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Next Step For US Body Scanners Could Be Trains, Metro Systems 890

Posted by timothy
from the how-to-radicalize-americans dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Hill reports that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists will continue to look for US vulnerabilities, making tighter security standards necessary. '[Terrorists] are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through,' Napolitano said in an interview with Charlie Rose. 'I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime.' Napolitano added she hoped the US could get to a place in the future where Americans would not have to be as guarded against terrorist attacks as they are and that she was actively promoting research into the psychology of how a terrorist becomes radicalized. 'The long-term [question] is, how do we get out of this having to have an ever-increasing security apparatus because of terrorists and a terrorist attack?' says Napolitano. 'I think having a better understanding of what causes someone to become a terrorist will be helpful.'"
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Next Step For US Body Scanners Could Be Trains, Metro Systems

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:50AM (#34331114)

    Fuck you.

    Hi John Pistole.
    Fuck you too.

    And Obama. God it pains me to say it.
    Fuck you. What the fuck, man?

    And to the 82% of people who think this is good,
    Fuck all of you.

  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <<megazzt> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:51AM (#34331136) Homepage
    Not to mention that they will be unable to ensure the entire route between stations is secure. Why risk being caught boarding a train with a bomb when you can plant a bomb next to the track?
  • by larry bagina (561269) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:54AM (#34331184) Journal
    You don't have the right to fly. Or take the train. Or the bus. Or drive. If you don't want to be molested by the government, you can walk.
  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:55AM (#34331192)

    you have never been to NYC

    population 8 million and 20 million during the workday. most of the 12 million come in via mass transit

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:57AM (#34331228)

    The technology will get cheaper and easier to use. They will probably even fix the radiation concerns.

    Unless the citizens of the USofA, get their asses in gear and fight for their liberty (and common sense) this technology will become ubiquitous. We will become a police state that will extend beyond Joe Stalin's wildest dreams.

    It is a characteristic of bureaucrats to extend their power infinitely unless they are somehow limited.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @10:58AM (#34331244)

    If you don't want to be molested by the government, you can walk.

    For now.

  • by Voulnet (1630793) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:00AM (#34331286)
    Actually the gigantic sum of money there is what can make me believe it might actually happen. Lots of money there to lobby for.
  • Thanks Janet! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MRe_nl (306212) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:02AM (#34331342)

    'I think having a better understanding of what causes someone to become a terrorist will be helpful.'

    Really? It took you ten years to realize this?
    Hint: being sold by your neighbor to the CIA, blindfolding, extraditing, torture, more flying, Guantanamo Bay, ten years of lock-down will turn ANYBODY and his brother into a so-called "terrorist".

    Full body scanners, on the other hand, don't do shit, terrorism-wise.

    As for a fear-free future: stop being afraid.

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:04AM (#34331370)

    I would love it if we had a president who said something like this:

    "Yeah, about the TSA. We're ending it. Same with Homeland Security. Folks, the simple truth of the matter is there's no possible way to secure ourselves against all risk. I think we can all agree that the Soviet Union operated as a police state none of us would want to live in and even with all that security, they still had serial killers. China routinely uses the death penalty for drug smugglers and yet they still have a drug problem.

    "The trappings of the police state represented by the TSA does not deter terrorists, it represents the illusion that government is doing something. It also is making a great deal of money for people who provide goods and services for the paranoia industry.

    "The fact of the matter is that we will get hit again. We don't know by who, we don't know where, we don't know when, but it'll happen. You know what, though? We're strong. We can take whatever they dish out. They could fly ten more planes into ten more buildings, they could set off a nuclear device in downtown New York. No, we won't like it. But we'll crawl out from under the rubble and rebuild. Living as we have before, uncowed, unbowed, not conceding a goddamn thing to terrorists, that's middle finger resolutely extended right back at them. It says 'If that's all you've got, we've got nothing to worry about.'

    "What we're no longer going to do is live our lives looking over our shoulder, jumping at shadows, giving up the way we live our lives because someone has rattled us, because we've lost our nerve, because we've been beaten.

    "Oh, and while we're on the topic, Middle Eastern nuts wouldn't have so much money to finance terror attacks if we weren't giving it to them for the goddamn oil. They wouldn't even have a reason to attack us if we weren't involved in their politics in the first place. Our post-oil energy policy is also our anti-terror policy."

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:08AM (#34331430) Journal

    It's completely absurd. Anyone with half a brain can think of at least half a dozen reasons why they can't secure trains this way.

    • The average Amtrak station is a double wide about 100 feet of the tracks. They would have to build real thousands of real train stations at a cost of tens of billions of dollars.
    • Unlike planes, which leave the airport up in the air, trains leave the station on the ground. So all someone has to do to get around security is to walk along the tracks.
    • There has never been even one single case of a terrorist boarding any train in the United States with the intent to cause it harm. There has never even been intelligence suggesting that this is a credible threat.
    • The easiest, safest, and most effective way to target a train is not to target the trains themselves, but rather the approximately 233,000 miles of unsecured railroad tracks. If we want to make it at least as secure as the U.S. Mexico border fence (with fences along both sides of every track), it would cost approximately 1.8 Trillion dollars, or about 14% of the total U.S. national debt.
    • That's not counting the tens of trillions of dollars you would have to spend on adding bridges at every railroad crossing in the nation to allow cars to go over the fences.

