August 12, 2006

NOW THEY'RE FOR PROFILING? (via s jacobson):

Focused on 9/11, U.S. Is Seen to Lag on New Threats (ERIC LIPTON and MATTHEW L. WALD, 8/12/06, NY Times)

The Transporation Security Administration has the technology to inspect small objects shipped as air cargo, but does not have the capacity to do so uniformly.

Given the long list of possible threats, and the limited budget to buy equipment to defend against them, it is essential not just to look for threats, Mr. Larsen said, but also to evaluate each one.

Mr. Oberman, the former security agency official, said that part of the problem was the mandates imposed on the agency by Congress — like hiring government employees to do checkpoint screening and inspecting every checked bag instead of focusing the inspections on those considered the highest risk. This results in inspection programs that are so costly there is little money available to research into new threats.

When James Loy took over the security agency in 2002, he created a special unit assigned to think like terrorists. “It was all part of staying on the edge,” he said.

But Mr. Loy, who became Homeland Security’s deputy, was in charge of the security agency when it took money that had been set aside for explosive detection research and put it into the hiring of baggage and checkpoint screeners, so that the agency could comply with the mandates.

“What doesn’t exist yet is a risk management process,” said Penrose C. Albright, a former assistant secretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security. “In the absence of coherent analysis, there’s no way to prevent the system from getting whipsawed. So it’s not surprising that we end up spending a lot of money fighting the last war and not addressing more modern threats.”

Of course, if we were doing proper threat assessment we'd be profiling passengers.

Aircraft-Security Focus Swings to People: Spotting Dangerous Individuals Gains Supporters, but Remains Beset With Problems (LAURA MECKLER and DANIEL MICHAELS, August 12, 2006, Wall Street Journal)

Security officials trying to protect America's airliners face a twin battle: stopping bad stuff and stopping bad people.

Most of the focus has traditionally been on stopping bad stuff, and that is a big challenge. Distinguishing good water bottles from deadly ones will never be easy.

So increasingly, security experts think the nation needs to focus more on stopping bad people. Much of the work to stop potential terrorists must occur before they ever walk into an airport, aviation experts say. "By the time you get to the security checkpoint, chances are you've lost the battle," said Douglas Laird, an aviation consultant who once headed security for Northwest Airlines.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 12, 2006 8:06 AM

How about profiling treasonous "journalists"? If the British plot had been known to the NY Slimes, they would have announced it, warning the islamofascist terrorists - giving them time to escape.

Hang these anti-American traitors at dawn!

Posted by: obc at August 12, 2006 10:40 AM

treasonous "journalists", may be just stupid journalists.
"NBC's Kevin Corke was talking to Ann Curry yesterday on the Today Show and he started raising questions about why Bush kept his knowledge of the British investigation quiet until after the British had arrested the terrorists....Corke: "Yeah well said because a lot of people here are going to be asking the question, not only today but in the days to come, if, if the administration has known about this potential plot what was the hold up in getting the word out, especially domestically?"
How clueless is this NBC reporter?

Posted by: ic at August 12, 2006 5:00 PM

Do you think that news people knowing the pictures were photoshopped and news reports staged and spun, don't think the danger is real. It's the only explanation.

They can't really believe they can avoid being caught in the violence of bombings here at home.

Posted by: erp at August 12, 2006 6:17 PM