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Today, Smerconish works the coveted morning shift on The Big Talker 1210 AM, and writes a weekly op-ed column for the Philadelphia Daily News. He is also of counsel at The Beasley Firm. Flying Blind is his first book.

Q: Why did you write Flying Blind?

A: Because I felt so strongly about the subject and because I believed that I had done all that I could do on the radio show and via a column in the Daily News (where he first addressed the issue) to try to effectuate change. And thatís my goal. Iím all about changing the policy in this country (on airport security).

Q: What is the central message of the book?

A: That the 19 hijackers on 9/11 had a variety of commonalities notably their race, gender, religion and ethnicity and yet our government is turning a blind eye toward those factors.

Q: What will it take to change government policy on screening airline passengers?

A: I think that there needs to be a mind-set change in (the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security). To be successful in the war on terror we need to know who the enemy is and do a better job of distinguishing them from a lot of other folks who are clearly not the enemy. Iím not advocating two lines at airline security checkpoints Ė one for young Arab males and one for white suburbanites. Everybody needs to be screened, but I think we need to allow street smarts to play a role in this process as well as in securing our borders, and that, so far, isnít taking place.

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