TSA: Do you prefer Groping or Xray?

Or, why do we need this in the first place?

By Jack E. Lohman

“So let’s give passengers a choice: between a “total security plane” and a “zero security plane.” Take your pick, if you can find a pilot for the latter.”

That’s the flippant side of me.

The pragmatic side asks: why are we not using dogs trained in detecting explosives, and profiling like Israel does, and why are we buying all of these expensive scanners from companies that have given millions of dollars to the politicians that got us into this mess in the first place???

Incidentally, are either the dogs or the machines able to search into body cavities? Or is that next? Say, a colonoscopy or at least a digital rectum check?

What happens if they switch to ground-to-air missiles and shoot our planes down as they take off and land? Why for $8 billion have we not equipped all US aircraft with the same laser protection that President Obama and Air Force One has?

And there’s yet another question…

Why are we even doing this?

I suppose because we got the Taliban mad at us, after we got mad at them for mistreating their women. And instituting wild punishments like stoning of women but not the co-criminal men. And we invaded their countries, and now they’re fighting back the only way they can. They blew up the Twin Towers on 9/11 and a whole bunch more. And now we are at a stand-off, but they claim they’ll drain us dry before we finally decide to leave.

And they will. This may go on for decades.

Or we can walk away from it and let them solve the problem on their own. Even saving their corrupt government is questionable, but then, we have one of our own. Go figure. Perhaps they can have a civil war and generate a lot more dead bodies.

Or maybe we can instead show them how to sell their oil and other resources and put their people to work. Even the soldiers we are now fighting could be given amnesty if they hang up their guns.

Then we can move our taxpayer spending back to the US where our people are in dire straights.

But then our defense manufacturers are going to be peeved at the politicians, because for years they have been dumping part of their profits into their political campaigns. What will they do if there are no wars?

All of these are complex questions

But I’m glad I asked. We’ll save North Korea and Iran for another day.

Resource: Body Scanner Makers Doubled Lobbying Cash Over 5 Years

2 Responses to TSA: Do you prefer Groping or Xray?

  1. Richard McClellan says:

    First, the 9/11 events were not security lapses, so much as operational ones. All airlines policy on hijacking was to take the hijacker whereever he wanted to go. Cooperate. Had the airlines had a policy to resist (I know personally a pilot or two that will resist, no matter what) the 9/11 hijackings would have ended right now. All the pilot had to do was shove the yoke down to generate a negative G or so–putting anyone not strapped in on the ceiling, then yank it up to go positive a couple G’s. all those on the ceiling hit the floor with a serious thud. Couple of cycles of this and anyone not in their seat is dead of a broken neck. Pilot tells everyone to strap in–you better do so.

    Now–some knowledgeable person is going to point out that trasnport aircraft are not certified for negative G maneuvers–and they would be right. But–the airframe has considerable safety margin in it–the wings are not going to come off. They have to be designed for inadvertent negative loading–turbulence., etc.

    Second, your comment is not at all flippant. If we simply turned the airline security over to the airlines–along with a trebled damages provision–and let them do what they want they would take care of security far more efficiently. El Al’s security is oft cited–note it is El Al’s–not Israel’s. Airline A–pay them for a background check; they put your retina on file–you walk on, no checks at all. Don’t have your retina on file–get ready for the rubber gloves. Airline B (the one I would probably ride) hands all passengers a small baseball bat as they get on board. Don’t want to be on an airplane with baseball bat armed people? Don’t fly Airline B. Airline C doesn’t accept women in a burka–or anyone in a burka–who can tell. Fine– Airline D offers them a special deal.

    My guess–we would both be a hell of a lot safer and a hell of a lot less inconvenienced.

  2. Actually, Richard, I think I could live with that. Let the free market and airplane crashes sort out who has the best security and who stays in business or not. Of course, I’ll fly with the company that retains Xray and patdowns, or I’ll take the bus or train. But it will be my choice.

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