Be scanned or be banned

February 7, 2012 26 Comments
By

Rage warning – the article that prompted this post provoked one of the Angry Exile’s periodic descents into red mists, from where only the sound of his his almost incessant swearing could be heard. This post therefore contains greater than usual quantities of foul invective and horrible oaths.

Oh, great.

PASSENGERS at airports across Australia will be forced to undergo full-body scans or be banned from flying under new laws to be introduced into Federal Parliament this week.

Well, if that’s the attitude then I bloody well will drive, fuck you very much. Well, really I mean I’ll carry on driving because this airport security theatre bullshit has been building up to this for several years, and since I really object to paying a lot of money to be treated as a potential terrorist instead of a paying customer I’ve sworn not to fly unless it’s really urgent and/or there’s an ocean in my way. If I can plan ahead I’ll go overland, even if it takes a few days.

Fuck. You. All.

In a radical $28 million security overhaul, the scanners will be installed at all international airports from July and follows trials at Sydney and Melbourne in August and September last year.

And this is what I hate about security theatre. We’ve been sold this technology as a solution but really we’re no safer. The bombing at Domodedovo airport in Moscow a year ago demonstrated how much damage and death could be dealt by a suicide bomber in a crowded terminal, and I can’t see how things would be much better if someone did exactly the same thing in an airport with scanners. Hell, they could do it in the queue for the scanner and wreck the bloody thing as well as kill a bunch of people, and what would the scanner’s contribution have been? Apart from to use up several million dollars that could have been spent on something else.

The Government is touting the technology as the most advanced available, with the equipment able to detect metallic and non-metallic items beneath clothing.

Would that include metallic objects such as guns? I ask only because it’s barely a year since we heard that an undercover TSA agent was able to smuggle a gun through the body scanners at Dallas-Fort Worth airport on multiple occasions by the devious technique of – and I’m not making this up – hiding it in her knickers.

Still, they know about it now so they’ll have fixed that problem, eh? Er, no. Because an 65 year old woman boarded a flight with a gun in her carry on bags after going through the screening, and this happened just a few weeks ago. At Dallas-Fort Worth. And it wasn’t the scanners that saved the day either. The gun was spotted when the bag went through the X-Ray machine – you know, that layer of security that’s been around for years and suddenly isn’t up to snuff any more. So how’d she get on board? Because she was able to pick up the bag with the gun in it and wander off “before the TSA could notify police”. Presumably the multi-million dollar scanners just sat there holding their electronic dicks having contributed precisely nothing, and humming with embarrassment over their 51% false positive rate and their inability to tell the difference between explosives and someone’s sweaty pits.

And we’re buying these things? Oh, fucking great. I feel so much safer now.

It’s also keen to allay concerns raised on travel online forums that passengers would appear nude on security screens as they had when similar scanners were introduced at US airports.

The technology will show passengers on a screen as stick figures of neither sex.

Not the point. As I’ve explained above and at some length in the past, my objection was never that someone might see my knob or my wife’s tits, it’s that neither of us are terrorists and there’s not a single goddamn thing in the whole fucking universe to suggest that we are. In the days when the IRA were blowing up bits of London and other British cities I could have understood if my Irish surname briefly raised an eyebrow if I tried to get in certain places, though I’m sure that as soon as the inevitable computer check came back and said that (a) I was born in England and (b) was about 14 I’d be instantly ruled out as almost certainly not an Irish Republican terrorist and allowed to carry on. Similarly I feel that it’s not unreasonable that I don’t get treated as a possible member of Alkyfuckingaida at airports, especially when the bastards know who I am well before I fly and can assess my potential risk in advance, leaving not much more than a need for me to satisfy them that I am, as I claim, Mr A Exile who’s never been in trouble with the police and was vetted before getting an Australian visa.

The system has approval from the Privacy Commission.

Well, good for the fucking Privacy Commission, and if it had more than two fifths of fuck all to do with privacy concerns I might even give a shit that they approve.