    In short, Ms. Napolitano clearly has not thought this through. Either that or she has thought it through and she's just the biggest idiot on the face of the planet. With political appointees, it's often hard to say. Either way, it's time to defund the TSA and Homeland Security. They're the biggest laughingstock of the security world since Windows XP.

  • by TrisexualPuppy (976893) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:08AM (#34331432)
    Oh, Janet! Sure we can take over boats and wreck them using mere boxcutters and explosives. I'm sure you've seen the movie Speed.

    But let me give you a hint. Trains? Didn't you watch old cartoons as a kid? When we want to derail them, we don't need to be on them, and if we are, we have wasted some kamikaze brothers who could have better employed elsewhere.

    I also think understanding what causes someone to become a terrorist will be helpful.

    Yours,
    The Terrorists
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:08AM (#34331438)

    Where do you get the right to walk unmolested from? Government should be able to molest you in any way once you are outside your house.

    Maybe even when you are in your house as you could be doing something dangerous.

  • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@NosPaM.cornell.edu> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:12AM (#34331506) Homepage

    You'll do a hell of a lot more damage with a lot less boom if you can derail the train.

    Note that this doesn't even require explosives...

  • Re:Step after that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Migraineman (632203) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:14AM (#34331546)
    I would suggest that, since they're heading toward "universal" security measures, we take a cue from the Old West and require that everyone carry a sidearm. That'll take security down to the individual person, regardless of mode of transportation.

    Yes, there will be some irresponsible behavior at first (consider it an initial boundary condition,) but things will sort themselves out once the yahoos have removed each other from the equation.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:16AM (#34331584) Homepage

    And let's not forget "road-side bombs." I'm not sure we fully appreciate how dangerous things are in Afghanistan and Iraq, so let's just bring the whole frikken war back home so everyone can experience a little bit of it.

    I think it's important to always remember that the reason the "terrorists" are interested in attacking US targets isn't because they "hate our freedom" it's because we are affecting their freedoms and assaulting their ideals with our imperialism. And no, I don't mean "because we are imperialists" I mean because we are essentially defending and enforcing our business activities and other interests in the middle east in such a way that it causes the locals harm and stress.

  • Re:Step after that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:17AM (#34331616) Homepage

    Terrorists can easily target the areas where people are queuing to be scanned. I demand that everybody be scanned and frisked before entering the scanning area. It's the only way to safeguard the American public.

    Signed,
    The guy who manufactures the scanners
    (AKA head of the TSA)

  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:19AM (#34331648) Homepage Journal

    is that those who get cancer from radiation exposure if these body scanners are more widely used, will be a number orders of magnitude greater than those killed by terrorists, if we had no security at all

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:23AM (#34331726)

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Benjamin Franklin)

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin

  • Re:Step after that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:26AM (#34331786) Homepage

    No, the direction they're heading is to broaden it from securing transportation to securing public places. Hijacking of airplanes is nothing new to the 21st century; people have been doing it for decades, but passengers didn't have to undergo the kind of scan/rape we endure now to get on planes in those days because no one had tried turning a passenger plane into a weapon capable of killing thousands. The FAA was only concerned about planes being diverted by a passenger who wanted to go somewhere, or maybe being blown up by a remote saboteur.... not being used as hand-piloted missiles. That's the underlying justification for these invasive searches: to protect the public from large-scale killing.

    So when (not if) someone in the US commits a suicide bombing in a crowded public place like an airport or train station or sporting event or political rally, the authorities will start screening people just as invasively to get into those as well. They've already started with metal detectors and bag searches in some of these places, and it's just going to get worse. Step by step, we're moving toward becoming a search-and-surveillance society, in which the Fourth Amendment might keep you secure from search and seizure in your home (because that public-safety rationale doesn't apply there), but not when you venture out into public places.

    (And it's all to treat the symptoms, rather than addressing the root causes of the disease.)

  • by dcollins (135727) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:28AM (#34331818) Homepage

    [Applause]

    Also throw in something about "All we have to fear is fear itself" from back when we are actually facing down the Third Reich and a real, global war with multiple empires.

  • by corbettw (214229) <.corbettw. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:29AM (#34331864) Journal

    I used to tear up with pride when I heard the national anthem, or Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA". The final line of the anthem, "the land of the free and the home of the brave", and Greenwood's line that "the flag still stands for freedom, and they can't take that away", are both now lies. We are not the land of the free, the flag doesn't stand for freedom, they did take it away, but most of all we are no longer the home of the brave. We are a nation of cowards, so afraid of the boogeyman of terrorism we are willing to sacrifice not just our rights but our very dignity, all in the forlorn hope of being safe.

    The TSA has not stopped a single terrorist in the 9 years of its operation. The full-body scanners would not have detected any of the bomb plots of the last few years, including last year's Captain Underpants. It is a complete and total waste of time and money, and serves no purpose beyond enriching a handful of politically connected individuals.

    Enough is enough. It's time we all refuse to subject ourselves to any security measures until sanity is restored. Don't show your ID at the airport, don't go through the metal detectors, don't even submit your carry ons for X-Ray inspection. The pendulum has swung too far in one direction, it is time we push it back where it belongs.

