Thursday, November 18, 2010

A thought...

And yes, it's a bit snarky.  But I mean it in all seriousness.

In 2006 the left went ballistic that President Bush wanted to track phone numbers of suspected terrorists.  They said it destroyed the Fourth Amendment, and some politicians went so far as to say, "What the heck - do you think millions of Americans are members of al Qaeda?"

Flash forward four years.  If you want to fly, the TSA will scan you (and agents will be able to see completely nude images of you) OR you can submit to a pat-down that, if it occurred anywhere else, would be considered a sexual assault.  Which seems to be just a *tiny* bit more intrusive than say, phone taps overseas.  Moreover, the efficacy - and safety - of such procedures have yet been proven to be reliable.  But no one on the left is complaining about personal privacy and the Fourth Amendment now.  Why?  The arguments are exactly the same.  "What the heck - do you think millions of Americans are members of al Qaeda?"

OK, I know the argument:  Phone taps and airplanes are entirely different things.  How else can you keep airlines safe from terrorist bombs if you don't inspect closely every passenger and crew member?  I get that. But dontcha think that if we knew what the terrorists were doing by listening to their phone conversations we might stop them before they get within 100 miles of an airport anyway?  Besides, I think the terrorists have proven that once they use a tactic and we discover it, they switch to something else.  Cases in point:  Richard Reid, shoe bomber.  We have to take our shoes at the airport now.  Terrorists tried to smuggle liquid explosives in by using water bottles.  No more liquids!  Abdulmutallab tried the exploding underwear theory, and now we get nude scans.  So what will we do when the next guy hides explosives in a body cavity?  

I think it's time to try something new.  Political correctness has gotten so out of hand that we can't do those things that might actually be EFFECTIVE at stopping terrorists.  There have been some good ideas proposed by some smart folks, so I won't bother to recount all those here.  But if we *really* want to keep people safe in the air, and on trains, and in buildings we need to be smarter than the terrorists, and that's not happening right now.

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