The proposed Aviation Security Amendment (Screening) Bill 2012 will make it mandatory for any passenger selected to participate in undergoing a body scan.

The “no scan, no fly” amendment closes a loophole in the legislation, which allows passengers to request a pat-down instead of having to pass through a metal detector.

Which won’t be welcomed by those concerned by the potential health risks, such as the EU who are worried about the risk of cancer. I’m not convinced by this myself, but I’d always have gone for the pat down just to take the extra opportunity to register my objection to and contempt for the whole, sorry, pointless exercise. Maybe others already have and this is because too many of the fare paying flying public are failing to behave like self loading freight and passively march through the scanners. Fine, we understand what’s wanted from us now:

Baaaaaaa!

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said mandatory body scans were necessary to ensure the safety of airports.

No it isn’t necessary, Tony, you abject twat. It’s not fucking necessary at all. Go to Israel and see how they do it. They’re surrounded by people who either hold a cordial dislike for Israel and Jews or who want them wiped off the face of the planet, so of course they inflict this bullshit security theatre on the flying public? Er, apparently not, and they haven’t had an incident for bloody decades.

Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel’s largest hub, Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, has not been breached since 2002, when a passenger mistakenly carried a handgun onto a flight. How do they manage that?

The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Ben Gurion is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?

“Two benign questions. The questions aren’t important. The way people act when they answer them is,” [Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy] said.

Once you’ve parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.

Armed guards outside the terminal observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour. At Ben Gurion’s half-dozen entrances, another layer of security is watching. At this point, some travellers will be randomly taken aside, and their person and their luggage run through a magnometer.

“This is to see that you don’t have heavy metals on you or something that looks suspicious,” said Sela.

You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side?

“The whole time, they are looking into your eyes – which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds,” said Sela.

Lines are staggered. People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far.

At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil’s advocate – what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?

“I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with Play-Doh in it and two pens stuck in the Play-Doh. That is `Bombs 101′ to a screener. I asked Duchesneau, `What would you do?’ And he said, `Evacuate the terminal.’ And I said, `Oh. My. God.’

“Take (Toronto’s) Pearson (airport). Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let’s say I’m (doing an evacuation) without panic – which will never happen. But let’s say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, `Two days.’”

A screener at Ben Gurion has a pair of better options.

First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.

Second, all the screening areas contain `bomb boxes.’ If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.

“This is a very small, simple example of how we can simply stop a problem that would cripple one of your airports,” Sela said.

Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben Gurion airport shares with Pearson – the body and hand-luggage check.

“But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America,” Sela said.

“First, it’s fast – there’s almost no line. That’s because they’re not looking for liquids, they’re not looking at your shoes. They’re not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you,” said Sela. “Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes … and that’s how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys.”

The goal at Ben Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in 25 minutes tops.

Twenty-five minutes? For Christ’s sake, I’ve been at western airports where I’ve spent longer than that in each of several queues, surrounded by people any one of whom could have been about to do a Domedodovo for all anyone else knew.

And then there’s intelligence. In Israel, Sela said, a coordinated intelligence gathering operation produces a constantly evolving series of threat analyses and vulnerability studies.

“There is absolutely no intelligence and threat analysis done in Canada or the United States,” Sela said. “Absolutely none.”

No, but there’s lots of rote working to checklists that will only spot a terrorist who’s too stupid to have spent some time considering ways around the bored staff doing mindlessly repetitive tasks. Jesus, they once confiscated a small blunt butter knife to prevent it being used to hijack the cockpit despite the fact that the guy they took it from was one of the fucking pilots.

Do you see the problem, Albanese? Do you really expect us to believe things will be markedly better here? Do you really expect it not to deteriorate into queues and queues of people doubled up like game snakes waiting to be herded through the scanners? Do you see why a trip to Tel Aviv to learn from a country that’s no more loved by the Islamaloons than us or the UK or the US but has had just one incident in the last decade, which even then was a frigging mistake, could have been so much more effective?

