The modus operandi of this near disaster was funny though... like something from every wannabe comedian's act. Will TSA ask us to take off our underpants now? Well, not if airports get these naked scanners:
The real story here is our reaction. That's all we do when it comes to security -- react. It starts with the 24-hour news channel coverage loop which is clearly designed to scare the shit out of us. Then, TSA implements new flight restrictions like asking passengers to stay in their seats for the last hour of the flight. So now any potential terrorist has to launch his plot 65 minutes before landing. Golly, that ought to stop them.
The fact is that every "security hole" we plug has existed since the beginning of commercial flights. That's right. We've always been at the mercy of liquid bombers, shoe-bombers, and underpants-bombers. When somebody actually attempts it, we react. And then somebody will attempt something else, and the fear feeds the endless loop, and maybe one day the airports will give us all paper hospital gowns, anesthetize us, and still.. somebody will find a way to cause harm.
At least one security expert has it right. Bruce Schneier has been saying this for years:
Only two things have made flying safer [since 9/11]: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers.Everything else is a useless, knee-jerk reaction. As a nation, we still act ridiculously naive on these issues.
Anyway, I'm going back to playing with my Christmas toys. Stay safe.