Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pat-Down Fury vs. Perfect Security

By Ivan Eland
November 23, 2010

After the initial hysterical security response to the 9/11 attacks — inane measures included posting 19-year-old National Guardsmen with automatic weapons at crowded airports and the temporary discontinuation of electronic tickets — lasting security augmentation entailed hardening of aircraft cockpit doors and beefing up passenger screening in airports.

Read on.


Anonymous said...

Violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution?!?

Ha, ha, so eighteenth century!!!

I understand the (Chertoff profit center) scanners cannot detect the presumed, al Qaeda-preferred plastic explosive.

Given the recent "anus-bomber" who targeted a Saudi prince, I'd suggest the TSA "pat-down" strategy, no matter how Draconian, is still not quite so "advanced" as to be accurately considered "guarding against yesterday’s threat."

John Puma

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Fourth Amendment's probable cause requirement applies only to warrants. The general prohibition is against "unreasonable" searches, and the courts have held (so far) that airport searches are not "unreasonable."

Not to say that the current pornoscans and gropes aren't "unreasonable" and outrageous, but they are not necessarily Fourth Amendment violations simply because they lack probable cause.

Kevin Ryan said...

At some point more people will begin to wonder what would be different about all these "responses" if the rationale were altered slightly.

That is, what if these totalitarian measures were not meant to protect us from terrorism but instead were meant to protect those in power from us?

On the former rationale, we should ask ourselves how often our political leaders actually do work to protect our interests. Is that what the transnational corporations pay them to do?

rosemerry said...

Where on earth did the "1 chance in 80000" figure for being killed by an international terrorist come from? Have 3750 US average citizens been killed by terrorists since 2001?
I think calling Iraq a "war of choice" shows great contempt for the defenceless Iraqis who had suffered vicious sanctions and bombing for 11 years, then had their country invaded and destroyed, all because a former ally of the USA(Saddam)disobeyed his masters.

ChMoore said...

I haven't been in an airport terminal lately, so I don't know what the waiting lines are like, but it occurred to me; if increased scanning and pat-downs result in greater congestion at airport security check-ins, wouldn't that congestion of a larger crowd of people create a logical target for a terrorist?

If so, then it would be a target that exists before any security screening is done.

But then it makes me ask; it's not really possible to secure against all theoretically possible airport security threats is it?

Last I checked, there are still overnight passenger trains with sleeper cars on some routes; which are sounding better all the time.