Monday, November 29, 2010

Why do we endure TSA? Update

I flew Saturday and endured the grope. It wasn't as bad as I feared in the most private parts, but overall it was invasive. HOw many people saw me being treated like a suspect and have every inch, but one or two, of my body touched? Dozens. That sort of search should only be conducted with just cause. Flying to Mexico from the US without other indicators is not just cause. But why does our government which rules by the consent of the people add invasive procedure to ones of limited sense (take off your flip flop)? First, they at the airport they are not looking for terrorists who would blow up an airplane. They are looking for things - liquids, shoe bombs, underwear bomb. Why? Because they/we won't face up to what the threat is. We need to identify what people, what groups, would want to blow up an airplane? Then figure out the profile of one of their attackers. Mulitiple groups and multiple profiles per group. Then look for them. You can even stop them from getting to the airport. Break up their rings, etc. Charles Murray of American Enterprise Institute agrees. blog
Long before the new TSA policies were announced, it has been evident that Americans who fly are required to endure harassment because the U.S. government hasn’t the honesty to deal with threats to airplane terrorism sensibly. In conversations, I’ve suggested a thought experiment: Give people a choice between two airlines. One airline is secured by the current system. The other airline has its passengers walk down a corridor, at the end of which sit a couple of retired New York homicide dicks who occasionally point to someone and say, “You—I want to talk to you,” and pull him out of the line. Everyone else walks onto the plane. Which airline would you choose? Now make it a little more realistic. It’s not a couple of retired homicide dicks eyeing the people walking down the corridor, but many experienced law enforcement agents with special training on terrorist profiling, backed up by the unimaginably extensive real-time, anti-terrorism databases that U.S. intelligence maintains, linked with passenger lists and the same requirements for passenger identification that exist now. That’s good enough for me. I bet a large majority of passengers would agree with me, especially if the extent of the intelligence available to screeners were known.
SeaTac airport can kick out the TSA and contract directly for airline passenger security. Sound Politics Added 11/30: Demo in Congress shocks. Congressional audience had to look away when TSA groped two staffers. Politico I am in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in an internet cafe on the harbor promenade.

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