Because if you can’t then I’m inclined to put it down to one of two things: you’re either a fucking incompetent waste of meat or you’re a sucker for a sales pitch (supported by some lobbying, natch) for some expensive piece of kit that promises to make your scary problem go away. I very much hope that it isn’t the third possibility, that like some American politicians you bastards in Canberra have been buying shares in L3 Communications, the company that makes the scanners used at Aussie airports.

Oh, and also the gun-blind ones at Dallas-Fort Worth.

‘Kinell!

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26 Responses to Be scanned or be banned

  1. February 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    You speaka my language :lol:

  2. February 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    “Second, all the screening areas contain `bomb boxes.’ If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.”

    Good luck getting the minimum-wage, only-doing- this-job- because-I-can’t-get-anything- better average US or UK airport staff member to do that.

    Also to pass the exhaustive training necessary to make judgements based on a person’s behaviour. Once it’s been run through the PC wringer, and various allowances made for cultural groups ‘perceived behaviours’ you’d probably need to deplane a few legitimate passengers because you’ve overbooked with said AlkaAda converts…

    Perhaps what we should look at is not what the Israilis DO but rather what sort of people they are. Can we match that? Not at current wage levels.

    • Lord T
      February 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      When you get rid of the expensive theatre then you can afford people who will be trained to deal with it.

      our security is all checklists and I for one can’t understand why the nutters have not already taken advantage of it. I think it is those are in the pay of these scanner sales people. Even people with an IQ in minus figures can work this out.

  3. February 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Didn’t I see this somewhere today or is that the wine?

    • February 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      I may have mentioned it. :mrgreen:

  4. Radical Rodent
    February 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    It is not about securing the safety of the people, it is about keeping the people scared; when they are scared, you only have to say that you are there to protect them, and they then become far easier to control.

    Naturally, this sort of treatment tends to fade over time, so they have to keep whipping up some more hysteria. That failing, all you have to do is to ignore all the warnings given (even from the dummy’s father, in the case of the underpants bomber), and a few more casualties help to raise the levels of fear.

    • Mudplugger
      February 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      That’s the truth of it. And it means the terrorists have won, they have created effective terror – they don’t need to do anything else.

      But the authorities seize on it to inhibit freedoms wherever they can, while we are stupid enough to roll over and accept it.

      I am not – I refuse to remove my shoes and/or belt just to get on a frigging aeroplane in my own country. I have not flown anywhere since the hyper-nonsense began in 2006, nor shall I until realism returns.

      If more of us took that position, instead of meekly accepting it, the airline business would soon recognise the need to tempt us back by adopting appropriate and intelligence-based security. The answer is in our own hands.

    • February 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      Agreed, there’s certainly what we might call the Emmanuel Goldstein effect. But I think also that the bogeymen the pollies have created is scaring them more than the rest of us – they’re shit scared that something might happen ‘on their watch’ which they’ll be blamed for failing to prevent, leading them to become prone to jumping at anything that looks impressive and claims to be a solution. An Aussie blogger nailed it when talking about the proposed internet filter, aka The Great Firewall of Australia:

      Professionals, the desperate or the persistent will always get through. However if a politician demands a filter, pretty soon a shiny-suited salesman will appear, ready to sell him a box with “filter” written on the front. It’ll work — well enough for the demo, anyway. “Look, Minister! Nice Minister. Watch the screen. See? Filter off, bad website is visible. Filter on, bad website gone. Filter off. Child in danger. Filter on. Child happy and safe. Filter off. Voter afraid and angry. Filter on. Voter relaxed and comfortable. Cheque now please.”

      Body scanners? Same fucking thing, I reckon, except more widespread.

  5. Dave G
    February 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm


    and a few more casualties help to raise the levels of fear.”

    Too true – and we are already well past the time the public were ‘taught a lesson’ in how the Government are taking good care of us.

