Democrats & Liberals Archives

National Insecurity

I’ve been out of the loop for about a week. But from catching snippets of news throughout the week I’ve been keeping apprised of the developments involving the last big story that was in the news before I took a break; the latest averted terror attack. Now, upon bringing myself completely up to speed I’m not sure if my morose indifference to this incident is due to me not being shocked by America’s handling of the situation, or if I’ve become used to the idea that our country has lost its collective mind.

The first thing President Obama should have done was address the nation and demand a push to install 3-D full body scanners in ever single American airport. Putting aside the fact that this terrorist never should have made it into the country, it really is astonishing how little we’ve done to enhance security throughout the country. Why haven’t 3-D scanners been implemented on a large scale already? One reason, and pretty much the most absurd of reasons, is the notion that 3-D scanners somehow infringe on an individual’s rights to personal space and privacy.

Last time I checked, being frisked up and down is more intrusive than a five to ten-second scan of your entire body. I’m sorry if it makes you feel uncomfortable to have some security guards see that you need to move your bowls or that, heaven forbid, they can see a Tron-looking digital representation of your genitalia. If taking ten seconds to let airport security scan my entire body inside and out will dramatically increase the chance of finding another terrorist with a bomb secretly inserted into his backside, I’m all for it. If this averted disaster isn’t enough to spark a fire under this country’s ass I don’t know what will.

And then you have people actually calling for the full-on profiling of every dark-skinned, “as close to we can guess” Muslim, male between the ages of eighteen and twenty-eight. The guest on FOX news who proposed this sterling idea actually thinks that America should strip search a segment of the population based on nearly arbitrary criteria that only serves to further prove we are completely incapable of fundamentally changing the way some American’s think.

Instead of calling for every airport to start using full body scanners, this man thinks we should strip a certain group of people of their rights to make “the rest of us” feel safer, whatever that means. I guess those Japanese Americans didn’t get so emotionally scarred from the same thinking, so lets just round up every Muslim just to be safe, just until the war is over…

I believe the president should have mandated a drastic, intelligent, coherent change to our national security, or at least our points of entry. And I am almost too stunned to actually be stunned that we all seem to be looking around for someone to blame, again, even after we were supposed to have learned something from 9/11. Obviously we didn’t. Neither figuratively or actually.

Posted by Michael Falino at January 4, 2010 7:21 PM
Comments
Comment #293334

Terror that is on the minds of a lot of us . It is here and they are just waitting to stike . Our country is under attack by lies by the higher up . That is were the terror is !!!!!! And that is the truth

Posted by: Vencent at January 4, 2010 9:03 PM
Comment #293336

Your right Mike, nothing has been learned. I’m just stunned it took this long for something to happen. The only thing that will wake up this liberal president and congress is for a 737 to fly into the oval office.

Posted by: KAP at January 4, 2010 9:45 PM
Comment #293338

KAP,

So what you’re saying is that policies put in place by the previous administration didn’t work?

What exactly has changed over the last year?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 4, 2010 10:02 PM
Comment #293339

KAP, don’t start blaming Obama for this. If Bush is supposed to be the president who kept us safe after 9/11 (I won’t go into that…) then why didn’t he do anything to drastically overhaul our national security? His only claim to national security fame is starting wars across the middle east. It just kept the focus there while other terror cells throughout the world had a party planning who knows what else…

I agree that this incident should, hopefully, wake up our country to the need for drastic overhaul of our security, but don’t imply that “our liberal president” is, or was a contributing factor to this event. Although I’m not letting him off the hook for needing to do something moving forward, he fell into the same sense of security lull we all did.

“ooh longer lines in airports. Must mean we’re safer!”

We did nothing. Bush did nothing. And Obama has to do something, because if something else preventable happens it will be his fault for not doing everything he could to keep us safe. If he tries and they outsmart us, fine, but he has to do something substantial to make an effort!

