Friday, November 26, 2010

TODAY IN TRAVEL:5 Ways to Fix the TSA Pat Down Problem

November 17, 2010 5:20 pm by Carl Unger

A lot has been said about the TSA's new body scanner/pat down policy, and most of it has been negative. Lots of people, myself included, have

written or spoken at length about why the policies are bad, and many have called on the TSA to ditch the scanners and pat downs entirely. OK, but what should the TSA do instead? It's a difficult question to answer, but a crucial part of the conversation. After all, if we're going to criticize, we should be able to offer solutions or alternatives, right? To that end, I reached out to several airline security experts and critics, and asked them what the TSA should do instead of scanning and patting down travelers. Here are five ideas of where to start:
Dr. Andrew R. Thomas, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Transportation Security; assistant professor of international business, University of Akron: "At its core, the transportation security strategy of the United States is overwhelmingly a law enforcement one. That is, what we do at our airports is inherently reactive and designed to prevent the last attack. This is the rationale for the 'naked x-rays' and new 'pat down.' The remedy for this bad course is to change the operational mission of the TSA and focus on risk reduction through pro-active measures such as broader intelligence gathering, knowledge management, and enhanced coordination with international partners. This will require leadership from the President and Congress to take the emphasis of the TSA away from being simply a passenger screening organization. Unfortunately, this does not appear on the horizon. And, with al qaeda having successfully tested and deployed the body-cavity bomb, there is a day in our future where multiple passengers on multiple planes will be blown up. Given the current trajectory of our current aviation security strategy, the response will 'logically' be the body-cavity searches of millions of innocent passengers. And then, maybe here, the necessary changes will finally occur." Patrick Smith, pilot and author, Ask the Pilot: "[Scanners] are part of what has become an unsustainable security strategy: That is, treating each and every passenger ... as potential terrorists, and attempting to inspect their bodies and belongings for each and every possible weapon. This simply isn't a realistic approach in a country where more than two million people fly daily.The body scanners are part of an arms race. First came Richard Reid and so we all need to take our shoes off; then came the underwear bomber and so now we're body-scanned and/or groped? What might be next? We cannot protect ourselves from every conceivable threat, and we need to acknowledge that while focusing on a security strategy that is efficient, reasonable, and effective, and in tune with the hierarchy of threat. What we have right now is none of those things. We are literally strip-searching the entire flying public, from preschoolers to pilots, and rifling through their bags for things—knives and scissors—that are harmless in the first place. All of this while freight from overseas goes uninspected for bombs and explosives."
Robert Poole, Director of Transportation Policy, Reason Foundation: "Intrusive screening of everyone is inherent in the TSA's current approach, which treats all air travelers as equally likely to be a threat. The only feasible way to remove body-scanning (or the intrusive pat down alternative) as standard procedure is to change TSA's screening model to one that is risk-based. In practice, that would mean separating air travelers (other than those on the No-Fly list, who are automatically denied passage) into three basic groups:
1. Trusted Travelers, who have passed a background check and are issued a biometric ID card that proves (when they arrive at the checkpoint) that they are the person who was cleared. This group would include cockpit crews and anyone holding a government security clearance, anyone already a member of DHS's Global Entry, Sentri, and Nexus, and anyone who applied and was accepted into a new Trusted Traveler program). These people would get to bypass regular security lanes upon having their biometric card checked, subject only to random screening of a small fraction.
2. High-risk travelers, either those about whom no information is known or who are flagged by the various DHS intelligence lists as warranting 'Selectee' status. They would be the only ones facing body-scanner or pat down as mandatory, routine screening.
3. Ordinary travelers—basically everyone else, who would go through metal detector and put carry-ons through 2-D X-ray machines. They would not have to remove shoes or jackets, and could travel with liquids. A small fraction of this group would be subject to random 'Selectee'-type screening.
This type of risk-based screening would focus TSA resources on the travelers most needing scrutiny, by reducing the use of resources on low-risk travelers. It would also save considerable sums in both screener payroll and equipment costs; no more body scanners would be purchased, since TSA already owns enough to use only for the secondary screening needed for the above program.
As for TSA claims that Trusted Traveler would be too risky, they cannot make that claim with a straight face, for two reasons. First, their parent agency DHS operates the three border-crossing programs noted above (Global Entry, Sentri, and Nexus) which operate on exactly the same principle. Second, TSA itself applies this principle for the hundreds of thousands of people who work at airports and need access to secure areas to do their jobs. Those people must pass an FBI criminal history background check, which entitles them to an ID card giving them unescorted access to secure airport areas. Some of these people have access to planes on the tarmac, which means they could do damaging things to those planes. Yet TSA accepts this risk trade-off."
Fred Gevalt, Executive Producer, Please Remove Your Shoes: "Since we released our film, I’m asked quite frequently for a solution. Today my message to TSA would be simple: 'Stop it. Just stop it.' TSA has become a government jobs program. Give them all shovels and let them repair America’s roads. We had prior knowledge of Pan Am 103, the jihadists of 9/11, the shoe bomber and the Christmas bomber. We need better application of intelligence. We don’t need the new airport routine. Let Americans travel freely at the airport, and let the CIA, NSA, and FBI do their jobs. We can handle risk. After all, isn’t this the land of the free and the home of the brave? I think that TSA has arrived at the end of the road. There is no systematized, conclusive way to scan, vet, or guarantee whatever it is they want to guarantee. They need to start profiling, where profiling is not racial as much as profiling those passengers they don't know anything about. Having said that, it will require brighter people, so they will have to abandon their hiring practices of advertising on pizza boxes and gasoline pumps. Follow the Israeli model!"
Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel, American Civil Liberties Union: "We need to focus more on explosives, less on looking for items like knives and box cutters that can't really cause much harm. [The TSA] already has bomb-