    If everyone were to refuse to submit to these intrusions, they would be gone in a matter of days. The "powerful" who think themselves our masters are neither, and in their hearts they know it. The people still have the power in this country to stand up for what's right.

    Who's with me?

  • by VShael (62735) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:30AM (#34331866) Journal

    Hmm, let's see....

    Invade their country. (Check)
    Bomb their country. (Check)
    Kill thousands of their innocent civilians, men women and children. (Check)
    Show no remorse for these acts. Indeed, be proud of them, and say the victims had it coming. (Check)
    Tell the survivors that they are going to get the same. (Check)

    How much research do you need? I thought America had drawn up this five-point-plan years ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:31AM (#34331890)

    Depends on the neighborhood. There are plenty of places you can't walk without being stopped by the cops. And you better have ID, or you'll sit in the pen for a few hours.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:33AM (#34331912) Journal

    it's because we are affecting their freedoms and assaulting their ideals with our imperialism

    Give me a break. One of OBL's grievances against the United States was the fact that we had troops in the Holy Land. The fact that they were there at the invitation of the Government with the mission of protecting the Holy Land from Iraq didn't matter to him.

    We could pull out of the Middle East tomorrow and return to a 1930s era isolationism and there would still be some extremist nutjob that would find a reason to hate us. That's just the way the world works.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:33AM (#34331922) Journal

    Man I would love to see the reaction on Fox if Obama did something like that. Just how fast can they switch from "Obama invading your rights" to "Obama making you vulnerable to terrorists" without causing cognitive dissonance in their audience. Actually, I'm not sure their audience is capable of cognitive dissonance.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:34AM (#34331932)

    Seriously, is everyone who works for "Homeland Security" an idiot? Is there some maximum IQ you can have before you're unqualified?

    Attacking a bus is completely different than attacking a plane.
    Even if these measure were useful in defending a plane (which they are not) they wouldn't apply to a bus because any terrorist WOULD NOT GO THROUGH THEM and would, instead, drive next to the bus and blow up his car.

    MAYBE they'd be useful in a subway. As long as the train never left the tunnels and all the access routes were sealed shut.

    Which still leave the malls and the after Thanksgiving crowds there.

    And that doesn't even cover things like a couple of snipers just shooting people in DC.

  • by delinear (991444) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:36AM (#34331976)
    I had a similar thought, a minesweeper in effect, but then I thought: these are people willing to throw their lives away for a cause. What's going to stop them ramming a truck into the train if they really want to? Besides, unless the trains are escorted, it won't even matter that they have to be on site. Pick a remote spot, wait for the sweeper to go past, back the truck onto the tracks and jump out into the waiting getaway vehicle. The people on the train certainly aren't going to be in any shape to stop you.
  • Re:More reasearch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:40AM (#34332052)

    Fastest way to defeat a terrorist is to give him a real job or business to support loved ones with out interference from corruption.

    Ah, that would explain why those doctors and engineers who worked and lived in Great Britain blew up the trains a couple years back. If you do a little research on actual terrorists, you will discover that many of them are well-educated people from middle class backgrounds who have excellent job prospects.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:43AM (#34332114) Homepage Journal

    The TSA doesn't use behavior identification methods because they'd discover that THEY are the one's who act like Taliban.

  • by delinear (991444) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:47AM (#34332210)

    • There has never been even one single case of a terrorist boarding any train in the United States with the intent to cause it harm. There has never even been intelligence suggesting that this is a credible threat.

    Even coming from a country where they did attack the trains (well, the subway system [wikipedia.org]), it still sounds like a bad idea, for all of the other reasons you listed, plus, assuming you could ever make this 100% (or close enough) secure, what's next? Attacks at sporting events? Attacks on people in large offices? Schools? The terrorists don't have a playbook, they can make it up as they go along, trying to react to that is just going to cost a fortune and make everyone's lives hell.

  • by swb (14022) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:50AM (#34332278)

    You KNOW why she was selected. She was a woman who backed Obama over Hilary, and from a state with an active international border, with at least as much weight placed on the former as the latter.

    It's really all political.

    What I find so amazing about this is the Obama administration's willingness to embrace such naked totalitarian behavior without so much as a flinch, although Pistole's tone and manner are only making the problem worse. They need a kinder, gentler voice selling this nonsense, Pistole is the kind of bureaucrat everyone loves to hate -- stern and inflexible. Hopefully he's getting PAID for falling under the bus for this one.

  • by LordKronos (470910) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:55AM (#34332340) Homepage

    There has never been even one single case of a terrorist boarding any train in the United States with the intent to cause it harm. There has never even been intelligence suggesting that this is a credible threat.

    To me, that's the key item. There are countless ways that terrorist can cause lots of damage and death in places where security is currently minimal or nonexistent, yet for some odd reason that doesn't happen much. Despite the fact we keep beefing up airport security, they continue to attack this one target instead of all the other easier targets. We know that these days a terrorist is not going to be able to take control of a plane, so that can't be a reason. So why do they continue to attack planes? The only conclusion I can come up with is that they want to do it so they can say "put all the security in place you want...you are still powerless to stop me". I fear that adding such security to trains would only make them a more attractive target to terrorists. Right now they don't bother because it's too easy, but once you say "haha...you'll NEVER get past our train security now" you've laid down the challenge and they are going to have to take you up on it.

  • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.vadiv@neverbox. c o m> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:57AM (#34332372) Homepage

    So, in your universe, propping up the Saudi government doesn't count as imperialism?

    Every single step in imperialism always looks entirely sane and just. (Usually because the unjust steps are classified.)

    And we can't seem to understand how people have come to the conclusion that we have conquered them. Sure, we're running around with guns killing the rebels at the request of the government we installed in the first place, but they have FREEDOM(TM)!

    We could pull out of the Middle East tomorrow and return to a 1930s era isolationism

    Could we? Why the FUCK don't we, then?

    and there would still be some extremist nutjob that would find a reason to hate us.

    The problem isn't who hates us, the problem is how many people and what sort of recruitment they can do.

    On 9/11, 19 people killed about three thousand...so each person killed 150, although that was partially absurd luck on their part.

    But let's assume that it's still possible to blow up airplanes, and only takes two people to do that plot, so each person can still kill 150 people.

    But the problem isn't the 150 people. There is functionally no way to stop that if the person is willing to die. You could fricking mix ammonia and bleach at a high school talent show and kill 150 many people which chlorine gas

    It's the 19 people willing to kill and give their life to do so that many that's the problem.

    And it's not really being an 'extremist nutjob' to hate the US because they blew up your house and killed your family. That's just perfectly normal hatred.

  • Re:Next Next Step (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apoc.famine (621563) <apoc,famine&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:02PM (#34332450) Homepage Journal

    Tons of people have worked out that this stupid policy is not a solution - why hasn't the government?

    Because they believe their purpose is to *do something*. That's why they were elected/appointed. Not doing anything means their position is pointless, and you can't sustain a bureaucracy that way.

    Simply put, nobody is going to tell the people responsible for their job that they can't find anything to do. It either makes you look incompetent, or it makes it look your position is redundant and should be eliminated.

  • The real reason (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs&ovi,com> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:03PM (#34332474) Homepage

    The greedy airlines do not want the traveling public switching to Amtrak or the bus. The reason to grope/scan train passengers is purely in the comercial interest of the airlines.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:06PM (#34332508)

    And it's not really being an 'extremist nutjob' to hate the US because they blew up your house and killed your family. That's just perfectly normal hatred.

    This quote deserves eternal recognition.

    Thank you,
    from America.

  • by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:07PM (#34332540)
    A truly erroneous hard-left outlook, but stupidity is fitting given your account name. Jihadists are very clear about their intentions. It has almost nothing to do with forcing our economies on them. The primary driver of jihad is the desire to subjugate the entire world to the dictates of Islamic dictatorship. Radical Muslims view the non-Muslim controlled parts of the globe as the world they are at war with, and the war they are waging is to impose their religion on all non-Muslims. Other justifications for jihad are at best secondary motivators. And shame on you for whitewashing and apologizing for the unquestionably evil, outrageously heinous campaign of misery and death waged by radical Islam.
  • by reuteler (819104) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:20PM (#34332736) Homepage
    the difference with planes is that you can slam them into any target you wish. they're essentially piloted cruise missiles. trains and buses and metro stations are different. while you can blow them up, kill people on them or whatever you can't slam them into an arbitrary target. in that respect a train and the metro are no different than your local mall or walmart, downtown or whatever. and i can't imagine we're going to body scan people going into walmart or any other location where there are lots of people in one place. or maybe we are? hope not.
  • by VatuLevu (1923418) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:34PM (#34332998)
    First it was the Planes, Now it's the Trains. I suppose next will be the luxury Buses then who knows whats next. to my understanding "they" as in the terrorists whole aim is to spread fear and distrust..
    Terrorists 1
    TSA 0
  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:36PM (#34333036) Journal

    Thanks for sharing your preconceived notions AC. Personally, I'm glad the small government types are *FINALLY* getting outraged over the violations of our Constitutional rights. I just wish they'd be more consistent about it. If I believed the Tea Partiers actually gave a shit about personal liberties (for everyone, and not just when it affects them), I'd be right there with them.

  • Re:Step after that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:39PM (#34333100) Homepage

    Lazarus Long: "Armed society is a polite society". While good idea in principle it is not very clear how that will scale to todays population densities. All armed societies known so far had population densities of several orders of magnitude less than today.

    In any case, there is a much less radical step that can and should be taken first. The terrorists exist because they have resources. As long as they have money and resources arming everyone will not help. They will simply be better armed with more lethal weapons.

    So what has been done in reality to ensure that countries which fund terrorism do not have that capability anymore in the first place?

    Nothing. So that is the answer - do more. Embargo on a number of "allies" which actively subsidise terrorism at a government level or close their eyes on their cittizens doing so is a good place to start.

  • Re:Step after that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:42PM (#34333142) Homepage

    That is a false dichotomy. There are plenty of other options, including simply learning to accept reasonable levels of risk while traveling rather than allow a nebulous group of criminals to cheaply provoke us into destroying our own society for them in the name of "security".