Posted by: Mike Falino at January 4, 2010 10:03 PM
Comment #293341

Mike
Never said anything about Bush, never said I blamed BHO, but something has to wake him up. 3 people slide into the W.H. state dinner uninvited. We are comming up to 1 year of the BHO presidency and the 3 uninvited people who slide into that state dinner is one security breach to many. Yes we need to tighten security or the next breach might be another 9/11

Posted by: KAP at January 4, 2010 10:27 PM
Comment #293344

MF
Why spend all that money on scanners when the answer is in everybody flying nude. Of course it would be the luck of the draw as to wether one spent the next 6 hours crammed up agaist an obese car salesman or a cheerleader, but life is full of chances.We would also have to be especially careful with hot drinks etc. but accomadations could be made.

Posted by: bills at January 4, 2010 10:56 PM
Comment #293345

Obama has nothing to do with the “party crashers”. The secret service deals with that, and the planners of the party, not the president. I’m just saying there was no reason to refer to him as “this liberal president”; it implies partisanship, and a pushing of blame off of all parties responsible in total.

Posted by: Mike Falino at January 4, 2010 11:55 PM
Comment #293348

Mike
The intelligence community is to gather intelligence and the President is to act on that intel. Some where the intel is getting screwed up so THE PRESIDENT needs to act and fix the screw ups before another 9/11 occurs. The party crashers is just a little example. Maybe Fort Hood would have been better. Yes both parties are at fault but BHO is President now and it’s up to him to fix the system. As Treman said ” THE BUCK STOPS HERE”

Posted by: KAP at January 5, 2010 12:18 AM
Comment #293349

Thats Truman not Treman

Posted by: KAP at January 5, 2010 12:19 AM
Comment #293353

I agree with you KAP. This is his problem now. Many factors and failures by many different parties have lead us to the point we now find ourselves in. But remember, he isn’t capable of doing everything by his own hands.

If we, as a country, do not sharpen our minds to the realities of our world, nothing will ever change. Until serious conversations do not include calling for the mandatory strip search of dark-skinned people of a particular religious inclination, we will continue to fester in our own stupidity. We will continue to be lazy and think there is no work to be done by ourselves, that the problem is just “them”.

Until we realize that we can’t kill all the terrorists, and that the only way to protect ourselves is through a combination of no longer playing into terrorists schemes, and beefing up our own security efforts in a serious way, we will all just be waiting around mindlessly until the next attack succeeds.

And the only real reason I brought up Bush was because of my belief that our current situation (the state of our national security) was not only neglected throughout the previous eight years, but threatened by the previous administration.

I’m not pushing off blame, but simply saying that president Obama has a lot of work to do in catching up to a level of security we should be at but never achieved. My criticism of president Obama is that he needs to take this averted tragedy and turn it into something positive and long lasting.

Posted by: Mike Falino at January 5, 2010 1:19 AM
Comment #293357

An intrinsic problem with any type of security program is that they develope inertia. If there are not problems then to most looking the job is being done and done well. There is a natural human and institutional tendancy to relax after periods of high alert. It comes with the territory. We were fortunate that we only got a minor wake up call,thanks to some brave civilians. As was pointed out under GWB, the work of security must cover all bases while those that wounld harm us can pick their targets. Unfortunatly ,sooner or later they will succeed and if they do so within the next seven years we will be subjected to a good deal of caterwalling from the right about how BHO is weak on security,dispite all the evidence.

Posted by: bills at January 5, 2010 5:44 AM
Comment #293360

I just think that it’s pretty sad that we didn’t even do anything. It’s one thing to do a little, get comfotable, and get lazy with progress or even maintaining the new level of preparedness. But it’s another thing entirely to have not done a single substantial thing to increase security. Obama is essentially starting from a point weeks after 9/11. He needs to be the one to dramatically increase our safety (or at least the appearence of safety, so far as he or anyone can ever “garauntee” such a thing) and make protecting America his accomplishment.

