Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

11/24/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I would much rather have someone digging into my profile than into my pants

It is unreasonable to subject every passenger to being seen virtually naked and/or groped by a government official. 3 year-old girls are not the enemy. 7 year-old boys are not the enemy. Elderly nuns in full habit are not the enemy. The overwhelming majority of people in the United States are not the enemy.

3 year-old girls are not the enemy. 7 year-old boys are not the enemy.  Elderly nuns in full habit are not the enemy. The overwhelming majority of people in the United States are not the enemy.  The enemy, by and large, is Muslim men.  But since the current administration won't even name the enemy, let alone employ security measures that actually target the enemy, now every American citizen is treated as the enemy.

3 year-old girls are not the enemy. 7 year-old boys are not the enemy. Elderly nuns in full habit are not the enemy. The overwhelming majority of people in the United States are not the enemy. The enemy, by and large, is Muslim men. But since the current administration won't even name the enemy, let alone employ security measures that actually target the enemy, now every American citizen is treated as the enemy.

Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/24/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: TSA, security, full-body scan, enhanced pat-down, El Al


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) -  There've been many disconcerting stories from folks who've been subjected to the TSA's new security procedures at airports around the country.  Three that most clearly illustrate the insanity and stupidity of these new screenings are the breast cancer survivor who was forced to remove her prosthesis from her bra and show it to the TSA agent; the image of a little boy standing shirtless near the metal detector as a grown man touches every inch of his half-naked little body; the bladder cancer survivor in Detroit who was left soaked in his own urine after agents broke the seal on his urostomy bag even though he begged them to be careful.

This is security?!?  Have we lost our collective minds?  Humiliation, undressing and groping are now the tools of counter-terrorism?

There is an uproar across the nation, but will it be enough?  We're on the cusp on having these "procedures" cemented into permanent existence if we don't halt this gross violation of rights.

I'm among those who think this is a 4th Amendment issue."The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated."

It is unreasonable to treat every passenger as a potential terrorist.  It is unreasonable to subject every passenger to being seen virtually naked and/or groped by a government official.  It is unreasonable and inexcusable to treat small children this way.  Random selection is not a sufficient reason, besides which it seems a laughable waste of time and resources.

3 year-old girls are not the enemy. 7 year-old boys are not the enemy.  Elderly nuns in full habit are not the enemy. The overwhelming majority of people in the United States are not the enemy.  The enemy, by and large, is Muslim men.  But since the current administration won't even name the enemy, let alone employ security measures that actually target the enemy, now every American citizen is treated as the enemy.

The fact is, if we're only finding the chemical explosives hidden in a potential bomber's underwear while he's standing in security surrounded by hundreds of other passengers, then we're finding out too late.  We've already failed.

Profiling is not a dirty word

We will never be secure if we are unwilling to do the logical, necessary, perfectly reasonable act of profiling.  That must be the first step in determining if someone poses a security threat.  As a law-abiding citizen, I have nothing to hide or fear.  I would much rather have someone digging into my profile than into my pants.

El Al is widely held up as the model of how to achieve airport security.  The Israelis have successfully kept their people and their planes safe from terrorist attacks and they've done it without requiring naked full-body images, reaching inside passenger's clothing or groping people's genitals.

Recall the interview in January of this year with Isaac Yeffet, former head of security for El Al in which he said, "Stop relying only on technology.  Technology can help the qualified, well-trained human being but cannot replace him."  Every passenger flying El Al is interviewed in person before check-in by one of their highly-trained agents.

When asked what we learned from the failed bombing in Detroit last Christmas Day, Yeffet said, "We learned one thing. We do not have a good security system to be able to prevent tragedies in this country.  After Lockerbie, everyone thought, now we've learned the lesson of how to be proactive instead of being reactive. Unfortunately, September 11 came and we know the result. Thousands of people lost their lives. Security totally failed, not at one airport, at three different airports around the country."

"In 2002, we had Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. This man gave the security people all the suspicious signs that any passenger could show. The man got a British passport in Belgium, not in England. Number Two: he flew to Paris; he bought a one-way ticket from Paris to Florida. He paid cash. He came to the airport with no luggage. What else do I need to know that this passenger is suspicious?"

"What did we learn from this? Just to tell the passenger from now on, you take off your shoes when you come to the airport? This I call a patch on top of a patch."

His decisive recommendation for improving our security:  "Every passenger - I don't care his religion or whatever he is - every passenger has to be interviewed by security people who are qualified and well-trained and are being tested all year long."

That sounds reasonable, does it not?  It would require a redirection of funds and an investment in more than machinery.  It would require we put time and money into finding and training qualified people to handle the task of security.  El Al's approach is far different from ours. Their agents must be educated, speak two languages, go through long periods of classroom training, then extensive on-the-job training with supervisors to learn how to approach passengers.

It's expensive, but worth it because it's highly effective.  El Al passengers cooperate because they know the security interviews are truly done for their safety and they're performed efficiently so people aren't missing flights or being delayed without cause.

When asked what he thinks of the full-body scanners, Yeffet replied, "I am against it. This is once again patch on top of patch. Look what happened, Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, hid the explosives in his shoes. The result -- all of us have to take off our shoes when we come to the airport. The Nigerian guy hid his explosives in his underwear. The result -- everyone now will be seen naked. Is this the security system that we want?"

