White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told CNN that according to French authorities there is no nexus to terrorism at this time in the deliberate crashing of the Germanwings airliner by the co-pilot that killed 150 people in France.
CNN’s Kate Bolduan asked Earnest if the crash was terrorism. The Press Secretary answered, “Right now, the French authorities are the ones that have the lead in this investigation, and the United States at a range of levels have been in touch with their French counterparts to offer any needed assistance that’s necessary. At this point in the investigation, based on what we know now, there is no nexus to terrorism, but obviously this is something they’re going to explore and examine to find out what exactly happened. But there’s no doubt that these early reports that we are hearing is chilling.”
The keywords in Earnest’s answer were at this time. We may never know why co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to destroy the plane and kill everyone on board. The evidence makes it clear that the fatal accident was an intentional act.
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, citing information from the “black box” voice recorder, said the co-pilot was alone in the cockpit.
He intentionally started a descent while the pilot was locked out.
Mr Robin said there was “absolute silence in the cockpit” as the pilot fought to re-enter it.
He said air traffic controllers made repeated attempts to contact the aircraft, but to no avail. Passengers could be heard screaming just before the crash, he added.
The co-pilot had a perfect flying record, but this incident highlights the fact that there is no two person rule in place in Europe or the United States. The is no rule that a person who leaves the cockpit must be replaced by another member of staff. This is how the co-pilot was able to be alone after the pilot left.
This type of fatal accident is the worst nightmare of both passengers and airlines. Every time a person flies they trust their life to the staff who are flying the plane. The vast vast majority of pilots and staff are extremely competent and professional individuals. Flying remains extremely safe.
People always look for an explanation in order to make sense of a senseless act like the Germanwings crash. Terrorism would not be comforting, but it would help people to understand and make sense of what happened, but, in this case, there may never be 100% certainty as to why Andreas Lubitz decided to kill himself and 149 other people.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association