USATODAY reports that

USATODAY reports that the Air Marshall program is in disarray. (Link via Instapundit.)

This is no longer an elite corp, since standards have been lowered to meet hiring quotas. The air marshalls themselves believe the situation is unsafe. Air marshalls are clearly not an alternative to arming pilots. From the article:

    Hiring standards for marshals added since Sept. 11 have been lowered dramatically, sources say. No longer must applicants pass a difficult marksmanship course that used to be the make-or-break test for the program. In addition, many new hires were given guns and badges and put aboard flights before extensive background checks were completed.

Another money quote:

    “In May, for 3 1/2 weeks, they forgot about me and 15 guys in the office,” said one marshal. “We sat (around) watching kung fu movies.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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