Here is an idea: Apply common sense at airport security screenings. Ooops. Too difficult, apparently. Got to write some rules for screeners to follow.
The latest – a modification from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano – will allow most children to pass through metal detectors multiple times in lieu of having their bodies groped by TSA agents. Those over the age of twelve will still get the uncomfortable physical version of terrorist-detecting.
The US security system, which involves looking for things that terrorists have used in the past and assuming no new or different methods will be incorporated, includes taking off shoes (one terrorist put explosives in his shoe), inspecting underwear by hand (one terrorist put explosives in his briefs), and frisking children (one terrorist intended to use a child as a suicide-bomber).
No one has tried a shoe bomb since December 2001, but the removal of shoes has become standard practice at airline security screenings ever since. Napolitano’s new guidelines will allow those under twelve to pass checkpoints without taking off their shoes. The security chief did allow that some children will be expected to do so to keep checks ‘random.’
Changes were announced during a Senate hearing on terrorist threats, and apparently will be put in force in the coming months. Another checkpoint change will be the implementation of a streamlined inspection in which frequent travelers who volunteer personal information will be given a pass for a quicker line, which will not require removal of shoes.