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The mess at LAX

August 14, 2007

Re "Fliers fume at LAX chaos," Aug. 13

I am dismayed, but not surprised, by the U.S. Customs computer problems that delayed more than 17,000 LAX travelers over the weekend. The same folks who brought us the completely inadequate Katrina response two years ago didn't build in adequate backup systems for these computers that would appear to be vital to our national security. I am not a computer expert, but I could think of at least three ways (a backup telephone line, a secure satellite link, a parallel computer system) to build in redundancy.

Why didn't the Homeland Security folks think of this?

What has the Department of Homeland Security been doing with our hard-earned tax dollars?

Daniel Fink

Los Angeles

The loss of Customs data stranding thousands at LAX made me furious about how travelers were treated. The sad truth is that management at Customs and LAX failed to step up to the plate early enough. Tough problems call for tough decisions and timely ones.

There is no excuse for stranding passengers for hours on aircraft. We can whip together a whole mobile community in just hours for films; the least we can do is demonstrate some resolve and imagination for our international travelers.

I am embarrassed for us in this incident, and people with responsibility ought to think seriously what they might have done better regardless of how hard they think they tried.

Rick Dinon

Crestline, Calif.

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