U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently visited Israel to learn about Israel’s airport security measures. She was quick to say, however, that Israel’s security measures should not be adopted in America. Her reasoning? Israel has only 7.3 million people, while America has 310 million. Israel has only one major international airport and 11 million overall airline travelers each year, while America has 450 international airports and 70 times the number of airline passengers as Israel.
Come again? Israel, with its much smaller numbers, relies heavily on behavioral profiling of travelers. America rejects individual profiling and screens everyone? This seems wildly illogical. You would think that a country with a much smaller population might actually be able to screen EVERY passenger, whereas a country the size of America would use selective profiling so that its resources would not be stretched too thin. But it is just the opposite. America wastes tremendous time and resources on screening grandmothers. And yes, I take this personally, because it’s hard for my family to forget the completely unnecessary extra screening applied to my 83-year-old mother (now deceased), who had Alzheimer’s disease. She was subject to an extra search and questioning while en route to an assisted living facility. Will future generations praise us for authorizing such actions?
Let’s not beat around the bush here. The Israeli system is being rejected because it involves the politically incorrect tactic of individual profiling. So rather than risk offending a small number of Muslim men, we will operate in the dark even if it means more Americans will be killed by radical Islamic terrorists. Of course all Muslims are not potential terrorists. But to date 100% of such terrorists have been young Muslim men. Hence, they should logically be subject to greater scrutiny. I would say the same thing about profiling if there were a comparable terrorist movement organized by Jews, Christians, Hindus, or Buddhists. If thousands of bald Jewish men in their late 40s had formed a movement to destroy the useless airplane drink carts, I wouldn’t be personally offended if I had to undergo a higher level of scrutiny when I passed through airport security checkpoints. The brief delays wouldn’t be a huge inconvenience for me. Rather than be mad at the government, I would direct my anger towards the bald Jewish brigade.
If America adopted logical security methods, we know the usual suspects would cry foul. They are more than welcome to issue press releases decrying the alleged human rights violations. We do have free speech in this country after all. However, until these same organizations write columns and issue press releases condemning terrorism and recognizing Israel’s right to exist, we must also reserve the right to boldly ignore them.
Sadly, our current policy is a recipe for failure. I dread the day when a suspect who should set off all the bells and whistles breezes through a checkpoint while heterosexual male TSA employees contemplate a full cavity search of Fergie.
C. Scott Litch is the chief operating officer and general counsel for a non-profit association. Scott is a licensed attorney, Certified Association Executive, and also holds a masters degree in public policy He is the author of The Principled Conservative in 21st Century America, released in the fall of 2010 just prior to the GOP mid-term election tsunami.