November 24th, 2010
03:23 PM ET

Time to reconsider profiling for airport security?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the national debate over full-body scans and pat downs at airports rages on, there's another idea that maybe deserves a second look: profiling.

It works pretty darn well for Israel, but questions of political correctness always seem to put an end to the discussion in the U.S. Instead we are reduced to having our crotches grabbed.

However, a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 70 percent of Americans support using available information about passengers to determine who gets picked for extra security screening.

When asked what criteria should be used to select passengers: 86 percent say personal behavior, 78 percent say travel history, 55 percent say nationality, and 50 percent say personal appearance.

This goes to the point that not all profiling is equal. There's a big difference between smart profiling and the less effective kind – based on race, religion, gender or country.

What's important is for the U.S. to improve profiling based on things like behavior, no-fly lists, personal data and travel history.

It turns out many pilots support this kind of profiling. The Daily Beast reports that online discussion groups show pilots complaining that the government is wasting resources by applying the same broad security measures to everyone.

Meanwhile, with all the hype over airline security, consider this: Politico reports that in 99 million domestic flights (that have carried 7 billion U.S. travelers) in the last decade, there have been zero bombs snuck onto airplanes and detonated. Zero.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to airport security, is it time to reconsider profiling?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

C. in Phoenix

Of course the TSA should use profiling. Law enforcement does it all the time. There are even professional profilers that build up descriptions of criminals to better aid the cops in catching the bad guys. The reason? IT WORKS! The idea of randomly selecting people for additional screening is stupid.


Gail in Plano, Texas

I don't know, Jack. We're damned if we do, and perhaps dead if we don't! We have become a nation of cry babies, afraid of our own shadow! Profiling is not the answer. Timothy McVeigh was a white, domestic terrorist. The signs were there, but we did not follow up on them. Same thing with 9/11! I am afraid there is no answer.


Dee in New Paris, Ohio

Common sense would be a better idea. There is always the possibility that grandma might just go off the deep end and decide to take a plane full of passengers with her. But common sense tells us it is not likely. We need to focus on those who have already shown that they want to kill us and leave the old folks (and the little kids) alone!


Amitoj in New Jersey

The TSA should NOT profile! Where would the line be drawn? Profiling leads to racial profiling and discrimination. Would profiling have helped catch the so-called "shoe-bomber" Richard Reid who was Caucasian? The majority of people wearing turbans in the U.S. are Sikhs and NOT Muslims, and this has already caused a lot of confusion when it comes to the TSA. This would also cause innocent Muslims to be victim of this profiling.



We should have been profiling all along.


Paul in Ontario

Yes, profile me. We Canadian, retired English teachers rarely blow up airplanes.


Jeff in Georgia

Mr. Cafferty, Anything that offends those hens on The View, I most likely will support!

Filed under: Airlines • The Cafferty File • Travel • Vacation
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. Dorothy M Ragland

    I'm not a frequent flyer, but when and if I do fly, I want to know that every-one on that plane has had a thorough going-over. Once you've gone through the search (either one) are you afraid that searcher is going to pass on your measurements or frailties or goodies. Give me a break. They'll probably never see you again, so what's to worry about?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  2. thom richer

    We are profiling now and have been forever. It is just that we look the American public and world citizens straight in the eye and deny any such policy while lying through our teeth. Rather than openly admit to profiling we search old men, old women, small children and U.S. born and raised citizens with the pretense that we are preventing a terrorist from causing harm. Searching these people rather than those who may actually "look" suspect is ridiculous. It is equally ridiculous to search 1 in a 100 and claim to be protecting air traffic. It is time to openly single out passengers for any suspect reason be it race, color, creed or appearance. It is also time to ship luggage on separate planes and allow only a small standardized carry on bag, the same for all fliers.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    November 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  3. mike

    long past overdue. Common sense is given to us for a reason. Use it.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  4. Ann from Charleston SC

    I think profiling is the most efficient way to handle airport security, but you know that if we adopted such a policy we would still have people "outraged". People think that their point of view and their expectations are all that is needed to set policy, and if the government (or whoever) doesn't do it their way, they are going into outrage mode. Then there are the Republicans who are going to obstruct our government at every turn. Why can't we just be thankful we live in this country?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  5. Jeffery Smith

    If profiling means NOT making a cancer victim remove her prosthetic breast, NOT groping the genitals of a child, and NOT dousing a man with his own urine, then yes, it's time to reconsider profiling. At some point, we have to realize that our overwhelming desire to be politically correct makes us look sophomoric to the rest of the world.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  6. Stanley Bicking

    Absolutely we should profile like the public has shown in the survey. It would be very good if we had a better identification document than social security numbers and drivers license number. These documents are forged at will.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  7. Joe R - Houston

    If the real stakeholders (the airline companies) were in charge of securing their own resources, profiling wouldn't be a problem. If government agents were subject to the same laws as US citizens, they'd be in jail.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  8. Edward Nashville, TN

    Yes, whatever the Israeli's are doing works and we should imitate them. If they can prevent bombs on planes without groping passengers and exposing them to radiation, then we can too.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  9. Edward

    ABSOLUTELY. From Montreal.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  10. David

    When the government tells us that by purchasing a plane ticket we have voluntarily waived our 4th Amendment RIGHTS against unreasonable search and seizure, then why respect less-entrenched civil liberties? Profile Away! Use any basis you want. After all, they are only liberties, not constitutionally-entrenched rights. Why should they be observed and respected when basic rights, as protected by the Constitution, are not?

