Steve: I agree with you, but I am internally divided on the issue. If I recall correctly, it was an American girl, or at least an adolescent of European descent, who actually unwittingly carried the bomb aboard Pan Am Flt. #103. No screening of Arab men would have caught her. But conversely, it really seems that there needs to be a better way than to strip search a couple of octagenerians on a flight from Omaha to Dallas.
Yes, it would seem true that perhaps the TSA should avoid enhanced screening measures of U.S. veterans, especially war veterans (like Tim McVeigh), U.S. born, American college professors (like Ted Kaczinski) or whatever. But the flip side is also true, if we are looking for Arab/muslim, Al Queda sympathizer terrorists, shouldn’t we pay extra attention to non-U.S citizens of arab descent?
IMO, there is a very thin line between responsible police procedures and discrimination. I would hope that “profiling,” unfortunately a very dirty word, would be able to walk that line. Nothing is perfect, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try.
We all complain when our government blindly follows guidelines regardless of the lack of thought in enforcement actions, but those are the very guidelines that were instituted to take the potential for prejudice, arbitrariness and capriciousness out of the process. Sometimes, we have to choose the lesser of evils, not an idealistic goal. It becomes a very tough line when in order to protect “our rights” it is those very rights that get trampled.
Whenever selected for additional searches at the airport, I always thank the security guards, especially when they apologize. I understand that the inconvenience is for my safety. As long as the inspections are not demeaning, then let’s swallow a little pride.
Speaking of security, my publicly owned airport with well over 400 based planes has for years had no fences or gates. I’ve complained about this ever since I’ve been there. I’ve seen people smoking (between above ground self fueling tanks, and sitting on airplane watching events at the airport. Finally, they are installing gates, no fences, just gates. Well, it’s a start.