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US Anti-Terrorism: Does It Work?

 
 
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 04:00 pm
What do A2Kers think of this article:

Is aviation security mostly for show?

By Bruce Schneier, Special to CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2009/OPINION/12/29/schneier.air.travel.security.theater/index.html

I don't know enough to agree or disagree with the suggestions in the article; I'm not a security expert on any scale.

This quote from the article, however, reminded me strongly of a one-time neighbor of mine:

Quote:
Our current response to terrorism is a form of "magical thinking." It relies on the idea that we can somehow make ourselves safer by protecting against what the terrorists happened to do last time.

This neighbor had his stereo stolen. Someone crawled into the front window of his house at night and took the thing.

The neighbor, in response, put chicken wire all over that one window. The front-of-house window. Not any back-of-house windows, or any other windows at all.

No doubt this made him feel better: That vulnerable window was covered.

I thought this was funny at the time. Is the US doing the same essential thing, covering that ONE vulnerable window?

When we think about all the shoes that have been removed at airports since the "Shoe Bomber" incident, has it been worth all the time, expense, and effort spent?

P.S. - This neighbor lived in the other half of a duplex I rented. Nobody ever stole anything from my side of the house. I suspect they were afraid of my 5 cats.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 1,788 • Replies: 13
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 04:52 pm
@BorisKitten,
The last two attempted bombings were stopped by passengers on the plane. I don't recall anyone with a bomb being caught by airport security.
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 04:55 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

The last two attempted bombings were stopped by passengers on the plane. I don't recall anyone with a bomb being caught by airport security.

Exactly. In fact I don't think our Homeland Security Dept. has ever stopped a terrorist, despite the vast amount of money spent. Please correct me if I'm misinformed, here...
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 05:02 pm
@BorisKitten,
BorisKitten wrote:

Quote:
Our current response to terrorism is a form of "magical thinking." It relies on the idea that we can somehow make ourselves safer by protecting against what the terrorists happened to do last time.



Actually, it would be encouraging if they did respond to what they did the last time. The weapon of choice on 9/11 was box cutters. Suddenly, there was a big cry to ban more guns. This time, the terr did not leave his seat, and did not access his carry on luggage. So, we are going to require that noone leave their seats during the last hour of flight nor access their carry on.

What we are responding to is more like what we think a good terrorist should have done.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 05:08 pm
the US can do all they want, but let's not forget, after 9/11 none of these flights originated from the US
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 05:08 pm
@BorisKitten,
BorisKitten wrote:
Exactly. In fact I don't think our Homeland Security Dept. has ever stopped a terrorist, despite the vast amount of money spent. Please correct me if I'm misinformed, here...

I think Homeland Security (or other government agencies) have disrupted several suspicious plots which were still in the planning stages. And they may have disrupted many more that we don't know about. Most of their activities would need to be covert in order to be effective, so we can assume that we are not made aware of most of what they are doing.

The issue of airplane attacks specifically, is different. I think a reasonable amount of airport security is prudent, but I don't think that any amount of ground security can stop every dangerous passenger from getting on an airplane. Ultimately the passengers on the plane, motivated to defend their own lives, will always be a formidable form of airplane defense (and they work for free).
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 05:14 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

BorisKitten wrote:

Quote:
Our current response to terrorism is a form of "magical thinking." It relies on the idea that we can somehow make ourselves safer by protecting against what the terrorists happened to do last time.



Actually, it would be encouraging if they did respond to what they did the last time. The weapon of choice on 9/11 was box cutters. Suddenly, there was a big cry to ban more guns. This time, the terr did not leave his seat, and did not access his carry on luggage. So, we are going to require that noone leave their seats during the last hour of flight nor access their carry on.

What we are responding to is more like what we think a good terrorist should have done.

I've read different accounts... and there are probably many floating about the Internet right now.

What I read said that he DID leave his seat, for the restroom, close to landing-time, and then put a blanket over his lap, presumably to ignite his device.

Thus we have the new bans on using the bathroom during the last hour of flight, and no blankets or even pillows during that last hour... at least sometimes.
0 Replies
 
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 05:17 pm
@roger,
Quote:
The weapon of choice on 9/11 was box cutters.

I've also read that not only box-cutters have been disallowed since then, but also small scissors (I bought some myself from eBay from the TSA confiscations) and knitting needles.

These regulations might have been relaxed in the past few years, but at the time, they were, in fact, confiscated at the airport by the TSA.
0 Replies
 
BorisKitten
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 05:23 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
... I don't think that any amount of ground security can stop every dangerous passenger from getting on an airplane. Ultimately the passengers on the plane, motivated to defend their own lives, will always be a formidable form of airplane defense (and they work for free).

Totally agreed. And I think that has changed a great deal, for the better, since 9/11.

Back then folks assumed Mr. Box Cutter would land them in a different country, but they'd survive.

Now we're much more alert (as shown by the 2 recent runway-stops in the US, after the underwear-bomber).
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 08:07 pm
@BorisKitten,
Please feel free to ignore the facts so you might feed your own paranoid beliefs about how effective our gov't HAS been about doing its job. Why not look up the amount of terrorists that have been caught. of course, you can't expect miracles for TSA workers are minimally trained and get paid $10/hr. whereas

Homeland Security agency, now that the org structure is fixed, should and does deter terrorist. Something has kept us from being attacked again by terrorists, hasn't it?

Of course, the fact is that the people on board flight93 on 9/11
that wrestle the plane and crashed was the best deterrent avaiable. sometime you have to take the task in your own hands.

0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 08:17 pm
Almost all of the money spent on aviation security is either wasted or is used to buy "security theater"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_theater
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 10:04 pm
Quote:
New York (CNN) -- A security breach at the Newark, New Jersey, airport over the weekend was caused by an officer of the Transportation Security Administration who left his post unattended, an agency spokeswoman said Thursday.

Security video shows the officer walking away from his post at Newark Liberty International Airport, about four minutes after he asked an unidentified man in a light-colored jacket to stay behind the rope line.

Moments later, the man ducks under the rope and walks the wrong way through security to greet a woman, prompting a security breach that shut down Terminal C for hours and forced the rescreening of thousands of passengers.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/01/07/nj.security.breach/index.html

I am sure that as Osama read this a smile crossed his face.....because of something he did nearly a decade ago now when a single low ranked guard leaves his post America runs up a bill totaling tens of thousands of dollars (at least, prob hundred thousand or more) in overtime and lost productivity....

We Americans are ******* idiots. We cant tell what is a threat, we are to scared.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2010 08:50 pm
@BorisKitten,
Here is another example of the TSA's ineptitude:

Warning spicy language spotted from Adam Savage's piehole~
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Nov, 2010 01:20 am
@BorisKitten,
BorisKitten wrote:


. Please correct me if I'm misinformed, here...


You are misinformed. Do you think any fool would try to slip a BOMB through a security station in the USA today, with security as tight as it is today?

Walk through any major airport in the USA today, and before you ever get near a security point, you'll undoubtedly walk past a well-built State policeman walking a big, adult, hungry, drug/bomb sniffing German Shepard.
0 Replies
 
 

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