    Somewhere, Ohio.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  11. John from San Antonio

    If you lost a german sheperd with a tag on him would you spend time looking at the tags on chihuahua's?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  12. dnsmith

    I believe profiling based on behavior and history is not only PC but essential; and not only for air security but for detecting criminals too.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  13. Luis @ Purdue

    No Jack. No it's not.
    Have you noticed we're living in hard economic times, Jack? Is it time to reconsider stealing? Be serious Jack.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  14. Sean B, Thousand Oaks, CA

    I might support some moderate profiling efforts, but loosening standards for non-Muslims would be unfair and may not adequately protect airports and planes. There are always going to be John Walker Lindhs and Jihad Janes, and the terrorists will just use those.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  15. Martin

    Yes. Yes. Absolutely Yes. Even though the 19 hijackers were all Muslim and did it in the name of Islam, our slavery to political correctness complels us to treat 80 year old wheelchair bound grandmas exactly the same as a muslim who may have history of suspicious travel, or activity, etc. It's insane and a gigantic waste of resources. The argument against profiling is that the terrorists will adapt and get people who don't fit the profile. Well, there's a range of the people they can get and so we can develop profiles for them too. We can apply common sense and not try to kill a fly with a nuclear bomb.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  16. Martha Campbell

    Absolutely. If someone buys their ticket 30 days in advance, there is plenty of time to check to see who they are and whether they are a possile danger. If you buy your ticket the day of your flight or the day before, you defnitely need to be checked. Come on, wake up and stop checking little old ladies and children.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  17. Canyon R

    Yes. It is time to reconsider profiling for airport security. We should Constantly be considering new (read: different) ways to keep ourselves safe.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  18. Carol, Washington

    Of course it's time to profile would-be passengers! Each of us automatically profiles people we come into contact with anyway, so why shouldn't TSA?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  19. Shariff

    Is it ok to profile certain people when entering department stores because they are "more likely" to steal?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  20. caftalk

    "Meanwhile, with all the hype over airline security, consider this: Politico reports that in 99 million domestic flights (that have carried 7 billion U.S. travelers) in the last decade, there have been zero bombs snuck onto airplanes and detonated. Zero."

    In making your point, is this what you meant to say: Zero ATTEMPTS to sneak a bomb onto an airplane were thwarted? Obviously if they were doing their job then what you said could be true but it still doesn't prove that there were actual attempts in the first place. Get it? Why don't you report how many attempts were thwarted please.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  21. Casey

    YES. Profiling is common among American companies, it's just not talked about. Profiling is effective and should be used at airports and our borders. Anthem, AZ.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  22. Jeff Stockdale

    Yes – we have let political correctness hobble those that would protect us.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  23. Jason

    No, I don't think they should consider profiling. To me the new security checks are perfect, and I don't know why people should be protesting about them.

    If they're installed to protect the American people, then I'm all for it. I don't mind going through a scan, because I'd rather not be flying into a building – if security isn't that great.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  24. Robert

    Funny, you should mention Israel, Jack.

    Since they dragged the United States into their war with the Arab (and Muslim) world, maybe we should start pretending to be Israelis.

    Should we ask passengers whether they are Christian, Jewish or Muslim? The Israelis do so.

    What happens when Al Qaeda recruits African Americans or Indonesians?

    Maybe we should just establish a Palestinian State instead. It's a lot easier than being paranoid for the next 50 years.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  25. arthur

    Yes, profiling should be done. How stupid can you get. Go after the people you already know are waging world wide assault on free people.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  26. Roy Grimm

    Yes return to profiling!!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  27. Mike, Philadelphia

    Why does the TSA not adopt the approach of using explosive sniffing dogs like Amtrak has done? These dogs cost less than a full body scanner and can be retrained to detect a new explosive within one hour. These dogs don't profile based on race, age, sex, or a towel on the head.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  28. texastln

    Jack–Setting aside the predjudicial elements of the question the answer is it would not work in the US. Israel has 2 airports and 50 flights a day. We have 450 airports and around 2,500 per day flights. Logictics and trained interrogators would overwhelm us.
    Terry Nixon Marietta, GA

    November 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  29. Rich

    How would pre-boarding profiling be any different from what we already do at customs & immigration? Those officers use your behavior, appearance, travel profile, etc. to determine if they just "stamp" you through or take a better look. That is true for both citizens and foreign nationals. Let's use some logic here.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  30. Dave in Volcano

    You betcha!!! If it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, and it looks like a duck, then pat 'em down!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  31. Jeff

    Yes, we need to use the same system as Israel with is highly trained screeners who question each passenger and yes, profiling is part of the solution. Its foolish to screen every single person the same way. Its a waste of money and time. It also give us a false sense of security. The terrorist will just move on and find another way, and then what are we going to do. It will never end. The terrorists are winning every time we give up a little more of our freedom. The terrorists spend $5000 and we spend billions and this foolishness. The current system is just a dog and pony show by the TSA to show what great job they are doing, also I wouldn't be surprised if the companies selling the expensive scanning machines and sending perks to the government decision makers.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  32. a Canadian

    Osama must be laughing. Never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined the chaos he has inflicted upon the American people. He has reduced a once proud nation into a fearful, crotch-grabbed (but we are ok with that, cuz its for the sake of security) international laughingstock. The great Satan has been brought to its knees. All they had to do is get some loser to shove some explosives in his shorts. You do know the next buffoon they plant will have plastique up his keester – that truly should bring air traffic to a complete standstill.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  33. Deborah Hobson

    The characteristic of virtually every terrorist or would-be terrorist who has boarded an airplane has been that they paid cash for a one way ticket, and had no checked baggage though they were traveling a very long distance. Surely it should be an airport protocol that anyone purchasing a one way ticket with cash should be given special screening.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  34. Maureen Valley

    A resounding YES to reconsidering profiling. I can't imagine my 90 year old, wheelchair bound mother being subjected to this nonsense of being frisked. This is absurd. Follow the Isrealis in their successful method of detecting the bad guys....and leave the rest of us the hell alone. If we continue to allow this to go on.....the terrorists have won. They have taken away our most prized freedom.
    Maureen Valley
    Mt. Dora, Florida

    November 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  35. Bob of West Virginia

    What's the matter Jack? You don't like a cheap thrill?

    Using smart profiling is a good idea. It is something the FBI uses to catch is criminals, especially serial killers. It is applicable to airport security. However is TSA trainable in such sofisticated profiling techniques?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  36. David Ostrom

    The security requirements that law abiding citizens are put through are just like our elected officals – TURKEYS!! Jack you rock!!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  37. KW in San Jose

    For probably a fraction of what it costs for those expensive scanners and the personnel required to perform these "enhanced pat-downs" we could have intelligent agents trained to look for specific behaviors, computer applications that would read an ID such as a passport and instantly pop up names on no-fly lists, and perhaps an application that would list a person's travel history. The key would be the agents, who should have extensive training in criminal psychology and related sciences, and who should not be expected to work for minimum wage. I think the current TSA personnel are overworked and underpaid, and I don't think THEY are scrutinized nearly enough before they are hired. Maybe we could start by profiling them.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  38. Mark Kalish


    Terrorists, unfortunately, are not stupid people. So if we stop universal scanning and pat-downs, what is to prevent them from recruiting and turning a nice suburban white-haired grandmother into a suicide bomber I'd rather be frisked and safe.

