Former El Al Chief on TSA Security Theater

Via Ed Morrissey, Isaac Yeffet, former head of security for El Al airlines, explains to Fox News that full body scans, ethnic or religious profiling, and not allowing passengers to go to the bathroom or play with their Kindles in the last hour of an international flight are all meaningless bits of security theater:

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  • John Tagliaferro||

    The guys who run the coolest country (besides ours) agree with me. I can now leave the office a happy man.

  • ||

    Israel is "the coolest country besides ours"? This is dumber than usual.

  • zoltan||

    I'd say it's right in line with awful-writing-fake-girlfriend-guy.

  • SIV||

    Papua New Guinea is way cooler than Israel.I could make a list...

  • ||

    I'd say it was cool.
    With a mere 7 million people, its the world's tech dynamo, and attracts more venture capital investment (per capita) than any other country. And has more companies on Nasdaq than any other foreign nation.

    And all of this is accomplished while surrounded by countries doing their best to blow it off the map.

    Cool, yes?

  • ||

    The world's tech dynamo? Are you from Earth?

  • ||

    Well, here's a little snippet from this month's Wall Street Journal, a publication very popular with earthlings like myself..

    "Steve Ballmer, calls Microsoft "as much an Israeli company as an American company" because of the importance of its Israeli technologists. "Google, Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, eBay . . . ," says one of eBay's executives. "The best-kept secret is that we all live and die by the work of our Israeli teams."

  • ||

    Uh, huh. I'll buy disproportionately influential for its size, but your remark was a ridiculous one. The U.S., Japan, Europe, India, etc. are far beyond Israel in technological development. Don;t forget, too, that even the big countries are often building on top of the technology infrastructure of the U.S.

  • ||

    14 billion of US taxpayer money a year will make Nigeria cool too.

  • ||

    Have you ever been to Israel? Do you know anything about this country? And for that matter, have you traveled anywhere outside the USA? (I bet you and the pin-heads who commented here have mo idea where Israel is located on the map).

  • ||

    Israel is not the second coolest nation on Earth. Obviously, that's Japan. It would be Russia, but only if Russia were populated only by Russian women.

  • MP||

  • ||

    That image is CIA propaganda, dude.

  • someone||

    as long as the women didn't have mustaches, wear moo-moos, and reek of vodka.

  • ||

    I'm not sure that "ethnic or religious profiling" is as "meaningless" as the summary makes it out to be. Behavioral profiling is fine, but if the waiting area includes 1) an elderly white nun traveling alone and looking nervous, and 2) a 20-something guy with a Muslim name traveling alone and looking nervous, I think we'd be better off if security focused their scrutiny on the latter.

  • MP||

    traveling alone and looking nervous

    That's still primarily behavioral profiling.

  • ||

    Right, and that's fine, but my point is that ethnic/religious profiling is helpful in telling you which of those cases is more likely to be something of concern.

  • anarch||

    "Salvation is of the Jews."

  • Doug||

    Wait a minute, I thought viewers of Fox News were big fans of our neo-Soviet approach to national security.

  • Paul||

    They may be more complex than we give credit for.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yeffet is just angry they won't let him build a wall in each airplane separating the, um, terrorists from the, ah, non-terrorists. (Joke got away from me. Posting it anyway.)

  • emerson||

    On every El Al flight, the passengers break into applause when the plane lands. Surprised the hell out of me but I enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • Paul||

    In USA, we break into applause when plane takes off.

  • ||

    I've experienced that on European airlines. One of those cultural quirks.

  • Doug||

    A few years ago I was on a flight into CVG. When we landed a black woman burst into prayer thanking God for bringing us to Cincinnati safely. I thought "WTF?". Everybody else started clapping. I got to thinking, if she had been Muslim and started praying in Arabic everybody would have jumped her and beaten the hell out of her.

  • Paul||

    I thought people burst into prayer thanking God for leaving Cincinnati safely.

  • OMG||

    Well, maybe, but then again that may be more of a function of the ratio of the number of muslims who have blown up/crashed airplanes while yelling "Allah U Akbar" to the number of old black evangelicals who've done the same while yelling "Thank ya Jeeeesus". Sucks for most muslims, though.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Brazilians do that, too.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    What if each passenger was forced to get drunk before boarding? Wouldn't that solve a number of problems?
    (Yeah, it would probably create a few more, but cost/benefit.)

  • someone||

    you could arm the stewardesses with tazers. they'd probably be the ones getting pinched on the a$$ anyway.

  • ||

    Archie Bunker might have been right 35 years ago when he said we should just pass out guns as people get on board.

