Why don’t we screen travellers a planeful at a time?

August 14th, 2006

One guy on a plane with a utility knife isn’t a threat.

Four or five discount cialis clinic _2001_attacks”>are.

Letting individual travellers carry on a small bottle of liquid explosives disguised as “prescription medicine” isn’t particularly dangerous.

When 10 people on the same plane get together and mix their individual bottles it will be.

Because we screen everyone as they enter a concourse there is no way to pick up patterns like eight Pakistanis with prescription medicine on the same plane. (I know, I know “profiling” is bad. You know what I have to say to that? Screw you.)

But if we did the security screenings right at the gate, patterns like these would be much easier to detect.

I understand that it’s a matter of cost. But what’s more expensive than letting the bad guys blow up a plane in mid-air?

Entry Filed under: Observations,Uncategorized

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nick  |  August 14th, 2006 at 10:47 am

    Actually… you wouldn’t have to do it at the gate. All you have to do is record their ticket at the security checkpoint, and have a simple touch screen system which marks them as suspicious.

    If a number of people for the same flight start getting marked as suspicious, then they can be flagged as needing further review before boarding.

  • 2. Casper  |  August 14th, 2006 at 12:38 pm

    Nick, that would involve critical thinking skills on the part of the TSA.

  • 3. Disgruntled Car Salesman  |  August 14th, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    Umm, I believe that we should absolutely, positively profile at the airport. If Middle Eastern Muslim Extremist Men are perpetrating these attacks over and over again, it is plain, flat out STUPID not to profile. And if people out there don’t like it, you can read Elliot’s comments above. I feel the same way.

  • 4. Kate  |  August 14th, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    You, sir, are brilliant! :)

  • 5. Tim  |  August 15th, 2006 at 8:58 am

    There are number of things that are problematic with you analysis. First of all I don’t believe that most American are educated enough to effectively use profiling as a tool to prevent terrorism. Most of the time the people who are profiled aren’t even Muslim or Arab. The people who experienced the most profiling after 9/11 were Sikhs since they wear turbans. Sikhs aren’t even Muslim or Arab. There were even times when Sikhs were profiled and yet the Arab Muslims were able to get on airplane with little scrutiny.

    Secondly two of the people who were involved in failed British terrorist plot were white. The same was true of Richard Reid and Jose Padilla. There are many bigots out there who try to ignore this fact that terrorists are not all Middle Eastern men. Infact, the Pakistanis aren’t really Middle Eastern either.

    I am not totally against profiling. But I do believe that profiling has to be used effectively so that we can prevent terrorist attacks. I believe that it is a necessary evil. But at the same time we should not give a free pass to people who do not meet the profile.

  • 6. Administrator  |  August 15th, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    Hey Tim.

    My post was not an argument in favor of profiling.

    I was saying that screening would probably be much more effective at picking up patterns if we looked at a planeload at a time instead of just checking everyone as they came through the gate.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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