Friday, November 26

Black Friday: "Fondling yer Breasts for Security"

So soon, yep. Another day another article on the stupid assed TSA security band-aids. As I mentioned yesterday, whoever got the contract for the machinery that should render this invasion of privacy unneccessary is "still working the bugs out". So to bring those up to speed who may be unaware, when you are flagged for the random security check, the one where they used to make you take off your shoes as they rifled through your luggage, may now include a groping of your privates, and if you are a female an examination of your breasts, so as to make sure that you aren't hidding any explosives. This reactionary tactic was inspired by a "theory" that two women "may" have smuggled the explosives that took down two Russian planes in August. I looked yesterday for a reliable source for this "thoery", but to no avail. In any event, the USA Today has taken the baton from Maureen Dowd. Thanks to Konopelli for the tip.
An Intrusive new search

Thanksgiving travelers may be in for a bit of a shock as they plod through security lines at the nation's airports. Passengers chosen for secondary screening or whose clothing appears suspicious or bulky are now subject to frisking--in a pretty intrusive way. In late September, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began allowing security checkpoint screeners to manually pat down women's breasts and the genital and derriere regions of both sexes during searches. The point is to find hidden explosives while machines that might perform the job are still being tested. "I know it's not pleasant," says Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, "but until we get the technology, what are the options?"
Before I answer your question sir, I have to ask what your intent is. If you really believe that there is a good chance that folks will try smuggling bombs in their underwear, and you want to appear fair, then every traveler should be subject to a full strip search and cavity check. I know it sounds harsh, but if you aren't going to grope everyone, what's the point of the exercise, i mean now that this new tactic has passed the publicity threshold, and must be known by the "enemy", clever terrorists will send waves of explosive brassiere wearing bombediers, some will make it through screening and planes will fall from the skies.

But as i don't believe you were asking a serious question, and as long as alot of the cargo makes it into the plane unchecked, this reactionary tactic only serves the appearence of Security, but hey, I know the papier mache fort I just built in the Backyard will keep the hords of Vikings out of my hair (they are using cardboard swords aren't they?). So lets see how safe we really are
The new policy reflects an increasing sense of urgency about the lack of explosives-detection equipment. Today, only a small percentage of carry-on luggage and passengers is tested for bombs. In its final report, the 9/11 commission said the TSA must give "priority attention" to checking passengers for explosives. In August, two Russian airliners crashed, almost certainly because of explosives two Chechen women had concealed beneath their clothing--underscoring the danger.
I don't know about you, but it looks like we are taking the driftnet to go shrimping approach to security. It is nice that they wedged in the Chechen women into the article, using the New-Journalism standard for truth, "almost certainly".
In essance, at this state in the game, it could be agued that a terrorist has a much better than even chance of smuggling something on a plane regardless to the lip service we pay to the idea of increased security. I hope the terrorists don't find out.