  6. Voice of Reason
    February 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    It sounds like Australia has gone the way of the UK and US. Everything is run my middle-managers, who write rule books which require no decision-making at all. It invades education especially badly.

    • February 8, 2012 at 7:00 am

      This country is no longer a nation of shopkeepers – it’s a nation of middle-managers [more like than not parachutees] … plus pen-pushers. Decision-making is narrowing and discretion is dead.

  7. Tedious Tantrums
    February 7, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    A year or so ago my wife and I were making our way back from a few days in London. We were going from Heathrow because a flight time was better there.

    Anyhow we pitched up at the desk and were sent to desk at the other end of the terminal. No problem. A woman asked if she could check my wives handbag. She swabbed the handle and said it was ok. My wife asked what she had done that for. Well my wife might have been handling explosives apparently.

    The security queue was fairly long. When we got through the metal detector gate bleeped when my wife went though. A brusk and rude woman then scanned her with a hand wand thing and when she moved it over the buttons on her cardigan it bleeped. My wife was then patted down. The woman called for a full body scan. My wife offered to remove said cardigan. No!

    My wife was taken for the scan and I had to get her luggage and her handbag. Another woman swabbed the handbag handle again.

    It was a disgusting, embarrassing and completely irrelevant and insensitive few minutes. Bearing in mind that all the security is defined to address something the terrorists have already tried.

    Targeted profiling is obviously a better way to do things.

    Of course they won’t.

  8. February 8, 2012 at 2:00 am

    You need to mobilise your (host) countrymen to hit the airports hard before this comes into effect. Organise a nation-wide boycott off all airports for a week. If you only manage to reduce the passenger traffic by 10% on those days, imagine what you can do to their bottom line?

    That will maybe help them to listen to the concerns of their customers and stand up to the government.

    If they don’t play ball, hit them again and keep hitting them until they get the message.

    Even those that absolutely have to fly can participate by not purchasing anything at all from the airports – not even a coffee. Refuse to use their buses, car parks, or rent cars from their premises (from which they get a cut).

    • February 8, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Good idea, but the usual problem with people – they won’t kick until things get more painful than they are. I think this is particularly true in Oz where the market for air travel is less than a tenth that of Europe or the US, which is why we pay more for flights in the first place, and everything is so far apart. Melbourne to Adelaide or Canberra is a day’s drive and Perth or the top end is half a week if you hoof it and more if you take the time to enjoy the road trip. On top of that you can spend more on fuel than the bloody flights would have cost. Result: the average Aussie going up to the Gold Coast theme parks for a family holiday is going to whinge a bit about the inconvenience but will still fly. And of course there are a few who are like the worst of the US/Euro sheeple and would still stand there saying that they know it’s all for their own protection while gripping their ankles for a cavity search.

      I don’t believe there’ll be a reaction until it’s more widely recognised that security theatre doesn’t achieve safer air travel, just the illusion of safer air travel. If and when a sizeable number of people realise this then there may be some buying pressure on the airlines, who will pressurise the airports, who will pressurise Anthony Albanese or whoever is the transport minister when it happens. Until then, or until the government talk about strip searching children, I believe the prevailing attitude will remain ‘Yeah, it’s a pain, but what can we do? We have to fly.’

  9. Single Acts of Tyranny
    February 8, 2012 at 3:30 am

    I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but when I have to fly, I try to go to small local airports rather than the so called international hubs. Not only can you park outside (not six miles away), they have one terminal, not 98 so you can board the plane in about two minutes and they treat you as a person more or less.

    • February 8, 2012 at 7:01 am

      I’ve not had much experience of the regional airports in oz but I’m sure you’re right, and since the budget carriers tend to operate from them it could be cheaper as well as more convenient. Still banjaxed for going out of the country though. That’s one thing to be said for living in Europe. If you don’t want your balls microwaved at Heathrow you can get a train to the continent and fly from Charles de Gaulle or Frankfurt or wherever will remember to treat you like a customer. Will cost time and probably money too, but it’s the only message that will be understood. Sadly I doubt enough people are prepared to send it yet.

