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Old 12-30-2009, 07:10 PM   #61
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:43 PM   #62
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Maureen Dowd put it cleverly:

If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?
I flew twice after 9/11. I was singled out and patted down at every stop on each flight. One time I missed a connecting flight because of the pat down. When I complained to airport management they said "tough". So this guy getting through really pisses me off. I have not flown since and probably never will again unless I have no option. QM2 looks good to me.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:52 PM   #63
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I'm a little curious as to why the feeler took the feelee's word for it? If he had to ask, shouldn't he check?
It was an inadequate search, if it was supposed to be a search. But, if it was a "frisk" as in a Terry stop, then all he can do is feel until he feels something he believes is a weapon or contraband. Most everybody I ever worked with searched a dude's drawers by looking.
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:21 PM   #64
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I vote for traineeinvestors approach - sedate me on check in and cart me to my wake up pod at my destination......... i would love that option.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:41 PM   #65
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I can't see how any system similar to the one we have could work well. The screeners are low paid employees doing an extremely monotonous job.
I'm not sure we can say, based on this incident, that the screening isn't working. After all, these psychos and their handlers apparently believe in the screening enough to avoid carrying firearms, knives, and large explosives aboard, and are instead reduced to hiding small amounts of explosives in undergarments and using unreliable (but harder -to-detect) initiator/ignition methods. It looks like a victory for the good guys, at least in this case, from where I sit.

But, in total, I think the "last chance" defensive approach of catching these guys just prior to their attacks is at best a complement to other elements of the overall strategy (e.g. reducing the attractiveness of the ideology, gathering information about the groups/group members, and taking the fight to them when possible/effective).
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:18 PM   #66
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Body scan...pffffttt. Like I have said before, I lost all of my dignity with my first gynecological exam.

Bring it on.
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:13 AM   #67
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Body scan...pffffttt. Like I have said before, I lost all of my dignity with my first gynecological exam.

Bring it on.
Same here. If everyone is body scanned we all get lost in the anonymity. I much prefer that to less accurate screening methods. Besides - whatever goes on in the mind of the monitor - just not my problem!!!!

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Old 12-31-2009, 07:03 AM   #68
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Hang on a second here. We have been through multiple rounds of increased security procedures, all of which seem to be pretty much for naught. Now many are the point of begging to be patted down, body-scanned, etc. When it is a virtual certainty that all of this will likely be circumvented by creative bad guys. In the meantime, we have all been moved farther down the road toward being docile cattle accepting the state's every desire to paw us over and monitor us. I hesitate to even ask, but what is next?

Anyone bothered by this? I am hardly a crackpot survivalist or Ann Raynd follower, but where do we draw the line?
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:37 AM   #69
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When it is a virtual certainty that all of this will likely be circumvented by creative bad guys. In the meantime, we have all been moved farther down the road toward being docile cattle accepting the state's every desire to paw us over and monitor us. I hesitate to even ask, but what is next?
More kowtowing to government authority apparently. Two journalists/bloggers were visited by TSA/DHS special agents and received subpoenas for publishing the new guidelines that the airlines received from the TSA.

Full text of my subpoena from the Department of Homeland Security

Flying With Fish » The Fallout From SD-1544-09-06 : The Feds At My Door

If the contents of the guidelines had not been something that any terrorist agent could figure out after a few visits to airports and a couple of flights I would agree that the TSA should be concerned. But this smacks more of "We're embarrassed, let's shut these people up."

I don't know everybody that went to work at the TSA when it was first created, but everyone that I do know that went there were substandard personnel. All the management people I know were typically careerists, opportunists and the kind of bosses that people have nightmares about. The agents were all people who had pretty much zero respect at their original agencies and going to TSA was the only way to get out of the do-nothing assignments they had been shunted off to. Every time I pass through TSA checkpoints all I can think about is how much money is being wasted.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:04 AM   #70
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Sounds like something the ACLU would be interested in, so I hope the bloggers squeal as loudly as possible and get picked up by the mainstream media. Embarassment squared.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:50 AM   #71
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Nope body scans and the rest of the security precautions do not bother me. the point it does I exercise my rights under the Consitution, "I don't Fly!"

For those that are worried about the opposite sex seeing the scanns, does it bother you that the x-ray tech, or doctor see you the same way?

To Brewers point that none of the procedures have prevented bad stuff from happening, well then the police and other agencies should be disbanded because crime still goes on.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:13 AM   #72
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I have an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) and get patted down all the time versus going through the metal scanner. It's no big deal and the TSA people I have encountered are professional and respectful. Some, like many of the posters here, even have a sense of humor. Just go with the flow and we'll all get to where we're going.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:41 AM   #73
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It has certainly cut down on my opportunities to up my certification in the mile high club...

Mile High Club
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:05 PM   #74
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I'm not sure we can say, based on this incident, that the screening isn't working. After all, these psychos and their handlers apparently believe in the screening enough to avoid carrying firearms, knives, and large explosives aboard, and are instead reduced to hiding small amounts of explosives in undergarments and using unreliable (but harder -to-detect) initiator/ignition methods. It looks like a victory for the good guys, at least in this case, from where I sit.