Posted by: mike falino at January 5, 2010 7:32 AM
Comment #293361

“nothing has been learned.”

Bull honkey KAP. The feds have initiated a security plan that for the most part has been successful. The groundwork is laid for intelligence gathering.But as we can see with the loss of the CIA agents a few days ago it isn’t easy work. What we need to remember is the terrorist have the elements of time and surprise on their side and unless we totally restrict the freedom and movement of people we will be subject to continued attack. Why just the fact that a passenger way laid the last attempt shows us how far as a country we have came since 9-11. Pre 9-11 the bomb would have exploded as it was the mindset to wait out the terrorist.

” I’m just stunned it took this long for something to happen.”

Well actually other attacks have been thwarted and other plots foiled.

“The only thing that will wake up this liberal president and congress is for a 737 to fly into the oval office.”

Perhaps KAP the problem is the stench of conservative ideology that has permeated the country the past 30 years that is the problem. This fear mongering by the extremist on the right in hopes of an election victory really doesn’t help yet it is now being used politically, leaving the country to fend for itself. I wonder how many conservatives in the security business actual want a successful attack and as such put forth a half hearted effort to stop the terrorist. As a conservative KAP do you favor body searches at all airports and other invasive techniques?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 5, 2010 8:34 AM
Comment #293363

This post is a perfect example of how the terrorists have already won, convincing people that our right to privacy and freedom is somehow ‘secondary’ to security.

Home of the free indeed. :(

We should be getting rid of the checkpoints, the calls for us to carry our ‘papers’ with us at all times, etc.

The ‘plot’ was thwarted as it should have been, by others stopping it when it was trying to be deployed. It is obvious that ‘some’ security will never be enough. We either need to turn into a fascist society (which many on both sides of the aisle would welcome, I’m afraid, as long as THEY are the ones in charge) or accept that no security is good enough and allow the 99% of us who have no desire to cause no trouble or harm to return to living our lives free from unconstitutional scrutiny and the pettiness of wannabe police who now have control over us during the few times we dare enter an airport.

The ridiculousness of how we are acting just emboldens the terrorists to keep plotting since they know they are winning the war with ease…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 5, 2010 9:01 AM
Comment #293364

No j2, it’s the stench on both sides, liberals and conservatives.

Posted by: KAP at January 5, 2010 9:49 AM
Comment #293367

To pretend that we could survive in a nation where powerful enemies have sophisticated espionage capabilities,without surveillance and intelligence is a bit naive, but I agree the onus should not be put on passengers….If one expects the airline business to survive.

My previous post about imaging machines not being effective against this type of attack and possibly illegal due to child pornography laws is apparently lost in limbo in some que due to a couple of links.

Posted by: gergle at January 5, 2010 10:59 AM
Comment #293371

agreed Rhinehold - 3D scanners and other technological solutions will always have holes in them that someone can sneak something past. We seem, as a nation, to go way overboard anytime something like this happens. We pass oppressive laws that put more value on a false sense of security than the only security we can really count on - having strong constitutional protection of our freedom. I don’t want to live in an Obama police state any more than I wanted to endure 8 years of a Bush police state.

The awful thing about terrorism is that it is low-tech, only takes one or two people, and is unpredictable. Citizens who expect us to “win” this so-called war (it isn’t really a war) are asking for the impossible and politicians respond by going way overboard so they don’t look weak or ineffective. This doesn’t mean we don’t do our best to track and catch folks who are up to no good but to ditch everything this country was founded on for a fight that is unwinnable is a mistake IMHO. When we catch anyone trying to commit an act like this we should put them away for the rest of their lives, then find anyone who helped them and do the same. Repeat as often as necessary. Doing more only makes us less free and as such less safe.

People seem to be making the mistake that these folks are supermen who can only be stopped with extraordinary means. This guy who tried to blow up his underwear was a loser and incompetent, Richard Reid was a loser and incompetent, as are most of these folks. Don’t give them too much credit. Doesn’t mean they are not potentially dangerous but some perspective is warranted.

Posted by: tcsned at January 5, 2010 11:42 AM
Comment #293370

agreed Rhinehold - 3D scanners and other technological solutions will always have holes in them that someone can sneak something past. We seem, as a nation, to go way overboard anytime something like this happens. We pass oppressive laws that put more value on a false sense of security than the only security we can really count on - having strong constitutional protection of our freedom. I don’t want to live in an Obama police state any more than I wanted to endure 8 years of a Bush police state.

The awful thing about terrorism is that it is low-tech, only takes one or two people, and is unpredictable. Citizens who expect us to “win” this so-called war (it isn’t really a war) are asking for the impossible and politicians respond by going way overboard so they don’t look weak or ineffective. This doesn’t mean we don’t do our best to track and catch folks who are up to no good but to ditch everything this country was founded on for a fight that is unwinnable is a mistake IMHO. When we catch anyone trying to commit an act like this we should put them away for the rest of their lives, then find anyone who helped them and do the same. Repeat as often as necessary. Doing more only makes us less free and as such less safe.

People seem to be making the mistake that these folks are supermen who can only be stopped with extraordinary means. This guy who tried to blow up his underwear was a loser and incompetent, Richard Reid was a loser and incompetent, as are most of these folks. Don’t give them too much credit. Doesn’t mean they are not potentially dangerous but some perspective is warranted.

Posted by: tcsned at January 5, 2010 11:42 AM
Comment #293373

What’s funny about all you people decrying 3-D scanners and other such mechanisms of security is that you claim “the terrorists have won”. Well, they have. They won by making us realize our world is as dangerous at home as it is aborad. And you know what?

I want those security precautions to prevent any homegrown terrorist threat. And for those of you who are against using technology to protect us, are you against being frisked? What about strip searched? Or would it be ok to strip search only a certain group of people, just to be safe?

It seems like those of you who decry higher security measures actually think we should do nothing… just stick our heads in the air like defiant little Americans and pretend it’s better to survive an attack and stand tall than to prevent the loss of life innitially.

Strange, that does sound very typically conservative…

I’m not one for having survallance in our homes and having everyone radio tagged, but having sophisticated ways of detecting potential terrorist (and any random crazy person) threats in our airports is a necessary evil. Too many people come in and our of this country through the airports to pretend that 10 seconds of perceived rights-infractions is somehow so abhorrant that it’s better to forgo such measures and simply home another attack doesn’t happen.

Posted by: mike falino at January 5, 2010 12:20 PM
Comment #293374

Action should be about probabilities. As it is, there aren’t enough citizens being killed by terrorists in the air to worry about it. The news distorts reality. If it is a problem, security searches should be targeted at muslim looking men as they are more likely to be terrorists than say western looking women.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 5, 2010 12:38 PM
Comment #293376
And for those of you who are against using technology to protect us, are you against being frisked?

Yes, we should not be ‘frisking’ people who have done nothing except want to board an aeroplane. Especially without probable cause or warrants.

What about strip searched?

Again, Yes, we should especially not be strip searching anyone. Do people really think that is ‘ok’ to do?

Or would it be ok to strip search only a certain group of people, just to be safe?

Nope, wouldn’t be ok unless there is probable cause to do so, and then only with a warrant.

It seems like those of you who decry higher security measures actually think we should do nothing… just stick our heads in the air like defiant little Americans and pretend it’s better to survive an attack and stand tall than to prevent the loss of life innitially.

That is 100% correct. The only way to prevent the loss of life initially is to create a police state. If we aren’t going to do that, we should place liberty ahead of security, just as Benjamin Franklin espoused many years ago.

