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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Policing The State For False Security

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


There are those who are fine with giving up their liberty of personal space and privacy for a little temporary safety but what they seem to forget is that these Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) screening procedures do not protect them and that their rights will not be given back once taken. We've heard of the multiple of accounts of different cancer survivors being groped and humiliated. Accounts of children being strip searched and felt up by TSA agents. In any other instance, this would all be considered sexual assault, but the Government believes it can do as it wishes and all in the name of your safety.

We've come to a point where the main enemy isn't terrorist but ourselves. Our government is doing more damage than terrorist have ever done. After September 11th, America came together and although we were in mourning, we didn't feel violated or traumatized as much as we do now. And when asked if there is a better solution, our President and Director of the TSA say that there isn't, when there are proven methods that say otherwise.

In fact, the TSA screening process wasn't the original plan. According to TSA officials, security officers at major airports across the country would be trained to use “casual conversation” to flush out possible terrorists. Instructors would first teach officers what suspicious behaviors to look for in travelers. These can include nervousness, wearing a big coat in the summer or reluctance to make eye contact with law enforcement. Then, the officers carry on a supposedly casual conversation with passengers in hopes of spotting possible terrorists or to determine whether further scrutiny of a passenger is required. This would have been a welcomed program by those in law enforcement who’ve said for years that psychological profiling should be used by airport security staff.

Most police officers and investigators are familiar with the concept since it’s used during the interrogation and interview process to detect deception on the part of the subject. Without going into too much detail, interrogators or interviewers, while questioning a subject about the matter at hand, are observing body language, eye contact, breathing, physical characteristics such as dry mouth or profuse perspiration, and other criteria.

However, the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) officials claimed that the new guidelines, under which anyone traveling from or through 13 Muslim-majority nations will be required to go through enhanced screening techniques before boarding flights, will disproportionately target American Muslims who have family or spiritual ties to the Islamic world and therefore amount to religious and ethnic profiling.

“Under these new guidelines, almost every American Muslim who travels to see family or friends or goes on pilgrimage to Mecca will automatically be singled out for special security checks — that’s profiling,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.


Yes, profiling is the answer that many of us are saying we want. Look at the Israeli airline El Al. They do psychological profiling and it has never had an attack since it's establishment in 1948. Seriously, a nation that has been threatened that it would be wiped off the face of the earth never having a terrorist attack on its planes.

“While singling out travelers based on religion and national origin may make some people feel safer, it only serves to alienate and stigmatize Muslims and does nothing to improve airline security,” he said.


No where in any of the description of psychological profiling was there any mention of race or national origin. It talked about looking for nervousness and body language. Seems CAIR needs to get its facts straight if it's going to attempt to discredit a method.

But alas, Obama and the TSA basically listened to CAIR and went with a different method, one more intrusive than profiling ever could be. And when people cry for proven methods such as dogs or profiling, TSA and Obama simply say that they wouldn't work and that you'll have to suffer through the screening that they don't have to go through.

So, the question becomes how do we get out of this predicament. Well, 32 members of Congress have sent letters to the President and TSA Director John Pistole about the intrusive methods. But the real answer lies within the airports themselves. Having TSA at airports is not a mandatory thing, airports can opt-out of TSA and hire a private firm for their security. So, we must put pressure on airports to do so. We also must urge airlines to do the same as they will lose business by the amount of people who will refuse to fly because of these screening methods. As all things important and as the founders believed above all else, the answers always lie within the people, "We the People" hold the power.

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