Americans are the first to sample new enhanced security measures at their next visit to the airport. It has travelers feeling that the terrorists have already won in inhibiting their free way of life. Pre-flight screening has moved from safety to comedy. Before it devolves into tragedy, officials should say ''damn'' to political correctness and start profiling the obvious suspects.
After al-Qaeda's attempted bombing of FedEx and UPS cargo jets, any package from, say Somalia to a San Francisco synagogue likely will get close scrutiny. This is profiling. Now, obviously, packages are not people. Boxes have neither civil rights nor emotions. People do, and we always must be aware of and sensitive to that.
Unfortunately, the majority of the uneducated TSA agents (thugs is a better word) seem to think everyone from children to little old ladies are easy targets for their highly personal pat-downs. The crotch grabbing and breast feeling are relentless...unless you agree to be irradiated in a full body scanner that easily shows if you are anatomically correct. So being forced, on pain of arrest, to take out your breast prosthesis, your full urine bag (urostomy) or child's artificial leg * is really too much to ask. This is besides watching (as an eye-witness) the Hispanic and Black "thugs" not requiring their kind to take off belts and shoes and letting them pass through. A sort of undercover profiling I guess, but white folk are fair game. America must focus its finite capabilities on those who crave the destruction of planes and the people who ride them.
What would that profile be? Today's threat comes almost exclusively from militant-Islamic males between about 18 and 35 who hail from the Middle East and predominantly Muslim African and south Asian nations. This profile was not drawn by anti-Muslim bigots, nervous Jews or paranoid Southern Baptists. The terrorists themselves created this profile. Aviation has obsessed them for years. "Bring down their airplanes," demanded Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, who inspired the 1993 World Trade Center attack. "Slaughter them on land, sea and air."
The Way I See It....not everyone named Mustafa should be waterboarded beside the first-class lounge? But if he's between 18-35 from a Middle Eastern country and a Muslim, it might be wise to ask him a few extra questions, carefully peruse his papers and inspect him and his possessions. While officials need to respect the rights of innocents who fit this profile, passengers also have an overarching right to land at their destinations intact. Continued political correctness eventually will kill innocent civilians. It's time to stop the offensive pat-downs and body scanners and finally employ terrorist profiling to shield all travellers from those who want to murder them.
* Actual confirmed incidents