Alan Dershowitz's common sense approach to airline security

On Christmas 2009, we almost saw another Islamic terrorist attack on the United States suceed and hundreds get killed. This after terrorist Nidal Malik Hasan shot up Fort Hood in the name of Allah. And all of this after September 11. Now I don't wanna see airline security so inept that either terrorists get thru easily, or people who pose no threat get stopped constantly. If our civil liberties are stifled, terrorism wins.

However, we do not wanna see full fledged racism thrive in airports. As you all know, I abhor Islamic terrorism (as I abhor Christian-motivated or even Jewish-motivated terrorism, but those are done far less frequently) and Islamism, but I do not feel we should prohibit Muslims and Arabs from flying or make it difficult to fly based solely on ethnicity and religion.

How do we deal with the problem? Alan Dershowitz, prominent civil liberties lawyer and analyst of the Middle East, Israel, and Islamic terrorism. http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/dershowitz/entry/will_the_next_underwear_bomber 

We must adopt a multi-tiered approach to airline security. Frequent flyers who pose no security threat should be eligible for a non-transferable telemetric security card that is keyed into their retina for near foolproof identification. They could quickly pass through metal and explosive detection. Other fliers can opt for increased security or increased privacy. Those who opt for increased security would be subjected to intrusive scanning, without a metal box protecting their private parts. After all, it was the private parts that were the location of the most recent explosives.

Now this is a good idea! A business man who constantly flies, old ladies with grandkids, etc. should not be stopped forever on lines when they pose no threat. While yes, its a shame subjective measures have to be used, it is a sad fact of life.

...Those civil libertarians who claim that increasing security will not work are simply lying. It will work (though not perfectly), and it will also diminish privacy and civil liberties (though not significantly). Life is composed of tradeoffs. Those civil libertarians who deny that there are tradeoffs are serving neither the interests of civil liberties nor of truth.  Among the most important civil liberty is our ability to travel without excessive fear of terrorism, and without excessive intrusion into our privacy.

We must increase the quality and training of the security personnel at the airports. It should become a job for retired and experienced law enforcement officials. It should pay well and it should be subject to rigorous testing. Security "testers" should be using every available tactic to try to evade security. Those in charge of protecting us should be graded by their ability to spot terrorist threats.

Why the hell not? We shouldn't have just retired cops and second rate security guards being responsible for the lives of hundreds, or even thousands of people.

And lastly, Alan discusses the idea of profiling:

There must be more searching interviews of travelers who do not opt for the security card or the scanning.  There is nothing wrong with profiling, so long as it does not lump together all members of a particular race, religion or ethnicity. Profiling, based on a wide variety of characteristics that are directly associated with the risk of terrorism, is a good thing. So is "negative profiling" - that is excluding certain categories of travelers from super-scrutiny based on their obvious non-involvement in terrorism. 

Finally, we must have air marshals on every flight. This will be expensive, but nobody ever said that safe travel coupled with reasonable privacy would be cheap.

Why are there NOT air marshals on every flight? El Al has them, and they are known as one of the world's safest airlines, dealing with terrorism for decades. There is no reason American airliners should not have them.

Now to add my two cents, it is a disgrace a guy like Farouk could even get into an airport! After being on watchlists of possible terrorists, he should not have even been in North America! With regards to profiling, as I've said, I am not for indiscriminately profiling every Arab or Muslim. I hate racism, which is why I oppose Islamic terrorism, the most prominent and widespread/supported terrorism around today. Islamism follows in the path of German Nazism and Soviet Communism. But the sad fact is that while most Muslims by far are not terrorists, most terrorists by far are Muslim. But how should we apply this sad fact to airports?

Simple: have stricter immigration standards and quotas for countries where Islamic radicalism is prominent.

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Comments

17 Comments

Frequent Flyer Security Card

I would really like something that, although I most fly through small city airports like Tampa and Pittsburgh, where security lines aren't that long anyway.  If they are going to add a bunch of steps to the security process, then it would definitely be worth getting the card to get through the lines more quickly.

by psychodrew 2010-01-09 11:40AM | 1 recs
You have written the formula for legalized Islamophobia, your apologetics notwithstanding.

Whatelse is there to say? That anyone could quote Dershowitz on anything asks for too much credibility. Dershowitz is a right wing extremist Likudnik of the worst kind.

by MainStreet 2010-01-09 12:33PM | 0 recs
Dershowitz

is a liberal Democratic supporter of Israel.

He's a Dem.

He supported Obama.

Only an Israel hating ideologue, such as yourself, could possibly think of him as a "right wing extremist Likudnik."

He also opposed the settlements as early as the early 70s.

