For What, All The Junk-Grabbing? Feh!

Until maybe the mid-eighties, “terror target” and “Israel” were more or less synonymous – going back hundreds of years, reaching a peak over the past seventy years or so. 

In response, the State of Israel has become very punctilious about learning the who, what, where and why of terror.  It is a matter of individual and national survival, for a people that spent the middle of the Twentieth Century being shot, starved, gassed and burned nearly out of existence in what Helen Thomas called their homeland.

To Israelis, it’s serious business.

To Americans, it’s part ritual, and part make-work program.  We’ve been subjected to three serious terror attacks on our own soil.  One, the first World Trade Center bombing, failed due to its conspirators’ incompetence and, I’d like to think, the providence of a merciful God.  One – Oklahoma City – was the work of a pair of solitary madmen, or so says our government. And of course, September 11. 

Other attacks – the shoe-bomber, the underwear bomber – failed due to incompetence, possibly caused by the part of countererrorism we do well; going overseas and finding the professionals and killing them, forcing terrorists to go with the red-shirt squad for going after the US.  Still others – Fort Hood, the murder in Little Rock – were relatively (!) small-scale, apparently-spontaneous outbursts. 

We’ve been able to afford to skate on “airport security” that exists more to serve as a bureaucratic feel-good – like “Zero Tolerance” policies – while conforming to current fashions in political correctness – because a generation of terrorist A-squads were killed in Iraq, are laying low and watching the sky in Pakistan or Afghanistan, are holed up in the jungles of Indonesia and the Philippines listening for out-of-place twig snaps, or are sitting in Guantanamo fielding residual offers from Oliver Stone.

There’ll be more.  There always are.   And this past month’s uproar over the Transportation Security Administration’s intrusive-yet-useless groping of random Americans has prompted the conscientious to ask “how do countries with real commitments to keeping travel safe do it?

Jeff Dunetz, er, profiles security, Israeli-style.

I’ll start with the conclusion:

As the United States defends against the ever expanding threat of Muslim terror, right here on our home turf, success depends on throwing off the shackles of political correctness and adopting the methods of our ally Israel.

However the US is stuck in what seems to be an irreversible and deadly policy of treating everyone the same., even though we are all individuals and very different. The ultimate result is an airport security process that gives you a choice of being abused by a machine or the groping hands of an untrained TSA agent. The present TSA policies put passengers and the X-Ray appliances that reveal their bare bodies in the same category as they are both treated like machines.

During her 62 year fight against terror, Israel has achieved a balance between protection of civil liberties and the prevention of violence. Her decision was that the sanctity of saving human lives and preserving personal dignity, outweighs the targeting and possible inconvenience of the extra questioning of a few.

One key difference?  The goal of Israeli security is very different than that of the TSA’s inspection:

The real difference between the Israeli and American approach is the target. Israel tries to identify and stop the terrorist while the U.S. targets the bomb or other weapon. This approach does not change whether there is a left or right wing Prime Minister in power because the government realizes for Israel, the fight against terrorism is a fight for its very survival. Thus her government and citizenry have a view of preventing terrorism that is unencumbered by the political correctness which restrains efforts in the United States.

The ISA (Israeli Security Agency) calls it “human factor.” Some part of that human factor would cause Al Sharpton to show up to picket the Airport if it was practiced in the US. Ethnic profiling of passengers plays a central role in Israel’s multi-level approach. Not just ethnicity is profile, race religion, general appearance and behavior are also part of the information used to profile. And wherever that profile is being made, no matter what country it is being made in, it is an Israeli doing the profile.

While this past month of public, crowd-sources scrutiny has uncovered numerous stories of TSA incompetence and depravity, I’ll resist the urge to jump on the bandwagon of calling TSA staffers universal incompetents because they are low-wage government employees with little, and indifferent training.  I know a few TSA people, and know them to be genuinely concerned with security.

I also know a few people who are genuinely interested in first aid; I wouldn’t let them take out my kids’ appendixes:

There are other differences, most importantly is that you don’t just come off the street and get a job with the ISA (Israel Security Agency). These security agents are all ex-military (as most of the country is) and they are selected based on their intelligence and their ability to behavior profile.

Read the whole thing; it includes excellent insights on Israeli “profiling” and the techniques they use.

