Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Airport Security (again)

We all know by now that, in the wake of the failed airline bombing on Christmas Day, the American and Canadian governments are once again playing "Security Theatre" (ie. pretending to take the issue very seriously, by creating rules that do nothing to address the actual problem). I'll admit that I have a bit of self-interest in this annoyance, given that my parents and I each have trips planned in the next two months, but please bear with me on this.

U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (known in some Democratic circles as "The Turncoat"), is calling for more of those enhanced body scanners to be used in American airports -- claiming that that would have stopped the Christmas Day incident. There's just a tiny problem with that, Joe: that flight originated in The Netherlands! Unless you plan on twisting the arms of foreign powers -- again -- to do your bidding, then security measures at home aren't going to mean very much.

Additional pissing up a rope comes in the rule that passengers will no longer be allowed to walk around the cabin, during the last hour of a flight.



...What difference is that supposed to make?

Let me break down the problem here, on two paths. First of all, we are -- by definition -- talking about criminals. If they're willing to break laws about mass murder, what exactly makes you think that they'll give a shit about when you're allowed to stand up inside a plane?

Second of all, since the general idea of a terrorist attack is simply to kill a lot of people in the most shocking and unexpected way possible, has it ever occurred to the government that a bomber could simply rig his/her device during that time that you ARE allowed to move around?

Now look, terrorists are generally very good at adapting to setbacks anyway, so I'm skeptical about how much difference any security measure will really make, but the chest-thumpers could at least try to come up with stuff that makes even basic sense.

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