Time for profiling
As the furor mounts regarding the Transportation Safety Agency’s aggressive new searches and near-nude imagery of travelers, the elephant in the room remains all but unmentioned: the odds of a three year old kid being a terrorist or even part of a plot are fairly low. More importantly, like it or not, the odds of a three year old white kid, born of non-Muslim non-Arab American citizens, being part of such a plot are essentially nil.
There is perhaps nothing as frustrating and annoying as the insistence of the left that we not screen people differently based on their backgrounds, names, religions, etc., even when such an approach, while not a complete approach, is absolutely sensible. OK, there is one thing as annoying: the compliance of non-liberals because of the politically-correct fear which has been instilled in them, especially among the political class, in the last couple of decades.
There’s been a lot of talk about the Israeli security model, and it does have a lot to recommend it. It focuses on keep the terrorists, rather than nail clippers or even “dangerous gels” off the planes.
It’s most well-known attribute is that passengers on El Al flights can be subjected to questioning by a few separate security agents who are well-trained in what questions to ask and what responses to be on the lookout for.
But it has characteristics that could make it difficult for the US to copy, including:
- It’s labor intensive; the US simply has too much passenger traffic for all passengers to be subjected to Israeli-intensity screening
- The security agents must be fairly intelligent and highly-trained; imagine trying to find more than few hundred TSA agents who could fit that bill
- For both of the above reasons, it’s quite expensive
To be clear, the Israeli security model isn’t all about profiling. They question most people and look for many warning signs beyond just the name Muhammad or a Pakistan stamp in a passport. But, having either of those traits does and should increase the scrutiny on the passenger, and that’s where America fails totally.
Security screening, like everything else, is a study in what Bastiat described as “that which is seen and that which is not seen” (the title of an essay which includes the famous “broken window” parable.)
For every grandma from Nebraska or toddler from Oregon that a TSA agent takes time to search, it’s that much less time he has to doubly focus on more likely risks. And for those of you who want to argue that the TSA agent will still doubly focus on more likely risks, he nevertheless is wasting time, and therefore OUR money, as well as increasing travel delays for what is probably a zero benefit.
And some will argue that we can’t have any loopholes…but they’re wrong. Perfect safety is impossible. And after a point of reasonable precaution, getting to the next higher level of safety becomes too expensive in terms of money and liberty. We’re seeing that in spades now, in no small part because government insists on treating all travelers the same.
We’re not all the same. If every Muslim in America has to be delayed a few minutes longer than everyone else when traveling through the airport, so be it. The fact that approximately 100% of terrorist attacks against America and Americans in the last decade has been by Muslims is not a coincidence. Pretending that the Methodist mother-in-law is as likely to try to blow up her flight as the Saudi Muslim green-card holder is self-delusional and self-destructive.
If American Muslims don’t want this hassle, then they should find Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Anwar al-Awlak, kill them, put their heads on pikes in a Walmart parking lot somewhere after dousing them in pig’s blood, while waving big placards (written in Arabic) saying “If you hurt any American interest anywhere, then you’re next.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Rossputin on 11/23/10 at 06:50:05 am . Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.|