    New York

    November 24, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  39. Natalia Coggins

    Maybe, if you want every American, regardless of race or religion, to be profiled. The terrorists of 9/11 were Saudi, so let's add them. The underwear bomber was African, so let's add all black people. The shoe bomber was middle eastern, so all people who look middle eastern get added to the list. Finally, the Oklahoma City bombers were white, so we need to add white people, as well. The bottom line, if you agree with racial profiling, you are reacting in a knee jerk fashion to the far right hysteria!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  40. donald maxie

    Time to consider undoing the mistake of not doing it in the first place. We need to stop wasting resources checking on the types of people who have never been a threat and concentrate on the groups that have been.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  41. Roy Grimm

    Yes return to profiling!! They already have us where they wanted us, securing ourselves back into communisim were the government tells you what to do and were you can go!!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  42. David

    Murfreesboro, TN – Of course it is time to start profiling. Why are we wasting so much time and money searching Grandma.

    It is time for Political Correctness to go out the window. Heck, it should have been gone before the invasive procedures began. Flying is a priviledge not a right. If you have dark skin and wear a turbin, you will probably be scrutinized more heavily. Sorry my friends but people like you killed many of our citizens.

    This is a long way from locking them up as we did the Japanese in WW II

    November 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  43. Steve; Denver

    Consider this, Jack, in the last decade there have been zero man-eating tigers snuck onto airplanes. Zero.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  44. Doug Andrews

    "Yes"!!!...for gawds sake let's get off the rightious wagon and show some good old down to earth common sense for a change....DA. Blind River Ontario Canada

    November 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  45. Arber

    I say no. If someone was determined to to blow a plane up, they find someone who doesn't look like a "terrorist" to do the job. All the terrorist of 9/11 were dressed in modern western clothing. I would rather fly knowing there is a small security risk than give up my freedoms.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  46. E

    Start Profiling, I would rather drive then fly now

    November 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  47. Carmen

    I agree that the government is wasting resources by applying the same broad security measures to everyone. I assume that it is easy for me to say that smart profiling is desirable. I travel by air rarely, never to Asia or the Middle East, I am Caucasian... Probably someone who would be often picked by profiling (smart or not) may feel less supportive of such measures.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  48. June

    Reconsider it? I am not sure we have ever considered it. And yes we should be doing- political correctness be damned.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  49. Matt

    The only concern here is that I think of the recent incident with the Chinese guy who used a latex mask of an old Caucasian man, and got on board his flight out of Hong Kong. He made the mistake of not covering up his hands, and was caught. Someone could very well get through with a similar, better made, disguise. Call me paranoid, maybe, but it did happen, after all.

    Saint Augustine, Fl.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  50. Ed from Havertown, PA

    Absolutely agree on implementing profiling on appearance, behavior, and travel background to help keep the airways safe. Why subject the young, elderly, and even the handicapped to this kind of nonsense?

    I do think we are a country of whiners and we need to decide if we want to be safe what do we do?? No longer complain about infringement on civil liberties or no longer complain over full body scans. I thought the full body scanners is what we wanted all along but now apparently we don't want them??

    Lastly, and more importantly, what's being done to passengers boarding flights INTO this country????!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  51. Mark

    While it may be true that no bombs were snuck through security on US airlines, several boxcutters did in 2001, and look how much damage that did.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  52. John Gill

    You think? The Israelis know how to and do it right.
    On 911, it was not 19 little old ladies slamming those planes into buildings. The way people are searched and harassed now is just plain stupid, most likely way too expensive, and isn't really protecting anybody.
    Profile, profile, profile. Political correctness be dammed. We are at war with a certain type of person and people who fit those guidlines absolutely should be extra scrutinized. Anyone who doesn't like it can leave our country permanently or travel by car.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  53. Bill Glenn

    I hate to say this, but YES, we should use profiling to help combat all of these threats. The enemy is using our sensibilities and naiveness to seriously impact our economy and well being. It's a shame, but until we learn from countries like Israel how to be effective and save more lives, our other rights will continue to erode and we'll see more causalities than is necessary. This campaign against us is cruel, and like it or not we need positive action, not lame attempts. Grow up USA and face the reality

    November 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  54. Raymond P. Bilodeau

    Since all the past known terrorist attempts have been on airplanes, I think it makes sense to stay focused there. The last episodes involved packages, so maybe they're giving up on human exploders, but al Qaida apparently doesn't follow the press or CNN when it comes to exploring non-airplane ways to hurt the US.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  55. Lizanne Webb

    Absolutely! This is NOT racism, it's just the reality of the world. But still, I see profiling as ONLY a temporary measure until we can create a screening system which pre-clears fliers who have no criminal record, are native born or full citizens, and those who do not travel to countries that we know terrorists gather. To be honest, the enhanced pat-down bothers me more because it is done in full view of others – it's humiliating!! Put up a 3-panel curtain and check us ... if you must. But don't threaten us with a strip search if we ask for a little privacy / decency. The bully under the guise of security needs to stop if we are to respect it.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  56. Rich McKinney, Texas

    That all depends on the profiler. Not all terrorists come from another country. Just look at the ones on 9-11 who were trained to fly aircraft in America. Domestic terrorists would slip through a common profile especially if they were frequent fliers with United States citizenship. I think you can see where I am going with this Jack. Not all profiling is created equal. It takes some common sense as well and a vigilant team of security experts. I will make one more comment on this profiling crap to prove my point. The last underwear bomber was on the no fly list yet he got on a plane. How's that for profiling effectiveness?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  57. Tally Calvert

    Almost every other country uses profiling. It makes no sense to scan/probe/search everyone. Really, patting down little kids? Telling the guy to put on his clothes so that he could be patted down? It makes us look like a country of fools.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  58. Overby from Melbourne

    Unfortunately, this question is in the 'Duh' category....in virtually all terrorist incidents since 1979 they've been carried out by young adult male muslims. Why are little kids and older white people being searched??? The so-called political correctness should have never been a factor.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  59. Michael Ham

    If you need to profile me or go as far as strip searching me, I don't care. I want to be sure I make it from point A to point B safely. People are too sensitive today.
    Michael Ham
    Houston, TX

    November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  60. Bobby

    I am a Sikh from India. I am 6ft 3 inches tall, brown and look more middle easter than middle easterners. Profiling is the only sensible way to deal with this issue and I say this knowing I will be hassled because I fit the profile.

