When I recently flew out of New York’s Kennedy International, sights at security check-in included an endless line of frequent business fliers dumping their shoes, belts and laptops onto conveyor belts, a bewildered grandmother having her shampoo and lotions confiscated and an 11 year old girl being groped by a TSA agent.
In other words, just another day at the airport.
When I returned to town, Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a surgical, precision strike costing no American lives and comparatively little American coin.
Isn’t it time that same surgical precision be applied to ferreting out potential terrorists at airports, and stop the time-wasting, costly and often humiliating procedures that are always reactive instead of pro-active?
Our airport security strategy remains unfortunately similar to what our worldwide security strategy has been–until President Obama changed the rules. When the terrorists were hiding in and attacking us from Afghanistan, we instead went into Iraq, costing thousands of innocent lives, not to mention plunging this nation into debt. Now that we’ve shifted our attention to Afghanistan, it has become clear that terrorist central is now Pakistan.
Similarly, we continue to pursue the last terrorist threat at our airports instead of the next. Someone puts a device in his shoe, so now thousands of us shuffle along the security scanning line in stockinged feet. Meanwhile, the underwear bomber was whisked through security with a one-way ticket and without luggage or a passport.
And pardon the indelicacy, but what if the next terrorist makes like a drug mule and secretes an explosive device in his anus? I shudder to think what the check-in line might look like then.
What a strange, PC double-standard we’ve created. How did we come to the point where putting breast cancer survivors (after airport scanners detect “suspicious” scars) through humiliating full body searches is acceptable, but pulling a young Muslim male with a one-way ticket aside and asking him a few extra questions is wrong?
If the NYPD used the same guidelines as the TSA, crime in New York City would be running rampant. Ask yourself: If a tall man stole your wallet, would you want the cops to stop an equal number of short women so the tall guys didn’t feel bad? Isn’t it time that extra scrutiny be paid, in a polite and professional manner, to those who fit the profile (there’s that terrible word), which happens to mean a number of things besides one’s religion, such as purchasing one-way tickets, paying in cash and other factors, while leaving the rest of us alone?
But shouldn’t we feel some satisfaction that at least the government is trying its best to keep us safe? If this is its best, I feel a hell of a lot less safe, because it means the system is run by a clueless bunch more intent on being PC and producing grand theater than actually protecting us.
For starters, it is time to cut down on the large number of inept TSA agents inside the terminal and place a much smaller number of better-trained professionals outside the terminal, before any damage can be done.
Osama Bin Laden was not only a mass murderer, but also wanted to humiliate us and deplete our national resources. Now that he’s gone, we continue to do it to ourselves. What’s wrong with this picture?