Strange, that does sound very typically conservative…

Why do you bring ‘conservative’ into the discussion? I certainly am not a ‘conservative’ or republican…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 5, 2010 1:29 PM
Comment #293380

I retract my “conservative” label Rhinehold, I just think that increasing security a bit is not in any way infringing on rights. Do I like to get frisked? no. But that is what these scanners would prevent. If these scanners were in every airport, people would never be frisked or strip searched (which obviously i’m against unless someone is in custody anyway).

Why is it a bad thing to walk in front of a scanner for a few seconds? It would take a lot less time than our current 3-ring circus of a boarding process. We’re not talking about having everyone in the country being scanned and probed before leaving their houses… we’re talking about passengers on planes being required to get a quick scan to ensure safety.

Other than completely closing our borders, how exactly are we to “beef up” national security if we think that such a minor inconviniance as a 3-D body scan means the destruction of our constitution? That’s not even a reasonable point to make, that having some securith means the loss of all rights…

It would be less invasive, less intrusive, take less time, and with time the machines would get more sophisticated and work even more efficiently. How is this a bad thing?

You seem to be saying that we shoudl stop all searches of anyone before bording planes. Is that your stance? Because if the president announced that America would cease all security measures on airtravel, there would be probably 10 planes being flown into buildings within a week.

Posted by: mike falino at January 5, 2010 2:39 PM
Comment #293381

Schwamp, please describe muslim-looking men.

Did you ever hear that more and more women are participating in suicide bombings? or even children? What about those muslims in American jails. Technically they could, upon release, find that Jihad is a noble ambition and blow up a plane. Should we ask all dark-skinned people to undergo scrutiny nobody else has to? What about a white muslim? It’s possible. What about someone who is a Jihadist but has a very light complexion?

You’re essentially saying we should arbitrarily pick a vague group of characteristics and assume people that fit into that category are probably going to cause trouble. Should we require all passports and air travelers to declare religious affiliation? Is it possible people would lie? You know, like seedy terrorists trying to curtail secuirity measures?

Posted by: mike falino at January 5, 2010 2:43 PM
Comment #293382

Mike,

A. could you release my held for spam post?

B. What is the difference between a scan and strip search?

Posted by: gergle at January 5, 2010 3:12 PM
Comment #293385

I find it astonishing in an age with technology that allows UPS, FedEX, the Postal Service and others to track mail and packages from the time of receipt to the time of delivery and we can’t keep track of known terrorists and terrorist affiliates.

I find it absurd to call it racial profiling to stop and search a person paying cash for a one-way airline ticket, with no baggage, and flying across continents. If this guy had a sign on his back declaring himself to be a terrorist it could not have been more obvious.

I was singled out for a “special” search last year in Rome at the airport. That’s OK…I don’t mind. I was randomly selected. And, if all white guys over age 65, wearing glasses and a Cowboy’s baseball cap were characteristic of terrorists I, being one of that group, also wouldn’t mind being singled out for “special” attention at airports.

We have international cooperation in tracking those known to be possibly dangerous already. Beef that up. Advocate for even better cooperation among participating countries. Countries that are lax, or uncooperative, should loose their permission to fly in our air space.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 5, 2010 3:28 PM
Comment #293386

mike falino,
My point remains: it should be all about probability. Nothing arbitrary about it.

To please the discrimination crowd, we spread our resources so thin they are of no value. I guess there is some chance granny’s shoes contain a bomb but the only reason we check is to protect someone’s feelings.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 5, 2010 3:43 PM
Comment #293387

gergle,

I have nothing to do with held posts. And a strip search makes you remove your close, expose your nakedness to stranger, and may require probing or spreading of orifices. A scan sees beneath your skin, without you ever having to remove your cloths, show your nakedness, spread orifices, or spend more than a few seconds moving through security.

others,

I also see nothing wrong with checking out someone who has a one-way ticket into the country with no packages. Their skin color, country of origin, and religion have no reason to be included in the equation though. A one-way ticket, and no baggage alone is enough to arouse due suspicion.

