Stop the Airport Foolishness.

Real Security: TSA, and security agencies from other countries, need to stop the goofy security focus on "stuff" instead of "people." Okay, in the context of yesterday's specific threat, checking carry-on liquids makes some sense but only for a brief period of time. However, it can't go on. It's wrong-headed. Security teams need to do what the Israelis do--focus on identifying problem "people" with astute questioning, observation, and other techniques. Also, specific security measures should be randomized--with computers and random changes of mathemeticians supplying the algorithms--so that would-be terrorists cannot predict and rely on specific techniques. In other words, TSA might apply a variety of techniques that would change in a random order at random periods of time. These techniques might include: questioning of everyone, questioning of likely candidates (yes! profiling!), questioning of every nth person, questioning of random persons, thorough checks of everyone's bags, thorough checks of likely candidates' bags, etc. Algorithms should ensure that the most effective techniques--namely profiling--are in play most often. Also, TSA officials need the ability to make human decisions, pulling a suspicious character out of line when some other technique is mandated. We need to drop the ridiculous reticence to profile young Middle Eastern males (or whomever fits the current profile) and combine that with enough randomly used additional techniques to increase the chances of terrorists slipping through the profile (by using women, non-Arab converts to Islam, etc.). This system would be much less invasive for most passengers than the current, mostly useless search for box-cutters, nail clippers, and shampoo. Wile E.

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