2 comments on “INTELLIGENCE SQUARED DEBATE: Airports Should Use Racial And Religious Profiling (49 percent says YES)

  1. Of course Chertoff takes the position against profiling; he makes $$ selling those damn invasive Xray machines used at the airports.

  2. Our society allows police to subject individuals even to abusive intrusions when such actions are deemed reasonable responses to actions. They stop a speeding car. They search with reasonable suspicion based on specific and demonstrable facts. They subdue and even kill a citizen in response to escalating levels of violence. Such responses are not a violation of civil liberties, but police are allowed to erect a barrier by suspending civil liberties for behaviors and characteristics as a precondition for securing the civil liberties of the innocent.

    However, TSA bureaucrats are allowed intimate, primal domination of people when they have done nothing to elicit the behavior. The massive, random and warrantless program of body scanners and pat downs creates an environment for institutionalizing the worst demons of the human condition.

    This country has before and should not again, suffer the consequences of allowing one group of people dominion over another, when submission was not provoked by the other party’s uncivil behavior. In The Life and Times of Fredrick Douglas, he believed that slavery perpetrated as much emotional and psychological damage on the owner as the slave.

    The current TSA approach reminds me of the futile and tragic consequences of gun control legislation, which focuses on the instruments of violence, and ignores the person using the instruments. For just one example consider that in Fairfax County, Virginia guns appear to live passive lives, but as soon as they cross the Potomac River and enter the Anacostia area of Washington D.C. they become psychopaths when under the influence of rigid gun control legislation.

    Such seems to be the befuddled focus of TSA procedures, which exclusively look for things. Do procedures ignoring people really make us any safer? Is the impact counterproductive like gun control? Maybe they are merely the only alternatives remaining after everything faces the politically correct gate keepers, who judge everything according to their personal moral orthodoxy?

    The Homeland Security approach contrasts sharply to the disparaged NSA program for warrantless intrusion into private communications, where analysts sought a handful of useful leads from the 60 to 100 billion calls per day. Their standards first passed a Fourth Amendment test, and then focused on much narrower parameters to find signals of interest.

    For the NSA probability and statistics enabled approaches, which are otherwise condemned as profiling. TSA should be allowed enhanced surveillance methods, when their rules focus on a body of behaviors and characteristics, even racial or religious, denoting responses with a higher probability for terrorist actions.

    However, a powerful resting inertia must be overcome; such as already dominates the gun control debate. Here abiding faith and political power combine to leave people’s behavior and characteristics out of the equation.

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