TSA efforts panned
Opposition is growing to the Transportation Security Administration’s use of full-body scanners at airports.
New Jersey state lawmakers on Monday announced a resolution urging Congress to outlaw the scanners and the personal pat-downs that travelers may receive in lieu of a scan.
Pilots and other airline personnel have already voiced their objection and apparently will receive more lenient treatment.
And there are renewed calls to abolish the TSA, amid claims that the agency doesn’t really provide security, it provides “security theater” by forcing intrusive measures on all passengers.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, in a USA Today column Sunday, asked the American people for “cooperation, patience and a commitment to vigilance.”
Which would be fine if we could be sure Homeland Security was equally committed to vigilance — especially when it comes to the young Muslim men who are the foot soldiers in the terrorist war against the Untied States and other Western nations.
But we know the State Department and other U.S. agencies failed to act on repeated warnings last year from Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father before the young man attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner with explosives in his underwear last Christmas Day. And we know that Napolitano and others in the Obama administration have repeatedly downplayed the notion that we are engaged in a global war with Islamic terrorists.
We didn’t object when TSA announced it would introduce full-body scanners after the Christmas attack. And it appears most flyers accept the privacy intrusion with little objection.
Terrorist efforts to harm Americans have intensified since last Christmas. Intelligence and a great deal of luck have thwarted planned attacks in New York’s Times Square and the subway system in Washington, D.C., and most recently, with packages aboard cargo planes bound for Chicago.
The terrorists aren’t relenting in their attempts to attack. We can’t scale back efforts to stop them.
But it’s far from clear that performing full-body scans on grandmothers from Grand Junction or toddlers from Toledo does anything to enhance security.
Racial or ethnic profiling may be unfair and repugnant, but in this regard, it is imperative. Indeed, it meets an overwhelming and compelling societal need. The most intrusive security measures should be reserved for those most likely to be terrorists.