J and D's Corner

From Our Random Opinions Collection

Airport Security Measures:

Irritating, right?   Wouldn't it be nice if it were all actually serving some valid purpose?

Let's face it:  We took care of the hijack-and-crash problem on September 11th before the fourth airliner hit its target.  The problem initially stemmed from the fact that all flight crews were given a hard-and-fast policy on how to treat hijackers who tried to take over their airliner....give it to them.  Don't irritate them, you might endanger the passengers.  Wait and negotiate.

No one anticipated a situation where the hijacker wanted the plane to use as a kamikaze weapon.  Well, before plane #4 hit whatever it was booked for, a few passengers got the word, threw out the old policy and whacked the hijackers.  A little earlier, or a little luckier, and that plane would have returned safely with some damaged hijackers to question.

So why are we taking fingernail clippers from old ladies?  Is that old lady really going to use those clippers to overpower 147 pissed-off passengers and a crew with orders to resist at all costs?  Why are we inspecting shoes but not underwear?  What can you hide in a shoe that won't fit in your underwear? Insanity!

The answer, of course, is that it is all eye-wash, very aptly termed "Security Theater".

Ultimately it is all a product of the "we gotta do something instantly, who cares what" syndrome, followed up by "here's a marvelous new government empire we can expand ad infinitum and no one will dare oppose us!". 

It has been pointed out over and over that the Israeli approach to airline security is the best in the world because it emphasizes behavior rather than things. The Israeli security folk are trained to zero in on the people most likely to need additional scrutiny and do so with great efficiency.  We, on the other hand, cannot "profile", so the proverbial 12th generation American grandmother gets exactly the same randomized "things-based" examination as the 22 year old Middle-Eastern male with the twitchy demeanor.  Dammit, for once let's get real, America!

AND MORE SECURITY FOLLIES:  See More Security Theater