Saturday, December 4, 2010

Airport Security?

About 24 million Americans spent part of their Thanksgiving weekend standing in line at airports, waiting for either a body scan or pat-down.

And despite their growing outrage over these zealous new security measures, few of them put up a fight. They knew arguing wouldn't get them a free pass, but it could see them unceremoniously ushered out the terminal door.

Still, travellers going through U.S. air space have good reason to be annoyed, especially those who have to submit to invasive physical examinations. Even if someone decides a body scan is the lesser of all evils, not every airport has the technology. That means there's no choice but to surrender to a pat-down.

The process has revealed all kinds of unacceptable situations, from young children being stripped to their briefs to breast cancer survivors being forced to hand over their prosthetics for inspection.

We agree it's a difficult issue. But it's also a fact that a determined, resourceful enemy will always find a way. The real challenge is weighing the procedures against the outcomes. Will invading the privacy of millions of everyday travellers stop terrorism? We believe it won't.

No country has better airport security than Israel -- and no country needs it more, since Israel is the most hated target of Islamic extremist terrorists.

Yet, somehow, Israeli airport security people don't have to strip passengers naked electronically or have strangers feeling their private parts.

Does anyone seriously believe that we have better airport security than Israel? Is our security record better than theirs?

"Security" may be the excuse being offered for the outrageous things being done to American air travellers, but the heavy-handed arrogance and contempt for ordinary people that is the hallmark of this administration in other areas is all too painfully apparent in these new and invasive airport procedures.

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