Airport security enters the mindless zone
Peter Worthington November 22, 2010 – 9:03 am
FABIAN BIMMER/AFP/Getty Images)
Looks like a security risk to me … Better scan her again, eh Larry?
It’s a reverse version of the emperor wears no clothes.
Until San Diego software programmer John Tyner objected to an airport security pat-down (“If you touch my junk I’ll have you arrested”), most air travelers were resigned to whatever airport security imposed, on grounds that it assured safety.
The whole question of pat-downs and full-body screeners to ensure air travel safety is now being challenged. And rightly so.
John Tyner’s objections are reflected by commercial airline pilots who are now objecting to body screening every time they board the aircraft they must fly to wherever the destination is.
This is ridiculous. A pilot, by nature of his job, is in charge of a flying bomb when he takes off; if he’s suicidal, he can kill everyone on board by aiming at a building.
Those whose sensitivities are such that they don’t like the idea of someone examining their genitals on full body screening, can opt for the pat-down.
That, too, is overdone. TV news showed that three-year old screaming in fear as an airport security woman forcibly searches her for concealed explosives. Do that to a child on the street and you’d be arrested for molesting.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) wants Muslim women exempted from airport pat-downs and, extraordinarily, U.S. Homeland Security Czarina, Janet Napolitano, says she is considering such exemption. More nonsense.
Airport security in the Western world is based not on detecting potential terrorists, but on what people might be carrying. The Israelis, on the other hand, concentrate on profiling those who might be terrorists — and Israeli airlines are the safest in the world.
At some point—maybe now – we have got to amend airport security and start profiling those likely to blow the damn plane up – not patting down three-year-old children.
Airport security now gets indignant if a passenger boarding a plane is carrying a mini-knife, or an opened bottle of water. We’ve just had a Chinese guy trying to board a plane in Hong Kong wearing a fake head, supposedly making him look like an old white man.
Passengers weren’t fooled and thought it odd, but the airline people didn’t care—guess they were more concerned with passengers carrying a nail file.
We’ve had shoe bombers and underwear bombers—none of whom were detected by airline security, but by other passengers in flight. Something isn’t working.
And now we have the possibility that Muslim women should be exempt from indignities that airport safety inflicts on everyone else. That’s even nuttier than all the other impositions that make air travel uncomfortable, undignified and offensive.
For some inexplicable reason, we assume “profiling” is racial and therefore discriminatory and prohibited. Everyone (except Muslim women) has to be treated the same, on grounds that if one group is singled out as possibly inclined towards suicide bombing, then the real terrorists will select others, outside the suspect group, to blow themselves up.
It’s not that easy to find Danish nuns or Anglo geriatrics who’d be willing wear explosive socks or knickers to detonate at 30,000 feet at the behest of al-Qaeda.
Full body screening verges on a hoax, and pat-downs are mindless. If FBI profilers can identify potential serial killers, surely suicide bombers fit a certain profile – unless we decide not to see the obvious.
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