06 January 2006

Airports and security

I'm sitting at the airport right now - I can really deal with this wireless hotspot thing. Anyway, we got here early enough that getting through security was a breeze. OK, so you have to give your life history to the security folks and submit to a body cavity search, but it really could have been worse.

I was reminded of one thing while we were going through, though, and that's the total and complete exclusion of common sense from the security screening process - particularly when it comes to who to pick for secondary screening. In case you're wondering, I'm not going to advocate for racial profiling, or anything like it. I think it's reasonable to assume that a terrorist could look like pretty much anyone, and I don't think there's any good reason to assume that the next attack (if any) will come from people who look arabic.

But sometimes it would be nice to see some common sense enter the process, if only a little bit. When we (a white family of four) went through security, the person in front of us (also white) was selected for the "secondary screening" patdown. I am aware that a terrorist could look like anyone, but this guy really just didn't seem to fit. I don't know what it was about him that cued me to this. It might have been that he was a very average looking middle-aged white dude. It might have been how tired he looked, or how well mannered. Mostly, though, I think it was the uniform.

Perhaps I'm wrong about this, and maybe nobody should be given a pass. But somehow, it just seems unreasonable to pull a soldier-wearing DCUs and clearly just out of the sandbox-for secondary security screening. Somehow, there's got to be room for common sense in the system somewhere.
Post a Comment