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It's a thoughtful essay, Anil. But I think you couldn't be more wrong about "part of the TSA's mission is to elicit the feeling of safety from travelers. This is a good thing". Creating only the appearance of safety and not the actual reality of it is a mark of a decadent society. It's a dangerous path with inappropriate gain for fear-mongers, wasted money, lost civil liberties, and worst of all, less actual security for us. I agree absolutely that we need to "engage with your neighbors and fellow citizens about their fears". The problem is that there is no civic engagement about TSA security practices. We just trust our government. What discourse there is is mediated through Homeland Security who frames the discussion by acting unilaterally. And the discussion we do have is dominated by television fiction like 24 or CSI. Worse, the executive branch that created TSA manipulated it for their political gain, the entire design is corrupt. Providing security is an essential function of government. But security must be balanced by evaluated effectiveness and respect for individual liberty.
Toggle Commented Nov 15, 2010 on In Defense of Security Theater (Sorta) at
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Nov 21, 2009