A Suggestion for the TSA

As you all have read, the TSA has approved new measures to increase security at the airport by forcing travelers to go through pat-down procedures that are highly intrusive, shall they refuse to go through the microwave machine. If you choose to refuse the pat-down procedure as well, you will be forced to pay a fine of $11,000 and potentially go to jail. The latter action is there to ensure that a terrorist won’t try to test the waters by bringing in a bomb with him, strapped around his waist under his underwear, and when he is selected “randomly” because he is a little too tanned to be innocent, he would then opts out of all checks and decides to leave the airport. That is a point, well taken.

Surprisingly, people did not respond too well to allowing a random person fondle them through their clothes, in the name of security. And to add to the shock, they certainly did not take well the idea of having an adult fondle their kids as well.  As we all know, nothing is more dangerous than a loaded child’s underwear or diaper. Under a lot of pressure, the TSA finally decided that kids under 12 years old will not be required to go through the pat-down process. This irresponsible action just opened the door to a whole new level of security cracks at the airport, through which, a terrorist baby (an argument made by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) regarding how Muslims come pregnant to the US, deliver a US citizen, then take the baby overseas for terrorist training until the baby is ready to carry on a terrorist attack) can smuggle or be used to smuggle bombs through security checks.

I personally have no problem with added security. After all, it is there to protect us from harm, or in my case being a person of Middle Eastern descent, to protect me from myself. However, I see a lot of problems with the security approach pursued by the Transportation Security Agency. It is the reactionary approach that they follow after every terrorist attempt. One terrorist hides a bomb in his shoes, and we all have to take our shoes off for security screening. One terrorist hides a bomb in his underwear, and we all have to go through a testicle examination at the airport.  As a software engineer, I learned that patching issues after they occur rather than thinking of a bigger solution to all potential problems in the future is a big no-no. The reason why this approach fails is because there is always going to be a problem in the future to which I have to introduce a patch fix. However, if I take a step back and change my strategy overall, I may be able to change my code at the base and eliminate many potential problems. For example, British spies found out that AlQaida is planning to train radical doctors to implant bombs in women’s breasts. If they do that, the bomb can go undetected by all security measures that we have today. We are not worried about it today because no woman tried to do that yet. I heard women are very picky overseas and refused to implant bombs that would make their boobs be less than size D, or less round, or have less of a natural touch. That is why the process is dragging a little longer than what Osama had in mind. But it will come at some point, and a woman will get through the security checks, and if we are lucky, she will be caught and stopped by air marshals when smoke starts coming out of her breasts when she tries to trigger the bomb. “Her boobs were smoking, and I could think of nothing else but jumping on her and diffusing the bomb”, said the air marshal. Then we will hear about the boob bomber (don’t look for the domain name because I already purchased it). Now what? The only way to start checking for boobs that are “the bomb” is by training security guards to grab female traveler’s boobs and find potential bombs. The “random” search trigger may be “A woman with large boobs”. After all, women with smaller breasts may not have bombs, or maybe the bomb is too small to cause damage. “I will grope any big breasted woman for potentially carrying a bomb for the sake of my country and its national security”, will say any patriot working at an airport security check near your city. This whole approach of reacting to something that already happened won’t get you anywhere. It is reacting to something that failed or succeeded, but it won’t help against future attempts of different nature.

The TSA must change its strategy and find another way to increase our security, instead of reacting to everything terrorists do. If they choose to continue down this path to see how far they can stretch this, or us, I have a solution for them to quiet all whiners. A long term solution that fixes the whole problem at the root, rather than patching a solution every time an issue rises. If you want to pat-down all travelers, and you want to invade our personal privacy and potentially add more and more intrusive pat-down procedures, then your best bet is to introduce a little flavor into this process. Bring really good looking security agents (men and women), and allow the traveler to select (from a line up) the person they would like to grope them. From the opposite sex (or the same based on the traveler’s choice).  We should still have the option to ask for a private room like we do today, and additionally, we should have the option to ask for seconds, or thirds if we think we may be of danger to this great country. I think all Middle Easterners and all that have funny accents should have the choice to select more than one person to go through several pat-downs at the same time, or sequentially in a private room. When TSA introduces this measure, many people would change their minds about the procedure, after all, we are going through tough times and we cannot all afford paying singles at a club somewhere. I think this will not only be received favorably by many people, but would actually boost the transportation industry. After all, a trip to the strip club for a few lap dances and alcoholic drinks could cost you more than a trip to another city for a few days vacation, plus the free pat-downs. This will also save the TSA a lot of money because they won’t have to pay for expensive machines anymore. It will also allow them to introduce more and more intrusive measures and people would only receive them even more favorably than the previous less intrusive measures. And hey, maybe this type of procedure would push a terrorist to have a change of heart after going through this experience, after all, a bird at hand is better than 77 somewhere in heaven.

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