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Federal probe questions TSA behavior profiling

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The Government Accountability Office said its investigation found that the results of the TSA program -- called Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques -- were "no better than chance." Under the program, agents identify suspicious looking people and talk to them to determine whether they pose a threat. The investigators looked at the screening program at four airports, chosen on the basis of size and other factors. (www.federalnewsradio.com) Altro...

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jpcooper
I have just arrived home in Australia after 7 weeks in the U.S. I travelled on international flights ( Air New Zealand ) to get to L.A. then United to New York and back to L.A. & then Air New Zealand to get home. I was asked to take my belt off as well as my shoes in every U.S. airport, was body-scanned and questioned why I was in the U.S., where had I been in the U.S. and what were my intentions in New York. !!! I really don't care about the security checks, scans etc. As far as I am concerned, it's being done, although not particularly well, for my benefit and that of my fellow travellers so that we have a much better than average chance of arriving at our destination without some disgruntled zealot deciding that he/she doesn't like my way of life and setting out to destroy me, my fellow passengers and possibly him or herself, as well as the aircrew and aircraft. I abhor the need for the TSA and such organisations, but I appreciate their efforts to make me safe.
wasclywabbit
John Berry 0
Wow, so much for checking on this article and expecting a civil discourse on aviation security. I can check in on anyone of a number of far left or far right political websites to get this kind of blather.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
What do civil people opine about TSA and airport security?
bbabis
bbabis 7
The problem is not with the profiling but with the TSA. It takes training, skill, and determination to make profiling work. The TSA has none of these and only tries to throw more money at it in a PC environment. El Al knows how to profile and works it to perfection without restricting any religion or race from boarding.
PhotoFinish
No rational person suggests giving up rights and living in a totalitarian state. But there is some value in directing more energy differentially toward properly identifying and eliminating threats to aviation. Not all travelers are equally a threat.

Not surprised that the TSA can't do better than random selection. But that's unfortunate. Points to incompetence. Even if one were to believe that it is due to lack of training, that's just an incomtent implementation.

You can't hire the bottom of the barrel TSA agents and expect El Al agent effectiveness. We need to get past the security theatre era, and get to a time when we spend less time and effort giving your average traveler a hard time getting through security, while increasing security by better using our limited resources to identify the eliminate actual and real threats.

which is just another
Falconus
Falconus 2
Wow... The comments on this thread are really astounding to me. I'm an American. I live in what should be a free country. Racial profiling (or "religious profiling" if you want to pretend you aren't racist) has no place in a free country. If you disagree with me, move to a dictatorship. They'll keep you very "safe" there by stripping you of ALL your rights.

I don't panic when there's a mild threat and march down to congress with a picket sign that says "Take my rights to keep me safe!" Those who came before me put their lives on the line to protect those rights; I wouldn't be honoring them by giving up/taking other people's rights to placate my own cowardice. And if it's other people's rights today, it's my rights tomorrow that are gone.

Associating Islam with terrorism simply reflects a poor understanding of what Islam is. There are many terrorists who claim to be Muslim - but they are Muslim in the same way that Eric Rudolph was Christian - by completely and utterly missing the mark.

Do you really think that now somebody who strives to be a terrorist and claims that they are Muslim will walk through the airport security line with a beard, a turban, and traditional Arab clothing? Heck no, they'll shave anddress in a baseball cap and a tee-shirt, looking just like any run-of-the-mill American.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
You hit the nail on the head, even though I am starting to believe some sort of profiling might need to be used now in everyday life in a SENSIBLE way... Just because of the way society has become...
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Profiling of some sort is done every day by virtually every cop in America. It might just be the looks of your car in a certain neighborhood driving slowly. Suspicious and profiling run real close.
Moviela
Supreme Court Justice summed up the idea that you could observe people and know what they are doing. He wrote:

"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that."

Truth is an eyewitness is the worst avenue to use to find truth. If we want to prevent terror on the airlines or most anyplace else we need to profile and exclude Muslim males between 17 and 43.

(how was that Phil?)
johndanzy
John Danzy 1
Excludes muslim males between 17 and 43 from what? Ric is at it again with his comments. If this isn't racist I don't know what is. Sure, many terrorists have been muslim but are all muslims terrorists?
So by your logic are all Black Americans convicts since they make up a large prison population? Are all jews cheap because you know someone who says that? There are over a billion muslims in the world. Get out and travel.
Moviela
You should really consider the definition of racist before exclaiming its true. There are but three defined races on the planet with respect to humans. There are those whose Brilliant Speculation would have you believe that tribes or clans that belong to a particular race are worthy of separate classification. This is so they may freely object to the treatment of their tribe on the basis of race when in fact no racial discrimination has occurred.