  • by imric (6240) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:46PM (#34333208)

    Hell, they've already DONE that, with no fake bombs at all. Commuter travel IS disrupted. It takes longer for everybody to get to their destination, and there are much fewer that will travel at all. Expect that trend to continue, BTW. The TSA will never ease restrictions on passengers, as they officially 'believe' that they are keeping us safe. Eventually, traveling will be SO safe that nobody will be able to do it.

    The terrorists have proved one thing though. Americans are, by and large, puling cowards, willing to throw away even the semblance of what supposedly makes America great - and for what? The merest illusion of safety. But it's all right, America. Sleep tight. The Department of Fatherland Security will watch over you day and night, night and day....

  • by d3ac0n (715594) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:46PM (#34333214)

    I should note that I think the NRA going in and doing this voluntarily is a good thing, as is removing most gun restriction laws in the inner cities.

    I do disagree with the subsidizing bit though. Once we get Government involved it'll get hosed up.

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:49PM (#34333268)

    When we want to derail them, we don't need to be on them

    Exactly! All you need is a torch and a busy track near a school or government building. You'd be amazed what trains carry; especially non-passenger trains. Simply derail the wrong train near a city is enough to close down some cities for days or weeks. Not to mention, the associated death toll, both directly and indirectly.

    And that's completely ignoring that the heart of the entire US economy travels on trains. It can take weeks to clear and verify a track after an accident. If you shutdown enough tracks, you've parallelized the entire economy at worst. At best the price of goods goes through the roof as goods are shifted to more expensive transport; truck and ship (sea and river).

    Seriously, we are spending tons of money to do absolutely nothing and it doesn't even protect the largest, most important segment of our economy.

  • Re:Step after that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:49PM (#34333298) Homepage

    That's because they are deeply afraid that the American public will grow tired of terrorists and start shooting up the government buildings where they all hide out.

  • by gnesterenko (1457631) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:58PM (#34333462)

    Clear of their intentions? I assume you are talking about word spoken by their leaders, verbatim? If so, I am curious how you got "we want to subjugate the entire world under our faith" from when they said "as long as you are invading our lands in Afghanistan and Iraq, we will kill you". Or do you own a secret jihadist dictionary that none of us hard-lefties aren't privy to? (and if that is the case, I am curious as to how you went about procuring such a text).

    And one more question for you. Have you EVER, for even a minute took the time to think what our actions in these nations must look like to the average citizen living there. Put yourself in the average (non-militant) man's shoes - say a shop keeper in Iraq, pre-Desert Strike II. Think about how life has changed for this person since we arrived. If it had been the United States, I would HOPE that your first course of action would be to enlist with the US military to protect your people.

    "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."

  • Re:Step after that (Score:4, Insightful)

    by d3ac0n (715594) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:59PM (#34333484)

    Profiling doesn't really involve spying though. It's a behavioral analysis done through observation of how you answer a set of probing questions.

    If your answers and behavior while answering fit the profile of a person who is nervous or agitated, then you are pulled aside for a more thorough analysis and search.

    There's more to it than that, of course, but none of it involves spying on American citizens or the massive 4th Amendment violations that the TSA is currently up to it's blue-gloved wrists in.

    Please keep in mind that El Al has been employing this type of profiling for DECADES and has had not a single terrorist attack yet, despite easily being the single biggest global target for Islamic terrorism.

    Israeli style profiling is demonstrably effective, and is generally regarded among those in the global security community as the gold standard to model after. Yet we are doing the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they are doing.

    Why?

    Well, since the former head of DHS is now a highly paid consultant to the ONLY company that makes these machines, and many politicians and govt. functionaries have either power or financial gain involved in reducing the freedoms of the American people and turning us all into obedient sheeple, perchance payoffs and corruption have something to do with it?

    It's called "Security Theater" for a reason.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @01:04PM (#34333576)

    Listen closely too what they are really saying about safety.

    I consistently hear how they want to make the traveling public "FEEL" safe.
    Not what they should be saying and I want to hear is how they are "MAKING" the traveling public safe.

    I am only of average inelegance and I consistently see holes in security that could easily be exploited or when logic is applied are ridicules and pointless.

    When I think what a determined individual or group could do with the TSA's inept, inconsistent and arbitrary implantation of security procedures has convinced me never to fly again. I am more afraid of the draconian TSA and the quality of the aircraft's maintenance I am about to fly on then I am terrorists.

    Much of what they do defies logic. Harassing pilots at check points is pointless. Pilots do not need a weapon to take over the plain they are already in control of. If the TSA really wanted to insure safety involving pilots a more appropriate security procedure for pilots would be a pre-flight breathalyzer and drug screening.

    The TSA constantly takes the most intrusive and heavy handed cold war eastern block approach to safety.

    The real reason for the intentionally excessive and intrusive rubdown is to punish you for not submitting an electronic strip search.

    They TSA should consider the old saying "you catch more fly's with honey than you do with vinegar" when devising and implementing security procedures.

    Lies about the scanners inability to save images don't help reassure the public. When the TSA claims that the images can not saved then over a hundred "un-savable" images are posted on the internet from a fredom of information act request. Adding even more discredit to the TSA stories about screeners using camera phones to take pictures of the images or getting caught masturbating in the booth don't help. How soon before images of celebrities start making the rounds?

