Up against the wall and spread ’em

On our watch, the conversation with a would-be suicide bomber will not begin with the words, ‘You have the right to remain silent.’
Mitt Romney

I am really conflicted on this pat down/full body scan business at the airport. On one hand, I would like to know that any plane I get on will not have a bomb on it. On the other, I am an American. I like my personal freedoms, liberties and the Constitutional protection to be safe from searches without probable cause. Is the desire to fly legally, from one point to another, probable cause for a search, which is more intrusive than one I gave to an arrested felon when I was a police officer? Oh, that felon was going to receive the same type of search before being placed into a cell, but it was done after they were arrested and in the privacy of the booking room; after all, he/she was a felon. That is the epitome of probable cause for a thorough search.

I guess there are a couple of things that make me think there may be a better way to handle airport screenings. Number one, the more invasive searching started because of actual bombs placed in with the cargo of planes flying from other countries into the United States. The bombs were not strapped to individuals. It seems odd, but I have not heard of any additional searches of the items going aboard planes as cargo. If a bomb constructed of non-metallic materials could not be detected on persons by the old methods (pre shoe or underwear bombers), what is being used to detect them in cargo now? That would appear to be the place to start. If there are U.S. mail packages being air shipped as cargo from one American City to another on a passenger plane, are they all opened and inspected?

Now, as to the invasive searching of everyone boarding a plane: I have heard some say it is no more invasive than an examination by one’s personal physician. You know what? I pick my physician. He or she does not pick me. Before there is any groping of the “junk,” my doctor and I establish a rapport. We feel each other out before there is any feeling up. We exchange information. The doctor takes my personal history and finds out why I am there.

Oddly enough, that is what happens before anyone boards a plane in Israel. Someone with specialized training interviews them. The interviewer has a file, call it a history, for the subject wanting to board the plane. This history indicates where the subject is from, why they were in the country, and how he/she paid for their flight. The Israeli equivalent of a terrorist watch list is checked, and the subject’s actions and physiology are assessed. Are they nervous? Sweating? Evasive in answering questions? If they fail any part of this assessment, they and their possessions are given a search that makes TSA’s seem like a cakewalk.

While this assessment takes a little time, common sense speeds it up. Most people are waived through in seconds. No time is wasted in searching a mom, a dad, three children and a grandma headed for Disney World; however, those acting weird may miss their flights. If the United States used a system like this, it might even cull out the mental cases, knuckleheads and drunks who seem to revel in creating disturbances during the flights. Remember, although we have a Constitutional protection against searches without probable cause, there is no Constitutional imperative allowing unstable, potentially dangerous people to board a plane.

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Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 11:51 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. http://tinyurl.com/GropeMe

  2. Ah, the creative juices are flowing . . . and they better be for that “fist in me.” Loved it!


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