Monday, December 06, 2010

PC and airport security rituals

I rarely agree with the ultraconservative commentator Charles Krauthammer. But he hits the bull's-eye when he characterizes today's airport-security rituals as "a national homage to political correctness" (

The notion that an 80-year old grandmother or child of 3 is likely to be a terrorist is ludicrous on its face. But we are told that these humiliating rituals, all of them, are essential for national security.

In the meantime a professor in Texas claims to have found "mathematical certainty" that random screening is more effective than targeted screening. The targeted screening that the Israelis practice is grim and time-consuming to be sure, but the evidence is that it works--the professor's algorithms notwithstanding.

We keep hearing that we must not let the terrorists win. Yet win they have--over and over again--as we permit bureaucrats and their minions to subject us to ever-new forms of personal humiliation and societal expense.

The reality is that there is a de facto alliance between our jihadist opponents, on the one hand, and our nanny state, on the other. The result is an ever-narrowing sphere of personal freedom--pointing to a result not unlike traditionalist Muslim states (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and so forth) where there is precious little personal freedom. This is a topic not covered (as far as I can tell) in those formerly confidential transmissions by the State Department that have been disclosed by Wikileaks. It should have been.



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