Full Body SCAM

All manner of reasons justify questioning and resisting DHS full body scans, absent knowledge of what applicable standards are.  Radiation, unidentified pregnancies, civil liberties, privacy; the list goes on. 

I digress, but as a frequent traveler the folks at airport security empowered to “pat down” travelers is, to be kind, creepy.  If you travel, you know!  You’ve quietly shaken your head and moved on more than once in the interest of “going along” and making your flight.  The Borg said it all; “Resistance is futile!”    

One thing and one thing only has spit us out at the size Catch 22 feet of DHS, TSA, body scanners and pat downs; politically correct refusal to consider selective profiling and application of the technology that would support it.  Profiling based on any number of base lines: geographical origin, travel patterns, travel history and yes national origin, demeanor and appearance.  If the facts are that middle aged white guys are the security problem, I want them scanned if they fit a risk profile.  To deny a basis for selective profiling is to deny facts.  Don’t we get in trouble when we deny or ignore facts?           

It is apparently preferable to offend nearly everyone as opposed to potentially offending actual persons of interest?  Another descent into hypocritical sensitivity that overwhelms the strategic imperatives that motivated enhanced security in the first place!  Folks, we know who did it, we know who is committed to do it again!  Prevailing logic calls for harassment of the innocent while self interested intimidation rises up to derail the security process. For those who cry the loudest it’s not about scanners it’s about process, sensitivities, empowerments and impacting rules and the law.           

Should body scanners be available at airport security; yes!  Should pat downs be a tool in the tool kit; yes!  Should they be mindlessly applied?  No, hell no!

The week before the Yemeni package bombs were “discovered” there were significant changes in airport security; incomprehensible in the moment and not widely discussed.  No going through security with your wallet or folding money in your pocket, nothing in your pockets.  Nice call at the TSA; really slammed the door on those Yemenis.  Wait, wait; no, that was Saudi intelligence, who just happened to have the package tracking numbers!  Wow, what luck!   

Absent at TSA checkpoints is common sense and communication beyond the demands that you put your money in a little plastic cup for “scanning”.   We’ve had shoes, underwear, printers and shoes again.  Could a money bomb be next?  Is that possible?  What happens if a sock bomb or a brassier bomb hits the intelligence rumor mill?            

You travel, you see TSA employees unfocused on the job at hand; TSA folks walking around, apparently aimlessly, in small herds?  Simple point; fix what you’ve already committed to.  Get more dogs, reallocate activities, focus priorities and use the facts.      

Resources committed to facial recognition technology capable of high percentage identification of suspicious individuals who are then put through secondary screening; no complaint.  TSA personnel trained in Israeli observational methods resulting in secondary screening; no complaint.  If the watch list functioned properly we would all stand and cheer. Were TSA, directed by facts, to accept the reality that there are applicable profiles of those who would do harm would be, well…. amazing.  Perfect?  Of course not, we’re way beyond past expectations of perfection, but the case cannot be made that we’re approaching perfection with current procedures.  There is a universe of security procedures and technologies that are potentially effective short of fondling and nude pictures for the little folks upstairs in the dark little room. 

What happened to the “safe traveler” program?  Bankrupt, the general public not prepared for the invasion of privacy inherent in the requirements and observing the obvious inability of the TSA to execute.   In light of the incomprehensible priorities of the TSA the “safe traveler” program was the one delegated to the private sector?  You can’t make this up!

Airlines tell flight crews, “If you don’t like the screening procedures find a new job” as has been done at Jet Blue, according to anecdotal reports.  How about we say the same thing to potentially offended protected classes; if you don’t like security procedures, don’t fly! 

The Figh Council of North America, a group of Islamic scholars, issued a fatwa; full-body scanners violate Islamic law.  It would also violate Islamic law for anyone other than a relative or husband to touch an Islamic woman, so pat down procedures are out.  Do we say, OK, don’t fly!  Or treat them as a protected class based on legal interpretations that are not applicable in our legal system?      

Can the Baptists, Jews, Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans be far behind in their attempt at protected status?  Oh no, wait; ……. no word from those groups yet! 

Democracy as a concept is also widely considered to be un-Islamic.  Just saying!