Posted by Dan Draney on August 2, 2005
Ryne sums up the sensible, British policy for screening people: Look For Those Who Might Want To Kill Us. In contrast we have the American policy: Pretend We Have No Idea What Terrorists Look Like.
This is the kind of issue that makes me wonder how anyone can possibly be on the other side. It is so obviously a waste of everyone’s time and energy to search my 80 yr old mom when she is boarding an airplane, yet it happens regularly to her. Is it just that opponents imagine that “profiling” would mean all Muslims (or those who look like they might be Muslims) would be strip searched everywhere they went?
To do less than the best we can do in screening suspects is not only wasteful; it’s dangerous. People are trying to kill us. Profiling just means using all that we see and all that we know in evaluating the potential risk posed by a particular person. That includes physical appearance, clothing, behavior, mannerisms, age, gender, and speech.
Timothy McVeigh, who doesn’t fit the Muslim profile, is sometimes cited as “proof” that profiling will not “work.” A more serious argument is that terrorists may employ Chechens or other Islamofascists who don’t look Middle Eastern. While these are good arguments for not ignoring people who don’t look Middle Eastern, they are not arguments for ignoring those who do.
As the saying goes, “The victory may not always go to the strongest nor the race to the swiftest, but that’s the way to bet.”
One surefire bet is that the same, politically correct people who oppose any profiling of terror suspects will sing a different tune if/when the next attack occurs. Then they will be howling that the administration didn’t do “enough” to prevent the attack. They’ll even be right, in a sense, if the current, foolish policy they insist upon is maintained.