    If Government isn't telling the truth about saving images how can the traveling public believe the the statements about the safety and levels of the ionizing radiation used by the scanners?

    The little I remember college physics is that ionizing radiation is not good and even at low levels over time the damage is cumulative.

  • by Stanislav_J (947290) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @01:21PM (#34333842)

    Actually, I'm not sure their audience is capable of cognitive dissonance.

    cognitive, adj. \käg-n-tiv\ : of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (as thinking, reasoning, or remembering).

    Lessee...thinking, reasoning, remembering. Strikes one, two, and three. Fox News aficianados don't think or reason -- they are sponges soaking up their pundits' mots du jour and regurgitating them. There's about as much cognitive activity involved their as there is in a trained parrot.

    Dissonance, plenty. "Cognitive." not so much.

  • by Mab_Mass (903149) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @01:31PM (#34334010) Homepage Journal

    No, it's not. There are two parties that happen to be more effective than anybody else at getting votes but there is nothing in the US Constitution or Federal/State laws that define this country as a two-party state.

    What you say is technically correct, but you're missing the point.

    Right now, there are two parties that effectively control the U.S. political scene. Because of this, back in the 2008 election, it was a sure thing, even before the election started, that the winner would belong to either one of these two parties.

    You could have voted for any one of those "other names". You decided not to. Whose fault is that?

    I decided not to because of the basic fact that if I voted for one of the other names, nothing would change. Yes, yes, I know the argument that says that we need to start voting for other parties to "send them a message."

    As much as I would like to believe that it is that simple, it just isn't. A real substantial change to the system will take a lot of hard work, including a lot of political organizing, lots of money, a large number of highly publicized rallies, etc., etc.

    THAT is the hard work of democracy. If you go to the polls, vote for some other party, and walk away feeling like you've helped to make a difference, you are deluding yourself.

    If you really want to see some changes attend (or better yet, organize) rallies, give money to the causes you believe in, get in touch with media. Until you start doing any of these things, I don't care which box you're checking at election time - you are not changing the system.

  • by Space cowboy (13680) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @01:38PM (#34334138) Journal
    You know what, in the UK for about 20 years the Liberal Democrats were a joke party. It was inconceivable that they'd actually be in power, they were in the middle between a hard-right (Tory, about the same level as your Democrats) and a left-wing party (Labour, the US doesn't have an equivalent - these people claimed they wanted more for the common-man, believe it or not).

    Today, the Liberals are sharing power with a Tory government, after Labour reneged on so many promises that the voters got rid of them in disgust.

    It can happen. It takes time. Saying "don't give me any crap about independents" is giving up, the Lib-Dems started off as a tiny insignificant party too.

    Simon
  • by AdamThor (995520) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @01:44PM (#34334250)

    A hint? I'll spell it out: Terrorism Can Not Be Prevented.

    Think about it for a bit. Israel has been trying to prevent terrorism since forever now, and they even have a fairly cocky attitude about how hardcore they are about it. Has it worked? NOPE. Show of hands here - anyone think it's about to work? Hezbollah about to cave, tell Israel that they can do whatever they want?

    The fact is that civilization is a fairly fragile thing. Once you've pissed someone off enough that they are willing to sacrifice themselves to get a little F-U there just isn't much you can do about it.

    The only real alternative is to bring the dispossessed in, and get them invested in our civilization. This kind of selflessness is not generally encouraged by capitalism.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @01:45PM (#34334262) Journal

    Let's see. They live under an oppressive government / invading force. They find themselves ecnomically fucked with no hope of advancing themselves or their family. They find their way of life and/or religion maligned as evil. Then one day they decide, "Fuck it. My life can't be any worse. Maybe I can make things better for the next generation by fighting what has fucked up my generation."

  • No they're not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tobiah (308208) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:09PM (#34334580)

    Trucks and cars are even easier to load with explosives and pilot into a target, as they have been. Remember Lebanon? The first World Trade Center Bombing? Oklahoma City?
    Also, pilots figured out how to thwart hijackers right after 9/11: use the lock that was already on the cabin door. A 9/11 style attack will never happen again, the passengers won't allow it and the pilot won't open the door.

  • Re:Step after that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:10PM (#34334596)

    If your answers and behavior while answering fit the profile of a person who is nervous or agitated, then you are pulled aside for a more thorough analysis and search.

    'Nervous or agitated'? You mean like someone who wants to catch their connecting flight before it takes off in five minutes, and is being hassled by a security monkey who's going to make them miss it?

    Israeli style profiling is demonstrably effective

    How many actual terrorists have they actually caught that way?

    I'm not asking that as a rhetorical question, but because I can't remember a single news story in the last decade saying that Israeli airport security caught a terrorist. Maybe I've just missed them.

  • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning.netzero@net> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:12PM (#34334622) Homepage Journal

    You have two different kinds of "terrorists" that you need to be worried about:

    One is the kind made up of people who get a thrill out of simply killing people. Generally these are lone idiots, typically lack intelligence anyway (not always a given, but pretty high likelihood), and have problems getting along with others. This is an ordinary police problem, and something which has been a part of human society for thousands or even millions of years. This kind of issue is really all that the "security screenings" are taking care of, and really doesn't do the job very well anyway. By far and away the typical response is to let them act, then chase them down, lock them up, and perhaps execute them if you don't want to deal with them. I'm not necessary against a casual screening to keep the really stupid idiots from getting away with mass murder, but there are much more cost-effective and better ways to deal with those kind of people than doing a full body cavity search of everybody boarding a vehicle. You know that is going to be the next step that the TSA is going to insist upon, don't you?

    The other kind are essentially "soldiers" who are working on behalf of a nation-state and thus are furthering a political cause of some sort. In most cases they are getting training, support, and other kinds of assistance from governments of some kind. In other words, what is being done is an act of war. No matter how hard you try, no matter what effort is done to stop these guys, they will get the bombs through in some way. It becomes an "arms" race to keep fighting these folks, and indeed a sort of game to be played too. The trick here is that you need to change the game for them, and more importantly get the war to happen back home.. to the home of the terrorists. Make the nation-states who are paying for that war pay dearly for their action, and make the possibility of war so terrible that they will refuse to act.

    That may take territorial occupation and flat out military conquest of a people with "war crimes" perhaps being necessary. You can't be gentle when somebody decides to wage war, but certainly a trick is to identify just who is causing the war.

    In this current "war on terrorism", the real culprits and people who are financing and supporting this war are not getting hit, and indeed are being protected. A more properly used term is "low intensity conflict", but other terms can be used too. Until you hold the leaders of this kind of activity accountable for their actions, it will continue and indeed "terrorism" will increase. If you run from war, war will follow you. It can only be stopped by standing up and fighting those who would bully you around.

    Unfortunately, the TSA officials here are treating warfare as if it is an ordinary law enforcement matter. If you want to understand why this problem is getting worse, you have to realize that these "security experts" really have contempt for ordinary citizens and certainly don't believe in civil rights and a presumption of innocence. It is a presumption of guilt until being proven innocent which is causing all of the problems.

    Extending this to trains or other forms of transportation isn't going to solve a single thing.

  • by brainboyz (114458) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:13PM (#34334646) Homepage

    People don't like that answer. I've actually had a friend of mine freak out at me because I explained something very similar, but on a personal level. The only reason anyone [normal, non high-profile] isn't dead is because no one has decided they need to die. Tell me, if someone decides you need killing but you don't know that, what's to stop them from walking up behind you with a garrote? Braining you with a rock? Using a large stick to beat you? Sharpening a stick with previously mentioned rock and impaling you? Or just wrapping their hands around your neck until you stop twitching? Absolutely nothing, and that's without getting into "modern" tools with metals, chemicals, and other force-enhancing tech. She didn't particularly like the idea that her existence depends entirely on the fragile sanity and civilized mindset of everyone else in her environment.

    The sooner everyone realizes you can't completely control the risk without destroying your life anyway the sooner we can get on with living. Life involves risk, you can't prevent everything, and you will die eventually; learn to live so life means something in case you do expire earlier than expected!

  • by mr1911 (1942298) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:25PM (#34334780)
    jollyreaper for President in 2012. You have my vote.
  • by radtea (464814) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:25PM (#34334782)

    A truly erroneous hard-right outlook, but stupidity is fitting given your account name. Imperialists are very clear about their intentions. It has almost nothing to do with forcing our social democracies on them. The primary driver of imperialism is the desire to subjugate the entire world to the dictates of American hegemony. Radical imperialists view the non-American controlled parts of the globe as the world they are at war with, and the war they are waging is to impose their empire on all non-Americans. Other justifications for imperialism are at best secondary motivators. And shame on you for whitewashing and apologizing for the unquestionably evil, outrageously heinous campaign of misery and death waged by radical Imperialism.

    Give peace a chance. [cindylooyou.com]

  • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.vadiv@neverbox. c o m> on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:30PM (#34334850) Homepage

    Perfectly normal hatred would be hating the very specific people who blew up your house and family, hating everyone who shares the same race or nationality as the people who blew up your house and family is what defines an "extremist nutjob".

    So when a soldier, in the employ of an army, does something that he was ordered to that seriously harms you...your problem should be with that soldier? Really?

    Not the people who gave him those orders, which are, ultimately, the people of the United States?

    I can see how some people would emotionally think that way, but that's the emotional thinking, the logical thinking, the non-nutjob thinking, is 'If he hadn't done that the guy next to him would have. The people giving the orders are the problem.'

  • by Caerdwyn (829058) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:47PM (#34335104) Journal

    A friend of mine (retired sheriff deputy and Air Force reservist) explained it to me, and I've also heard this from my neighbor, who is a city police officer.

    Most police who are on the beat, actually out there in contact with the public heavily favor private gun ownership and "must-issue" CCW laws. Most police chiefs (politicians) are against private ownership of firearms. When you hear talk about proposed ordinances, etc., listen to exactly who is doing the endorsing. If it's a police CHIEFS organization, they want you under their heel. If it's a police OFFICERS association, they want you guarding their backs. In my friend's words, "an armed citizen is a police officer's guardian angel".

