Pre-Boarding Pat-Downs May or May not Be Necessary; A Waiver to Any Group (Other Than Pilots) Will Render Them Completely Pointless

Further to Marc’s post, on the one hand, the TSA has yet to explain the logic of scanning or patting down, in search of weapons and other deadly contraband, airline pilots minutes before they enter the cockpit and come into possession of the ultimate ability to terrorize a commercial flight.
On the other, in an alarming signal that either political considerations or political correctness may possibly trump homeland security, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday did not explicitly rule out exempting persons of a particular gender and a certain religion (the specific gender and religion are irrelevant) from pat-downs.
I honestly don’t know whether the intrusive pat-downs are an intrusion necessary to protect a planeful of innocent people or an over-the-top violation of privacy by an out of control Big Brother.
Let’s be clear, however. ANY exemption would completely nullify the panoply of pre-boarding screening measures to which all flights and fliers are currently subjected – and for obvious reason. The exemption, intended in this case to respect the religious requirement of privacy of an innocent person, will inevitably draw not so innocent posers on future flights, thereby breaching the security of the flight.
If this – safety and security – truly is the goal of the scans and pat-downs, there can be no exceptions. If one exception is made, the TSA needs to dispense with the examination of all passengers and wave everyone straight onto the plane from the parking garage. Every passenger gets screened or none do. The continuation of any passenger screening measures once a single group is exempted would not only be a complete waste of passenger time and TSA resources but would turn all air travel security measures into a sham, and an obvious one at that.

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
12 years ago

So long as we maintain “open borders” I can see little point to pat downs and cavity searches which are predicted.
We may discourage airport use, but will encourage other types of terrorism.
Exempting federal employees and members of congress seems to exempt them from that which they wrought. The casual reader will not realize that congress typically exempts itself from onorous laws. Until relatively recently, they were exempt from the minimum wage law.

David S
David S
12 years ago

I am all for the new rules. I know that when I board a plane some of you wacko anti gubmint types may be fellow passengers. And you can go on to your destinations to do whatever you do- and I can have some kind of assurance while I spend time with you that I won’t be adversely affected.

12 years ago

This is really just completely reactionary, rather than being pro-active. I’m sure some of the people who caused all of these TSA actions think this is all hilarious. Why would they worry about trying to kill a couple hundred people in an airplane when it’s so much easier to disrupt life in America by much more unprotected means?
Anyone get patted down before heading into Fenway Park or Gillette Stadium? Maybe a token patdown, but how hard would it be to smuggle something destructive into there when forty to seventy thousand people are sitting there? Ever get searched/patted down before driving over the George Washington Bridge? Ever get patted down before hopping into a small plane taking off from N. Central Airport in Lincoln? Load up a small plane with anything you want and then do anything you want. How about getting on a train going into South Station in Boston or Penn or Grand Central Station in NYC?
There are still so many open venues that all this extra airport security is pretty silly.

12 years ago

…and the horse in on which you rode, David.

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