The Transportation Security Authority of the US is getting more absurd in the security theater they play at. Only the big items hit the news, not the humiliation that the average flyer has to go through.
For instance, Meera Shankar, an Indian diplomat, was given the “enhanced pat-down” in Mississippi a few days ago. (See India diplomat gets ‘humiliating’ pat-down at Mississippi airport.) I don’t think that her being a diplomat should have anything to do with it. Even non-diplomats should not have to undergo such pad-downs. That just shows that it is all security theater and does nothing to make us safe from Islamic terrorism in the skies.
Remember that the US has spent $45 billion on aviation security since 9/11/2001. That is not the total cost to society. The number of hours lost, the frustration, the having to throw away innocuous stuff at the airport, not being allowed to carry any liquids, etc — all add up to a lot more than just money. And how much do the Islamic terrorist spend on killing people? Pitiably little in comparison.
Hitchens wrote a piece in Slate: “Don’t be an Ass about Airport Security“. In there he gives an example of how little the Islamic terrorists spent — $4,200 — in the toner-cartridge incidents. It is anybody’s guess as to the millions of dollars that it will cost to take precaution against toner-cartridge bombs. (Thanks to Sudipta for the link.)
The Islamic terrorists will continue to figure out more imaginative ways of keeping a step ahead of the TSA. This is not going to end until the government realizes that it is not what you carry on board but who you are that matters. Your profile dictates whether you are a threat or not, not whether you have any weapon on you or not.