Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm not paid to think.

Consider it Mission Accomplished.

I am mid-vacation at the moment, so travel is on my mind.  Air travel, to be specific.  The New York Times ran an article a while back about an eight year old boy named Michael who is on a terrorist watch list of sorts.  Well, not the full blown "Do Not Fly" list, but on a list all the same.  Well, his name isn't actually on the list, but someone else's name is and it happens to be the same as his name.

What does this mean?  This means that every time he flies with his family, this little buy must endure a full body pat down, extra screening, a barrage of questions...  The first time he was patted down he was 2 years old.

You ca read the story here:

I can understand how this can happen.  His name is on a list, so the system should catch it every time he flies.  His age isn't on his ticket. (but his gender is, and I still have no idea why! See "Terrorists stopped by asking their names! " 8/18/09).  So he should get flagged to be checked at the airport.  Once this little boy is standing in front of a TSA officer, that should be the end of it.  

Apparently we are trusting the security of our skies to people who aren't capable of thinking for themselves.  Everyone of those TSA officers over the last six years has looked at that little boy and turned off the part of their brain responsible for the thought process.  His name is on the list, so he is a terrorist.

Does anyone really feel safer knowing that our entire Homeland Security Plan is based on blind faith of a list of names?  This is all sounding very much like the case of Harry Buttle and Harry Tuttle, only we don't seem to have the gallant Sam Lowry trying to fix the situation.  

If you haven't seen Brazil, you should stop reading right now and go watch it.  Spoiler Alert: It doesn't end well for Sam or Harry, and I don't think this is going to end well for us either.

Instead of a crack team of bright, altruistic, patriotic defenders of our front line, we appear to have a crew of minimum wage employees who might just have well chosen a career that involves saying "Would you like to super-size that?" instead of "Did you pack your bag yourself?"  Honestly, I thought I heard one of them get confused the other day and offer a traveler french fries with their carry-on.

No comments:

Post a Comment