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.



Comments


More U.S.

Cardinal Egan, hero of 9/11, dies at 82 Watch

Image of Cardinal Egan was a heroic man who spoke the truth, no matter what the consequences. May he rest in peace.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal Egan of New York has died. Egan, 82, passed away yesterday afternoon in New York as a result of cardiac arrest. Cardinal Egan is well regarded in New York, particularly after his work in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


On the Growing Calls to Put the Death Penalty to Death and the Right to Life Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I applaud the joint editorial of America magazine, the National Catholic Register, the National Catholic Reporter and Our Sunday Visitor, in standing together in opposition to the death penalty. How about another editorial from the four, opened up to many more ... continue reading


FEDS VS. THE STATE: Who will win in Alabama standoff? Watch

Image of Some civil rights marchers have rejected any comparison between the quest to redefine marriage as a genderless union and the quest by black Americans to obtain their full civil rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homosexual equivalency advocates liken Alabama's defiance of federal authorities on same sex marriage to a similar stance during the civil rights movement of the 1960's. The Alabama Supreme Court has made itself an outlier in the judicial march legalizing ... continue reading


Remembering Father Alfred Kunz: A Murder Unsolved Watch

Image of I try not to think of how his life ended any more. Rather, I try to remember how he lived. That is because, as a Catholic, I realize how short our lives are. We all will come to an end...sooner or later. What really matters is what we do, in keeping with God's plan, while we are here on this planet. Father Alfred Kunz knew that. He knew why he was here on earth and he made an eternal difference.

By Matt C. Abbott

In the early morning of March 4, 1998, Father Alfred Kunz, a priest and canon lawyer of the Diocese of Madison, Wis., was found brutally murdered in his parish school, St. Michael's, in Dane, Wis. His throat had been slashed. To date-17 years later-the murder ... continue reading


Saved by a sea lion! Suicide leaper from San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge loves to counsel others Watch

Image of Kevin Hines later spoke to a man who had been on the bridge that day. The man informed him that the underwater creature was not a shark - but a sea lion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thirty-three-year-old Kevin Hines was at one time a suicidal teenager who battled mental illness. It first dawned on him that his life served some sort of purpose when in one of his several suicide attempts, he threw himself off the Golden Gate Bridge in San ... continue reading


PM Netanyahu's Clarion Call Watch

Image of Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015, President Obama, his staff, and many Democrats in Congress boycotted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu speech.

By Adele M. Gill

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015, as President Obama, his staff, and many Democrats in Congress boycotted his speech, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sounded a trumpet, a clarion call, for World peace. The message he delivered was cogent and clear: Peace and unity for all ... continue reading


Standing ground: Alabama Supreme Court halts same sex marriages Watch

Image of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has issued opinions saying the probate judges didn't have to heed the federal court rulings to marry gay couples, appeared to be absent from the decision. His name was neither in the concur or dissent portion of the order.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The State of Alabama remains adamantly opposed to same sex marriages. The Supreme Court of Alabama has since ordered all the state's probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The decision is just the latest in a growing legal battle ... continue reading


WHY has heroin overdose deaths in the U.S. quadrupled over the past 15 years? Watch

Image of Heroin overdose death most rapidly in the Midwest, the report said. No explanation was given from the report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Once considered the lowest a person could fall, heroin deaths and addiction have quadrupled over the past 15 years. Death rates from heroin overdoses have nearly quadrupled since 2000 to reach 2.7 per 100,000 people in 2013. The National Center for Health ... continue reading


Has Obama destroyed 60 years of friendship? U.S.-Israeli relations frayed after dismissive comments from President Obama Watch

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of Congress on March 3.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In his dramatic, and controversial, speech before the U.S. Congress, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the proposed agreement between the U.S. and Iran was "a bad deal" which would not hinder Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


What is she hiding? Hillary Clinton refused to use government email address while Secretary of State Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton did not use an official government email address while she was Secretary of State, potentially violating a law regarding open and free access to official documents.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Potential 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may have shot herself in the foot; it has been revealed that as Secretary of State, Clinton used a personal email address for official government business, which may be a crime. LOS ANGELES, CA ... 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, Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-18
3 Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21
16 He called down famine on the land, he took away ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
33 'Listen to another parable. There was a man, a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 6th, 2015 Image

St. Colette
March 6: Colette was the daughter of a carpenter named DeBoilet at Corby ... 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