If FF have been following the news, a major new airline threat has been foiled, apparently thanks to an infiltrated agent in Yemen and Saudi intelligence. For all who feel any anti-Muslim sentiments, I ask you to differentiate between the vast majority (I would say 99% or more) who are against Al-Qaeda and terrorism and the very few extremists who advocate it or remain silent. The agent who infiltrated Yemeni cells must certainly have been Muslim, and we have him and the Saudis to thank for the thwarted plot.
I want to take this opportunity to assert Fourth Amendment Rights because I feel since 9/11 Americans have had their personal liberties violated without reasonable cause by TSA agents who are for the most part not trained to look for materials that are dangerous. Hair spray is dangerous, but weapons regularly get through security. (And I have seen frightening knitting needles on many an occasion on a plane.) I write because I feel I have been. despite being elite FF, blue-eyed blonde, 60-yr-old woman with a 20 year old position at a college, regularly subjected to secondary if not primary screening until recently when Delta seems to have knocked certain of its FF into special lines thanks to the first guard at security. At JFK and Logan I regularly (until Delta seems to have stepped in during the past 6 months) was called aside for secondary and invasive screening that I find humiliating and degrading. Nothing about me warrants such treatment.
I am not saying 60-yr-old blue-eyed blonde female FFs do not pose a threat to security. There have been a few occasions when I wanted to... But the latest scare, which proves all metal detectors and scanners do not detect the latest threats should tell us we are once again looking at the LAST THREAT.
I'm a professor, so of course you all know (ha) I must be a civil libertarian, but I will take Ben Gurion's screening any day over what regularly happens to me in the US. If I were not an international traveler, I would rather take the bus most of the time since we don't have trains worth taking.
But I really want to ask, why does no one seem to care about the government's violation of our Fourth Amendment Rights against unreasonable search and seizure?
And as an addendum, not only because these new threats will not be detected by the machines, why are we not simply profiled based on our flying, our destinations, our methods of payments, our behavior at the airport, our carry-on or checked luggage etc.? Ben Gurion got me through everything in 5 minutes. And they have not had a terrorist attack on their airlines. I do not favor ethnic profiling, because obviously anyone (like Pennsylvania Jane or whoever) could become that, but reasonable questioning without strip searches, footwear removals, computer removals and sometimes stealing, etc. are unacceptable. Simply a careful assessment of someone probably provides more info than any metal detector or scanner.
I think the past 48 hours of news has shown that metal detectors and scanners won't detect advanced devices -- and extremists will always figure a way around that. So why not let the flying public fly? Stop the people who pose a real threat. I'm not going to stop flying -- I just hate it being the worst mode of travel imaginable.