Friday, July 29, 2005

Security and Reality Part II

I participated in an interesting conversation with several co-workers concerning the bag inspection policy discussed in the previous entry.

Myself and the other participants are all journalists, ranging in age from late 20s to mid 50s. One of the fellows at the upper end of the age group was quite adamant that my theory that the police should inspect those that fit the profile of the average suicide bomber was akin to the racial typecasting done by Hitler's Nazi Party. His primary argument was that the Nazis used physical attributes to weed out Jewish people for extermination. This is abosolutely true. The Nazis developed a wide range of stereotypical jewish features that they applied to people to help decide whether or not they were Jewish and deserved to be sent to the camps.

The difference is the Nazis were carrying out a genocide and we are trying to find crimminals. The Nazis took every Jew they found and tried to kill that person. They did not let any go. Through the dire necessity of trying to maintain the safety of the populace, we would detain people that fit the suicide bomber profile, but those with no bomb would go on their way. In addition, a person's appearance is only one part of the puzzle. If a Arab man was walking through with no bag and nothing that looked bomb vest strapped to his body then he would not be stopped.

My colleague would rather take the chance that killer could beat the mathematical formula used to check bags, get onto the subway and kill dozens, instead of being picked out of crowd using prejudicial techniques. I quite honestly cannot comprehend that anyone would be willing to risk the death of others just to maintain a facade of political correctness.

If all suicide bombers wore yellow baseball caps, wouldn't the police be able to check all people wearing such hats? Or if they only drove Toyota Corollas for car bombing missions, wouldn't every Corolla be checked on sight? Yes, that is called good police work.

I realize this blog is unfair in that my colleague is not here to counter my argument.
The other two guys involved tended to side with the argument by age, although not to the extreme that my co-worker and I took. Interestingly, we all agreed that the inspections themselves are useless in their current state.


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