    Reduce the massive bureaucracy, pay more to staffers, make sure they are educated and do it with respect.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  61. Ray Taylor

    In a word .. YES!

    The first time a grand mother from IOWA hijacks a plane we can stop the profiling .. in fact when ANYONE from other than the obvious does ANYTHING to a plane we can stop the profiling .. Until then BRING IT ON!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  62. tony esposito

    The TSA is saying this pat down is in response to the Christmas day bomber, however, they fail to say it was a breakdown in the intelligence community that allowed him on the plane, as they were warned by his father.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm |

    Jack, we should be doing profiling, but do not allow the government to get involved. By the time they make any decision, a decade will pass and they would probably not do it very well. All this airport security should be managed through the private sector. It will be more efficient, cost less and be less intrusive. Shame on our government, almost 10-years since 9.11 and we still are searching for a security solution. Sounds very political to me!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  64. Jerry Kenney

    We should allow all profiling for everything. Its stupid not to profile
    when you looking for someone or something.

    Congress should allow profiling anything

    November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  65. Mike

    So you mean to tell me that if the terrorist attack on the flight in detroit last year was successful we would be crying about added security measures? Wake up people, we are at war. If being viewed naked by a security agent in a private booth saves hundreds of lives that's a sacrafice I'm willing to make.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  66. Vince Currie

    Jack, no we shouldn't profile. Those 70% who want to do it are far right wing neocon Republicans who only think of security rather than the rights of individuals.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  67. chloe, texas

    From what I have read and heard Israel seems to have come up with a workable solution. Why don't we follow their example? Hire some of their experts to train our people.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  68. Thomas O

    If profiling works in Israel I see no reason why it shouldn't be adopted here. My experience with people is that no matter what idea you come up with, as long as its new people are still gonna complain about it so why not profile and save the rest of us the embarrassment of being groped on.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  69. David Katz (Dallas, TX)

    Absolutely it's time to profile. It's interesting that the high-minded liberals conveniently dumb themselves down by ignoring logic and reason on this issue. Can someone tell me the last time a 40 year old white mom traveling with two kids tried to blow up a plane? What's especially sad is that al quaida must look at this situation and just laugh.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  70. Bill

    There's one phase of the profiling criteria that wasn't mentioned, Age. As with all crimes in the U.S. most are committed by males between the ages of 18 and 35. Maybe it's time to stop embarrassing Grandmothers, 12 year olds and trophy wives and start checking those who are most likely to pose a threat, young males of any and all races. After all what were the ages of all the suicide bombers, not 40 plus.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  71. Bonnie Rodriguez

    Yes, profiling is the smart way to go. Do they really think an 80 yr old Grandma from the midwest is up to no good?? Whatever happened to common sense.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  72. Dann

    Its a sad truth, but its starting to make sense more then ever to resort to profiling. Though many will speak of the evils of pulling people aside based on how they look, it would certianly speed up the process of getting innocent people where they're trying to get too. It speaks common sense to question those who resemble others who have posed a threat in the past, especually when the hateful ideology of terrorism is exersized by so many (but not all of course) of a certian demographic. At least this way the elderly, the infant and the disabled will not need to be stripsearched in front of others which seems to be providing more embarassment then security.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  73. K Jorgensen

    No it is not time to reconsider racial profiling. The new security checks are not that bad. Only a small percent are actual pat downs, and the pat downs are not really invasive. A few complainers are making a lot of noise over nothing. I am for the safety it insures.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  74. Allen Keidong

    I am ALL for profiling. It has been done by ELAL with great success for years. It is a shame to screen frequent flyers such as flight crews, grandmothers on yearly visits to visit their grandchrilden and businessmen on frequent trips.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  75. Margot

    Yes, profiling should be done. Political correctness has gone too far. The radiation is not good for people & diseases can be transmitted with the extensive touching that is being done now.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  76. Steven Rothenberg

    I would be in favor of intelligent profiling which I do not think the TSA is currently conducting or even has the ability to do. You can also do the opposite of profiling which is not looking at certain groups of people. We need to train the TSA to simply identify psychological and sociological characteristics of the terrorists and profile those individuals.
    There should be some discretion in looking at a 65 year old lady from Iowa as opposed to a 25 year old student from Yemen. When you are traveling through airports there are some people that are so obviously not the terrorist type that you wonder why they are wasting everyone’s time.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  77. Ray

    Profiling is an easy answer, but ineffective. It's proven that a terrorist does not have a profile. They have been rich, poor, educated, uneducated, Arab countries, and Western Countires. Flight patterns really don't say anything either due to globilization. Some say use a name, but names that are foreign in the US are commonly used around the world-i.e. Mohammed. That is why security measures are the way they are, and they serve as a deterrent for potential attackers. I don't want to place my personal security on profiling because they don't work and it would only take one event to prove that to the American people.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  78. Kevin Haggerty

    I think profiling is natural, and a valuable tool in the battle against terrorism. Think about it – If your blue car was stolen... would you want the police to run the tags just as many red cars as blue cars? If you are looking for an islamic extremist... would you check in a mosque or a temple? If profiling leads to abuse... then aren't the profilers the problem?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  79. Brian

    Yes, it is out of some false sense of political correctness and obedience to the American Civil Liberties Union that we don't. We know very well the demographic characteristics of a terrorist and should use this profile to protecting our citizens. For example, I laugh when I see TSA over-screening the elderly who can barely stand long enough for a pat-down or body scan.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  80. Catherine Berryhill, Easley S.C.

    Goodness sakes No, No, No. Government goes from one extreme to another. First molestation, gropings, and now the judging of our behavior. I got to tell you, I am against ALL OF IT. However, I am for righteous common sense.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  81. JENNA

    When it comes to airport security, is it time to reconsider profiling?