The idea that we are “appeasing” the “discrimination crowd” is absurd, unless it is true that we check old ladies just to keep up appearances of non-racist suspicions. No, we don’t need to check old ladies, but you cannot simply say that you’ll check all dark-skinned people of a certain religious background.

Don’t American’s have rights? What about dark-skinned American Muslims who have no hatred for America? Should they have to forgo the very rights you are unwilling to give up? Again, instead of taking a common sense approach by having everyone just walk through a completely noninvasive scanner, we should declare a segment of humanity, Americans included, to be be outside the realm of rights afforded to “safe, secure, sure-bet Americans”?

Or do we just check foreign dark-skinned Muslims? That would exclude the possibility of homegrown terrorists, which we know full well exist.

Posted by: Mike Falino at January 5, 2010 5:03 PM
Comment #293389
I retract my “conservative” label Rhinehold

Thank you

I just think that increasing security a bit is not in any way infringing on rights.

That’s the line of thinking that has led to some of the most agregious violation of individual liberty in the US.

Do I like to get frisked? no. But that is what these scanners would prevent. If these scanners were in every airport, people would never be frisked or strip searched (which obviously i’m against unless someone is in custody anyway).

What is the difference between these full body scanners and a strip search exactly? Is having someone go into a room by themselves and telling them to remove all of their clothing while having a policeman sitting behind a full body one way mirror without any probable cause, due process or search warrant a violation of that individual’s rights?

What is the difference, please tell me.

Why is it a bad thing to walk in front of a scanner for a few seconds?

Because it is a violation of an individual’s rights.

It would take a lot less time than our current 3-ring circus of a boarding process.

Hey, I have an idea, why not just get rid of the 3-ring circus? We don’t need them for busses or trains, why are planes so much different?

We’re not talking about having everyone in the country being scanned and probed before leaving their houses…

yet.

Other than completely closing our borders, how exactly are we to “beef up” national security if we think that such a minor inconviniance as a 3-D body scan means the destruction of our constitution?

Exactly, since we can’t, why are we trying? If the constitution is just a piece of goddamn paper, then let’s cut the charade that it means something. I personally would rather respect it and everything it means, including giving up some perceived notion of ‘security’ in order to ensure that no one’s rights are violated.

That sort of thinking used to mean something in this country.

That’s not even a reasonable point to make, that having some securith means the loss of all rights…

Yeah, we all know that Benjamin Franklin was known for not being reasonable…

It would be less invasive, less intrusive, take less time, and with time the machines would get more sophisticated and work even more efficiently. How is this a bad thing?

Because it is still a violation of an individual’s rights? Just throwing that thought out there…

You seem to be saying that we shoudl stop all searches of anyone before bording planes. Is that your stance?

YES! Unless we have probable cause, we shouldn’t be searching people’s belongings or persons without a warrant.

Because if the president announced that America would cease all security measures on airtravel, there would be probably 10 planes being flown into buildings within a week.

No, we wouldn’t. Any attempt is going to end like the last three attempts ended. Flight 93 ended in a cornfield in Pennsylvania, the suspected shoe bomber and the most recent example were detained by fellow passengers. The days of successful hijacking with US citizens on board are over.

Using fear to get the ok to violate individual rights doesn’t look any less onerous no matter who is doing it… Unless its about partisanship instead of actually standing up for individual rights.

I think we are seeing clear examples of people who are willing to violate individual rights OR stand up for the violation of individual rights, if it gets them some political gain in doing so.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 5, 2010 5:36 PM
Comment #293390
A scan sees beneath your skin

Actually, the 3d scanners you are talking about do not go beneath the skin. Nevermind the technology used may do harm, like an x-ray would.

And it is all besides the point, a violation is still a violation. If you want to allow TSA clerks to violate our rights, you are going to need a constitutional amendment to allow it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 5, 2010 5:38 PM
Comment #293391

Flush,

“I find it astonishing in an age with technology that allows UPS, FedEX, the Postal Service and others to track mail and packages from the time of receipt to the time of delivery and we can’t keep track of known terrorists and terrorist affiliates.”

