August 17, 2006


Yesterday I heard an exceedingly interesting and eminently reasonable defense of terrorist profiling on NPR of all places. During the radio segment "Marketplace" the audience was treated to an appeal to reason presented by National Review Commentator David Frum. (Click the above title to download the audio of the segment and/or read the transcript).

I find Frum's commentary to be an eloquent advocacy of what he calls "risk profiling". Among other things, he essentially points out that the recently foiled terrorist plot in England would possibly have not been thwarted here in America because of our own politically correct "randomized" scrutiny and screening at airports whereas an eighty year old grandmother traveling for the first time from Arkansas receives the same level of scrutiny as a twenty something year old Muslim man with a criminal record and traveling to the U.S. from Syria via Pakistan.

Frum joins a chorus of other conservative voices that I have heard recently on this very subject and to me it is becoming clear that America will have to shrug off some of the shackles of liberalism and politically correctness in order to more effectively protect ourselves from the fanatics that seek to kill us.


Kent said...

It's time that we get ourselves a bit more focused on fighting terrorism.

That means profiling. That means longer lines at airports. That means passenger manifests sent to the Feds before takeoff. That means El-Al type passenger interviews. That means professional security forces at all American airports.

Jaz said...

I concur.

This NPR segment I was listening to was discussing what could be a tipping point where it becomes an untenable situation to even travel by plane for businessmen and women. Just imagine, there’s talk of banning laptops on flights. I have heard from businessmen who have said that the banning of laptops would prevent them from flying, period.

David Frum’s comments intimate that there is perhaps light at the end of the tunnel. If sensible precautions such as profiling are adopted then perhaps an interview and intense scrutiny of each and every passenger will not be necessary.

My advice: All those who travel routinely by air better hope that a form of risk profiling is adopted.

While those going on vacation might as well be held up for hours, those traveling for business, where time is money, may understandably seek alternate transportation.

Kent said...

I fear that we're going to have to suffer a devastating attack on American soil again to really get serious.

I'm all for the safety measures they want to throw at us and more. I don't think they do nearly enough.

The last time I was in San Francisco visiting my girl I was searched at the airport. They took my shoes, they took my belt, they took my messenger bag, they gave me a couple of very aggressive patdowns. And I didn't mind any of it. Not one bit. I'm grateful they do what they are doing.

My take on those impatient people at airports: They need to grow up. Uncooperative people should spend a night in jail watching video tapes of the planes hitting the World Trade Center, the beheadings in Iraq and other acts of carnage as a result of the actions of the Islamo-fascists.