    Who are you going to profile?

    Muslims have blond hair and blue eyes too!

    Roseville CA

    November 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  82. CJ

    Start the profiling already. The security experts behind the scenes know who the likely profile of an airline bomber is. Just look back at history to get a clear picture of who has tried to light their shoes on fire. Lets not forget the underwear bomber either. These people were foreigners of middle eastern decent. Lets quit humiliating the general public with illegal patdowns already and throw this political correctness out. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists seem to be Muslim.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  83. Adrian, Oregon City, OR

    Profiling based solely on appearances, race, or ethnicity is a violation of basic human rights and is not only offensive, but ineffective in stopping terrorists. However, an intelligent system of profiling, based on background checks, known travel histories, and security clearances, as well as psychological and behavioral recognition (aka, like El Al Airlines), is the best way to go.
    As a frequent flier, I am ready for a national ID card, using fingerprint or retina scan or some other biometric, in combination with a security clearance and background check. Scanning everyone is a total waste of precious security resources and detracts from gathering better human intelligence on terrorist groups.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  84. AxeWieldingManiac

    Most of the people I talk to that are for profiling also feel safe from being profiled i,e. old white people. the terrorist are not stupid remember the young Asian who went through screening as a old white man
    so if we just want to catch the stupid terrorist lets get to profiling

    November 24, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  85. Marine in NM

    We - every American - are in a war against terrorism. Most people in this country still don't get that. Given the lethality a single person can exact upon us, and the subsequent cascading effect economic effect, we are wasting our time on political correctness. The terrorists know this and they are chortling at the success of the economic and personal exception we are whining about. Wise up people!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  86. Leroy Johnson

    Profiling of airline passengers to detect "bad guys" (as opposed to discriminatory profiling) should most certainly be done. Isreal, in the middle of countries which would like to see them disappear, has not had an airline terrorist problem in many, many years. They don't look for the bombs, they look for the bomber, by PROFILING. And few complain. Let's do it & stop groping every cicizen.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  87. Ken G

    If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck – guess what – IT'S A DUCK! Yes, profiling is a very valid tool that we should use to our advantage. If those who qualify for profiling don't like it – there's the door – goodbye!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  88. John Hacku

    I believe that the TSA is doing a great job dispite their dificulties and hardships. Their record proves it. If you don't like it stay home. If you want to travel just remember. Can't see London can't see France,
    unless they check your underpants.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  89. Brandon V. from NJ

    I'm not against scans and pat-downs, but I am concerned about how this might delay things. And if I'm correct, I believe The Underwear Bomber who was able to get on the airplane (which I also believe is why these security measures) because of information, not what was on him. Besides, he was too imcompetent to set the bomb off right, anyway!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  90. L.S.

    No! Let's face it...the only reason why this is getting so much attention is because white men are now made to feel like a women and minorities...and they don't like it...so they want to go back to profiling because they feel like they never fit the profile...
    What needs to happen is for us to stop trying to stop ALL crimes...it's NEVER going to happen. We have to go back to the cost-benefit analysis – we spend WAY too much money to make us FEEL more secure. But, reality is, that we're not much safer than before 9/11...we just spent a lot more money to make us feel that way. We will always be vulnerable to attacks because terrorist are always one step ahead of us...that's the sad reality, but I can still sleep at night.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  91. Reid- Ocaen View, N.J.

    The only problem with profiling is the idiots who define it. Let the law enforcement professionals do their job without the threat of lawyers interfering. Professional profiling is a considered approach to actual realities and should absolutely be used with impunity.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  92. Adam

    Please stop lying about the Israeli airport security. We can always become like them. It is very simple what they do, they just search non Jews. All of that talk about them having a magical solution is just a big lie. It is 100% profiling.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  93. Richard

    I don't have the minimal problem with racial or the new security measures that are being implemented. We all need to realize this is for the good and security of our people and country, let's not forget 9/11

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  94. Tim

    Each time I search the web using Google, I am being profiled based on my past search history. I don't hear anyone complaining about that. There's a lot less at stake when I am using Google than when I'm boarding a plane. Of course, we should profile air travelers! If Google can do it 100's of millions of times a day then why can't the TSA?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  95. Marina

    I believe in behavioral profiling, not in ethnical profiling. Look at traveling history, the way the ticket was bought (just cash and not checking in any luggage), and other types of behavior. If you just go by personal appearance, you would have to after Hispanics, South Europeans, and other people with olive complexion that are not from countries at risk. Just looking at ethnicity will leave too many stones unturned. The whole groping and patdowns won't work. Terrorist can still improvise and find something at security point to use as a weapon.

    Frederick, MD

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  96. Don Faggiani

    Profiling works in Israel because they have two airports and around 50 flights per day. The US has well over 400 airports serving hundreds of thousands of people each day. I do not see the protests against the full body scan. I recently passed through four airports using the full body scan the scan was quicker and a none issue. It is also more reliable than the current system. Profiling will be less reliable, more intrusive and prone to creating (according to the experience in Israel) of delays of up to four hours or longer.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  97. Dr. Tom Mote

    Yes, by all means we should use profiling. We should forget about the rediculous "political correctness" concept and protect our selves against the people who already hate us and who don't give a tinker's damn about whether or not their language offends us!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  98. Jose mozota

    Call it selective targeting. It amazes me that people will be against it.
    What about common sense? It is like with illegal immigrants, if you are in Arizona, question people that look Mexican, that is not profiling, that is being smart

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  99. Jerry Driskell

    Yes, Yes and Yes. It has worked in other countries for years; it will work here. But, someone will need to "gag" the ACLU.
    Jerry in GA

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  100. sun city walt

    Discrimination has been an effective survival tool since we were apes. As we advanced, the concept for survival evolved and got mixed up with political correctness. A recent study showed that even babies discriminate among the people they meet in a friend or foe estimation. This is called profiling. What is the profile of those intending to do us harm? We do this every day in many ways. Yet, with regard to terrorists, there seems to be an attitude that we must treat them as if they are all like us and deserve to be treated as our equals in all respects. We all know that the little old lady from De Moines is no more a threat than the Speaker of the House, yet one can bypass security while the other gets frisked. What a waste of time, money and resources. Let's frisk those who most likely pose a risk according to a well researched profile and stop this idiocracy.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  101. Jack Webb

    Shoulda been done from the get-go!
    Political correctness be damned!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  102. lawrence

    Jack, the media is guilty of making fools of us by asking us to comment on issues not clearly defined. Please provide the legal definition of profiling or be guility of making fools of Americans when we assuming we know what is profiling..

