Monday, June 06, 2005

I'm sometimes a fan of Christopher Hitchens (especially his thoughts on Henry Kissinger), but here undoubtedly gets it right here.

Airport security is absolutely stupid. For all of the reasons he mentions, and many others:

-Either it is justified or it is not justified to make everyone take off their shoes in before going through the x-ray machine. But the government has yet to come up with a consistent policy.

-What's more dangerous, nail clippers or a big hardsided laptop? For that matter, what's more dangerous, a small pen knife or a big hardsided laptop? Obviously, it's the laptop. A laptop would be a pretty effective club, I bet. Of course, they can't ban laptops, because that would be too inconvenient.

We have a "security system" that ends up filtering out only those things that aren't too inconvenient, which is to say, not real security.

Hitchens doesn't mention that all of this is also useless. If a terrorist took over a plane these days, everyone would rush the cockpit, because everyone knows that they're already dead anyway. This is a classic instance of fighting the last war.

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