Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Today's terror alert

Readers of The Wisdom love when I start getting off on anti-anti-terrorism rants. Maybe I should create a special blog just for exposing the ridiculousness of the "security" efforts in America, but I doubt many people would read it.

It seems most Americans are happy to stand in 2-hour lines at the airport while "security" people feel for weapons in the artificial knees of 70-year-old women*.

And yes, I know I just wrote about the mall-bomb plot yesterday, and my prediction of a mall "security" panic still holds (Christmas season, maybe?).

But a piece in USA Today today underscores my two main points about this whole "security" thing.

It was a story about Boston's plan to randomly search passengers on its subway system and why such a plan is not likely to catch on elsewhere. Two quotes in the story really jumped out at me:

"We don't need another wake-up call like Madrid. We need more funding". That came from the head of the American Public Transit Association.

Invest money in fighting terrorism. Sounds like a good idea. But the problem is demonstrated very clearly in another quote found in the piece, this one from the head of a think tank created by the federal government to research transportation issues.

"If terrorists know that there is a potential of them being identified and checked, it becomes a better deterrent ... The problem is you have to be careful about profiling because it is a no-no in our society."

And there you have it. "Sure, it would be great if we could convince the terrorists that we're going to identify and catch them, but since our policy is that we search everybody or we don't search anybody, we're never going to be able to do that."

Read the USA Today story.

* Absolutely true story that happened to the wife's cousin when the wife's family was heading for Hawaii a couple of months ago.

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