Thursday, August 10, 2006

Security Ad Absurdum

Update: James H. Hoyner Jr., at TCS Daily, has almost exactly the same thoughts as me, expressed in a little more detail.

I'm currently watching CNN's breaking news regarding the recent arrests in London. Some government official is online trying to reassure us by telling us the threat level's up to orange, blah blah blah. Buried in his statement, though, is this gem: since the terrorists were planning on using liquid explosives disguised as beverages, haircair products, etc, all liquid items are - yep, you guessed it - banned.

This is just getting silly. Frankly I'm surprised they didn't ban footwear after Richard Rede ("If you'll just check your shoes at the line, and step into these standard issue airline flight slippers....") It was one thing when they confiscated my nail clippers, but let's face it, you can disguise explosives as anything, given sufficient time and motivation. If the US government keeps acting in this ridiculous way, a valid strategy for the Islamists will be to just make a whole bunch of fake bomb plots, each one with a different trick; if some succeed, hey, great, but that won't even be the point. The point will be to make the authorities so ridiculously paranoid that their security procedures effectively end the era of international flight.

Now, I'm not anti-security. I like to feel safe when I fly (which is rarely.) But there are limits. There are cases where security procedures really do cross that line from 'necessary' to 'letting the terrorists win'. And this, despite - in fact maybe even because - it's so trivial, is just such a case.

7 Comments:

Blogger MurdocK said...

Stop watching CNN

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Blogger Matt said...

Good advice....

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