Cool, now if we could just get the terrorists to stand still long enough to slap the bar code sticker used for tracking them…

Look, I to have been pulled aside, and I knew the reason why.
I was part of a stage crew, on a tour doing video for children’s rock shows and our travel agent booked us on single-ended flights (no round trips).
We all had luggage, and carry-ons, and we all got pulled out of line, and some of us were checked more thoroughly than others.
What made it truly annoying was that after an early call, setting a show, doing rehearsals, doing a show, and striking a show, packing all the gear, and then having to go through the “cavity” search, I knew full well that I would have to go through the same thing in the next city, and the city after that, and so on and so forth.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 5, 2010 5:40 PM
Comment #293392
By bouncing millimeter waves off passengers, the scanners produce a black-and-white image that’s detailed enough to see the sweat on someone’s back (among other things).
Posted by: Rhinehold at January 5, 2010 5:46 PM
Comment #293393

Rhinehold,

Pleasure to be on the same page with you, again. The Bush years have conditioned a great many Americans to put security as a value above all other values, as if that would somehow make them more secure, which of course, it would not, human inventiveness being what it is.

These type searches without just cause attending the specific individual being searched, are straight out of George Orwell’s warnings in “1984” where Big Brother is watching everything you do, where you go, and exercises the right to detain and search your person and effects for the safety of the society, which equates to without cause, as cause is defined in our Constitution and legal precedents prior to the GW Bush years.

Anyone supporting these type searches domestically have no appreciation for the value of liberty nor the guts to live free with its attendant risks. Freedom is a choice to live with the risks of being free. Our founding fathers knew this all too well as the Loyalists argued repeatedly that we would be unable to defend ourselves and invite future invasions without the protection of King George.

One of the many facts of history no longer taught in American schools, apparently.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 5, 2010 6:09 PM
Comment #293399

3d Scanners would do little to combat the lack of common sense.

Lets see. One way ticket, no luggage, Christmas day, pays in cash, father notified authorities he was worried about him becoming a terrorist.

You can put all the technology you want, but someone with a little tiny bit of common sense should have seen this coming.

The same thing is true of the univited guests at the Whitehouse. Stupidy and lack of common sense trumps technology.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 5, 2010 8:49 PM
Comment #293403

The CIA has a history of not sharing information with other agencies. Its their nature and as an agency represents a far greater threat to liberty that screening devices IMO.
The Reps have no room to talk. They opposed funding for explosive sniffing devices and funding TSA.The sniffers may well have worked to prevent the latest attack without any invasion of privacy,that is unless the Constitution provides the right to smell like a bomb.
Craige Holmes
Apparently partisan Rep politics trumps not only common sense but the safety of Americans.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1209/GOP_blame_at_TSA.html

Posted by: bills at January 5, 2010 10:55 PM
Comment #293404

Bill:

I just think it’s classic government worker syndrum verses partisan politics.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 5, 2010 11:01 PM
Comment #293407

Mike,

There is an automated Que that holds some posts with links to block spam. I don’t spam. Much like the TSA:). Ask David about it. As the editor, you can release those posts.

I find both extremes of this argument silly.

We cannot pretend that nationality/race isn’t a factor in making a judgment about who may be a likely terrorist here. Is it a final determinate? No. Just as pretending racism doesn’t exist, it is silly to ignore a reasonable probability that your enemy may be of arabic/muslim descent.

Intelligence shouldn’t be an oxymoronic word.

There is only a quibbling difference between a strip search in a private room, and a scanned image strip search. Neither is private. A questionable scan will still result in probing.

Regardless, Airline security is Kabuki Theatre. Terrorism forces you to spend inordinate money and effort in a futile attempt to stop a past event. Blowing up people in an arena, subway, school or office building is what will happen at one point.

