Bandar El-Eita replied to the topic Help TSA Out of This Mess! Share Your Ideas to Improve Travel Right Now! in the forum Miscellaneous 9 years, 2 months ago
As an Arab American Muslim who also happend to focus their studies on terrorism in college, I disagree with some of the ideas suggested here.
1. Israeli style profiling is not the way to go-There are several sides we are not looking at here, 1. Israel is tiny and segmented off from a lot of the world. By implementing a difficult process to obtain visas and entrance into Israel you have already weeded out many of those people who would wish harm. On the other side, those who already have their papers in order, can still be subject to hours of interogation and pat downs etc. The “Israeli Model” does not apply to a country where business travellers jet from coast to coast multiple times a week, or one in which a business traveller would not tolerate being detained for several hours because they do not fit a profile. Let’s also not forget that many flights in Israel have armed agents publically standing guard, something a little different.
2. Background checks only go so far-The instacheck program that the ATF uses is pretty cool stuff, not only does it help stop people from getting guns, it also allows police to be notified where someone with an outstanding warrant is at that moment. The problem is in the US felons are allowed to fly, and there is no correlation that I have read between criminal history and terrorism. Let’s not forget http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_McVeigh or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nidal_Malik_Hasan
I think the problem is the emotions involved with flying have been so heightened that travellers are waiting for a fight (whether it be with a terrorist or a TSA agent trying to do their job) by the time they get to security.
Lets recap a typical airport experience people wait in long lines, get fined to death by the airlines, get inconvenienced at screening, and now have something else to contend with. In my view, ever since the national guard was stationed at screening with weapons, travellers have taken screening to be an act of intimidation and not protection. The Israeli’s have proven that intimidation is not the way to go.
On the flip side, let’s look at Disney, which tends to always be a great model, Disney parks do not allow any firearms, have metal detectors and wands and long lines and high fees. But people like Disney. I go the other way on the PR approach for TSA, TSA needs to continue to do their professional and demanding jobs but also make flying encouraging. The new screening methods heighten anxiety, get a dose of radiation or be taken to a time out box where they go through a pat down in which the standards require the screener to feel genitalia.
I will say the incidents that have been highlighted recently all seem to have been handled pretty well by TSA, while some level of intimidation has been clear, if you compare it to the security forces in Israel frankly it is minor league stuff.
Just my thoughts
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