgins waiting for them on the other side).

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Just got time for a quick look at this, and that judgment seems to me to be an interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights, and if that is the case, Germany is therefore suggesting that it would be against European law, and that therefore it would be illegal to shoot down a passenger plane anywhere in Europe...

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Fair enough point, but I don't think the laws that allow a plane to be shot down are meant to shoot down any hijacked plane. I think the idea behind them is that "if" the plane is going to be used to kill many more people than they want the authority to have the ability to use this as an option. It is meant to be a method of last resort .

And how would they know of the hijacker's intentions? You think they're going to make a phone call or send an e-mail in advance??

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My assumption of what I have read is that first the planes would fly near the hijacked plane. They would ask to help escort it to the destinations that the pilots are being requested to fly by the hijackers or where the hijackers want to take the plane. If however, something seems to be amiss and a large stadium seems to be the region that they want to fly into, they would have a quicker chain of command to maybe avert a larger catastrophe. It is the point of having a system of "worst case" scenarios. This was one of the problems that Munich had during the Olympics. They did not think of what would happen if...which resulted in mistakes being made one right after the other.

 

I not tryingto defend the decision one way of the other. I just understand that some people may want the permission. It seems almost equivalent to a terrorist who takes one woman hostage and then tries to enter a crowded store with a bomb around him. The police should have a plan on what to do if there is no clear shot. Do they still try and shoot both the hostage and terrorist? Do the let the terrorist enter and probably kill hundreds more? Can they only act if they only shoot the terrorist? I would hope that the police and government have more plans of what to do than the terrorists.

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And how would they know of the hijacker's intentions?

Let's say you did know? After the second plane on 9/11 hit its intended target it became glaringly obvious of what hijackers of the other two unaccounted for planes intended to do.

 

Let's throw out a hypothetical based on precedent:

 

Ground control confirms that several planes have been hijacked either by hijack distress annunciations or failure to respond and comply with ground control direction. One or more of those planes is used in a suicide attack against <insert hypothetical target of choice here>. The remaining planes are en route to major cities. What do you do? Hope the hijackers come to their senses and decide to land the planes?

 

My point: I don't think you can cover all scenarios ahead of time. Real-time decisions based on real-time information are better than sitting back and saying, "well the law says..."

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Let's throw out a hypothetical based on precedent:

 

Ground control confirms that several planes have been hijacked either by hijack distress annunciations or failure to respond and comply with ground control direction. One or more of those planes is used in a suicide attack against <insert hypothetical target of choice here>. The remaining planes are en route to major cities.

Interesting moral conumdrum, but it will NOT happen.

 

The ONLY reason that the horrors of 911 could happen was that USA domestic air security was about as tough as a wobbly Jello which Europeans had been commenting on for years.

 

The chances of more than one passenger airliner getting hi-jacked at the same time are just about zero.

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Interesting moral conumdrum, but it will NOT happen.

Agreed it is exceptionally unlikely but then why bother making a law about it? Either the law exists to pre-define the course of action in an event which is deemed possible or it isn't possible so don't waste the paper.

 

Ah, I see the edit: I agree, more than one is basically impossible eleminating that hypothetical - but still, why bother with the law then?

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... that [pre-9/11] USA domestic air security was about as tough as a wobbly Jello...

I agree with this. as an example, in the late 90's I was flying thru several US airports with engineering samples in my carry-on. these particular samples were of electrical connectors - hundreds of thousands of inch long metal pins, which look like nails, imbedded in plastic, and in what was essentially a shoe box. did the multiple security checks prompt even a question? nope. not a once. FFS, it had to look like a nail bomb in the x-ray!

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Hm interesting. When I went to Kos in August I got stopped because of my polaroid camera in my camera bag. It is an old SX-70 fold down model(all metal). They had never seen one before. I told them it was a polaroid and when I popped it open their eyes showed a sense of fear for a millisecond for the time it needed to lock open. In retrospect it was dumb of me to immediatly open it right there.

 

As for the decision not to shoot down the planes I not sure how I feel about it. I can see both arguements.

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