Sunday, September 10, 2006

The need for common-sense "profiling"

This cartoon sums it up.
The terrorists are NOT Christian (Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox), Jews, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Wiccans, Scientologists, Jainists, Bahais, or even Druze.
A selective inspection at the airport does NOT an internment camp make.
Nor is it unjust, as there is ample precedent for probable cause.
Let's get real.

1 comment:

W. Shedd said...

Unfortunately, the problem with using profiling to screen terrorist risk is - the terrorists aren't stupid. They'll use whatever tendencies they find to bypass any screening.

In general, screening of passengers on airlines (for example) should be improved with better technology. There is no reason to prevent passengers from taking liquids on airplanes, for example, in response to a terrorist plot to use liquids to assemble a bomb. The next time, they'll use foam from inside a teddy bear, for example - and soon you won't be able to bring anything on an airplane. With improved technology and better screening procedures, the components of explosive devices should be detectable.

Of course, it becomes an endless game of upmanship over time. For any method of screening created, someone will eventually figure out a way to defeat it. If prisoners can design ways to manufacture shivs and primitive weapons in their limited setting, terrorists with more time and resources can certainly find a way to fashion deadly devices that resist detection.