Most Power Line readers probably

Most Power Line readers probably also read InstaPundit, so you know that Glenn Reynolds has been on the warpath about airport security. Prof. Reynolds says, and I have to agree, that it combines the worst of both worlds: obnoxiousness and ineffectiveness. No common sense whatever is applied to the task of ferreting out possible terrorists. I fly somewhere nearly every week, and I can’t count the times I’ve seen old ladies being patted down, five year olds’ backpacks being searched, and so on. This is utterly unserious. Somewhere I read an interesting interview with an El Al security person who said that the difference between American security (post-Sept. 11) and Israeli security is that “You look for the weapon, we look for the terrorist.” My wife and I traveled to Israel a few years ago on El Al; we were interviewed by a security person who took a minute or two to establish who we were and why we were going to Israel. No doubt it was immediately obvious that we were not Arab terrorists, and we were waved through. At the time I was surprised at how “lax” the security seemed compared to what I expected. Now I realize that they are serious, and we are not. This article exemplifies the faux-vigilance employed by our security people (in this case, INS). We’ll win the war in the end, but it won’t be because of this kind of mindlessness.

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