    Police chiefs absolutely DO NOT speak for the positions of the rank-and-file, and are usually dead opposite on civil rights issues. They claim otherwise, but they lie (and if a cop says "Hey, he doesn't speak for me", guess who's not getting a promotion that year). It's not Officer Friendly who wants a GPS transceiver in your ass and handcuffs on you any time you step out of your house. It's Chief Political Ambition, the one who thinks he's going to be Governor someday, and his hand-picked SWAT elite (who have as bad an attitude about ordinary cops as they have about ordinary citizens).

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:10PM (#34335384)

    the whole 'we have become our enemy' theme rings true. I grew up in the 60's in the US and the treatment of US citizens in this way by fellow US citizens (tsa) is something we'd imagine those 'dirty commies' would do - but that would NEVER happen here in the US. the US means freedom. that would not happen here.

    guess what - we are being conditioned and paralized by fear. everything that those that came before us fought for, we are gladly surrendering and at a rapid rate, too.

    most here in this forum see this. we are very small and not usually powerful or influential. will enough of the people that matter (sorry, I'm also one that does not matter) catch on and demand this 'citizen frisk' style be immediately and forever suspended?

    the education system needs to also tell people that its ok to live in a less than 100% safe society and that stuff happens and that's just how a free society is. if we can accept that crazy people will do damage and there is not a thing you can do to stop 100% of it, then we will have our 'leaders' stop with the CYA moves, which is ALl the tsa is about. its about blame shifting and cover-your-ass. all those in power pretty much know the Theater is just for show, but they are being asked by the scared soccer moms of the world to make us 100% safe and this is their only reply. if we can get the soccer moms to stop asking for 100% and accept reality for what it is, then we can maybe go back to normal again?

    admit that we have generated an out-of-hand reasonse to a problem and that we're self-correcting. but we can't even get to that step.

  • Re:Step after that (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:21PM (#34335510) Homepage

    First, 99.9% is an incredible exaggeration. Obviously there was a period of panic right after the event, but even at its worst point I think more than 0.1% of the adult population recognized that it is manifestly impossible to prevent all attacks, even if we were willing to go so far as to impose full martial law in every public place—and even more would not be willing to go that far even if it were actually effective in stopping all attacks.

    Exaggeration aside, however, if the DHS is basing its policies on (outdated) panic-driven poll results without regard to cost, liberty, or the reality that some attacks will get through, whatever they may do, then that is just one more example of the many things wrong with the DHS. Just because they want one concession or the other doesn't mean we have to give them either.

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @04:09PM (#34336068)

    This is just a fundamental concept of basic property rights -- you OWN yourself, therefore you should be able to do whatever the hell you want with yourself. Same with the money in your wallet. It's YOURS, not mine (not even secondhand via taxes).

    I can respect a basic property rights argument but will usually run into disagreement with big and small L libertarians when it comes to impact. "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins." A property rights argument might begin with "I can dump oil on my land because it's my property." But the runoff doesn't stop at your property line. It's shared by your neighbors.

    So someone has property and it turns out to be a vital habitat for the yellow-bellied snail-darter. The EPA says it can't be developed. The owner will be fuming about that but does his right to that property entitle him to cause ecological damage that will be experienced by all? If I want to build a big bonfire on my property even though we're in month six of a serious drought, isn't it my right? If embers fall on my neighbor's property, it's his problem, right?

  • Re:Step after that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by winwar (114053) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @04:58PM (#34336596)

    "Exaggeration aside, however, if the DHS is basing its policies on (outdated) panic-driven poll results without regard to cost, liberty, or the reality that some attacks will get through, whatever they may do, then that is just one more example of the many things wrong with the DHS."

    I have no idea if DHS believes the scanners and pat downs are really effective. I'm not sure which answer would be worse. But it is certainly true that one of the primary reasons for implementation of the new policies is CYA. Any procedures are going to fail at some point. But it is vitally important for DHS and whatever administration in power at the time to be able to say "We did everything possible (that the public would accept)". Regardless of effectiveness. They have to be seen as responding to threats. The public demands safety. In part because they were promised it. Oops.

  • by artson (728234) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @05:45PM (#34337116) Homepage Journal

    "how much does Janet Napolitano get per machine?"

    It's Chertoff [google.com] you nit - Michael Chertoff [wikipedia.org].

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @05:47PM (#34337144)

    Either way, it's time to defund the TSA and Homeland Security. They're the biggest laughingstock of the security world since Windows XP.

    You should let this kind of comparisons to the bad_analogy_guy. In my eyes TSA and Homeland security is more like UAC in Vista, XP is more like US pre-9/11.

  • by lennier (44736) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @08:51PM (#34338590) Homepage

    But there is an immediacy of consequence when the impolite turn violent. When ordinary citizens are armed, there is a built-in limit as to how far a violent criminal act can go unchecked.

    Or not. My brother lives in Brazil - it is amazing just how much blue-on-blue gun crime there is between police officers, as coffee-fueled arguments escalate into gunfights - let alone the heavy weaponry like rocket launchers that the drug gangs, who are so pervasive as to practically be the lower-class government, have.

    tl;dr: guns don't make an impolite society polite. They make a walk down the street to the shopping mall into an exciting bullet-dodging adventure.

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