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February 23, 2006

What About Airport Security?

With all of the hoo ha about the ports this week, Peggy Noonan has a very timely article regarding the security at our airports. Her assessment? It still stinks.

I am almost always picked for extra screening. I must be on a list of middle aged Irish-American women terrorists. I know a message is being sent: We don't do ethnic profiling in America. But that is not, I suspect, the message anyone receives. The message people receive is: This is all nonsense. What they think is: This is all kabuki. We're being harassed and delayed so politicians can feel good. The security personnel themselves seem to know it's nonsense: they're always bored and distracted as they go through my clothing, my stockings, my computer, my earrings. They don't treat me like a terror possibility, they treat me like a sad hunk of meat.

I don't think most of us get extra screening because they think we are terrorists. I think we get it because they know we're not. They screen people who are not terrorists because it helps them pretend they are protecting us, in the same way doctors in the middle ages used to wear tall hats: because they couldn't cure you. It's all show.

I do not fly often. I flew for the first time since 9/11 back in November of 2004 to England. Last year I went on two business trips to the Midwest, flying for both of them. I can't say that I felt any safer with the new security measures either. It was a hassle, to be honest, having to take my laptop out of my bag, take my shoes off, etcetera.

Michelle Malkin wonders if we're now all ethnic profilers since the port story blew open.

For the past several years, I've been condemned as an "extremist" for advocating nationality profiling – unapologetically applying stricter scrutiny to terror-sponsoring and terror-sympathizing countries in our entrance, immigration and security policies.

Now, mirabile dictu, some of the same Democrats who have routinely lambasted such profiling are rushing to the floors of Congress and in front of TV cameras espousing these very same policies. The impetus: the White House's boneheaded insistence on ramming through a $7 billion deal giving United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports World control over significant operations at six major American ports in New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Miami.

Why the discrepancy? Does this mean ethnic profiling might start taking place at airports? Not likely. However, the double standard is striking.

I agree that the port issue needs to be revisited. Put it on hold and examine it more closely before allowing Dubai Ports World to pass GO and collect $200. If this deal truly has merit, President Bush needs to sell it to the American people. Some people might be willing to take him at his word, but many are not. Tell us why this is a good idea, other than the "we can't discriminate" line.

And while we're at it, let's take another look at airport security.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security
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