12.31.2009 0

Airline Security A Very Dangerous Oxymoron

  • On: 01/13/2010 09:37:23
  • In: Homeland Security
  • By Dave Cribbin

    All this talk about profiling is just a right-wing knee jerk reaction to the failure of one terrorist who tried to blow up his fellow passengers and couldn’t pull it off. Had he accomplished his mission we would now all be celebrating with an Alah Akbarh shout out. Wait one minute, that’s right. I’m not actually a terrorist. I’m just treated like one every time I fly. Pardon my confusion while I cancel the celebration.

    The first problem with our passenger screening process is that it is run by a one size fits all Politically Correct to the bone government agency, which requires that no one get special treatment, and everyone get the same treatment, lest it offend some special interest group. Islamic Terrorists are threatening our lives, and the recent spectacle in Detroit has made it blatantly apparent that the government’s real concern is being Politically Correct.

    How pathetic is that? Thoroughly searching everyone is not possible, and randomly picking people for enhanced security measures isn’t working. That’s why grandma gets frisked, but not the terrorist. The TSA is just busy going through the motions.

    For an administration that is enamored with law enforcement, and apparently thinks that the Panty Bomber was a criminal (why else would you arrest him on criminal charges?) they should take a tip from the NYPD, who when summoned to the scene of a homicide don’t question the dead guy. There is simply no need, he has been excluded because he doesn’t fit the profile of the killer. He can’t because he’s dead, and as such doesn’t have much to say anyway.

    What the police will do is ask people questions to rule them out as suspects, something I’ve never been subjected to at the airport. The TSA employees that I’ve encountered do their best not to talk to you, other than to scold you for not putting your shampoo in a clear zip lock bag, or not emptying your pockets completely. Perhaps this is some kind of an advanced terrorist counter measure and I’m just not aware of it.

    The second problem is that they are searching luggage and not screening people to determine if they are terrorists. Those in charge say that they must search everyone because finding the one terrorist among all of the passengers boarding planes each day is like searching for a needle in a haystack. I concede that it is a difficult task, one made more difficult by their lack of profiling, but if you are looking at every piece of hay in the stack you are never going to find the needle. You need to focus on the needle. Unless you are just trying to look busy, in which case a lot of people going through the motions will do the trick.

    Necessitating that everyone be subjected to the same level of screening is ridiculous. A simple profile would eliminate as suspected terrorist 90% of the flying public, making a thorough screening of the remaining 10% no longer a daunting task, but a small chore.

    The reason profiling works is that when you put together an accurate threat assessment profile it tends to make the actions of the people you are looking for stand out from the rest of the crowd. You profile to eliminate suspects, greatly reducing the number of people that need to be searched. It’s got nothing to do with racism. There, I said it. As a matter of fact, a blind man could have successfully profiled Omar.

    These people never learn, which is why, after taking into account what had happened that day, the TSA implemented new rules to prevent further attacks. One of the new rules is that no one can leave their seat for the last hour of the flight. It’s a good thing they had not instituted that rule until after the Flying Dutchman had thwarted the Isolated Jihadist on flight 253, or our hero might have waited patiently in his seat on his way to meeting his maker.

    Dave Cribbin, President of Tailwind Capital Group, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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