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  103. Steve Carnavos

    Jack...As a recent victim of profiling at Las Vegas in early October, the industry is leaving this in the hands of individuals at every airport. This was way before the announced security increase. There was an "anomoly" in my groin area and required an invasive patdown, with the senior guard standing eye-to-eye 2 feet away...the younger guard let it slip this was his 2nd patdown...when I asked what the problem was, he said " you fit a certain profile.: Jack, I'm a 55 year old white male, mostly bald, well dressed with no facial hair...they were training on me...How many more are they supposedly training on? I'm driving next time.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  104. William Edwards, Cumming, GA

    Any one from industry knows that you can't "inspect in" quality. 100% inspection is expensive and inefficient... This gave rise to Statistic Process Control (SPC). The same goes for airport security. 100% inspection is (for the most part) a waste of valuable time and resources. The ability to focus on specific individuals and behaviors would be much more effective in securing aviation safety than making obvious business people and frighten, first time flyers go through the ordeal of unrealistic and unnessary screening...

    November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  105. Dodie

    Several countries are already using the wand technique that is not only effective but also very efficient. The wand can detect emissions from plastic explosives as well as metals. Each person stands on a pedestal with legs apart, arms out and they wand every inch of your body. It takes about one minute per person. Why don’t we adopt something like this? Why must we ALWAYS make a big deal out of something that could be simple?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  106. Jeff Berry

    No Sir, no profiling. It is much better to let TSA remove what little privacy one has under the 4th Amendment to PROTECT US. We need more government and more political correctness!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  107. Manny Whitlock

    What in the world is wrong with us? It only takes one Jack. It only takes catching one Jack to prove it's better than nothing. Until we improve our system this is the best we have.


    November 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  108. Ern from GA

    Hey, just because a guy's in Arab dress, carries a Koran, has high explosive residue on his hands, and tends to look furtively from side to side doesn't mean he'd carry a bomb onto a plane. I mean, where is the equal rights in picking on him?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  109. Raul, Los Angeles CA

    Why do we frisk grandma? Why do we frisk little boys? We have bomb sniffing dogs. I would rather have a dog bury it's nose in my crotch than have a TSA dude feel up my junk! Why don't we have more dogs? If someone opts out of the Rapiscan, a dog can be right there to do a little sniff. Dogs should rule!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  110. John Hacku from Windsor, California

    I believe that the TSA is doing a great job dispite their difficulties and hardships. Their record proves it. If you don't like it stay home. Keep the policy as it is. If you want to travel just remember. Can't see London can't see France unless they check your underpants.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  111. jim

    Since it is so safe to fly why bother at all. Maybe the airlines should just hang out a sign that says "Fly at your own risk". But then when they find another Shoe Bomber the Media will go all nuts and complain about how little the Feds do to keep us safe.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  112. dr.john

    Absolutely believe it is wise to identify certain passengers that should be screened extra instead of putting everyone through invasive pat-downs and body scans which not only make people feel violated, it will significantly slow down everything at our airports (profiling can be done reasonably...though that word has a negative connotation from the start).

    November 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  113. Common Sns

    Profiling? The obvious problem with profiling, Jack, is that once the malicious individual learns of what criteria you are using to profile they simply change to no longer fit the profiling criteria. Example, if you are looking at travel history the potential bomber will simply take a flight once per week for a year so it appears they fly often with no issues, on the 53rd flight they lace their undies, knowing they won't be checked because of their history, and well I don't need to tell you what happens there.

    This is why profiling doesn't work.

    BTW, you claim it's worked well for Israel but our system seems to have worked well too according to your numbers.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  114. David Franco

    The question should be, "What does the evidence say?". Preliminary evidence suggests that racial profiling is ineffective, and not just unfair. Behavioral screening seems like a more evidence-based approach. In the end, we need to first determine if these methods are even effective and then weigh the risk-benefit ratio. That is the way truths are discovered.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  115. Ernie Punzalan

    The fight on terrorism is getting out of hand in terms of peoples
    sacrifices and it's cost. It is time to morally and legally use
    " Profiling " on this fight.

    Since 9/11 2001, we barely eliminated terrorism's casualty but
    changed everyone's life and governing 24/7 which means they
    (Terrorist) dictates the way we live.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  116. Steve Kemp from Sacramento, Ca.

    Sure! Profile away! Just remember that it ain't just Muslims we gotta watch out for. There have been quite a few white male U.S. Citizen terrorists...so we gotta profile them. And there have been quite a few Christian terrorists (anti-Abortion, don't ya know)...so profile them. And I seem to recall a couple African-American terrorists shooting up the place a while back...so profile them. And we have those Mexicans beheading people in the desert...so profile them. And some politicians talk about "2nd Amendment Remedies"...so profile them. Who's left? As I figure it, Asians are pretty safe. As are babies. And women are half safe (if you disagree, you've probably never met my wife). Profile her too!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  117. James Mulrooney

    Well Jack, ofcourse it's time for profiling. it's amazing that in what's supposed to be "The Home of the Brave" the American public is scared of its own shadow. The sheepos in this country seem to be fine with giving up more & more of their rights & privacy in the name of safety. Jack, it's not a safety culture, it's a fear culture.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  118. Jack from Corpus Christi

    Absolutely yes, profiling should be used. People get hung up on the idea of "racial profiling" whereas what the TSA should use (and what Israel uses so successfully) is behavioral profiling. What you look like or dress like does not determine your intentions, but your actions and demeanor can easily give them away. By training our personnel to look for specific signs, they can focus resources like scanners on those who require extra attention instead of wasting them on everybody.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  119. Independent Joe


    There are two ways to address this delimma:
    1.The politcally correct way and continue to frisk people like grandma and grandpa.
    2. The effective way and profile.
    Personally I would like to see grandma and grandpa left alone. Profile!
    Joe M (Mn)

    November 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  120. Ruth Coleman

    We wish there would be more profiling regarding terrorists of any kind. That kind of protective profiling is NOT the same as religious or racial discrimination. Cuckoos come from many different groups. Profile them please!!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  121. sara

    Yep it's time to Profile.....let's see....all petite blue-eyed white women, White men and all Africans. FAIR? Aren't these the ones who are threatening America....we already are "profiling ALL muslims", remember.

