Friday, November 26, 2010

TSA and the German Corn Field

The following article was posted in the “As you see it” portion of the Santa Cruz Sentential, with follow-up remarks on Newspaper’s blog.

The Transportation Security Administration is making flying much more dangerous, not safer. The reason is obvious: If they are forced to search 100 percent of the passengers, they will certainly become careless if for no other reason than the monotony and fatigue . They are searching uniformed soldiers, small children, grandmothers, pilots, stewardesses, flight attendants and frequent fliers who they know are not terrorists, which will not only make them complacent, but they end up viewing their job more of a preventive measure, than actually believing they will find a terrorists (if they accidentally found a terrorists they would probably urinate all over themselves). All that is necessary is to identify all these fliers plus 90 percent of most domestic passengers through tickets sales and several times again prior to entering the secure part of the terminal. Add to that behavior profiling, such as what's done in Israel, and the TSA could render air transportation truly safe and concentrate on the 1 percent of fliers whose behavior or background truly makes them suspect. Instead of searching the haystack one piece at a time to find a needle, use a magnet.

Poster: Well for starters, Israel has ONE primary international airport - I'm sure we could do a great job too if we could concentrate on ONE airport...

Response: There is no reason if something works well at one airport it could not be done at 100 airports. This does not mean the US would want to use the Israeli model unchanged, but since the US model prior to the full body scanners and enhanced pat downs worked for 10 years without a hitch, we could add some of the Israeli techniques to improve security without relinquishing our rights to privacy just so Rapidscan can sell billions of dollars of scanners; ex-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was pushing the use of full body scanners starting in 2005, then shortly after he retired in 2009, Rapiscan became a client of his consulting Chertoff Group; both are making huge profits from this sweetheart deal. Once again all you have to do is follow the money

Poster: Israel successfully uses racial profiling; this wouldn't work in America because people are more concerned about their civil rights being violated than they are about their own physical safety.

Response: If Americans cared more about their civil rights than safety, they would not allow TSA's enhanced searches without probable cause, violating their 4th Amendment rights. The concept of racial profiling by Israel is also false; over 20% of Israel’s population is Arab, and they certainly do not view 1/5 of the passengers as threats. Yes the fact that a person is a Muslim male in their 20's is a factor on their threat scale, but their behavioral profiling (not racial) and background checks are the brunt of their screening processes. The idea is to look for terrorists not devices. Racial profiling is a red herring thrown out by an overreaching Homeland Security that has made a bogeyman out of al Qaeda. The only changes that have made anyone safer since 911 have been securing the pilot's cabin and the knowledge that passengers will no longer let terrorists take control of an airliner. The so called justification for the naked body scanners is the Underwear Christmas bomber, who it turns out was allowed to board the airliner and circumvent the security measures in Amsterdam by what was later admitted by the US State Department as their screw-up, which means no one has been able to breech US Airline security since the first Christmas bomber, Richard Reed Dec 21, 2001. So it's been 10 years since a suicide bomber has smuggled a bomb onto a plane and without the use of enhanced pat downs and naked body scanners. What has become obvious is al Qaeda has run out of suicide bombers who have the sophistication to board an airline with a bomb; if this were not true, they surely would have done so by now. We know have to worry about body cavity searches, and mobile body scanners with TSA "viper teams" to be used at train and bus stations, and perhaps mall near you.

(added here for reference is an article from TSA Searches; are Trains and Subways next? )

From TSA head John Pistole, “Given the list of threats on subways and rails over the last six years going on seven years, we know that some terrorist groups see rail and subways as being more vulnerable because there’s not the type of screening that you find in aviation,” Pistole said. “From my perspective, that is an equally important threat area.

Added by the article's author Kurt Nimmo, "It may not be long before you are forced through a naked body scanner or obliged to have your genitals groped in order to visit the local market to buy food and necessities. Considering the trajectory the TSA and the government are on, you may have to submit to a body cavity search at the local mall.

(continuing with my response)
From, "They Thought They Were Free", about the rise of Nazi control in Germany"

"To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head."

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