Siddiqui: Failed air security is but one of several fiascos
There’s a lot that remains unsaid despite all that has been said about the foiled terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound plane Christmas Day.
More than the experts, it’s the public that quickly caught on to the essential truth, namely, that airline security has been a farce.
The tens of billions of dollars spent only allowed politicians to put on the theatrics of action, bureaucrats to build empires, and newly minted security companies to make huge profits – without perceptibly improving safety.
The shoes on your feet and the tiny tube of cream in your bag may be allowed at one gate but not the other of the same terminal at the same hour. Terrorists’ bomb powder may get through but granny’s skin lotion must be confiscated.
The watch list of 560,000 names does not stop potential terrorists but flags and strands law-abiding citizens whose names vaguely resemble someone else’s. Or because different states, or agencies within a state, don’t talk to each other, nor do their databases, even when the concerned father of a radicalized young man alerts the Americans.
When disasters have been averted, they’ve been by sheer luck and the heroism of passengers/crews.
Whenever the system has been shown to have failed, it has been ramped up with more of the same, and passengers harassed ever more. This is the inevitable outcome of how, post-9/11, we let ourselves be pushed into fear and panic, manipulated by vested political and business interests, and rendered essentially helpless and incapable of seeing the big picture.
The airline security failure is but one fiasco among many.
Nine years, $1.3 trillion and two wars and many miniwars later, we have more terrorism than before.
There are several sub-scandals.
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