swabbing machines on hand, which can detect bomb-making material on hands and clothes. These are much less invasive than the scanners and pat downs, and actually address what is really the main threat against airlines.More broadly, we need to have a real discussion about comparing the benefits and costs of our current system. Unfortunately, it's a little late now, with so much money spent and so many body scanners deployed, but we're not even sure how effective these scanners are at detecting bomb-making material. The Government Accountability Office issued a report saying the machines hadn't been adequately field tested, and questioned if the machines would have stopped the Christmas Day bomb attack. Basically, [airline safety] is a long-term issue, and it requires a process that focuses on true security threats while taking civil liberties into account."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jack Webb on How to Deal With the TSA

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Terrorism in the Sky,Terrorists 'could use exploding breast implants to blow up jet'

The recent acquittal of Ahmed Ghailani, a Gitmo detainee of all but 1 charge in N.Y. should serve notice that the Obama administration war on terrorism is in shambles and has been since day one. Janet napolitano and John Pistole the directors of Homeland Security, and the entire TSA department is inept and don't know what they are doing. The groping of male passengers and under the dress feeling of women passengers, and the rub down of children should be a vivid indication that the TSA is reaching for straws, and is groping in the dark. The only way to seriously slow terrorism, not stop it, but slow it down is to profile. Juan Williams who was recently fired from NPR after more than 10 years for saying that he get nervous and had fears when he was on a flight with Muslim women who were dressed in full Muslim garbs, should not be dismissed as someone who is a racist or have prejudices toward a certain group of people. Just take the recent turn of events with the emerging police state and the willful violations of the flying American public constitutional rights. According to The FOURTH AMENDMENT...SEARCH AND SEIZURE: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized" The real rub is that the TSA is entertaining the idea to cave in to the Muslims demand that Muslim women who are flying in full Muslim traditional dress should not go through the full body scanner, or get the pat down that everyone else is subjected to, should put the entire flying public on notice that something is very seriously wrong. Recent reports is that Obama Gives a Pass. The long story, short, TSA Won’t Touch Muslims’ Junk. Reports states that Muslim women will not have to face such worries. has reported that Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — which is frequently tied to domestic terror plots — has been guaranteed that TSA officials will only pat down Muslim women in the head and neck area. CAIR said Muslims Women who object to full-body scans for religious reasons should know their rights if they are required to undergo a pat-down, including asking for the procedure to be done in a private place. In addition, CAIR offered a “special recommendation” for Muslim women who wear a hijab, telling them they should tell the TSA officer that they may be searched only around the head and neck. Now the flying public never will know what else is underneath the traditional dress of Muslim women and what they may have on them, or implanted in their bodies until the aircraft goes up in smoke, then it will be way too late. The question that come to mind for concern is about breast implants or breast prosthetics. What about breast implants? Will the common everyday Plain Jane, the average everyday woman who may have had breast reconstructive surgery because of medical reasons have to take their prosthetics off. More importantly,will the woman who has had breast implants for cosmetic reasons have to zip off their new breasts because explosive can not be detected by fondling them,or because they can not removed to be inspected for explosives,will they be allowed to board a flight. Now, this should validate the fears of Juan Williams, and should be on the mind of the flying public because explosive can be put into breast implants. The reason being is, Muslim women are just as dangerous and radical