I linked to this piece from The Hill as a related item yesterday, but I think it deserves comment, so here we go:
The next step in tightened security could be on U.S. public transportation, trains and boats.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists will continue to look for U.S. vulnerabilities, making tighter security standards necessary.
“[Terrorists] are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through,” Napolitano said in an interview that aired Monday night on “Charlie Rose.”
“I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime. So, what do we need to be doing to strengthen our protections there?”
Oh Lord can we please stop the insanity? With all due respect to Secretary Napolitano, we can’t bubble wrap life. Putting metal detectors or body scanners in every train station, subway station, bus terminal or ferry terminal in the United States is prohibitively expensive and overly intrusive. The body scanners alone cost roughly $150,000 each, add in the cost to hire and train the personnel to staff all these new checkpoints we’re into to triple digit millions if not billions.
Secretary Napolitano is right, in that as we tighten aviation security the bad guys are going to start looking for softer targets. And, yes, that may include public transportation. But it also includes anywhere large numbers of people gather. What are we going to do put TSA checkpoints in every shopping mall, amusement park, night club, concert venue or sporting event in America?
We have to be realistic, in an open society like ours there is always going a certain level of vulnerability. There’s simply no way to completely eliminate risk from life. Sure, we can trade our liberties for the illusion of security and hide behind metal detectors and body scanners, but a determined enemy will always find a way to attack us.
But then this isn’t about security it’s about making sure the scanner makers are getting a good return on they’re lobbying investment…
- Airport protest never takes off; few delays seen – Associated Press