  10. February 8, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Cui bono? I’m cynical enough to think you’ve hit the nail on the head; someone will be making a mint out of this development.

    As I mentioned in a comment at your place a while back, my role in ‘security theatre’ is usually that of involuntary burlesque performer, removing clothing a piece at a time in front of an increasingly impatient queue until the guards finally accept that I do set off scanners unaided; it’s like playing strip poker when the other guy’s got all the cards.

    Roll on the day when they just want to gaze into my eyes instead!

    • February 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      Ah, sounds like a gender reversed version of this.

  11. February 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Probably me, but ‘this’ isn’t doing anything…

    Actually, your post, together with your observation* last time that women seem to set the scanners off more than men, got me wondering about whether the sensitivity of scanners constitutes a form of discrimination against those of us whose auras set them beeping for no reason.

    Or maybe the twist in Bladerunner was closer to home than I thought….

    *http://angryexile.blogspot.com/2011/11/flying-looks-about-to-get-whole-lot-er.html

  12. February 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Air Travel is safer because of 2 things:-

    1. The flight deck is secure

    2. Passengers will no longer meekly sit in their seats and do nothing.

    Security Theatre is just that. The last thing any of these drones want is to actually stop a terrorist. l mean, if you stop someone with a bomb vest on who’s looking forward to getting his 72 virgins … they ain’t exactly going to give themselves up are they? :roll:

  13. February 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    A couple of observations …………………………

    We were living in Monterrey, NL, Mexico, when 9-11 occurred; we could NOT return to the U. S. {driving} until the Friday after {even with both of us being former USMC}. We moved back to the U. S. in the latter half of 2002 {had been in Mexico from April of 2000}.

    The Spousal Unit was working in Europe {2002-2004, Czech Republic} and had negotiated {with his company} for me to come over occasionally for visits. I would fly out of Bush Intercontinental in Houston, generally on KLM. This was prior to the scanners brouhaha, so I would put my carry-on on the conveyor, get wanded & be on my way to Amsterdam, then connecting to Prague.

    On one of my returns, I was pulled aside in Amsterdam by a TRULY unattractive woman {she looked like she could have been one of the old Soviet Union’s female shot-putters} security person – she patted me down, then allowed me to continue to my connection to Houston. Bear in mind, there are all flavor of Islamists all over the place, seemingly receiving no more security awareness than a fly, including, on one trip to Prague, a man in full Muslim garb, in a wheelchair, attended by 3 younger men.

    On one return, from Amsterdam, a family {mother, father, toddler, infant} were in the same middle row as me, I was on the outer right side. I felt DRIPPING from the overhead compartment, when I notified a flight attendant, she opened it & hey! presto! the family unit’s frozen Dutch fish was melting ……………………………… it was removed {confiscated, since it was ILLEGAL}, the family was pi$$ed @ ME, but I didn’t really relish the thought of all that time being soaked in fish water.

    I was recently certified as a private security professional, working in a rather expensive jewelry outlet. Crime being on the rise in Houston as elsewhere, I told the sales associates {“my ducklings”} that, should someone enter the store in a threatening manner, they were to go into the office {had a lock-able door} and if it got too noisy, into the restroom {lock-able outward-opening door} and call 911, while I tried to prevent stock from “disappearing”. Now, I’m a 55 year old white woman, so you can IMAGINE the looks I received from my ducklings, mostly Hispanic & black. They were concerned at the thought that I might come into the store armed {in civilian clothing, it’s a matter of concealed-carry}, but were NOT hesitant to ask me to walk them {or customers who’d made large purchases} to their vehicles. Since no one ever knew, for sure, if I was or wasn’t carrying, I never had any issues. Seems THAT might be a place to start, for “security” at airports – if a person has been vetted by their state, WHY should they be forced on public transportation with no means to defend themselves or others?

