Are you ready to show off your body like these models (below)?
The body scan machines, which reveal you in foggy sans-
clothes portraiture, are coming to O'Hare Airport in the hope they will intercept terrorists from sneaking weapons and explosives aboard your airline flight. Authorities speculate that if the body scanners were in use at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, an accused terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
, a 23-year-old Nigerian, would not have been able to board a flight to Detroit on which he tried to detonate a bomb.
It was reported
today that the Dutch government wanted to use the scanners at the airport to screen passengers headed to American destinations, but that the United States government objected. For some mysterious reason, the U.S. insisted that the be used on passengers to all destinations and not just Americans. Who was responsible for that idiotic decision? The Dutch government announced
today that it would install the scanners anyway.
Naturally, the Chicago office of the American Civil Liberties Union objected
to the scanners, arguing they infringe on privacy and that there are better ways to nail terrorists. Not unexpectedly, the ACLU says, "Security measures should be implemented
in a non-discriminatory manner. Travelers should not be subjected to intrusive
searches or questioning based on race, ethnic origin or religion."
[Recent security failures] reflect the flawed philosophy that underlies U.S.
aviation security policy. For the most part, it continues to be fixated
on keeping bad things--as opposed to bad people--off of airplanes. It
also implicitly assumes every passenger is equally likely to be a
terrorist, so every passenger must get equal treatment, except in
extreme cases. That's why it's so hard to shift potential bad guys from
the Department of Homeland Security's much larger databases to TSA's
selectee and no-fly lists. As a libertarian, I agree that we should be
very leery of forbidding people to fly without good reason. But
requiring potentially high-risk travelers to undergo secondary
screening (especially since we do some of this randomly, in any case)
is hardly the end of the world.
I tend to agree with Poole. We've put ourselves in an awful security box by thinking that every person who boards a flight is equally likely to be a terrorist. As someone said yesterday: "Not every Muslim is a terrorist. But most terrorists are Muslims." Political correctness in this instance has an extremely high price.
ACLU, full body scan, O'Hare Airport, privacy, Reason Foundation, Robert Poole, Schiphol Airport, terrorism, terrorist, Transportation Security Administration, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab