Patrick Smith, a commercial airline pilot, writes a scathing article in The New York Times today. In it, he blasts the absurd measures taken by the TSA to “protect” the American flying public.
“How we got to this point is an interesting study in reactionary politics, fear-mongering and a disconcerting willingness of the American public to accept almost anything in the name of “security.” Conned and frightened, our nation demands not actual security, but security spectacle. And although a reasonable percentage of passengers, along with most security experts, would concur such theater serves no useful purpose, there has been surprisingly little outrage. In that regard, maybe we’ve gotten exactly the system we deserve.”
Captain Smith wonders why flight crews are subject to the same theatrical screening as the passengers while airport workers, who have just as much access to aircraft and the ramp areas, are only randomly checked. Once the door is closed and the plane start to taxi, we trust these professionals with our lives. Yet, we treat them like criminals.
There’s no way to make air travel 100% safe and most of the screening procedures would do little to thwart a determined fanatic. To continue the charade just to fool the sheep is ludicrous.