15 thoughts on “We Need A Risk-Based Approach”

  1. Based the level of screening on the risk posed by different categories of travelers? Why, that’s just crazy talk! You can’t massively expand an intrusive and unaccountable bureaucracy doing reasonable things like that!

    As someone with a TS/SCI clearance, I’d like to see these recommendations followed. I’m not holding my breath, though. It makes too much sense and there’s always the potential for someone with a clearance to be a problem (e.g. Major Hassan, the accused Fort Hood shooter).

  2. While an improvement, Poole still wants to send ordinary travelers through metal dectors and such. That’s looking for bombs. We need to look for bombers.

    There are an infinite number of ways to do harm to an aircraft. It’s too fragile, operating in high risk conditions, to be hardened to attack. But there are not an infinite number of people who would be willing to do harm to a plane.

    Further, screening for bombers would make the whole country safer, not just the flying public. Any advances in scanning for terrorist ties and behaviors would be just as effective at bus terminals and shopping malls as at the airport.

    And that’s important. Remember the Mumbai attacks, and the attack on Madrid’s train station, and the attacks on the London and Tokyo subways. Our focus on airports is just as irrational as groping nuns and toddlers for weapons.

  3. To hell with that.

    Just deputize all your “trusted travelers” into the sky marshall program, hand them a .45 and a clip on boarding (to be returned on landing), and junk everything else.

    Er…well, the cabin crew could specially seat anyone who seems odd in the row just in front of a big guy with a .45, I suppose. So that the guy in the back row can comfortably rest the muzzle of his gun against the back of the odd fellow’s skull, if that should seem desirable.

  4. Scan luggage and sniff people for bombs and guns, lock the cabin doors, let the people do the rest. It is not possible anymore to hijack airplanes.

    Feeling up my crotch or taking naked pictures of my girlfriend is not my idea of security

  5. .45s can be a bit messy and the special ammo isn’t cheap. I suggest issueing each adult passenger a billyclub. Anyone gets out of line and the other passengers beat him senseless. It has already happened (see: Shoe Bomber and Underwear Bomber) but the other passengers had to use their bare hands to subdue the bad guy. Billyclubs seem better at close quarters and are a lot cheaper.

  6. I really wish there were political figures actually attempting to empower the people, instead of belittling us and relegating us to serf status to be protected by our masters.

    I want a politician who says, “The TSA will do everything within reason and within its realm of Constitutional authority to ensure no terrorists, bombs or unknown firearms make it onto an aircraft. Beyond that, your best defense against terrorism is your own constant vigilance.”

    Terrorists are not at war with the American government, they are at war with its people. We need to acknowledge that fact. It is simply not possible for the government to protect us always at all times. And I certainly don’t want to live under a government that has the ability to do so.

  7. Yawn.. remove the TSA’s 4th amendment exception. They have no right to search you or your property without probable cause. If it’s good enough for law enforcement (which the TSA is not) then it should be good enough for them.

    If that means more planes blow up, so what? All good Americans should be willing to accept that slightly higher risk in exchange for greater freedom and dignity.. and if they’re not, they’re welcome not to fly.

  8. Don’t fly. Every time I travel for business I email the local air carrier (there’s only one) and airport authority that I’ve chosen to drive rather than fly due to their cost cutting stampede to hand over security screening to the incompetents at TSA. Yeah, it’s inconvenient, but it’s not insulting.

  9. Guys, I’ve thought this through. You don’t want gun or bombs on a plane. The problem with clubs is you might be tempted to use it on non-terrorists (that obnoxious guy or child.) Machetes would probably not be used except on a real threat. Plus, the terrorist will be surrounded by the shining metal as a deterrent.

    Now the truth. Citizenship should mean something. No security is required for a citizen to board a plane. Losing citizenship should be a lot easier than it is. I want to be surrounded by armed alert citizens so I can feel free.

    We’ve finally gone down the rabbit hole. Fondly and naked pictures? Justification of it? Now there’s where we need clubs.

  10. Astounding. Nine votes when I took it, two for asking for a refund.

    There are some problems with the given scenario–the situation is a one-time thing, and terrorists might not have enough time to take advantage of it.

    I wonder about a follow-up poll–your airport has two terminals. One is secured, with full TSA, the other unsecured. Which do you fly out of?

  11. Citizenship should mean something. No security is required for a citizen to board a plane. Losing citizenship should be a lot easier than it is.


    We’ve finally gone down the rabbit hole. Fondly and naked pictures? Justification of it? Now there’s where we need clubs.

    -.5 We need tar and feathers.

  12. One of the problems with the TSA is that they’re almost always reacting to the last threat. They didn’t require passengers to remove their shoes until after the shoe bomber smuggled explosives on board a plane. They aren’t enacting the body scanners or enhanced pat-downs until after the underwear bomber smuggled explosives on board a plane. They did ban liquids based on intelligence that terrorists were planning on using them but that was a rare proactive move.

    The terrorists rarely try the same attack twice. They keep changing their tactics and the TSA keeps reacting. The body scanners might have picked up the underwear bomb but wouldn’t detect explosives in a body cavity – a technique long used by drug smugglers. In fact, a body cavity bomb was detonated last year in Saudi Arabia. What will the TSA do to stop that?

  13. Once people get used to being naked and fondled by strangers what’s the big deal about a cavity search? How about a little random exploratory surgery next?

    The answer is to remove from any position of power all those defending the indefensible. Pilots don’t need screening, they’re given a bigger bomb as a necessary responsibility… the plane. If we trust them to fly it, we trust them… period. Let the airlines and passengers choose what security they want rather than having it imposed by a fascist non-representative tyranny.

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