To be Muslim is not a race. One is not born with physical characteristics that would connect one with Islam.

Muslims are actually well represented by the three races, Asians, Blacks, & Whites. There are scientific expressions for each, but everyone is physically part of one group.

There are too many Blacks in US prisons, but that is a function of failed liberal policies that continue to deny people an equal place in society. The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights was not written by a liberal Democrat. The largest prison population is white, but a lot of them deserve to be there.

Jews have suffered a specious form of discrimination, but not because of their race (most are white) but because of how they celebrate religion. Hitler is long gone, and Germany is rather well behaved, but there is a tribe that wants to kill them to this day. The most militant among that tribe are white also. So it is discrimination, but not racial discrimination.

That same tribe is "offended" because Americans stepped on their land. They espouse that entitles them to kill all of us and break our things. What right thinking person would accept that? I say exclude them until they have learned to be tolerant of other paths to God.

You suggest I travel, I have worked on seven continents, missing a relative few dots in the ocean.

America as a whole needs to understand that those who want to kill us are not entitled to move about freely.
johndanzy
John Danzy -2
Okay. Thanks for clarifying. According to you, It seems I had the definition of racist wrong.

Please answer this. A convenience store does not allow Black men into their store at night. What do you call that? What do you call airport screeners who don't allow certain looking people on a plane?
jatherton
1st question...cautious? second question...smart?
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
Nah, that would be some sort of profiling/prejudice...
Falconus
Falconus -2
You should really consider the definition of racism too, Ric Wernicke. It just so happens that the idea of "race" is completely constructed socially. It so happens there is often more genetic variation among a given "race" than between "the three" that you discuss. There is no race, except for what you are raised to believe. This becomes painfully obvious when you start looking at other societies and realize that there is no hard and fast definition of what race is. I don't expect you to believe me, and you may even try to tell me that I'm wrong. But I'm not, and you should be careful because you don't really understand what you are talking about. If you want to classify everybody into three races, that's up to you. But expect that most people have differently-defined categories and parameters.

Just a question, simply because I'm curious. According to you, are Native Americans (American Indians) Asian, Black, or White? I ask because you only allow for those three categories...
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 3
I used to work with an Argentinean guy that put down every race except white, until it was time for government student loans. He became a Latin "minority" again for that. So to comment on your question, I guess everyone has different classifications of race/ethnicity based on the audience...
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
People have heard racism used so much they don't even know what it means anymore. There will always be some racists. And EVERYBODY has some bias toward a certain person or group. You can't legislate people's brain. Lol
preacher1
preacher1 3
In order to come back on Topic a little and get away from society's ills, and back to profiling or whatever, we just need to tell all the PC and easily offended, privacy folks to get over it. When you arrive at an Airport, you are stepping into a world that operates under a different set of rules and that really doesn't care if your tender sensibilities get trounced. I am not a TSA advocate but this may be what they should have done years ago, modeling after El Al.
Falconus
Falconus -1
When you are stepping into an airport in the United States, you are stepping onto United States territory. In the United States you have a certain right to privacy (against unreasonable search and seizure) and a freedom of religion without consequences. Either start a movement to change the constitution or drop it. Rest assured that I will oppose any effort to change the constitution to take away rights. Sorry if the first and fourt ammendments are "tender sensibilities", but many people have given their lives to defend them.
preacher1
preacher1 3
Both myself and Mr. Wallace below did our time in 'Nam to defend those. BUT, if we are to maintain a semblance of airport security of some type, it will offend somebody, or infringe upon their rights. All I am saying is that no one forces a person to fly but if they do, they should know what to expect and leave their PC at home. I do not have the answer or I'd probably be a rich man, BUT, all I know is that El Al does it their way with roving agents looking for suspicious characters, among other things, and they have not had a problem in a long while. I hate to keep bringing them up in comparison, but their program works and costs a lot less than the TSA does.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
I'm all for the constitution as it is written. If TSA doesnt search or profile they are useless. But we already knew that. Lol
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
May as well try it. We've already tried about everything that don't work.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 4
I'm fine with profiling. Not so fine with spending a billion to point out the obvious.

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