Resist and Replace part Deux

Posted on November 14, 2010


I pledged (on Sunday’s post) to outline an alternative to the existing Charlie Foxtrot situation that masquerades as effective passenger security.  Well here it is.

There is a benchmark standard which the Department of Homeland Security could have adopted as an operational model – that is the security protocol of El Al Airlines, recognized by Global Traveler magazine as the World’s most secure airline. 

Whereas the whole premise of TSA procedures is that every traveler constitutes an equal threat to security, El Al’s premise is centered on the recognition that there are specific threat profiles which are based on up to date intelligence analysis.  There is an aspect of racial, ethnic and religious profiling that is a component of the process. This is justified by the intelligence we’ve gathered about terrorist profiles – not treating each and every traveler as a threat.  El Al uses an pre-boarding interview procedure, combined with behavior observation that is more effective in identifying candidates for secondary security checks than any of the preposterous routines that have been cooked up by the failed intellects at TSA.

“Called behavior pattern recognition or BPR, the program has trained more than 100 state police troopers who provide security inside and around the airport. “Our troopers are in a proactive mode, using their skills and training to observe passenger behavior,” says State Police Major Thomas Robbins, director of aviation security for the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), which owns and operates Logan. Troopers look for people behaving in unusual ways. For example, troopers would question a person buttoned up in a trench coat on a 100-degree day.

Troopers would also approach a person with no baggage buying a ticket at the international travel counter. “There may be nothing wrong, but this behavior would attract our attention,” Robbins says. Troopers interview people who catch their attention. Questions include the purpose of the person’s visit to Boston and his or her destination. Along the way, troopers ask for identification and check the person’s ticket and passport. Troopers are trained to handle interviews in a friendly manner, designed both to avoid giving offense and to put interviewees at ease and off guard. “

Another significant component of the El Al approach is the extensive and universal use of Air Marshals. This is another fail safe preventing a jet from leaving the departure gate with anyone who may be exhibiting behavior that the counter terrorism expert through his or her training identifies as suspicious.  The American people need to stand up and object to the growth of opportunistic fascism that is being justified by the events of 9/11. 

We know that the real vulnerabilities that led up to the 9/11 event had to do with failures (deliberately structured by Jamie Gorelick, Assistant Attorney General) in cooperation and intelligence sharing which allowed Atta and Moussaoui to perpetrate this attack.  It could have and should have been stopped well before these terrorists ever got near the airport.  The careful and persistent use of timely intelligence is what professional counter terrorist protocols employ to prevent such occurrences.  If any would be terrorists manage to evade this primary level of scrutiny, they will be detected by well trained, battle tested and highly educated security professionals.

Each and every one of those clowns (TSA ‘Rent-A-Cops’), need to be fired and replaced with a compact team of genuine counter- terrorism experts – former Special Forces, Military Intel specialists, ex-FBI, etc.  People who have had extensive, real world training and bonafide educational references.  In exchange for battle tested skills, experience and talent, they would be paid generously – not ‘Rent A Cop’ wages.  No unions and no drones.  I dropped my son off at the airport for a departing flight recently and just observing the motley crew of incompetents masquerading as airline security, it just occurred to me once again that all of this is simply nothing more than what the Romans used to call ‘Bread and Circuses’. 

If anyone seriously thinks that this silly Kabuki Theater of the absurd is keeping us safe on airplanes – well then I have 18 million bucks sitting in a bank in Liberia that I need your assistance to withdraw and I ‘ll pay you a 10% commission in return.   Still, there are more than a few ‘useful idiots’ that take as the gospel, everything that the government spokesholes tell them, in response to the growing outcry over this madness and its  ever more bizarre rituals and impositions.

Finally, I appeal to your sense of context and proportion. Well, wait a minute – before I go there, let me issue a disclaimer. I am the last person who would suggest that the events of 9/11 were anything less than tragic.  It was, is, and forever will be a event that is memorialized by the heroism of Americans who died in the rescue effort and who died as martyrs to Islamic extremism.  Having said that, I just want to put such an event in an abstract frame of reference.  110 times as many Americans have died behind the wheel or as a passenger in an automobile since 9/11, than died on that day.  In the past 9 years, 13 times more Americans have been killed by Illegal Aliens driving drunk on our streets and highways.  More Americans die from gang violence in our cities – many more.  I could site numerous other examples of real and potential threats to American lives that make potential terrorist attacks of the scale of 9/11 pale by comparison. 

My point is not to minimize the heinous acts committed by the 9/11 bombers and the devastating personal loss and grief of the families of the victims.  What I am trying to say is that we need to come to terms with the basic fact that beyond a certain extent, the Government cannot keep every single person secure from every single potential threat.  The same people who toss their privacy, liberty and constitutional freedoms on the bonfire as a sacrifice to the god of omnipotent government protection, don’t seem to have any conscious awareness of the fact that not protecting the border between the U.S. And Mexico portends a National Security threat that makes the atrocity of 9/11 pale in comparison.

The government has fiddled while Al Queda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas have been assembling terror cells by using our unprotected borders as points of incursion.  Here again, is an example of how we could – if we were able to hold crooked and spineless politician’s feet to the fire – use our domestic and international intelligence assets to prevent the next likely large scale mobilization of terrorists.  But no – fences, walls and barriers and militarized borders are ‘unfriendly messages to our neighbors’ – we are told by the open border advocates.  Instead, the feckless and cynical apparatus and ‘leadership’ in the White House, Congress and the Department of Homeland Security continue this mindless preoccupation with harassing travelers instead of tending to the real dangers we face.

To repeat, I am not advocating the absence of Airport security, I’m just saying that we need to replace the absurd rituals we have in operation now with one that really works effectively while at the same time permits Americans to move from one place to another without being subject to rude, unprofessional, abusive, senseless and in a growing number of instances, criminal behavior at the hands of the TSA.  Interestingly enough, after I wrote this, I came across this, written by Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, who was in the Israeli military and knows whereof he and I speak.

The whole situation is quite fluid and looks to be snowballing out of control for Big Sis and the Department of Homeland Security as this article clearly demonstrates.