I am sure the LSM would have gone bonkers, the left would have been furious, the accusations of racism, sexism, and profiling would have been all over the place, and the practice would have ended up dead. Oh, wait a second, that idea was floated when GWB was president, right after 9-11 if I recall, and it was killed immediately with precisely the above accusations – the language used however was far more colorful than mine – used to kill the whole deal. Now we have a different guy in the WH, so there is nary a peep about it.
What am I talking about? Well, the TSA is now going to adopt Israeli surveillance tactics at airports to screen individuals.
Boston’s TSA screeners — part of a security force whose competency has come under fire nationwide — soon will be carrying out sophisticated behavioral inspections under a first-in-the-nation program that’s already raising concerns of racial profiling, harassment of innocent travelers and longer lines.
The training for the Israeli-style screening — a projected $1 billion national program dubbed Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques — kicks off today at Logan International Airport and will be put to use in Terminal A on Aug. 15. It requires screeners to make quick reads of whether passengers pose a danger or a terror threat based on their reactions to a set of routine questions.
For those of you that don’t know better, the Israeli surveillance tactics are to profile heavily, focusing on people that cause red flags to be raised, and then working to determine if they are up to no good. You don’t waste time patting down old ladies, babies in diapers, or hot female models – that last one is a drawback, I guess – and focus on the people that have suspicious backgrounds, act out of place, and in general fit the profile of those you suspect to be up to no good.
I expect the program to fail. First we are dealing with unionized numbnutz that likely can’t think their way out of a cardboard box. It takes serious smarts and human empathy to pull the second part of this job off – the human interrogations – and the people with this skill are not going to be interested in wasting their time at our airports unless something changes.
I also expect some moron to immediately get their panties in a bunch when the people flagged disproportionately come from some specific background that make for worry. Like muslims, Norwegian nut jobs, or if you believe people like Joe Biden, Tea Partiers. That this practice will be far more productive or effective will mean nothing. I have long suspected that the TSA isn’t so much about airport security but about some kind of dumb ideological experiment we have so far have been lucky enough hasn’t botched up bad enough to cost more people their lives.
All in all though, I wanted more to point out how different things are when the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Drive has a (D) next to his name instead of an (R), and how the hypocrites that pretend to be journalists suddenly lose interest in something that made them froth at the mouth when the occupant was of the wrong pedigree.