    This is a Right-wing scream! Taking part in "discomfort" of a few Americans...32% and using it as a Political Football.
    Then when the aboved show up to blow a hole in a plane....they'll blame the President! These idiots are Anti-America and they should be called out for what they are. Continue to follow these idiots....you'll become their slaves.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  122. Renee Peoria,Ill

    If you're stupid enough to drive past a cop while lighting a joint, that cop is well withing his rights to stop you. That's called probable cause (could also be called behavior profiling). And no one complains about that except the stoner getting arrested. Why should behavior profiling at the airport be a problem? Maybe the TSA should take some lessons from the police dept.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  123. Common Sns

    BTW, just because you insert the word "smart" (smart profiling) in front of something doesn't make it a good idea.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  124. jim

    Maybe we should adopt the plan Israel does but then again only certain people are allowed to travel thoughout Israel without being questioned. You can't own a home in certain neighborhoods and you can't visit your brother in another town. That certainly would keep the holiday traffic down.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  125. Joan from CA

    Amen. "Profiling" is an anger-baiting word. It is called "target marketing" in a sales setting... using the characteristics that indicate one person is more likely than another to want to purchase your product. Same thing: "target security" in the airport setting... use the characteristics that indicate one person is more likely than another to want to blow the plane out of the air. It works, and it is not discriminatory.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  126. Adam

    Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  127. Michelle in Tallahassee

    You will never catch a terrorist if you are not looking for a terrorist. Catching grandma won't stop the problem. Yes, to profiling.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  128. W, Salter

    They should have the right to refuse scanning and searches and we refuse to fly with them - new air line will start up and service those people possibly called "scare air" - don't stop there - people can see your privates when you have x-rays and other medical procedures so please refuse them too.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  129. Dave Johnson

    yes.. Obviously.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  130. Dodie

    When you visit certain countries, they ask vast amount of information and you are cleared through a visa long before the flight. While in flight, the country asks exactly where you will be staying, phone numbers, addresses, cities and hotels you will be visiting and staying at. Basically, they have everything in their computer including your picture, height, weight, etc. They probably know more about you than the American government. This is done for each and every person entering the country. To date, they have experienced NO terrorist attack.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  131. David Gossell

    Heck, yes. They won't be profiling ME so go ahead. As long as I'M not the one being inconvenienced then have at it. Obviously everyone of a particular religion should smeared for the actions of a few followers of that religion. Unless its my religion, of course, in which case you get a pass.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  132. mike johnson

    You gotta have something wrong in your head to not see that profiling will resolve 98% cases ... the remaining 2% can also be reigned in with profiling but with different criteria.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  133. Mark


    Forget the fact that nobody snuck explosives onto US airliners. In Sept 2001 they only needed to sneak in boxcutters to do unbelievable damage.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  134. sandy

    We should be going to Israel and learning their techniques of airline and airport security. We are far from the best or the safest in the world.

    In addition, it is totally unreasonable to say because there have been no attacks on the U.S. since 9/11 that we can to stop our current security screening. That's like saying because it hasn't rained in a year, it won't ever rain again.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  135. Kathy Glassman

    You bet we should use profiling. I would rather talk to an
    interviewer for 15 minutes instead of being yelled at by a TSA agent on a power trip to spread my legs, make my hands into an antler pose, and basically made to feel like a felon ready to be cuffed. I walked out of the unit and took the pat down. Agents have been doing interviews in other countries for many years and I have never been humiliated as I have been in the U.S. The opt out day isn't working because the agents are probably pushing people through without the use of scanners as they did
    when I traveled last week.


    November 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  136. LTParis

    How about no, there is simply no way you can profile without bringing in race or religion into the mix in a negative way. But I will go a step further and say that all the new security measures are pure BS are are nothing more than reactionary attempts to make people *feel* safe, but the reality is they are no more or less safe than they were on 9/11/1991 or 9/11/2001. How about bring in sensible security measures, not reactionary "reduce our dignity and personal freedoms to shreads" measures.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  137. Linda in Arizona

    Yes, definitely. Punishing everyone with radiation and strip searches is ineffective and even counter-productive. Intelligent profiling based on behavior, and travel history, not race, religion, or ethnicity would be fairer and more effective. Other countries seem to have caught on to this obvious fact. It's time the US does too. We can never be 100% "safe", but unconstitutional, degrading dragnets on law-abiding citizens are not the answer. Of course, it will be necessary to hire people with the intelligence and training required to evaluate passengers, and that could cost more, but I think it's worth it, don't you?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  138. Dottie

    Yes they should profile - but intelligently. Rape victims are emotionally disabled at the thought of a "pat down" - rape without penetration; and as a skin cancer patient the whole-body scan is also terrifying. I'm a frequest traveler for work - 7 airports in the next 9 days - molesting people and hiding behind a badge is just not right. Not all is for security or they wouldn't fine you $11,000 for trying to leave and use another mode of transport - it's blind power! And fondling children? If this is our new "reality" the terrorists won years ago.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  139. Eric - Houston

    Damn straight! The only question should be if profiling is useful in stopping terrorism. Even if a tiny percentage of Muslims are terrorists, if most terrorists are Muslims or whatever profile can be gleaned from Timothy McVeigh then that knowledge should be used. By the way if most serial killers are white men between 25 and 40, then that information should be used also. Yes, many of the fine Italian and Irish Americans of the past were insulted by profiling for organized crime. It is a shame some people with your national or religious or racial background make up a major portion of particular types of bad actors, but too bad. I am ashamed when some male commits rape, but I would hope that the police would concentrate on males when they are trying catch or prevent rape.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  140. Californian Independent

    Yes... Come on lets be realistic. There is only one profile that is trying to blow up air planes profile them. If it were blond hair blued people blowing up planes I would be in favor of profiling them. PC has gone way to far it is time to be realistic. Not to mention the monumental waste of resources searching everyone, including 5 year old kids and women with prothestic breast.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  141. David

    What, you mean those intensive grillings they give to those 80 year old blonde grannies from Sweden would stop? That's just not fair ...

