More security theatre and Quote of the Day for 2010-11-08

We all know that TSA stands for “A Security Theatre“, and now we see yet another shining example of how they try to make people “feel” safe without doing anything to actually make people safe. They have implemented a new policy requiring everyone to take off their belts for the screening process. And I do mean everyone – including the flight crew.

“Sir,” said a guard.

And I knew. I just knew this was going to be something stupid.

“I need you to remove your belt.”

“Huh? My belt? Why?”

“All passengers need to remove their belts.”

“I’m not a passenger.”

“All pilots have to remove their belts.”

“We do? Why?”

“Sir, remove your belt.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s the rule.”

I haven’t mentioned it before, but think for a moment on how mind-blowingly stupid it is to require the flight crew to go through the same preflight screening as passengers. Really, think about it. These are the same people who are in charge of making sure that the plane makes it to its scheduled destination without crashing. All it takes is a few seconds alone at the controls to put the plane into an unrecoverable spin. No weapons needed.

If you don’t trust the pilots to board the plane with a weapon, why the frell are you letting them fly the plane in the first place?!?!

The other part of this story is just as stupid, though – if not more so. The reason for making people remove their belts?

Belts, it has been determined, can interfere with the images procured by the new full-body scanners being deployed at checkpoints around the country. And so, from now on, passengers need to remove them.

Now, although we can debate the body scanners from an effectiveness point of view, or from a privacy-rights point of view, separately, this at least makes sense.

And the stupidity?

Fair enough, except for one thing. As I looked around me, I noticed that there weren’t any body scanners anywhere at the checkpoint. [emphasis mine]

So, the reason behind requiring people to remove their belts doesn’t exist at that checkpoint. But they have to do it anyway, to avoid interfering with the nonexistent body scanners.

In the end, this author/pilot sums the whole mess up in one sentence, which is also today’s Quote of the Day.

Somebody, somewhere, needs to shake us from this stupor of blind policy and blind obedience.

Oh, and one more bit of stupidity. He opted for the “pat-down” to avoid having to take off his belt – after all, it won’t interfere with the nonexistent scanner if he does the pat-down instead, right?

They made him take it off for the pat-down. To avoid interfering with the nonexistent body scanners that he wasn’t going to go through if they had been there. Can they get any more stupid?

[Source: Ask the Pilot column at Salon.com, retrieved 11/8/10]
(h/t Joe Huffman at The View From North Central Idaho)

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  1. Quote of the Day – 2011-06-27 « Curses! Foiled Again!

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