Jan 4, 2010

Let me say a final word (at least from me) about my post two days ago. I was critical of policing strategies in general and airline security in particular. Some wondered if I was championing racial or ethnic profiling? Well, no I wasn't. I'm championing terrorist profiling based upon intelligence gathering and good old-fashioned police work. Not draconian measures aimed at all of us. Not to mention that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and his bomb-laden undies waltzed through security anyway. He might as well been wearing a sign saying, "I'm a bomber". Even calls to the authorities by his father went unheeded. The 9/11 hijackers had razor-blade knives, so now we walk through metal detectors and get our stuff x-rayed. Richard Reed had a bomb in his shoe, so we get to take our shoes off. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had a bomb in his skivvies, and soon we will get the indignity of a full body scan. In part, the whole airport security circus is public relations. In order to get people on planes, you have to make them believe they are safe in doing so. We do a wonderful job of providing the illusion of safety, but as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab showed us, it is insufficient to stop the determined terrorist. So, we can continue to throw billions at screening everyone or we can devote many of those billions at smarter policing. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

8 comments:

Ronda Laveen said...

Finding the terrorists is like finding a needle in a haystack. This last one pretty much phoned it in and barely got caught.

All I know is that here in upper northern California, is that when they had to stop profiling drug traffickers on the I-5 corridor, busts went way down.

tut-tut said...

Why do we react rather than act? The last time I flew anywhere was in 2004, and it was chaotic. Boarding passengers were using the shoe checking machine, which beeped or went off or whatever at an alarming rate, but no one checked the alarm sound. Go figure.

alphabet soup said...

NO NO NO!!!
I absolutely refuse to take my undies off in the airport. Some one will read your blog Merle and think what a fantastic ( and I use the word deliberately) idea it is and before we know it it will be international law.
Ms Soup

Barbara said...

It would be interesting to know how many other foiled attempts at terrorism are somehow thwarted. I'm sure we don't hear about all of them.

Let's face it: Most everyone in the security business is playing the CYA game these days. They don't want to be the one who let the jerk through who blew something up. So the rest of us poor innocents have to pay the price and prove our innocence over and over and over. It doesn't get much worse than what I have to go through with an artificial hip that sets off the detectors about 50% of the time. I am mildly concerned that it doesn't happen every time.

Steve said...

Ah, I see what you're saying, and you're right -- smarter policing would be a better idea than imposing increasingly invasive screening methods on everyone. (I personally don't mind the body scan machine, though.)

Airport screening really is more about psychological reassurance than anything. If a terrorist wants to get on board a plane, he or she can figure out how to do it -- you just gotta hope it's not your plane.

Kurt said...

Interesting insight.

Reya Mellicker said...

Airport security, as I've experienced it, is absolutely random. I doubt that further measures will really help truly protect us.

It's interesting to me that humiliation is equated with being made to feel safe. Bizarre.

I'm just glad I hardly ever fly.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to full-body scans and hope for future Nudist Flights.