Mittwoch, 16. März 2011

Get Rid of the Body Scanners

A current issue in the world of travel is the body scanners which are turning up at airports around the world, whereby passengers are randomly chosen and given a choice between a virtual strip search or an intrusive pat down. Anybody who refuses isn't allowed to fly, despite having already paid hundreds of dollars for the ticket. The supporters of using these machines say that this can help prevent another September 11.

At the same time, many people say that they won't fly until the machines are removed from the airports. It's surprising that this fact alone hasn't gotten the airline lobby to protest the use of these machines. The constitutions of most democratic countries protect against unwarranted searches, however, these days you can be considered a potential terrorist merely because you want to board a plane. The vast majority of airline passengers are not terrorists. In the nearly ten years since September 11 occured, there has been no successful terrorist attack using commercial jetliners, and only a couple of failed attempts, like the shoe bomber.

The ongoing loss of civil rights that has been underway this past decade ignores the bombardment of evidence that the official story of 9/11 isn't even true. There are all sorts of professional organizations which see problems with the official story, such as firefighters, medical professionals, and architects and engineers. An interesting point comes from Pilots for 9/11 Truth, who amongst other things, don't believe that the pilots, who had once been in the military, would have simply given up their aircraft to a few men with box cutters. If it's hard to imagine this happening once, it's not worth the enormous effort to keep it from happening again. Also, there were rules against knives and other weapons in the cabin even before 9/11. Even if the official story was true, enforcing those rules should have been sufficient to have stopped 9/11. The existing metal detectors should have served as an adequate security measure.

Even if we presume that the official story is true, there is a much less instrusive way to prevent hijackings. If every flight was escorted by armed sky marshals, they would be able to stop anybody who tried to hijack the plane. Sky marshals are currently only placed on random flights, are normally the only law enforcement officer on board, and their presence is unknown to the other passengers. If it was a well-known fact to potential hijackers that they would be overtaken and arrested on board the plane, that would probably serve as an adequate deterrent. The training and stationing of sky marshals would be a much better investment than the strip search machines and pat downs which treat everybody as a potential violent criminal, while having no reason whatsoever to believe that they might be one.

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