Why airline security will always be merely offensive, and never useful

In a previous post today, in which I asked how to make airline security actually work, the clear winner was profiling, a la the Israeli system (along with some other solid suggestions, such as privatization).  But as long as the feds control airline security, that’s not going to happen.  Witness what’s going on in LA, which must have more gang activity than the next ten biggest American cities combined:

The federal government has warned the Los Angeles Police Department to do more to combat racial profiling by officers, saying the LAPD’s investigations into the practice are inadequate.

In a letter to city and police officials, the U.S. Department of Justice cites a recording of two officers being dismissive of racial profiling complaints, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

When told that other officers had been accused of stopping a motorist because of his race, one officer responds, “So, what?” The second officer is heard twice saying that he “couldn’t do (his) job without racially profiling.”

The officers didn’t know they were being recorded.

Read the rest here.

Yes, racial profiling can be terribly abused.  Yes, racial profiling can be perceived by some in power positions as a green light for acting out their worst instincts.

But yes, racial profiling is an accurate, if somewhat rough indicator of certain affiliations:  You won’t find many white young men in black or Mexican gangs.  You won’t find many Jews in neo-Nazi biker groups.  You won’t find many little old ladies from the Midwest packing airplane bombs.

Yes, there are white men who long for the “people of color” gang lifestyle.  And yes, there are self-loathing Jews who would probably be happy hanging with the neo-Nazis.  And yes, there are LOLs from the Midwest who have been coopted by Islam — but it’s not likely.

Sherlock Holmes may have said that, “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth,” but first you have to eliminate the impossible and examine the probabilities of the improbable. Ignoring common sense and relying on randomness is not a way to fight crime, whether on the streets of LA or the airspace over America.