Tuesday, December 29, 2009

JMO - Appearance of Security

This recent attempt by an individual terrorst to blow up and international flight to Detroit, as some analyists and columnists have pointed out, only goes to show the failures in the system and the continued appearance of safety and security the Transporation Safety Administration (TSA) wants us to believe works. But while most of the current technology was in place and supposedly better technology coming, it only shows the obvious.

And that is the failures in the system weren't technical, but human. It's what helped 9/11 happen when the FBI had all the information before them but couldn't make the connections and communicate the concerns to the appropriate agencies to stop most of the terrorists. And by the way, let's not forget they also failed in Oklahoma City, where a "nobody" (off the FBI's radar) conducted the worst terrorist attack up to 9/11.

And the failure is that they're selling us fear. As I've always maintained, we, the citizens of this country, are not the enemy. It doesn't pay to look at everyone as a suspect or terrorist and treat us accordingly. It's insane, inefficient and unproductive. We need a system to focus on the few individuals who are truly, and I emphasize truly and not FBI fabrications, are terrorists.

And the failure is that we, as the same citizens, haven't decided what's an acceptable risk with terrorists. If we want 100% safety and security, are we fully prepared and agreed to sacrifice many of our civil liberties and rights to the the government which has shown the abuse those powers to their own agenda and goals, and not public safety and security.

So what is an acceptable riks? We accept commercial airplane crashes as the risk of flying. We can't accept the same level with terrorists for more freedoms at airports and on airplane? Are we willing to submit to indepth investigations for every citizen who flies? To be free from screenings and searches because we're not defined or identified as a threat?

I for one, as I've always said, want to see us go back to 9/10 and make the system better to find and prevent real terrorists from boarding planes. And if one occasionally happens as in this case, so be it. That's the new reality. Do we want to become a nation of fear or a nation of pride to challenge people, and the live up to the challenge?

That's our history, but it doesn't seem to be our future. Here's some questions to ponder.

Are we willing to accept complete body search via remote devices and complete baggage searches for both stowaway and carry-on baggage?

Are we willing to accept real body searches if we're deemed a potential theat because we innocently set off alarms?

Are we willing to have some, without explaining the reason or cause, tell us we can't fly?

Are we willing to accept the state where our whole identity rest in the hands of our government and with the airline and security corporations who will use the information for purposes other than flying?

That's what we looking at and the direction we're going. That's if we accept the 100% rule. We lose some of our rights, liberties and privacy for the pleasure of flying anywhere in the US and the world. It's not what I want. I want a better system, but I want it to preserve and protect our right, ilberties and privacy. And it's doable.

That's because as every terrorist investigation and event has demonstrated. The problem really isn't technological but human. We're the problem. Our own government is failing the citizens and travellers. That's what we should demand, not more technology, but better people. And live with the fact, like everything else in life and the world, shit happens.

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