The PJ Tatler

Just Following Orders

Despite all the silly fuss made by old fashioned prudes about the somewhat intimate TSA search of a six year old girl recently, we needn’t  worry. According to Blogger Bob at the TSA, the TSA person was just following orders. Ja wohl, meine Damen und Herren.

A video taken of one of our officers patting down a six year-old has attracted quite a bit of attention. Some folks are asking if the proper procedures were followed. Yes. TSA has reviewed the incident and the security officer in the video followed the current standard operating procedures.

So, evidently were these equally meretriculous meticulous screeners:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFsMiE6S6AY

To set our feeble minds a bit more at ease, Blogger Bob noted that

With that said,  you may have read recently that our Administrator is looking into ways to move past the cookie cutter approach to screening. Recognizing that terrorists are willing to manipulate societal norms to evade detection, TSA has been actively assessing less invasive screening methods for low-risk populations, such as younger passengers, while still maintaining a high level of security.

The blog entry cited in Blogger Bob’s comforting post does not mention small children except perhaps (?) tangentially:

One point to keep in mind as we think about these issues is that it’s important that we not create a system that would allow a person seeking to do harm to spend several years creating a “clean” background to gain access to a club that guarantees a “right” to expedited screening.

What we hope to do is figure out how to gain more knowledge about the people who are traveling to potentially provide a more streamlined screening experience at the checkpoint.

One possibility would be to have willing passengers provide more information about themselves. A recent example of using identity-based screening would be the decision Administrator Pistole made to change way we screen pilots. It just makes sense that the person who has been cleared to control the plane should not need to undergo the same level of screening.

To the extent that six year old air transport pilots are employed by airlines, it’s good that they are being taken care of; but the rest of the kids? Administrator Pistole’s speech linked in that blog didn’t mention small children either, but did note that

Secretary Napolitano and I have embarked on a robust outreach initiative to engage the world community on these issues.

Her leadership has brought about historic consensus with our international colleagues to strengthen security through improved information sharing, cooperation on technological development and enhanced aviation security standards.

The world community is very important, of course, even those members President Obama may not have been completely successful in apologizing to for our past sins.

While all right thinking people know that most terrorists have thus far been conservative nuts (please forgive the redundancy) and small children intent upon Baptist Jihad,

and that disproportionately few have had ties with the Religion of Peace, there just seems to be something fundamentally unsound with the TSA’s approach and I can’t quite wrap my mind around their profiles.