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Will new, oppressive, airport security measures keep us safer?

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent article on new TSA measures such as full body scanners (naked scanners) and aggressive pat-downs. The full article is: here. And, below is their excellent explanation of the foolishness of these new measures as a security strategy:

It’s the same kind of trade-off TSA implicitly provided when it ordered us to take off our sneakers (to stop shoe bombs) and to chuck our water bottles (to prevent liquid explosives). Security guru Bruce Schneier, a plaintiff in the scanner suit, calls this “magical thinking . . . Descend on what the terrorists happened to do last time, and we’ll all be safe. As if they won’t think of something else.” Which, of course, they invariably do. Attackers are already starting to smuggle weapons in body cavities, going where even the most adroit body scanners do not tread. No wonder that the Israelis, known for the world’s most stringent airport security, have so far passed on the scanners.

I have to say, Bruce Schneier and The Wall Street Journal have hit the nail on the head. It is “magical thinking” to believe that one certain method will catch the next terrorist. It is foolish, primitive, naive logic to believe that whatever the last terrorist did, the next one will do, and you will catch him with a security measure that is like a five-year-old child’s creative brainstorm on the last method. And, Homeland Security and the TSA count on American’s to use the same “magical thinking” to believe they are safe because they submit to the foolish, new method.

And, I do believe that The Wall Street Journal has found the sublime way to turn most businessman against the naked scanners. How could you get more worrisome than this for a man with an ego?:

In May, Transportation Security Administration screener Rolando Negrin pummeled a co-worker with his government-issued baton. The feud began, according to a Miami-Dade Police Department report, after Mr. Negrin’s training session with one of the agency’s whole-body imagers. The scan “revealed [Mr. Negrin] had a small penis,” the disgruntled co-worker told police. After a few months, he “could not take the jokes any more and lost his mind.”

Some people are saying that the scans aren’t any big deal in regards to modesty, because they only show an outline of one’s body. Though, look at the pictures. You can see the size of a man’s parts. I don’t think most men want any strangers — even the security guards — to know how big (or small) he is. For women, the whole experience — either scanner or pat down — is an affront to our dignity and modesty. These measures truly amount to sexual harassment and a violation by the government of our right to the most basic sexual privacy. And, the are a violation of our human rights and our human dignity.

I do hope that there is an end to these horrible, oppressive, and ineffective security measures. And, a return to dignity to the American people.

There are several groups planning various boycotts on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (Wednesday, November 24th). I am not sure how much is accomplished by saying no to an x-ray scanner and yes to a pat-down, but if a lot of people can stand the humiliation and indignity of a pat-down that is like sexual molestation. I guess it will slow things down a bit? [Update – some of the groups are saying not to fly at all and/or to hold demonstrations at airports.]

Most high profile 11/24/2010 Opt-Out message I have seen: www.wewontfly.com

Other groups with messages about opting-out and/or boycotting air travel:

http://fedupflyers.org/

http://www.facebook.com/wontfly

http://dontscan.us/

http://flywithdignity.org/
(The Fly With Dignity front page has a cool graphic – The Statue of Liberty with her breasts revealed by a scanner!)

A write-up about boycotts at News for Greens: A web-site proposing a boycott

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