You are either lying or you simply do not know what you are talking about.

by Karmafish 2010-01-09 01:29PM | 2 recs
RE: Dershowitz

Well, it would seem that Dershowitz's support of Leviev, who finances settlement projects in the West Bank would sort of contradict the view that he is against settlements. In fact, during the boycott protest of Leviev's store in NYC Adalah-NY, Dershowitz made a point of shopping in the store during the protest and then held up his wares in glee for the camera on exiting.

by MainStreet 2010-01-09 01:52PM | 0 recs
RE: I'm with you on this one

And would just add that anyone who would quote Dershowitz on anything is unnecessarily scraping the bottom of the barrel.

by QTG 2010-01-09 01:58PM | 1 recs
Torture advocate

and scumbag OJ lawyer has dumb and ignorant ideas about airport security.  How noteworthy.

by JJE 2010-01-10 12:07AM | 0 recs
ironic considering

someone as far-left as you probably thought OJ was innocent at the time of the case.

by Lakrosse 2010-01-10 12:37AM | 0 recs
Dershowitz opposes torture.

You contention that he is an advocate for torture is an entirely false reading of his position.

by Karmafish 2010-01-11 07:00PM | 0 recs
he's more left than you.

He doesn't support extremist religious parties like you. You support Hamas and Hezbollah. and ditto what Karma said.

by Lakrosse 2010-01-09 07:22PM | 0 recs
air marshals on every flight seems like overkill

I can't imagine how expensive that would be. El Al has a tiny fraction of the number of daily flights as the US has.

by desmoinesdem 2010-01-09 04:11PM | 0 recs
and as a card-carrying member

of the ACLU, I don't care for his other suggestions either.

by desmoinesdem 2010-01-09 04:12PM | 0 recs
RE: air marshals on every flight seems like overkill

Yeah, it's amazing how much money they will waste to avoid such a tiny chance of extra danger, yet conservatives whine about money that can save a lot more lives by giving even basic healthcare coverage(not even "cadillac" level)  to those who can not afford it.

by Pravin 2010-01-09 04:33PM | 0 recs
TSA is a waste of MY TAX MONEY

Spend money on intelligence, common sense airport security, secure cockpit doors, put air marshalls on random flights on strategic routes, there you go. THe leaders need to lead instead of pandering to the fear of the masses. All that money and inconvenience to save a few lives is better spent on healthcare to save a LOT more lives.

 

The way republicans and blue dogs like to ask why our tax money should pay for healthcare for the poor?? I would like to use the same complaint to ask why MY TAX MONEY is being spent to make cowards in the country feel safe. I dont want my tax money wasted on semi competent extra TSA agents to screen for ridiculous stuff.

by Pravin 2010-01-09 04:30PM | 0 recs
RE: TSA is a waste of MY TAX MONEY

Just a note of thanks: I can't remember when I last read a reference to the "poor." It is as if it is still unfashionable to discuss the have-nots, the poor, even on left wing sites. Someday, we will finally get over the Reagan mind-set we've lived with for the past 30 years, that all of our problems stem from the poor, the welfare queens that nobody could find.

by MainStreet 2010-01-09 04:40PM | 0 recs
RE: TSA is a waste of MY TAX MONEY

The sad thing is I am not even a classic liberal though I ahve liberal views. I have a libertarian bent.  My opinion on this comes from a pure cost benefit analysis. We keep skimping money on projects that can save a lot of lives. While people are bickering over a public option, how about just expanding Medicaid and Medicare to more income and age demos and save a lot more lives for the money spent instead of 3wasting tha tmoney on execessive airport security measure and silly wars? BUt if I can articulate the benefits of public healthcare at least as an option, why can't full time Democrats?

by Pravin 2010-01-10 02:33AM | 1 recs
Thankfully

Thankfully neither Lakrosse nor Dershowitz are in charge of security otherwise we would have no secuirty but be well on our way to a dictatorship.

"Frequent flyers who pose no security threat should be eligible for a non-transferable telemetric security card that is keyed into their retina for near foolproof identification."

- They already have this: it's called the Nexus card. Also in future passports will include biometric information. None of this will actually stop terrorism however. All a terrorist has to do is find a guy with a "no security threat" card and radicalise him, the same way they found a guy with an existing US Visa and radicalized him.

 Why are there NOT air marshals on every flight? El Al has them, and they are known as one of the world's safest airlines, dealing with terrorism for decades. There is no reason American airliners should not have them.

- El Al is a tiny tiny airline, they have what 35 planes and fly to 40 destinations? Compare that to Delta who have hundreds of aircraft and fly to hundreds of destinations. and Delta is just one of the dozens of airlines that fly to and fro in and into the United States. So you can have them, it would just cost a lot of money.

 

Simple: have stricter immigration standards and quotas for countries where Islamic radicalism is prominent.

- Like Britian. Good luck on that one. Ya it's easy to pick on countries like Yemen and Nigeria, but this guy, like many of the 9/11 main highjackers were radicalized in western countries. I'm fully in favour of profiling everyone from britian as a possible terrorist. But are you?

 

by vecky 2010-01-10 12:58PM | 2 recs
This is retarded

Simple: have stricter immigration standards and quotas for countries where Islamic radicalism is prominent.

What do immigration quotas have to do with airport security?


by JJE 2010-01-10 10:15PM | 0 recs

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