  • H.L.||

    Sometimes I think an announced "security-free day" would be worth it. Most of the terrorists would think "Now's my chance!" and we'd get their suicide missions over and done with and there wouldn't be enough terrorists left over to be worth the worry.

    Plus you'd get enough non-terrorist nut jobs would just go to the airport with guns, kill all the people they don't like because they either look like terrorists or are in the way, and rid the world of a few thousand people who were too stupid to figure out that was the worst day to go to the airport.

    Then we could go back to the more cost-effective Security-Lite we had before all this bullshit started.

  • ||

    I was subjected to a full body scan in Denver (DIA) just one day before the radicalized muslim man boarded a plane for the US with a bomb in his pants.

    I am now not just subjected to inconvenience - but embarrassment as well - and for WHAT? Obviously my submitting to the full body scan did not make the skies any safer.

    I have taken to calling the lines at Airports "The Illusion of Security Lines".

    What a bunch of nonsense.

  • H.L.||

    It's not about actual protection, it's about peace of mind for the mindless.

  • OMG||

    My two nieces got the full search when they visited from HK (on the way out of the country). Two 20 somethings, who are skinny as twigs ... it is not an illusion of security, its a sick, twisted mockery of it

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Pics please.

  • someone||

    LMFAO!

  • Hobo Chang Ba||

    1.) Racial profiling, specifically of people of Middle Eastern descent is utterly stupid - John Walker Lindh was white. This last guy was black. Mexicans and Indians have similar complexions to Middle Easterners. Al Qaeda is active in Indonesia, thus maybe we should also profile Asians. Al Qaeda will just hire contractors from other ethnicities if we initiated full on racial profiling of Middle Easterners. Moreover, such profiling might have skipped the Saturday wannabe-bomber.

    2.) The only way to solve this is to let everyone carry knives on airplanes and then anyone trying to hijack or blow up a plane will easily be stopped. The terrorists are dedicated to outsmarting security and have proven they can do it to get weapons onto a plane full of defenseless passengers, but they'd have a more difficult time if the law abiding passengers too were armed. Guns are probably a bad idea, but knifes would do the trick.

  • ||

    Lindh was not a suicide hijacker, though, and that's a job it's hard to "hire contractors" for.

  • qwerty||

    When 60 year old married Japanese women start bombing planes, I'll agree with you.

  • SIV||

    Who proposed profiling Middle-Easterners?
    Let's start with guys named Mohammed, regardless of geographical origin.

  • ||

    I think a plan to increase Air Marschalls may be a workable idea. If every flight had anywhere from 4-8 air marshals on it, and no one knew who they were, they could be that guy sittin right next to you.

  • ||

    Isaac Yeffet has the ability to simply stare at terrorists, read their minds, and cause them to wet themselves. We need a school to teach his special powers.

  • Happy Jack||

    Yeffet might be laughing at us, but our ex-security guys are laughing all the way to the bank. I understand that Chertoff has a sweet gig as a "security consultant."

  • ||

    If I were running U.S. security, I'd set up one of those stings like cops run on crooks. You know, free tickets to Mecca, that sort of thing.

  • ||

    Are they really gonna forbid people from getting out of their seats in the last hour? What if you've really got to go to the bathroom? What are you supposed to do, wet or dump a load in your pants? Or on the floor?

  • ||

    Or maybe in the overhead compartment--a new spin on the "upper decker."

  • thumb's up||

    Whatever ya do, don't start messin' with or adjusting any crotch parts while yer doin' it...! Somebody will jump ya for sure.

  • H.L.||

    Maybe they'll gas the cabin like in the opening titles of The Prisoner.

  • someone||

    that's what the barf bags are for. just stick it back in the seat pouch when yer done.

  • Only in bureaucracy||

    So moving the terrorist activity from airplanes to buses and nightclubs counts as a success?

  • Rich||

    I find it interesting that he proposes the US not use body scans because of the "dishonor" involved.

    But if Gramps is "dishonored" by having to take off his shoes, or little Susie is "dishonored" by being being patted down -- well, apparently some honors are more equal than others.

  • ComradeZero||

    I think that has more to do with not pissing off people more than they already are.

  • Underzog||

    G-d bless Michael Monyihan. Maybe the only half decent thing with so-called "Reason" magazine.

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here."

  • ||

    I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't wind up with some kind of religious exemption for body scans.

    I mean, if a Muslim woman isn't allowed to show her face and has to wear a giant burlap bag in public, how on earth can she go through a body scanner?

  • Naked Under My Clothes||

    Religious exemption?

    What about minors? Wouldn't those full body scans be considered child pornography?

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