And remember it the next time you “fly”.

27 thoughts on “For What, All The Junk-Grabbing? Feh!

  1. Oh My God, there’s a man on the airplane with a gun!

    He’s an air marshal.

    Oh, that’s fine then.

    Huh? If the problem is the gun, the air marshal shouldn’t have one. Nobody should

    If the problem is the man WITH the gun, we ought to be looking for terrorists, not terrorist weapons.

    Liberals have a built-in logical disconnect on this issue. Until they learn to reason logically, no progress can be made.


  2. The difference between Israel and the US is also scale. How many flights arrive in Israel on a daily basis? 100? 200? LAX gets 1400 per day. Multiply that by 100. The TSA can’t interview every passenger, and if they did profiling, the task would be daunting.
    Conservatives are not doing us any favors by making this an issue.

  3. You are on to something, Kermit. I bet the vast majority of flights in the US originate and end within the U.S. I don’t think that is true with Israel.

  4. I don’t know that it’s impossible in the United States. Some points for comparison:

    Israel; 5 million people and 2.7 million foreign visitors annually. Overall, El Al carries about 3.6 million passengers annually, so the total passengers for ISA is about .75/citizen.

    USA: 300 million people, 57 million foreign visitors, and 670 million passengers on planes annually. Passengers per citizen is about 2. TSA employees; about 60,000. (67k have left the agency already, BTW) 1 TSA employee for every 10,000 passengers–or about 12 work-minutes per passenger. Budget is $6.8 billion, or about $10/passenger, or $125,000 per screener.

    The way I see it, if we shift some of that technology overhead to people interviewing in the Israeli way, we can have safer flights AND fewer Rapist-Scans and full body cavity searches–and cut the TSA budget significantly.

  5. Don’t forget Tel Aviv.

    That’s not the point, frogman. Interview takes no longer than it takes to get through security checkpoint today. The difference is – who is doing the interviewing. Israeli interviewers are basically psychologists who can spot a nervous nelly with a C4 up his butt from a mile away. They don’t bother with little old ladies and 3 year old kids.

    Just imagine, all those psych majors can now get a real job!

  6. Oh, and other than 9/11, all averted terrorist plots originated from outside of US, if I am not mistaken. Yet, it is US citizens flying from Boise to Columbus who are suffering. What was wrong with metal detectors and wands?

    And last but not least, every TSA “upgrade” resulted from a failed terrorist attempt, You know, shoes, undies. What if the next terrorist who gets on the plane in Timbuktu headed for New York decides to stuff a stick of C4 up his wazoo? What’s next, Kerm? Rectal exams for all at your next check in?

  7. As long as our southern border is a defacto open border, the Obamarama Show can go shove it.

  8. What’s next, Kerm? Rectal exams for all at your next check in?
    Only at the airport in San Francisco.

  9. Israel is what – the size of Rhode Island? We are far larger, with far more flights.

    This search seems to be responding to nearly year old style attempts at air terrorism. I think this might be a mistake, given that the nature of the undie-bomber failure should have discouraged other terrorists considering the same idea and the shoe-bomber’s conviction and incarceration the same. If someone didn’t like the results of the undie-bomber’s injuries, I doubt that the terrorists are going to find anyone willing to risk surviving something more internal.

    I just wonder what else someone is planning – my guess is that the recent Yemen shipping is a clue to it not being passengers. But it makes a nice chance for Fake er Fox News to claim, inaccurately as ususal, that women in muslim clothing, or even just head scarves, will be exempt. Not true of course – everyone gets scanned and / or the pat down, other than security personnel and airline pilots and stews.

    I share my colleague Penigma’s view – suck it up, and deal with the inconvenience. The number of individuals getting any kind of pat down is something on the order of 1% of passengers.

    Happy Thanksgiving to SitD – the writers and the readers.

  10. It just struck me as ironic that many people of the progressive persuasion think it appropriate for the USA to copy health care systems of smaller countries like Israel in spite of the obvious size difference. But when it comes to airport security it is a different story.

  11. I share my colleague Penigma’s view. . .

    Colleague? You co-write for a 157th rate Blogger site that looks like it was designed by a near-sighted octogenarian with ADD. You’re about as much “colleagues” as Norm and Cliff at the end of a bar.

