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Surgically Implanted Explosives... Really? (Wednesday, July 6, 2011)

Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security's latest "threat" involves surgically implanted explosives being used to destroy airplanes, and that airlines and international travellers shouldn't be surprised to see additional security measures, since metal detectors, and even the backscatter X-ray machines cannot see inside the human body.

My question is, what are they trying to protect us from? Even if you consider this a plausible threat (which I don't), you can't possibly look inside every passenger, every time they fly. The current security theater is bad enough, but you can't run all your passengers through an MRI or CT scan before they get on an airplane. And so what if you could? What's to stop someone from detonating an explosive in the security line? There are probably more people waiting in the security line in the terminal, than there are on the airplane itself!

The number of people killed in the World Trade Center attack in 2001 was a result of the airplane itself being used as a weapon. It seems clear that passengers will no longer stand by while hijackers use a plane as a weapon. United Flight 93 proves that the situation has changed. As do the situations with the "underwear bomber" and the "shoe bomber", both of which were thwarted by their own failure or the intervention of passengers. The combination of active passengers and hardened cockpit doors largely mitigates the risk of a commercial plane being taken over and used as a weapon.

So that really only leaves the threat of destroying the plane, itself, and killing its passengers. But as I said, if you keep the explosives off the plane, the criminals can always attack the security line itself.

There is no purpose served by more and more invasive screening procedures. The government has already gone much too far, and now they want to go even farther. But it serves no useful purpose, and does nothing to add protection from any threat, real or perceived.

—Brian (7/6/2011 8:46 PM)
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