Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Airport searches -- Indignity without reason

Every time there is an attempted or real terrorist attack, the governments around the world respond with new rules that irritate millions without actually doing much good.

The reason? Terrorists do not use the same methods after those methods are attempted and exposed.

The latest to cause traveler distress is the unsuccessful underwear bombing attempt on the flight approach to Detroit.

How do airport security folks detect explosives hidden in passenger underwear? Well, the patdowns get much more personal and the new body scanners can look beneath passenger clothing.

I don't know if the most recent outrage is the cumulative effect of too many such after-the-event airport security procedures or that the latest are getting too close for comfort.

Having just flown internationally, I have experienced searches around the world. I am not particularly bothered by pat downs (I think this varies greatly from person to person) and am not concerned at all if some security person sees a fuzzy image of the me beneath my clothes. I put it all down to life in the new terrorist age.

However, I do not believe that any of this does much good.

Terrorists study our security and look for gaps, they do not repeat what has succeeded or almost succeeded in the past.

So I would say that our governments should take a tip from the terrorists and look for the gaps. I would feel more secure traveling if governments did more to prevent the next attack, and did less reacting to past security lapses.


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