The Death of Common Sense

This video outraged me.

The TSA continues to pat down and drug test random children. What’s the point? What ever happened to critical thinking in this country?

There is no logical security reason to pat down children unless one has reasonable suspicion that a terrorist planted a bomb on them. Rather than following the security procedures of El Al, the Israeli airline that has not had a terrorist hijacking since 1968, the TSA’s agents blindly follow a crude algorithm like stiff automotons.

According to an Israeli security expert, almost nothing slips through El Al’s security. If anything does, the company fires screeners on the spot. Yet, in the United States in 2002, screeners failed to identify 70% of knives and 60% of false explosives that testers placed on the X-Ray belt. I would not be at all surprised if the TSA employees who misssed these items are still employed.

The reason for El Al’s success is the firm focuses more on the passengers and less on the baggage. By asking simple questions, they can quickly root out potential terrorist threats and act accordingly.

In the United States, all a terrorist need do is beat the manual.

About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Finance executive, engineer, former military officer, and science fiction and horror writer. Editor of the Weird World War III anthology.
This entry was posted in Defense, International Security, Policy, Politics, Terrorism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Death of Common Sense

  1. V. R. Kaine says:

    I’d like to say it’s the PC cops helping to keep things this way, but when did groping kids actually become PC?

    And let’s consider this: the El Al example indicates that even adults will get flustered and sweat after a few strategically-asked questions about their intentions. I would think, then, that it would be easy enough for trained officers to ask similar types of questions to a child, to find out if little Ahkmed has a wad of Semtex stashed in their pocket.

    • Exactly. Everyone is terrified of using data correlation to drive an intelligent screening process. If the majority of terrorists were 89-year old grannies from Boise, Idaho, then the government should screen them more vigorously. Our airline security protocols are just for show to make people feel safe.

  2. Scott Erb says:

    The US has weird tendencies when it comes to laws. In the EU they very openly screen who gets more scrutiny. I remember taking students to Italy and we’re climbing an old tower in the center of Bologna, and it’s a bit dangerous in spots. The students were all saying “how can they open this, aren’t they afraid they’ll be sued?” “No,” I said, “In Italy they have this strange notion that if you should be able to figure out if something is dangerous and how much a risk you want to take.”

    • It sounds like California is the very opposite of Italy in that respect. I remember my parents would leave me at home when I was as young as eight when I grew up on the East Coast. Now, you cannot leave children home until they are at least twelve in California. It is literally illegal and represents what I consider excessive government overreach.

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