I don’t fly because it’s a pain in the ass, and I don’t need to very often. I used to fly because it was cheaper and no big hassle. I avoid crowds for the same reason. The impact is economic, as much as political.

Profiling isn’t and shouldn’t be racism. A potential for abuse exists. Safeguards can be put in place. A means of challenging denials should be in place. Using common sense isn’t a violation of anyone’s rights or 1984.


Posted by: gergle at January 6, 2010 1:31 AM
Comment #293410

CH
You mean like the classic government worker syndrom of our brave men and women in the military risking their lives all over the world to protect you and yours. OK,I get it.

Posted by: bills at January 6, 2010 6:15 AM
Comment #293412

All
The issue of profiling is so much nothing considering that we do ,indeed live in a big world. Some effect for domestic stuff,maybe,but that has little to do with international flights.I recall flying back from Manilla once. Looking around the terminal, I was the only one there that would not have fit a suspect profile in the US. Of course they searched MY bags. Really, there was even a Harem ,sitting,envieled, on the floor. It was quite amazing. This was a day or two after the shoe bomber, so at the behest of the US the RP had gone out and hired a bunch of people off the street to look in our shoes. Pretty funny. They had no idea why they were there and were apoligetic,if anything.

Posted by: bills at January 6, 2010 6:31 AM
Comment #293427

“I will accept that intelligence by its nature is imperfect, but it is increasingly clear that intelligence was not fully analyzed or fully leveraged,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s not acceptable, and I will not tolerate it.”

When will the heads begin to roll for what the president calls “not acceptable” and intolerable? Never I suspect. He has his people heading up our security agencies and for him, I believe, it’s all political. Sorry, but I don’t believe Mr. Obama is capable of, or even desires, to make real changes to protect America.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/06/us/politics/06obama.html?th&emc=th

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 6, 2010 2:32 PM
Comment #293432

I still fail to see how these 3d body scanners are any worse than the metal detectors currently in use. I usually support the ACLU and related organizations in these sorts of things, but I really can’t see why there are all these complaints?

I see Rhinehold’s reason link tries to portray the 3d images as pornography, but I don’t see any reason to equate a misshapen gray blob with a nude photograph.

Posted by: Warped Reality at January 6, 2010 4:15 PM
Comment #293434

Did you really look at the link? It was ‘Reason’ who was making that potrayal, it was the UK court system…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 6, 2010 5:08 PM
Comment #293443

Lotta stuff about the Christmas Bomber. Not much about the 8 C.I.A. agents in Jordan. Real-politik? Chess anyone?

Posted by: StephenHines at January 6, 2010 8:58 PM
Comment #293449

I worked with body scanners for a couple of years for manufacturing toys, believe me, the top of the line machines are at best the equivalent of a soft pad down, they won’t detect a carbon fiber knife strapped to your thigh much less explosives in your underwear.

Waste of money.

Posted by: Jon at January 6, 2010 11:40 PM
Comment #293499

PROFILING! Wake up and profile!!!!

Now, before anyone gives me a long story about how that is not right….riddle me this…

This country has been profiling for decades and no one has cared…..WHAT? you ask…

Any time there is a chain of murders linked as a mark of a serial killer, the police and FBI start searching for A MIDDLE AGED WHITE GUY!!!! Strange that this is politically correct (get whitey) seeing as how women and blacks have also comitted these crimes??????????? It’s called good police work and makes me feel as though someone has some brains somewhere, although there are exceptions, the rule is “middle aged white guy”! And I personally am glad that they don’t start their investigations in China town or little Mexico!! Terrorism may also have their exceptions but lets keep the egg off our faces when faced with the real deal profile and deal with the exceptions as they come!

If this is outrageous to you then I want to hear just as much outrage for the profiling of middle aged white guys!

Posted by: Traci at January 8, 2010 3:49 PM
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