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Logic please?

With regard to the new TSA screening rules, they have this to say, implying that they are addressing weaknesses that caused the 9/11 attacks:
Legislation requiring that checked luggage be screened was passed in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in which four commercial jets were hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing about 3,000 people.

Um, there weren't any bombs in the luggage, folks. The planes were smacked into skyscrapers. Again we have new security measures that do not in any way enhance security. Great.

Silly rules

  • Don't park too close to buildings, although there have been no instances of carbombs at U.S. airports in legal parking spots anyhow. (The legal parking spots have never been close enough to the terminals to cause major damage.)
  • Don't lock your bags, although bombsniffers and normal security already covers bombs there (i.e., if you aren't on the plane, neither is the bag).
  • Don't overpack, yet we're reducing the definition of "oversized" by 25 pounds.
  • For months, no curbside check-in was allowed. Did Al Qaeda use skycaps? And, if curbside check-in was a security hazard, why is it now allowed again?
  • Only ticketed passengers in the terminal, because the planes are vulnerable behind those blast doors or something.
  • Don't profile passengers, because that's offensive. Instead, make the 90-year old woman take off her orthopedic shoes to check for explosives. Smart use of resources.
  • Don't allow armed pilots, because completely defenseless people are our best security?

Can you tell I'm a little amused by the bizarre logic behind the Transportation Security Administration? It ranks right up there with the silly ritual upon check-in when the ticket agent asks you if you have let someone else play with your luggage. Gee, there was this charming gentleman in a bernoose who watched it while I went to the restroom.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2002 04:11 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry... you were expecting the federal government to make sense?

(insert laugh track)
Dec. 19th, 2002 04:17 pm (UTC)
You would rather lock the barn door AFTER?
So there wasnt a bomb in a bag, do we wait until that happens THEN start checking all bags?

So there wasnt a bomb in a car nearby, do wait until after one goes off THEN prevent parking nearby?

Only ticketed passengers? What you'd rather wait in line behind all the ones that just want to say goodbye at the gate rather than the entrance?

I do agree - more or less - with the rest of the points. But sometimes I think you complain just for the sake of complaining.
Dec. 19th, 2002 04:31 pm (UTC)
Re: You would rather lock the barn door AFTER?
While I don't make a habit of replying to anonymous people, I'll go ahead here...

They couch so many of the security measures in the language of "preventing a recurrence" when they won't prevent any such thing. They may prevent something, but there is no evidence that they have any efficacy at all. The measures that have been implemented have nothing to do with security and everything to do with politics. The "leaders" of the country feel the need to do something, so they do something. Whether it is right or not is never even pondered.

If the TSA was serious about security, they'd emulate the anti-terrorism measures that have been implemented by those countries which have been dealing with terrorist threats domestically much longer than we have. Look at the UK and Israel for ideas on what to do. Do they ask their passengers if any strangers have been slipping things in their bags? Of course not. Do they avoid "profiling" because it may hurt someone's feelings? NO! Feelings be damned, demographics are a fairly easy way to reduce the number of people to be searched. Have we ever seen a decrepit old man in a wheelchair try to blow up a plane? So why are we making him take his shoes off? Sure, it could happen, but there has been no reasoned discussion of these issues.

Making large, noticeable, inconvenient changes to the way things used to be done is the way that the FAA and TSA are showing that things are safer now. But, they don't pass the common sense test.
Dec. 19th, 2002 04:37 pm (UTC)
Re: You would rather lock the barn door AFTER?
And, continuing...

The bombs in bags are already detectable by bombsniffing dogs and such. Why open more of them, when they were already effectively detecting and preventing attacks via that vector?
Dec. 19th, 2002 05:07 pm (UTC)
Re: You would rather lock the barn door AFTER?
Does preventing vehicles from parking within a certain distance prevent - or at least diminish - the likely number of victims in the kill radius? Does limiting the number of people with access to an area not make it easier and more efficient to seach/control/inspect those people?

You mainly just addressed the points that I AGREED with you on. I do think they should profile. I do think they should have plenty of bomb-sniffing dogs and xray machines but until they do I guess a visual inspection will have to do. As for asking people about their bags I think that Americans have a little bit less experience with terrorism than either UK or Isreal and asking the question just might get them to think about it a little more.

Oh - you do know me...
Dec. 19th, 2002 05:32 pm (UTC)
Politics vs Science
Unless you wish to continue this circular discussion, I'll just reiterate my previous statements: the measures in place and being discussed are remarkably ineffectual and inefficient. However, they are much better than a year ago.
Dec. 19th, 2002 10:59 pm (UTC)
They can tighten down on security at airports all they want. It won't stop the bombings. The terrorists will just move to "softer" targets like we've seen in the Bali and Kenya.

So are we going to have security checkpoints at every commuter railroad station and all of the bus stops where city transit buses pick up and discharge passengers?

Unlike a lot of people on LJ, I'm not all that pissed off about all hoopla over the Arabs in LA getting arrested by the INS. They were overstaying their visas. They were breaking the law. Maybe, just maybe, since their religiously connected brethren flew planes into buildings killing 3000+ Americans, they should make sure that all their "t"s are crossed and all their "i"s are dotted, when it comes to respecting the laws of this land. I guess they're just upset because someone must have told them that certain immigration laws would never be enforced.

You can't believe everything that people tell you.

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )