March 24, 2010
Stop the Presses! Obama Nominee Lets Slip Some Common Sense
I admit to some prejudice -- or postjudice, actually -- against the administration of Barack H. Obama; though I plead that I have some just cause to be cynical. Still, I'm not so far gone that I fail to note when someone nominated by Obama to a position of responsibility hauls off and does something right:
President Barack Obama's nominee to oversee security at U.S. airports said on Tuesday he wants to shift screening closer to the Israeli model to include more behavior detection in a bid to thwart terrorism plots.
Retired Major General Robert Harding was nominated earlier this month to head the Transportation Security Administration after serving more than three decades in the military, including a stint as deputy to the Army's chief of intelligence and director for operations in the Defense Intelligence Agency....
Harding said that while the Israeli security system was smaller, it offered a blueprint for trying to thwart terrorism plots in the aviation system, which has remained a target for militant groups like al Qaeda.
"We should move even closer to an Israeli model where there's more engagement with passengers," Harding told the Senate Commerce Committee that is considering his nomination. "I think that increases the layers and pushes the layers out."
Well duh. If President George W. Bush hadn't have named Norman Mineta, a Democrat, Secretary of Transportation, we could have had behavioral profiling at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) years ago, back when it was created in November 2001. But during World War II, Mineta -- of Japanese ancestory -- had been held, as a child along with his family, in the Heart Mountain internment camp in Wyoming... where they took his baseball bat away. Therefore, he never allowed any kind of profiling in the TSA, including behavioral profiling.
No, I don't understand it either.
Still and all, late is better than never; I haven't studied the career of "Retired Major General Robert Harding," but I applaud him for getting at least one point right! I hope whoever finally heads up the TSA is equally adamant that we need to start profiling the behavior of potential passengers at airports, and on buses, boats, and trains.
As usual, there is much we can learn from the unique but still exemplary Israeli experience.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 24, 2010, at the time of 12:31 AM
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Three days ago, we found occasion to praise an Obamic appointee -- Army Major General Robert Harding (ret.), who Barack H. Obama had named to head the Transportation Security Agency (TSA). We praised him for one courageous (and vital) stand... [Read More]
Tracked on March 28, 2010 3:20 AM
The following hissed in response by: Dick E
I’ve always been intrigued by those who viscerally reject behavioral profiling by TSA. Apparently those people have never entered the US and had a brief, friendly chat with an immigration officer. They would probably be shocked, shocked to learn that the officer is actually far less concerned with how long you were out of the country than in your reaction to the question. Immigration has been profiling arriving passengers for much longer than the word profiling has been employed to describe what they do.
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