But, in total, I think the "last chance" defensive approach of catching these guys just prior to their attacks is at best a complement to other elements of the overall strategy (e.g. reducing the attractiveness of the ideology, gathering information about the groups/group members, and taking the fight to them when possible/effective).
I'm pretty much agreement with Sam, the fact that these folks are reduced to using fairly small explosives (there is good chance that if the bomb went off it would not have taken down the plane) and unreliable methods is a victory for the good guys.

In fact, I'd even go as far to say that TSA does a quite good job in keeping dangerous objects off airplanes a fact which they seem very proud of. So in this sense along with the absence any successful US airline attacks, I'd say the government is telling the truth when it says we are much safer today than we were.

The problem is TSA has pretty much failed at its effort to keep dangerous people of airplanes, which is the bigger problem. Boxcutters don't bring down buildings, and clear liquids don't blow up airplanes, it is Islamic extremist that do these things.

Obviously, the INTELLIGENCE failure in the case of the jock strap bomber is pretty epic, short of wearing a Jihadist On Board T-Shirt, I don't think he could have been more obvious if he tried. Clearly, there is no excuse for this. Anybody involved who relies on the "I was just doing my job" defense should be demoted or fired. Every in the Department of Homeland security has to internalize that their real job is to protect the US Homeland regardless of their job title.

Less obvious but even more important are the daily intelligence failures we witness every time we stand in line at the airport. The senior citizen who is pulled over and patted because of the metal in his knee and the young military wife with a couple of toddlers and infant who forgets to remove the juice container from the luggage are victims of this intelligent failure. The TSA agent job requires them to admonish their fellow citizen that they have done something wrong. While I am sure some fraction of the TSA agents enjoy their power trip, I suspect that most of them feel a sheepish and a bit guilty for their part in this farce. It is a massive insult to the collective intelligence of all us, to pretend that Moms and senior citizen are any threat to hijack airplane or blow them up.


I hope that 2010 is the year that we start to be intelligent about in security. Even if we can't agree to subject young Muslim males from other countries to more intense security, can we least agree that some groups aren't a threat and adopt sensible security measures to make their lives easier.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:30 PM   #75
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If they use the body scanners, I hope they have female TSA employees scanning the women and male TSP employees scanning the men. That is the only way I would feel even slightly comfortable about it (if I should lose my mind and decide to fly somewhere in the near future). I'm really not a prude but the idea that someone is getting off over a body scan is really gross and slimy to me.
I strongly doubt that anyone could be getting off on any of these images, even if J-Lo is in the scanner.

Ha
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:49 PM   #76
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I strongly doubt that anyone could be getting off on any of these images, even if J-Lo is in the scanner.

Ha
I dunno, sounds like a peeping Tom's idea of a good time, maybe? Besides, some of them may have higher resolution than the images we have seen.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:42 AM   #77
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This whole mess reminds me of the proposal to ban plastic bags 'cause people don't like seeing them blow across the road. How about just arresting people who litter?

I could go on, but we've all got our pet peeves about the heavy handed way gummint reacts to each new crisis. Of course, we have only our (collective) selves to blame when we say "The gummint has to DO something". Trust me. They always will!

End of rant.
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:17 AM   #78
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I believe they have some pretty effective security in Israel, given their political/domestic issues and have found one of their main tools is scanning folks behavior - ie the sweaty, nervous looking chaps/chappettes are usually pulled over - vs profiling for a specific race, ethnicity, whatever whatever...ever watch those episodes of "locked up abroad"...those folks usually look pretty jittery...

Seems this would be more effective but harder to train the breadth of TSA folks we'd need to in the USA vs the fewer # of airports in Israel.

Anyhow, in another note, I recall the impossibility of predicting my need to use the toilet when I was pregnant and flying - I almost flew out of my seat, despite going at the very last opportunity before being asked to sit, from one of my short flights between southern cali and northern cali. So they should give the prego ladies a special sign, or pass out the adult diapers cuz that could get ugly and hope they don't tackle any pregnant women rushing for the potty...
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:53 AM   #79
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Hang on a second here. We have been through multiple rounds of increased security procedures, all of which seem to be pretty much for naught.
I don't see it this way at all. What I see is that enough prevention has occurred to the point where terror attempts are limited to this recent pathetic scenario. The terrorists will just keep trying - that is a given. But to just say - never mind, quit trying to prevent them. That I just don't understand!

Seems to me that a lot has been working to the point where we had one shoe bomb attempt and one underwear bomb attempt in the US.

Audrey
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:59 AM   #80
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I don't mind the extra screening, but I do wish they would be more specific in targetting suspicious individuals rather than just on looking for bad things.

We are a long way from how Britain was in the 1970's as you couldn't go to many places including a nightclub without serious searches and pat downs, and in those days it wasn't suicide bombers that were the problem, just plain ordinary IRA bombers. They had exploded bombs and killed folks in all sorts of places including a pub, Tower of London, Macdonald's and shopping malls (even public trash cans in many places were removed for a while). I feel very fortunate that we are not experiencing mainland bombing to any great extent.
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