Opt-out day is November 24. Is this a good idea?

I have been seeing a number of stories about abuses at TSA checkpoints in our airports.  The one that was linked to the Drudge Report

TSA Now Putting Hands Down Fliers? Pants

The TSA?s invasive new screening measures include officers literally putting their hands down people?s pants if they are wearing baggy clothing in a shocking new elevation of groping procedures that have stoked a nationwide revolt against privacy-busting airport security measures.

Read that here

That is pretty rough however it gets worse when we add this…

The 2004 DHS report stated that federal regulations (49 CFR. § 1542.209) specified were 28 kinds of felony convictions that would have disqualified an applicant for a TSA screener position, including rapes or crimes involving aggravated sexual abuse, but only if those convictions had occurred in the previous 10 years. It implies that a person convicted of rape, attempted, child molestation, or similar crimes may not be required to report such convictions during their background check and may be allowed to perform pat-down searches on passengers.

Read that here

If anyone else other than the government was doing something like this they would be locked up and the key thrown away.  There are some pretty graphic video on the Internet that shows what is happening,  I?ve opted not to show them because I would like to keep this site somewhat family friendly.  I am sure most everyone has heard about the ?opt-out? day on November 24th.   I have some real mixed feelings about this.

First there are people who really, really want to kill us, and they will stop at nothing.  I appreciate TSA taking all threats seriously, and acting to neutralize them. However, they seem to be concentrating on the means rather than the people.  When Richard Reid tired to light his shoes, we were told to take off our shoes at the check points.   Now that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a plane over Detroit by using his underwear, and now guess what they are checking.  To her credit, Home Land Security, Secretary Janet Napolitano, stated, they are not going to back down.  TSA has to be right 100%  of the time,  the terrorists only have to get it right once.

Security expert Bruce Schneier says no. He says much of it is just “security theater.” on sixty minutes back in July of 2009.  $200,000+ per machine that is some mighty expensive theater, yet I have to wonder do they really work, have anyone be caught with anything?  We have been told the machines work 100%.  I can tell you as a geek, nothing is 100%

I have to wonder is there a better way.  Israel is renown for its airport security that focuses on people, rather than the means.  They profile passengers and ask questions.  They get tips and follow up.  I believe their thinking is someone has to pull the trigger or light the fuze, stop them and you stop an attack. vs stopping the means of attack.  The bad guys are always coming up with something new, that we have to find a way to detect and stop.  Although, the bigger fuss made over ?Don?t touch my junk? make work to our advantage.  The more noise we make, the more the bad guys won?t try something.

I have some serious concerns about an opt out.  our economy is barely recovering, and a part of that recovery is the airline industry.  I have to be concerned about how such a event would affect the airlines on what is essentially their ?Black Wednesday?  and who would it really hurt, the TSA? Doubtful, they would get paid the same, weather you opt out or use the machine; The Airlines? what did they do, besides they are against the whole thing enhance pat down.

Personally, I am going hitch up the ol? mini-van and make my way to Pierre for Thanksgiving, no security checkpoints, no pat downs,  just a nice family style Thanksgiving dinner.

12 Replies to “Opt-out day is November 24. Is this a good idea?”

  1. duggersd

    Your comment at the end really hits the crux of the matter. I am not very keen on the idea of being groped in an opt out. I am especially concerned for my wife. I have not heard of a single person who has been caught by the TSA, but I have heard how passengers and crew have thwarted terrorists. So when Big Sister tells me this is just for my own good, it bothers me they are using “random” people and not checking closely people who are actually from a group of people who have actually killed or tried to kill Americans. All to be politically correct.
    I believe the Germans have a better idea. http://www.breitbart.tv/nude-protest-airport-body-scanners-in-germany/ BTW, people in here are NOT nude.

  2. MikeH

    There was a great article that I read a few years ago – I wish I could find it, but didnt after a quick search.

    Anyway, the gist of it that if you believe our current airline security scheme works then Microsoft’s’ Internet Explorer would be the most secure browser on the planet. Think about it; a security hole is found in IE – it get patched. Next week, same thing.

    That is what is happening with airline security. Someone put explosives in their shoes – take your shoes off. Someone put explosives in a shampoo bottle – no more shampoo in your carry on. Someone put explosives in their underwear – get your junk felt up.

    If this model actually worked, IE would be the most secure browser on the planet. We all know that isn’t true. How is supposed to work any better for airport security?

  3. DDC

    Can’t wait until we get to bailout the airlines (again).

    These scanners don’t detect gels/liquids or most plastics. The GOA has determined that they most likely would not have detected the “underwear” bomber’s explosives.

    The “enhanced” pat-downs won’t do anything either, because they aren’t going to find the explosives that the guy just shoved into his rectum in the bathroom.

    This stuff does nothing to make air travel safer and will only lead to less and less people flying.

  4. Ricki

    I doubt there is anyone who really likes the idea of a personal pat down. But really, if we are in a War on Terror, does a couple of minutes of our discomfort really matter? How about the few minutes you are being patted down you think of the soldiers stationed in the Middle East who are really experiencing discomfort to help keep us safe?

  5. duggersd

    Ricki:
    I am waiting for BF to mention the 4th Amendment about unreasonable search. We have a former Assistant TSA Administrator telling us these are a violation of the 4th Amendment http://leftword.blogdig.net/archives/articles/November2010/16/TSA_founder____Nobody_likes_having_their_4th_Amendment_violated_going_through_a_security_line__but_the_truth_of_the_matter_is__we_re_gonna_have_to_.html
    This is not just a pat down. It is a pat rub. If this was done by anyone else, that person would be arrested.
    I am choosing to drive whenever practicable. If there was any proof these people were doing anything to improve safety, that would be one thing. But these rub downs appear to be more of a retaliation for people who refuse to use the scanners that do not save the pictures that have shown up on the Internet.

  6. Voter

    If American stands up and says NO they will eventually hear us! We need to protest the idea of TSA creating a Union as well-what a disaster that would be. Send some TSA people to Israel to train and do it their way–because it works!

  7. Bill Fleming

    DuggerSD, I’m with you on this issue. Not that I couldn’t use a free rubdown every now and then, but I prefer to choose the masseuse, and I’m not up for anyone taking pictures while it’s happening. :^)

  8. duggersd

    Bill, I wonder what would happen if I said I wanted a female TSA agent doing it? Actually I figured you would be. I think this has liberals and conservatives upset.

  9. Duh

    TSA can grab me all they want. It’s my daughters that I’m concerned about and given the fact of the articles I’ve read which doesn’t require TSA applicants who’ve had sexual charge more than 10 years ago to disclose those charges/convictions. So now we don’t know if they’re doing their job or enjoying it.