Indeed. Is this the security system we want?
 
Like many other folks, I can't help but wonder what will happen when the next terrorist bomber hides the explosives inside his rectal cavity where it won't be seen or felt. Will every passenger then be required to submit to a body cavity search?  It's the next logical step in this progression of insane actions.

We are forever reacting, always two steps behind because we care more for political-correctness than for real security.  Profiling is not a violation of anyone's rights. It is not discrimination. It is common sense to know who the enemy is likely to be and look more closely at that individual. It's time we paid more attention to passengers before they enter the security area in the airport.

How many patches will we keep putting on top of patches?  And how many violations of our fundamental rights by our bumbling government will we allow?  Many Americans simply do not trust the government, and that is not an unreasonable position.  Promises of scanned images never being saved are already broken.  Assurances of professional courtesy are hard to believe when some agents can't even exercise common decency when dealing with people with medical conditions and equipment.

Napolitano, the TSA and now the President are all digging in their heels and insisting that these measures - these ineffective, invasive, humiliating and inappropriate procedures - are the best we can do, and in fact, what we must do.  Napolitano is even favorable toward TSA unionizing. Can you imagine?  Never being able to fire a lousy TSA agent?

Pardon the pun, but we got caught with our pants down on 9/11 and we still haven't pulled them back up.  Now we're treating every citizen like a suspected terrorist and calling it security.  We're so clever.

-----

Jennifer Hartline is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Good Samaritan who fed homeless for 10 years charged with unbelievable $2,000 fine Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Founder of the nonprofit mobile food truck Chow Train, Joan Cheever, was fined by the San Antonio, Texas police for about $2,000 due to the lack of permit for the trucks she is using to transport food. Cheever argues she has the right to do her charitable activity ... continue reading


Tragic final hours of Abraham Lincoln recounted on anniversary of his assassination Watch

Image of Abraham Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth's final words were reportedly

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Long troubled by depression, 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln awoke on the last day of his life, April 14, 1865 in an uncommonly good mood. Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd decided to attend the hit farce comedy "Our American Cousin," which was playing at ... continue reading


Courage in the Storm: Three Cheers for Wyoming Catholic College! Watch

Image of I do not personally know President Kevin Roberts of Wyoming Catholic. I have never even visited Wyoming Catholic College. However, the action of the President inspires me. The College is now on my radar screen, so to speak. I will be praying for them and paying close attention to their future. I ask my readers to do the same. - Deacon Keith Fournier

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Since the objective of a Catholic University is to assure in an institutional manner a Christian presence in the university world confronting the great problems of society and culture, every Catholic University, as Catholic, must have the following essential ... continue reading


Abercrombie and Fitch employee reveals racial discrimination and sexual harassment at work Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over the past ten years, Abercrombie and Fitch has received a number of discrimination lawsuits; they even paid $40 million in settlement back in 2006. Just recently, an unnamed employee went out in the open and gave full information about the constant racial ... continue reading


Know someone in the military? They could be in danger from Islamic militants Watch

Image of The Islamic State is threatening U.S. service members and their families, prompting senior military officials to issue guidelines about social media activity, to protect service members.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State's threat of violence towards U.S. service members is being taken very seriously by U.S. military officials, who have issued a warning to troops that instructs them to hide all information about them or their families on public accessible sites, ... continue reading


'One nation under God' defense team claims victory after atheists back down Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Marking their fifth victory in a row, the conservative wing in defense of retaining the words "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is claiming victory on the newest court trial. This is due to the decision from the ... continue reading


Emotions spike over 'disrespectful' political cartoon depicting 2-year-old murder victim Watch

Image of Kaden Lum was brutally murdered at just 2-years-old.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An editorial cartoon published is viewed as "disrespectful" by the family of 2-year-old Kaden Lum, killed in the still unresolved shooting last March 28. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Kaden's family was left outraged with Kitsap Sun newspaper's political ... continue reading


New Islamic State video vows another 9/11 and to 'burn America' Watch

Image of Entitled

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The evil media machine of Islamic State remains ever ready. The Middle Eastern terror group latest video declares there is "no safety for any American on the globe" and claims that the U.S. will burn in another 9/11-style attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Divine Mercy Sunday, Doubting Thomas and the Jubilee Year of Mercy Watch

Image of Pope Francis: Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God. We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Thank God for 'Doubting Thomas'. His doubts healed the wounds of our own disbelief. They also open up, for all who look with the eyes of faith, a deeper understanding of the redemptive effect of the wounds of Jesus - and the role our own wounds can have in our ... continue reading


Repentance Walks but Mercy Runs: Pope of Mercy Invokes a Year of Mercy Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On Saturday 11 April, on the eve of what is celebrated as Mercy Sunday in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis will officially convoke an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. He will release what is called a Bull of Indiction. Such a Papal Bull is a ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 6:1-7
1 About this time, when the number of disciples was ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
4 The word of Yahweh is straightforward, all he does ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
16 That evening the disciples went down to the shore ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 18th, 2015 Image

St. Apollonius the Apologist
April 18: Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter