Last week's News
News article for the week of 10/24/07.
Airport Authorities Collaborate On
Revelations about continuing poor performance by US airport security staff in spotting fake bombs during testing scenarios have surprised no one and concerned everyone.
According to the test data asking if someone is a terrorist is only achieving a 5% success rate, far below the Department of Homeland Security’s expected 98%. Based on it’s expectations for the “ask and see” method Homeland Security was expecting screening to catch the remaining two percent and has come under fire for not providing accurate strategies while being praised, possibly sarcastically they are looking into this deeply, for maintaining a consistent track record.
So far incentives and methods of keeping screeners alert have had mixed results. The recent use of “threat image projection” to put fake images of knives and bombs into luggage to keep screeners alert backfired when one screener recently mistook one such projection as the real deal when hated film maker Uwe Bol entered the US.
In the screeners defence he is the most likely person to bring a bomb of some sort into the country, normally cunningly disguised as a movie, so there has been little or no fall out so far.
Recommendations for improving the statistics, anywhere from 20 to 75 percent of fake contraband makes it through screening at any time, abound like little rabbits with nothing to do but jump around and breed.
One senator suggested that screeners be plugged into the x-ray machines directly, or have their eyes replaced with cybernetic implants that could covertly do the job, so that their attention cannot waiver in the least.
That this is inhuman and technologically unfeasible was lost on the senator, who insisted that it was nothing more than the Unions holding out for more vacation time.
A slightly more serious suggestion that has been doing the rounds of security concerns is for everyone not carrying a bomb, knife, fork or sharpened spoon to wear a special badge declaring such, cutting down on the number of screenings.
This idea is being considered, but there are still concerns that terrorists could get their hands on these badges and pass themselves off as innocent travellers.
One suggestion made by screeners was to fudge the numbers, report false statistics and that way deny terrorists accurate information, either by making them over confident about smuggling contraband on board flights or by forcing them to put ridiculous amounts of effort into smuggling, thus making other strategies more appealing.
No one is seriously considering this option as the lie may make Americans complacent or panic, depending on which direction the statistics took.
Besides it is not as if a massive disinformation campaign is already underway with the twin objectives of making terrorists complacent and American’s afraid. No, not at all.
Meanwhile the idea of an antiterrorist fifth column in the airports is being pondered by putting some of the responsibility upon passengers themselves. While it is expected that passengers will report anything suspicious it may soon be required that passengers screen each other in the departure lounge.
Critics have already spoken out against this plan as little more than public groping, however former President Clinton has assured people he is willing to tour airports around the country to demonstrate the usefulness of public groping in halting the terrorist menace.
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