I Have a Gripe

January 5, 2010

Airport Security Needs to Get on the Offense

Filed under: government,Security — alvb1227 @ 1:05 am

Unless you have been living under a rock since Christmas, you have heard all about the attempted terrorist bombing on an inbound overseas flight. Since then, the TSA and all those involved with airport security have been scrambling to improve the screening process for all travelers.

Each night the news reports on the day’s changes and the spin from different security “experts.” Again, in my opinion, we as a country are going about this the completely wrong way.

We need to get off the defense and get on the offense. We need to be proactive and figure out what these animals are planning instead of being reactive to whatever happens.

The latest plan is to do extra screening on overseas flights from specific countries considered “government-sponsored terrorist countries.” Um, have we learned nothing from 9-11? Those hijacked flights were not going overseas, but across the country. I also find it interesting that Newark Airport, where one of the 9-11 originated, doesn’t have any advanced security screening measures, like full-body scanners.

This brings me to another point. First, while I am fully aware and in support of the first amendment, but we should not report on every attempt to prevent terrorist attacks. If something is a threat to national security, it shouldn’t be reported. Period.

Also, the concept of profiling exists for a reason. It is not racial, but behavioral. Agencies like the FBI have agents that specialize in developing profiles for a reason…a certain set of behavioral responses will result in a particular outcome. The plan is not to discriminate against a particular race or ethic group, as the ACLU would like to claim, but to identify potentially damaging and terrorist-like behavior.

Additionally, if everyone is so upset with the full-body scans, what about bomb-sniffing dogs? Travelers should still have to follow the standard security measures, but have bomb-sniffing dogs at different points around the terminal. I also remember many years ago when Glenn and I were flying to Las Vegas. We had our fly rods with us. The agent didn’t feel comfortable with the rod tubes, even after we opened them and were  inspected. So, he did a bomb residue test on us and our carry on luggage.  Now if the Christmas day bomber had been tested, that may have made a difference.

And speaking of TSA agents, what will we gain by unionizing them? One of the things sadly a union does is protect poor-performing employees. This is one area where that is dangerous.

I think this is a big issue that requires a cross-departmental approach. Again, the TSA, FBI, CIA, White House Intelligence and so on all need to work together, not mark their territory regarding who is the top dog.

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