Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Airport Security Is A Joke

Airport security is a joke.

I don’t know whether or not our airport security is meant to be a jobs program, theater of the absurd, or an all out attempt to bamboozle us into a false sense of security. Has anyone of those security screeners ever caught anyone once? And why do we bother? There is a one in twenty-five million chance of being killed on an airplane while there is only one in a half million chance of being struck by lightning.

Firstly we are a nation of cowards. The terrorists have changed the way we travel and continue to do so. The airlines have stopped handing out blankets due to the “Underwear Bomber.” I am sure that the airlines love this. If the FAA mandated that each passenger would have to get a blanket then the airlines would balk. Apparently terrorists will be unable to bring their own blankets to douse with explosive chemicals. Or use their clothes. We take off our shoes before screening so the “would be” Christmas Bomber strapped the juice to his leg. Perhaps the next step is we will all have to strip prior to boarding.

Recently, a retired special education teacher on his way to a wedding in Orlando, Fla., said that he was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an enhanced pat-down by TSA officers recently at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Sawyer is a bladder cancer survivor who now wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine from a stoma, or opening in his abdomen. “I have to wear special clothes and in order to mount the bag I have to seal a wafer to my stomach and then attach the bag. If the seal is broken, urine can leak all over my body and clothes.” “Evidently the scanner picked up on my urostomy bag, because I was chosen for a pat-down procedure.”

Have the terrorists won? You betcha.

Why does this country always opt for the most expensive way to solve a problem? Yes, costlier explosive detectors would be preferable to what we have now but it still won't solve the problem completely. If we trained security personnel to interview travelers prior to boarding it would cost next to nothing and be more valuable than any new technology.

When I flew to Israel, my family and I were interviewed by an Israeli in her early twenties. Since she interviewed us while we were waiting to check our bags it did not slow us down at all. It's time we learned from a country that has to worry about security a lot more than we do.

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