as Muslim men, and that the agenda of the terrorists is to kill as many Westerners as possible, even if they have to die with them in the process.The next big question is,what torment would a person have at the TSA check point if they have a plate in their head, metal hip or knee replacements, or an artificial limb? There are two very informative news articles about this matter that everyone who fly should read, and a video that you should watch and I have attached them here, read them, watch the video and govern your self accordingly. Forewarned is forearmed: Terrorists 'could use exploding breast implants to blow up jet' By Heidi Blake 8:36AM GMT 24 Mar 2010 Radical Islamist plastic surgeons could be carrying out the implant operations in lawless areas of Pakistan, security sources are said to warned. Explosives experts have reportedly said just five ounces of Pentaerythritol Tetrabitrate packed into a breast implant would be enough to blow a “considerable” hole in the side of a jumbo jet. It would be virtually impossible for airport security scanners to detect the explosive if hidden inside a breast, medics have said. Joseph Farah, a terrorism expert, told The Sun: "Women suicide bombers recruited by al-Qaeda are known to have had the explosives inserted in their breasts under techniques similar to breast enhancing surgery." Plastic surgeons may also have inserted the chemical into the buttocks of would-be suicide bombers. The discovery was reportedly made after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a London-educated Nigerian, attempted to blow up an airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas day with explosives packed into his underpants. Hours after his attack failed, British intelligence services reportedly picked up “chatter” from Pakistan and Yemen that alerted them to the bizarre new method. One plastic surgeon told The Sun: "Properly inserted the implant would be virtually impossible to detect by the usual airport scanning machines. "You would need to subject a suspect to a sophisticated X-ray. Given that the explosive would be inserted in a sealed plastic sachet, and would be a small amount, would make it all the more impossible to spot it with the usual body scanner." Terrorists Could Use Explosives in Breast Implants to Crash Planes, Experts Warn Female homicide bombers are being fitted with exploding breast implants which are almost impossible to detect, British spies have reportedly discovered. The shocking new Al Qaeda tactic involves radical doctors inserting the explosives in women's breasts during plastic surgery — making them "virtually impossible to detect by the usual airport scanning machines." It is believed the doctors have been trained at some of Britain's leading teaching hospitals before returning to their own countries to perform the surgical procedures. MI5 has also discovered that extremists are inserting the explosives into the buttocks of some male bombers."Women suicide bombers recruited by Al Qaeda are known to have had the explosives inserted in their breasts under techniques similar to breast enhancing surgery," Terrorist expert Joseph Farah claims. Related Links Al Qaeda Member Arrested for Recruiting Women Suicide Bombers CIA Chief: 'Disrupted' Al Qaeda Is 'On the Run' Suicide car bomber kills 4 in western Iraq YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN Fox Networks Pulled From Cablevision As Pact Ends 52 Dead in Baghdad Church Siege Ohio Teen Finds Family Members Dead, Thought It Was Halloween Prank Al Qaeda Member Arrested for Recruiting Women Suicide Bombers Memo From Adult Magazine to Rivals: Class Sells The lethal explosives called PETN are inserted inside plastic shapes during the operation, before the breast is then sewn up. The discovery of these methods was made after London-educated Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab came close to blowing up an airliner in the U.S. on Christmas Day. He had stuffed explosives inside his underpants. Hours after he had failed, Britain's intelligence services began to pick up "chatter" emanating from Pakistan and Yemen that alerted MI5 to the creation of the lethal implants. A hand-picked team investigated the threat which was described as "one that can circumvent our defense." Top surgeons have confirmed the feasibility of the explosive implants.
Woman says her Lambert security screening was sexual assault