Tuesday :: Aug 15, 2006

I Feel Much Safer Already - NOT!

by pessimist

In case you hadn't heard, the last of the missing Eqyptian students - none considered a terrorism threat - have been apprehended. But don't think for a minute that you are any safer with them in custody than you were last week prior to the revelation of the latest bombing plot. And it doesn't help when millions have been spent in the pointless inconvenience of removing one's shoes for X ray inspection for explosives - Homeland Security says X rays are useless for that purpose:

A study by the Homeland Security Department, obtained by The Associated Press, states that X-ray images "do not provide the information necessary to effect detection of explosives." Homeland Security Department said in its April 2005 report that a screener's ability to detect improvised explosive devices "is not a matter of proper training, reinforcement or motivation." The report is titled "Systems Engineering Study of Civil Aviation Security — Phase I."

Richard Lanza, senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the X-ray image doesn't identify what a gel or a liquid is made of.

I guess this deterrence method proved to be a dud, lending creedence to this assertion:

The myth of airport security
by Martin Samuel
August 15, 2006

The most efficient conqueror of terrorism — good intelligence married to good police work — remains the best hope of saving the day. Airport security will never be anything more than a last resort, when all else has failed. On the morning of September 11, 2001, three of the five hijackers on American Airlines Flight 77 triggered scanner alarms at Washington Dulles airport. Majed Moqed and Nawaf al-Hamzi set the warning off more than once...

If someone is heading for the gate with the bomb-making equivalent of an Ikea flat-pack, someone in the dark arts department hasn’t been doing his job.

Shall we begin with the finger of blame pointing at George W. Bush?

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