  12. I wonder if a professional stripper could bill the TSA for services after going through the scanner?

  13. JPA said: “a nervous nelly with a C4 up his butt … little old ladies and 3 year old kids.”

    Carnac the Magnificent answered: “Name the three categories on Swiftee’s dating list.”

  14. Dog – I can only imagine the unending yelping of the “progressives” and the left if the Republicans were in the Executive and they pulled this crap. This is more evidence of the intellectual dishonesty of the left and the DFL, the Democrats, et. al. I am completely sick of this dreck.

    FWIW, I’m not flying any time soon. Hopefully, enough Republicans and Democrats who still have an ounce of integrity left will put a stop to this horrific state of affairs. If, by next April when I fly back east for Passover, they pull this yarmulke-wearing Jew and former police officer out to be irradiated, I will opt out, and advise them they’d better be ready to articulate probable cause for a *search*. I’ll match my depositions against theirs *any day of the week*.

    The entire reason that we are being told to accept this bullsh*t is a direct result of Muslim Arabs Blowing Things Up For 42 Years(tm). Because of Muslim Arabs fanatics, I – a Jew – along with people for which no probable cause exists – have to be subjected to degradation when the United States can’t even control its own borders and with leftists trying to reward immigration lawbreakers with garbage like the “Dream Act”?

    I refuse to assent.

    You have so advised, be guided accordingly.

    Time to profile, Dog. Same goes for you, Clown.

  15. Good thinking, Nachman. No terrorist would think to fake a yarmulke. You wingbaggers are a riot.

    Unacceptable tool to fight terrorism directed at air travel: increased airport security

    Acceptable tool to fight terrorism directed at air travel: invade Iraq

  16. This isn’t a left-right thing. Obama and Bush are on the same page and it’s nearsighted. We wait – sometimes for hours – to get on board even a domestic air flight but we can jump aboard a train or a bus with out even so much as a pause.

    Shoe bombs, brief burners, and other “failed” attempts are nothing more than distractions. And the TSA (a misnamed agency, if ever there was one – How about ATSA?) simply attempts to close each door – after the fact.

    ASTA way to go folks!

  17. Someone who goes by the name of “angryclown” stated:

    “No terrorist would think to fake a yarmulke. You wingbaggers are a riot.”

    Watch your mouth, assh*le.

  18. Nachman, understand angryclown is an educated fool with the sole intent of getting under the skin of those he disagrees with. Hence the “invade Iraq” comment which has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue at hand.

    Leslie is correct in observing that the Bush and Obama strategies are nearly identical*, the only difference being terrorists believed Bush, but understand clearly that Obama is an empty suit.

    *while Bush security policy sought to improve safety, Obama security policy seeks to increase the power of the state over the citizen.

  19. “while Bush security policy sought to improve safety, Obama security policy seeks to increase the power of the state over the citizen.” might be more accurately said: Both Bush and Obama sought/seek to improve security by increasing the power of the state over the citizen – like warrantless searches/wiretaps, etc. – advocated by both.

  20. Leslie;

    “like warrantless searches/wiretaps, etc. – advocated by both.”

    Ironic that the left nuts went apoplectic over President Bush’s implementation of these activities, yet, Obumbler continues them, now those same hypocrits that cried foul are OK with them.

    As I have said before, Obumbler and his corrupt henchmen look at these policies as a perfect way to keep tabs on their useful idiots. They will use said policies to gain every advantage that they can. If they get challenged, they use the shop worn “blame Bush” mantra.

  21. Good point. They both worked to increase state power, but the underlying philosophies were different. Bush policy was aimed at security. Obama policy is aimed at moving the “progressive” collectivist agenda forward by whatever means possible. Never let a crisis go to waste.

  22. But Clownie, your calling me a “simpleton or fool” is such a rigorous argument, I don’t see how anyone could possibly refute it. You MUST be right. Whatever it is your are actually trying to say.

  23. DG shared: “I share my colleague Penigma’s view”, which comes as no surprise since she also shares the -15 in Hg pressure behind her eyes.

    It’s much like AssClown and AC Jr., but instead of a natural effect of blinding stupidity, their cranial vacuums are a hazard of the family business; if “blowing” wasn’t a misnomer, the heads of the entire AssClown herd would have exploded years ago.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.