I think all this pat-down controversy is a lot of BS. It seems to me that the terrorists now know that they haven’t a chance to deliver a bomb via a nun’s habit or a 3 year-old girl’s knickers. So what other choices do they now have? In a word or two, fat and ugly.
What TSA screener in his or her right mind wants to frisk a 300 lb man or woman with BO? Moreover, who the hell would want to pat-down someone with goiters or warts? They don’t make surgical gloves thick enough to ward off the creeps. Although they’re required to follow procedures, you just know that TSA screeners are going easy on people that are fat and ugly, right?
It’s way past time to start profiling the obvious targets that increase a terrorist’s chances for sneaking a bomb or weapon on a plane. Start profiling using the “creep” factor. Anyone that gives you the creeps to look at should automatically be targeted for enhanced screening.
Unfortunately, this now lets the cat out of the bag as far as the terrorists are concerned. If the terrorist know that we are going to start profiling with the “creep” factor in mind, they’ll turn their attention elsewhere.
We need to have a discussion about how to perform selective screening. Obviously, profiling Middle-Eastern men needs to be on the table, but what about screening for possible “mules“? This has to be a serious concern.
If we can’t get away from pat-downs, maybe there’s another way to make all this screening palatable to the traveling masses. How about allowing a traveler to choose his or her screener? When you get your ticket, you should also be given a short questionnaire about what your preferences are for selecting a screener, assuming of course that you’re outside of the “creep” factor. As an example, my preferences would be a pretty, young female who is both blond and buxom. Given those preferences, I should be able to select a screener from an appropriate numbers of choices, with pictures to aid me, of course.
There should then be an after-screening questionnaire, sort of a quality-control thing. Was your screening a pleasant experience? Were you afforded a screener of your choice? Will you travel again soon? Personally, I think this could be a win-win. Merit increases could be provided to the screeners with the highest customer satisfaction ratings. Those screeners with chronically low ratings would have work the “creep” line until they get their heads screwed back on correctly. If they fail at that, well, they shouldn’t be screeners anyway, right?
Once the terrorists see that we ginned the system sufficiently to thwart their evil intentions, they’ll quit targeting airlines altogether. They’ll then be forced to look at lesser forms of travel, like train and buses. But even then, it will be just a matter of time before the free-market successes of airline travel start to worm their way into other forms of transportation.
Unfortunately, what we have now is what happens when you let a bunch of bureaucrats run an organization like the TSA. They can’t figure out how to turn a negative into a positive. They really need to hire some market-oriented, entrepreneurial types at the TSA. Good times can be had by all!