    Semper Fi’
    DM

    • February 10, 2012 at 4:38 am

      Your experience in Amsterdam puts me in mind of that picture circulating on the interwebs of the Muslim TSA agent patting down a nun – it highlights the fact that we’re not going about this the smart way.

      The thing with the frozen fish is just another infuriating aspect of air travel: why the hell do some people find it so difficult to read the bloody notices telling you what you can’t take in to the country you’re flying to. This happens a lot in Australia due to the long list of prohibited items and products. The rule of thumb is no food or organic material unless its processed, and so fruit is banned but tinned fruit isn’t. You’d think that’s simple enough but you fly into any Australian international airport right behind a plane from Anywhere Asian and just watch what goes on ahead of you in the queue for Customs. You can practically guarantee that there’ll be a few people trying to bring in dried fish, fresh veggies, all kinds of hand picked stuff, unidentified dried leaves, balls from endangered species, you name it. You can also guarantee that for almost every one of them there’ll be an Asian guy/girl with an Australian accent waiting in the Arrivals hall who’s going to end up saying “Mum, I told you on the phone last week that you’re not allowed to bring that crap in.”

      Guns. Yes, Americans and their guns is something that sends shivers down the spines of some in other countries but it’s something I have a lot of respect for. Guns in the hands of criminals should worry everyone, but since they won’t obey the laws about not stealing from people there’s no hope of getting them to obey gun laws. Conversely guns in the hands of law abiding citizens should not keep anyone awake at night, and the ‘who’s armed and who’s not’ effect of concealed carry benefits people who don’t have one and would rather not get one. Why that can’t be carried over on to aircraft I have no idea, but I would say that if it’s the airlines policy rather than a state/federal one then it’s a matter of property rights, i.e. their aircraft, and a courteous gun owner should respect that.

      Not that there’s much chance of that even being an option any time soon. Pointless security theatre seems to be the policy for the foreseeable future, which makes things difficult for flying refuseniks living on a big isolated island. :roll: At least in the US and Europe you can drive to other countries. Short of Tasmania declaring UDI that’s not going to happen here.

      • February 10, 2012 at 5:07 am

        I’m guessing your use of the term “UDI” is in reference to a Unilateral Declaration of Independence? ;-)

        As I’ve noted @ Crusader Rabbit & my own little blog, I’d LOVE to visit Australia ……………….. dunno about living there, I’m kinda partial to the Bill of Rights and that pesky Constitution that Ruth Bader-Ginsberg is finding ………………. unacceptable ……………..

        I’d agree re: firearms on planes, if it was a matter of courtesy to the airlines {their ‘living room’, their rules}. Here in the U. S., though, I’m pretty sure it’s yet another example of federal government overreach ……………………….

        Semper Fi’
        DM

        • February 10, 2012 at 7:01 am

          Yep, that’s what I meant by UDI. Probably won’t happen though. People tell me that Tasmania’s economy would implode pretty quickly without being part of Oz, though I don’t know how true that is.

          As for your Constitution and BoR, much respect to the guys who wrote it but I think it’s actually too wordy (something I’m guilty of a lot). For example, and since we’ve touched on being armed, would the Second Amendment have come under such scrutiny and had so much arguing over intent and even the placement of commas if it had read simply: “The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed”? I can see why they wanted to include the clause justifying it, but in hindsight it’s just led to a lot of arguments over whether it meant states and claims that the militia is the National Guard. If you have access to a time machine tell Madison: less is sometimes more. :smile:

  14. Anteaus
    February 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    On 9/11 the American airlines were caught out because they used routine procedures designed to deal with aircraft theft when they were actually faced with suicide attacks. Now they are wiser that won’t happen again.

    Since then, security companies have seen the money that is to be made from heightened alert status, and have done everything possible to keep the public in a state of panic, and to convince governments to spend more and more on new technology.

    It is notable that the security measures which have gradually crept-in would not have stopped 9/11 anyway. Though, I suppose they might have stopped the shoe bomber had a fortuitous dose of British rain not done that anyway.

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