Our Puritanism is going to get people killed.

Over Christmas we had another attempted terror attack against America. By now I assume  that everyone reading this blog knows that a young man smuggled explosives aboard an International flight — the bomb making materials were apparently in his underwear — and after determining that the aircraft was in American airspace, attempted to detonate it.

Only by a combination of luck and in competence did the device not explode, but merely burned. Even that could have been very bad had passengers not acted quickly and subduing the terrorist and putting out the fire.

It stupid that this man was able to smuggle the bomb-making material aboard. We have the technology to catch this crap. It’s back scatter x-rays.

These devices can image right through clothing down to the skin. The likelihood of getting contraband through such a system is much lower than with our current wand and pat down system. (Nothing is assured – a dopey scanner operator can still miss things, but this is so much better than what we have now.)  We have not instituted these scanners because it is able to image people in the nude, right through their clothing.

Horrors, someone might see my wang.

Bloddy hell people, I’d rather have TSA people seeing an endless parade of naughty bits than not be able to see bombs. Hmmmm, nude or dead, I know which I’ll want to be.

The only reason to hold back this technology is that we are so scared of skin we’d literally rather die than have someone see some.

To quote Plan 9 from Outer Space

“Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”

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6 thoughts on “Our Puritanism is going to get people killed.”

  1. What I really want to know is if we are lucky enough that the terrorist fried his own chances of ever having children. There would be justice – try to kill people and lose your chance at creating further generations – OOooo even better – can he still have sex? That would be WONDERFUL if he could never have sex again ever! (Put me in charge of metted out justice to the convicted in this crime!! Please? Pretty please?)

  2. Even if scanners had been in use, they probably would have missed the bomb since it was sewn into the crotch of his underwear. Only a very intrusive pat down or bomb sniffing dog might have revealed the device.

    Secondly, those scanners are very expensive. So expensive that universal use may be impractical for years to come. (Though they supposedly were available in Amsterdam)

    Third, the real problem wasn’t scanner use in America, but overseas where the jihadist kamikaze first boarded. Puritanical attitudes in America would have made no difference.

    1. Why do you think the scanners would have missed the device just because it was in the crotch?
      Yes, they are very expensive and while I am concerned about deficit spending this would be a very good thing to spend money on.
      While the terrorist did board outside of the US, US attitudes have a strong effect on international practices. If Americans refuse to fly your airline because you can see their naughty bits it doesn’t matter if your domestic or foreign you want those American dollars.

      1. “Why do you think the scanners would have missed the device just because it was in the crotch?”

        Because of the demonstrations of that very technology which has flooded the TV news recently. From the point of view of the scanner it’s very hard to see the location where that kamikaze jihadist hid his bomb. And the scanning booths are designed to scan a person who is standing straight up, not a person bending over and grabbing their own knees.

        “While the terrorist did board outside of the US, US attitudes have a strong effect on international practices. If Americans refuse to fly your airline because you can see their naughty bits it doesn’t matter if your domestic or foreign you want those American dollars.”

        In truth how (non-Muslim) Americans are screened doesn’t really matter. The real kamikaze threat profile are foreigners and Muslims, who therefore should be more heavily screened. The most important security failure of the attempted xmas bombing was the failure of the State Department to revoke the visa of the kamikaze jihadist before he had a chance to buy a plane ticket.

        1. I have not seen those demonstrations – but I do know that the scanner are set to fuzz out the genital region giving the bad guy a place they know they can hide their bombs.
          There was a massive failure of profiling in this case, but it was behavior profiling that was ignored.
          A man traveling alone, one-way ticket, no checked baggage, paid cash for the flight, this alone should have sent the man off for a more detailed security review.

          Apparently the dutch are going to start using the scanner on all flight to the US.

          Newstory

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