Our blog buddy, Harrison at Capitol Commentary, thinks the reaction to the recent developments with respect to TSA screenings is "overblown" and provides a nice summation of the whole debate, here.
We think what galls people is that they are subjected to what they see as humiliating treatment while we still get near misses (the Christmas/crotch bomber, for example) that should've been taken down before they boarded the plane.
One-way destinations, paying in cash, learning to fly but not how to take-off or land, no luggage, suspicious behavior at the gate, no-fly lists… all the above were huge flashing red light indicators of terrorist plots from 9/11 onward that were not picked up on or that we failed to act upon and which did not require racial profiling, strip searches or body scans.
Instead of employing common sense and competent vigilance, we are combating terror at the check-in counter in the most ham-fisted and intrusive manner possible. It makes no sense.
And not to go into full-blown conspiracy mode but as commenter (at Harrison's post) Sharon S. mentions:
I’m under the impression that TSA (Thousands Standing Around) employees don’t get any situational awareness training. Why should they? Fear is profitable. Security is a lucrative business. Body scanners run 150K a piece. It’s a billion dollar industry! Sure, this technology has now also become a moral dilemma. “The war on terrorism” has taken over “the war on drugs”. Back in the day, there were agents to pull aside suspicious looking individuals, such as drug mules. What ever happened to human intelligence? Can’t we train DEA agents to sniff out bomb mules? Oh right, that’s not PC. That’s profiling! But I guess it is PC to strip search people with scanners or grope those of us who opt out. As for children, leave them alone.
Incidentally, ProVision is making a fat buck selling scanners, compliments of the tax payer. The irony, we are paying to get strip searched. Maybe TSA would enjoy a little dance when I go through security next time, a la pole
Tall order all around, for we don't see a vast bureaucracy like the TSA suddenly transforming into the nimble, learning and smart agency they need to be in order to combat today's (and tomorrow's) terrorist threat.
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