Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA Pat-Downs & Full-Body Scans Don't Make Us Safer. If They Did, Israel Would Be Using Them.

The Ha-Ha-Holidays are quickly approaching...

And, as in previous years - for generations - a mass human migration will be taking place.  Well... perhaps it's more of a massive number of mini-migrations... as hundreds of thousands of people hit the road on a journey that will take them quite a distance from their Home-Sweet-Home.

For many, if not most, of these travelers this yearly sojourn has become something of a ritual... a "Family Tradition".

"Look on the bright side...", I say to myself. "Remember, you're one of the Lucky Ones. You don't have to do the unthinkable... Namely Flying what can only be described as the Way Too Friendly Skies."

For now, thanks to Frankenfear, abject paranoia and the complete absence of taking a deep breath and thinking the situation through logically and rationally, thousands of people who must take to the air to reach their holiday destinations are facing one particular facet of their upcoming trip with greater apprehension, discomfort and dread than those of us who only cringe as we read about what they must go through to do it.

I don't fly. Not during the holidays. Not ever. I haven't flown in ten years. And, boy, am I glad. As in doing The Snoopy Dance-kind of glad.

The TSA, in all of it's... well, it's not Wisdom... whatever it is. But, it's gotta be super uber-expensive.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks that somebody's gotta be getting a huge Christmas Kickback for unloading all of those Full-Body X-Ray Scanners?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of keeping air travel safe. Of keeping every kind of travel safe, in fact.

But, the new Status Quo of air travel in which: All airline passengers must either allow TSA personnel to get up close and ridiculously personal with their latex-gloved hands OR must undergo the humiliation of an allegedly "harmless" Full-Body X-Ray Scan. (According to the TSA. But I remember, quite vividly, the EPA declaring the air around Ground Zero "Safe to breathe. And, upon hearing that, thinking, "Wow! You EPA guys are Nuts!")

Question: If the Full-Body Scans are so "Harmless", then why is it that I've been taught to keep my Full-Mouth X-Rays (during which I'm covered with a Lead Vest and the hygienist leaves the room entirely) to a bare minimum?

Safety is - without question - of the utmost importance.

But, in forcing Americans to undergo these physical assaults and abject humiliations - when the practices don't and won't make us any safer - the TSA seems to have lost it's individual and collective mind.

And Americans should not be so quick to cave and allow the TSA or anyone else to cause us to lose our heads (and our personal privacy) in this manner. (The terrorists are probably laughing their heads off.)

How can we know for sure that these measures are utterly over-the-top and completely useless?

It's simple, really. All you do is look at countries whose people have been targets of terrorist attacks for decades.

Look at Israel, for example. Israel's under a constant threat of terrorist attack. It has been for generations. But, travelers through their airports don't get manhandled, poked, prodded, nor felt-up. Nor are they forced to undergo full-body x-ray scans.

And, guess what: No would-be bombers have infiltrated their planes.

What does Israel do to prevent airline attacks?
They Observe people. They Talk to people. And, sometimes, they Interview them.
That's pretty much it.

Israel's tried and true methods are Affordable, Simple, Non-Humiliating and (Best of All) They Are Effective.

Israel's methods do not require that airline passengers be groped... nor irradiated, for that matter.

Not only that, they start checking people out Before they enter the airport.

Gee, go figure...

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