July 28, 2005

BLAME THE RIGHT (via Gene Brown):

When the Profile Fits the Crime (PAUL SPERRY, 7/28/05, NY Times)

IN response to the serial subway bombings in London, Mayor Michael Bloomberg prudently ordered the police to start searching the bags of New York's subway riders. But there will be absolutely no profiling, Mr. Bloomberg vowed: the police will select one out of every five passengers to search, and they will do so at random, without regard for race or religion.

In that case, the security move is doomed to fail.

Young Muslim men bombed the London tube, and young Muslim men attacked New York with planes in 2001. From everything we know about the terrorists who may be taking aim at our transportation system, they are most likely to be young Muslim men. Unfortunately, however, this demographic group won't be profiled. Instead, the authorities will be stopping Girl Scouts and grannies in a procedure that has more to do with demonstrating tolerance than with protecting citizens from terrorism.

Critics protest that profiling is prejudicial. In fact, it's based on statistics. Insurance companies profile policyholders based on probability of risk. That's just smart business. Likewise, profiling passengers based on proven security risk is just smart law enforcement.

Besides, done properly, profiling would subject relatively few Muslims to searches.


Part of the problem here is that the conservative argument against affirmative action was too clever by half. Saying that race, gender, etc. should never be taken into account under any circumstances played into the hands of the Left in the long run. The better argument was that those are perfectly reasonable factors for folks to take into consideration in any situation where a constitutional guarantee is not impacted: voting, speech, and the like.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 28, 2005 8:54 PM
Comments

Profiling may be perceived by the communities which produce suicide bombers as being unfair but that consideration should be set aside in the interests of its undoubted effectiveness. Implement what works.Bloomberg isnt much of a Jew if he cant do that.

Posted by: Al Ross at July 28, 2005 9:30 PM

Profiling may be perceived by the communities which produce suicide bombers as being unfair but that consideration should be set aside in the interests of its undoubted effectiveness. Implement what works.Bloomberg isnt much of a Jew if he cant do that.

Posted by: Al Ross at July 28, 2005 9:30 PM

At its inception, affirmative action meant that if two candidates had equal credentials, the tip should go to the minority. That didn't seem unreasonable.

Naturally since then, the meaning has been completely put on its head.

Posted by: erp at July 28, 2005 10:01 PM

Look, this should be simple to understand--"profiling" does not mean "strip search every Arab or South Asian" because such a policy would be ineffective as it would cast far too wide of a net. What it does mean is to give much more scrutiny to young Arab/South Asian males who have travelled to certain countries recently and often. Unfortunately, you can't really determine all of that when someone is boarding a subway.

If/when the next major attack happens, anyone who is currently opposed to profiling will be completely shut out of the debate on what to do next (much the way Chirac is powerless to influence what happens in Iraq, while Blair is not). And what will happen next will make the WWII internment camps look like Club Med.

Posted by: b at July 28, 2005 10:52 PM

erp, it didn't even mean that. It meant merely that entities were supposed to take "affirmative action" to ensure qualified minorities were considered.

Posted by: at July 29, 2005 2:52 AM

It's unfair but it's safer.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at July 29, 2005 5:15 AM

That this discussion is even taking place is an indication that we are not serious about the threat--yet.

If the muslim community is sincere about not wanting to be lumped together with the terrorists, they had better start giving some of them up.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 29, 2005 6:04 AM

New York officials already know where the most radical mosques in the area area located, and where the population of those most likely to be radicalized live -- the Bay Ridge and lower Atlantic Avenue sections of Brooklyn and Jersey City in New Jersey. The past arrests by NYC and federal officials in connection with attempts to bomb the subway have all targeted stations that are along subway lines that serve those areas.

Since AFAIK, no chain of "Bombs R Us" stores have popped up in the metropolitan area, if I were going to tighten screenings, I would focus on the subway stops in those areas first, since those would be the areas mostly likely to be the starting point for the attackers (though I'm sure if it got out, someone would start complaining that law enforcement was "neighborhood profiling" in violation of the law).

Posted by: John at July 29, 2005 7:11 AM

One suspects that Mr. Sperry takes the subway to work.

Posted by: Rick T. at July 29, 2005 9:07 AM

I believe affirmative action was originally a remedy in specific instances to redress proven wrongs. If there was a long standing pattern of denying blacks specific jobs in a specific area, then to remedy the situation blacks were given preference. From there it went into other situations where it was not proven, it was just a blanket policy. Mission creep?

Posted by: pchuck at July 29, 2005 10:32 AM

Yeah, they had all the good cotton-pickin' jobs...

Posted by: oj at July 29, 2005 12:14 PM

Not profiling mass transit/airport searches is suicidal and idiotic. The Caliphascists probably refer to it as American roulette.

Posted by: Genecis at July 29, 2005 5:43 PM
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