Thursday, November 25, 2010

TSA: Keeping Us Safe

The contrarian view, from Gabriel Schoenfeld, at Opinion Journal, "Body scans and intrusive searches are unpleasant but necessary":
Since 9/11, al Qaeda has not succeeded in launching another terrorist spectacular in the United States. But it has succeeded in provoking a spectacular debate about aviation security. Several weeks ago—and even earlier at some airports—the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) initiated full-body scans and enhanced pat-downs, including inspections of private parts, that in some quarters are fueling outrage.

So is the flying public rightly angered? The media have documented a string of monstrous cases in which prosthetic breasts have been exposed and urostomy bags worn by bladder-cancer patients have been disconnected, with humiliating consequences.

These incidents certainly demand better training for security personnel. But they do not invalidate the need for intrusive screening.
Do read the rest. I'm mostly with Schoenfeld, although his argument sounds eerily similar to Secretary Napolitano's. And some folks aren't digging on her too much:

Added: Before I go all in for Schoenfeld's argument, I'd need to take a good look at Israel's airport security procedures. Absolutely prohibiting any profiling whatsoever sounds ridiculous, although, again, I'm with him on the basic point of necessity.