Sunday, July 31, 2005

Mrs. Doubtfire & Other Terror Suspects

A few excellent posts from Charles Krauthammer and another from Tunku Varadarajan of the Wall Street Journal (both courtesy of RealClearPolitics) on terror profiling.

It reminds me of the movie Airplane where the old lady is violently frisked, as the middle-eastern terrorists walk past with the bandoliers and rocket launchers. And it would be just as hilarious, if the consequences were not so obviously deadly.

The noble (or naive) decision not to use profiling to detect terrorists raises a single question (besides the obvious "Why!?!?"): Who are we afraid we will offend? The terrorists?

The left equates profiling enemies with Japanese internment camps during World War II. But wasting ten minutes of these peoples' time at mass transit checkpoints to inspect them for weapons is a little different from rounding them up as a population and disrupting their lives for a period of years. And it does not violate equal protection. Nobody is being treated differently under the law in a way that matters. And a momentary inspection to achieve a compelling governmental objective will certainly pass muster. Inspection of individuals at certain public checkpoints makes sense. It also makes sense to focus our efforts on people who actually fit the profile.

People will get offended, but we need to get away from the notion that the Constitution protects us from having our feathers ruffled. Re-read it. It doesn't. Society will irritate, and protection from harm will potentially rub against certain individuals who meet the known characteristics of terrorists. And we do not have to cater to the most easily offended elements of society or their serial defenders.

I really didn't object to being frisked. But I did object to the fact that the only people in the search queue were those who were least likely to be terrorists by the profile. Profiles aren't perfect, but we're only kidding ourselves with our own politically correct arrogance if we think that such a completely silly approach has any affect.


Blogger jwb said...

Why do you believe that our law enforcement agencies aren't using profiling? Just because the NYPD & the TSA are conducting random searches, doesn't mean that they aren't also profiling.

7:47 AM  

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