Sunday, November 14, 2010

Comment on San Diego News:
Who Stops Terrorist Attempts, the TSA or Passengers?

Who Stops Terrorist Attempts, the TSA or Passengers?

Your assumptions are wrong so your conclusions are wrong. The surreptitious recording of security procedures should be investigated. If it was illegal then this man should be prosecuted. He should be placed on a "No Fly" list and barred from ever setting foot on a commercial airplane. His claim that the TSA has never prevents a terrorist act is false. Weapons including explosives have been detected, more have been deterred, the passengers only react to what has gotten past the TSA at the checkpoint and the Air Marshals are also part of the TSA. His claim that he gets to decide what is an appropriate level of screening is without merit. His conduct is that of someone who is either concealing a threat or enabling a confederate to conceal a threat. He seeks to entrap the security staff into compromising themselves. His racial argument for an exemption makes him even more likely to be the type recruited or used by the terrorists to disable or evade security.

If you want to relax security at the checkpoints then you must accept three things.

1. More terrorist attempts in the air, a few of which succeed and more suspicion and confrontation by passengers of perceived threats. Some of those will be false alarms fed by increasing stereotyping and distrust.

2. Increased military confrontation abroad that may evolve into a full scale war against Islam with millions of dead and extended involvement in currently Islamic areas far beyond our current efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

3. Vastly increased domestic efforts to identify and eliminate threats through profiling, electronic intercepts, surveillance and infiltration of mosques, social and political groups that will result in a greater loss in civil liberties than anything ever experienced before.

So if you really think that you should be allowed to walk on the plan with a possible flask of explosives or a detonator on your person but that you should be trusted because you are like Tyner, "6-foot-1, white with short brown hair," then go ahead and tell everyone else the price they will have to pay.

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(related reply on Rick Moore's Facebook)

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with recording, surreptitiously or otherwise, an interaction with a government official."

That can't be right. Just read George Washington on Secrecy.

We can debate the most effective way to provide security. We can debate the balance between security and civil liberties. We can debate whether the government should be providing the security at the checkpoint.

To me if the task does not require some level of secrecy such that it should not be recorded or observed without permission then it probably should not be done by the government. Operations do need a strong system of oversight to prevent abuse., it is the responsibility of elected officials to provide that.

People should have the right to have any encounter with the government witnessed, whether by a lawyer or other trusted party.

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