CNN, the TSA, and the ‘Theatre’ of Terrorism

News flash from CNN a few minutes ago:

Terrorists may try to hide explosives in toothpaste or cosmetics tubes, U.S. warns airlines flying into Russia.

A law enforcement source said the warning is based on new information and added that there is no known threat to the United States.

Wait a minute! For ten years now, Americans have had to limit toothpaste and other toiletries in their carry-on bags. Why exactly did we have to do that? If there is “no known threat to the United States” today, then why isn’t this silly restriction lifted? The original cause of this restriction was a hypothetical scenario from a consultant or academic I bet, not known cases of this being used. Even now, if we banned all toiletries including toothpaste, it would be trivial to sneak a significant amount of gel onto a plane.

Further, are they really saying that terrorists would be flying into Russia, via the U.S.? Come on, geopolitics 101 says that is absurd when there is more than a fair share of terrorists already living in proximity to Russia that would not require air travel.

Not only do we live under silly policies that enforce the illusion of anti-terrorism, but we are constantly reminded of how absurd they are. Yet, we still can’t manage to get rid of them and use tactics that have a long track record of actually working.

One response to “CNN, the TSA, and the ‘Theatre’ of Terrorism”

  1. Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 17:09:50 -0500
    Subject: CNN Breaking News
    The U.S. government has warned airlines to pay particular attention to the possibility of terrorists attempting to hide explosives in shoes.
    The officials stressed there is no specific threat or known plot.
    Intelligence collected by the United States and other countries has indicated terror groups have been working on new shoe-bomb designs, the sources said.

    ^ Here we go again. “no specific threat” or “known plot”, right before intelligence says terror groups are specifically working on designs. WHICH IS IT?

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