What’s striking is that I was thinking it just this morning. There is no way that a “body scanner” can possibly tell you anything about the person being scanned. Reliance on technology to provide us “safety” or “security” is a fool’s path, and will fail us. Machines can always be outsmarted — and the trained chimp running the machine is even easier to get past.
El Al, the Israeli carrier, was a terrorism target in the late 1960s. They have since changed their security measures, as a result of which they haven’t been hit again. Since 1970, there have been two “fatal events” on El Al, neither of which had anything to do with hijackers or terrorists.
They manage this partly by maintaining their aircraft, of course; but mostly by screening every passenger that boards — with a combination of security measures and questions that make the TSA’s list look like the joke it is.
They do not use “full-body” scanners.
What they do is profile their passengers, and use watch lists compiled by multiple international agencies. There might be some evidence that El Al scrutinizes Muslims more closely. Given the fact that all 19 of the 11th September murderers in this nation were known to be Muslim, and that Islam is the only religion that currently endorses killing of non-Muslims, and that those murderers committed their killings in the name of Islam, this seems like a sensible policy.
If this is a form of ethnic profiling, I have to say I’m for it. It sure as hell seems to work for El Al.
The problem (PC whining aside) is that if we were to implement similar security measures here, we’d have to go into proactive rather than reactive mode. We’d have to hire intelligent and educated TSA employees, and pay them more than minimum wage. We’d also have to train them extensively, keep their training current with frequent update seminars, and we’d need an awful lot of them in order to properly screen every passenger.
This translates into a lot of tax dollars being spent on preventive measures. A fraction, to be sure, of what’s being spent on endless wars on civilians in countries known to be Muslim.*
Three guesses which course we’ll choose, and the first two don’t count.
Meanwhile, enjoy your “safe” flight, and be sure that when someone blows up an airplane with the bomb he’s shoved up his asshole, the Fed will respond in the only way they know how.
Unfortunately it’ll still be TSA workers doing the “inspecting”, not proctologists.
UPDATE: We can rest easy. The TSA has been aggressively seeking out travelers whose names appear on their watch lists, including this eight-year-old. They frisked him for the first time at the age of two.
* For some people the only acceptable kind of ethnic profiling is at gunpoint.
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