    November 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  142. Randy in St. Louis

    Profiling is a "correct" word for something the liberals and the PC crowd consider offensive. I call it observation, experience, common sense...not profiling. If I see a duck and it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has webbed feet like a duck then I damned well expect it to swim like a duck.
    Typically, the US is reacting to YESTERDAY. The terrorist networks can't stage the grandiose attacks like they did on 9/11....intelligence is too alert these days. All they have to do, however, is let a hint of what they might do slip out and watch us scurry while they laugh. Mental and financial drain seems to be their strategy now and it works....extremely well.....while we irradiate airline passengers and take nonsensical safeguards to yesterday's threats.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  143. luvthatdirtywatah

    Time to start profiling...ya think!!!!!!! Our countries leadership is a disaster. Look at Israel, they profile and they have the safest airlines.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  144. Brad of SC

    Yes. Profiling is not wrong, its common sense. No need to limit common sense to the airport. Many crimes used to be prevented by a cop saying "it just didn't look right".

    November 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  145. Radar

    I think we need to start profiling, as Israel does. It has kept them fairly safe so far. The terrorist's who attacked on 9/11 we not white 3 yr old children or elderly grandmothers or grandfathers. Lets get real and and start looking at the type of folks who did the bombing.

    from MI, retired FAA

    November 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  146. Mindy

    Absolutely, it's time to consider smart profiling. Let's take a long hard look at who is going to be blowing up a plane and put them through the paces. It's foolish to waste resources on those who aren't a risk. Israel is doing it right and should be used as a beginning point for our TSA.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  147. Marty Pagel

    A passenger recently boarded a flight in an "old man" Halloween mask and didn't get caught until he took off the mask in the airplane bathroom (a flight from China to Canada if I recall). So terrorists can easily dress up as grandma in a wheelchair. Also, how does Politico rate the underwear bomber in Christmas day and the show bomber in ~2005? They successfully detonated their bombs, but the bombs malfunctioned. Sounds > 0.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  148. Dave in Miami

    Absolutely. We have let political correctness, and not wanting to "hurt peoples feelings" cripple this country. We should absolutely avoid abuses of this, but done right it will be extremely effective. Theoretically profiling is bad, but in the real world with real dangers, we need to be real about this. If there were a group of terrorists that were all 7' tall asians, shouldn't we use that information and check 7' tall asians? It's disgusting to see a WWII veteran get treated worse than a younger Muslim with a beard walking thru the airport talking about allah. We can't search him because it will look like profiling? Wake the hell up people.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  149. Martha Chadzinski

    Yes, Profile Away.

    I think the issue that people keep on avoiding out of respect to families is that there are 2 different perspectives of 9/11. BOTH are equally true statements

    1:) 9/11 was a tragedy where Approximately 3000 People died and it upset the entire Nation because of the nature of the event

    2.) The chances of you actually getting hit by a terrorist plane are slim to none based on past experience and we need to keep things, namely our rights, in check.

    The latter statement does not minimize any sympathy or lessen the fact that we feel for those that were lost on 9/11. Going forward with what "might" happen is never a logical solution to a problem.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  150. Matthew

    The problem remains, however, that no one explains to you when you are pulled aside why exactly they chose you. Are agents going to tell us to our face that they have a reason to believe that we are terrorists and then explain why they came to that conclusion? Or are they going to leave it to us to guess... which will cause people to fill in their own blanks as to why. Maybe we should just do away with commercial air travel for good.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  151. Rod

    There's no reasonable argument to be made NOT to profile, is there?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  152. B-Dog


    We were given instincts for a reason!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  153. Rick in Atlanta

    "Profiling" has gotten a bad name from the PC Police. We're not going to beat them,lynch them,or kill them in a concentration camp. We just want to ask some of them some more questions.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  154. bruce

    Jack, This is sooo far past acceptable. These offenses against basic human rights are the stuff revolutions are made of. The airlines had their opportunity to vet and not accept this, and they did not. So the protests really need to be aimed at the corporations, as usual.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  155. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's too late for profiling in this country because there are so many Americans with multi-cultural blended famlies until you can't tell who or what they are.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  156. Rick in Atlanta

    Thanks for having the guts to bring up this issue.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  157. Anne from Glen Mills PA

    Yes, profiling is something the brain does naturally.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  158. Carmelo

    Jack, if we implement profilling to stop a possible terrorist to blow up a plane without the current security measure in place is a mistake.
    A terrorist who doe not meet the profile (i.e. Arab, Muslim) could simply pass thru security with a bomb.

    It would be disactrous if we use Israel airport security methods.it would require passangers to arrive four hours to the airport, go through a stricter and more intrusive than the full body scanner and pat-downs. Beside Israel as two airports and 50 flights versus 450 airports and thousands of flight

    November 24, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  159. rgrau

    No. Profiling is a painful and emotionally damaging event for those subjected to it and theywould be repeated constantly not just once. It may be smart to profile but not wise. We ar one nation and we must all share in the inconvenience of the procedures.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  160. Priscilla Ibrahim

    Absolutly not Jack, my family is Egyption and I can tell you for a fact that my family is already being racially profiled. My brother travels a lot and he is always subject to "random screenigs". The reality is racially profiling is a waste of time, if you racially profile you are going to be wrong more often then your right because obvously a majority of Middle Easterners are NOT terrorists so if airports are given a free pass to be suspicous of every single middle easterner the odds them actually finding a terrorists are one in a million its like finding a needle in a haystack.
    If we want to make ourselves safer we don't need to get more information but actually use the information we have. Lets look at the three most recent attempted terrorist attacks. The evidence was all there but no one put it together.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  161. Rich in California

    Yes! We can't have this "security theater" go on much longer. What happened to interstate commerce laws? And we're always going to be one step behind the terrorists. I can't take more than 3 oz of liquids on a flight, but between you and I, we could take 6 oz. aboard. Get the picture?

    Likewise, one idiot tried to light his shoelaces on fire, so, years later, we're all still forced to remove our shoes? I'd rather die free than submit to the will of "Big Brother".

    November 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  162. Dave

    We shouldn't kid ourselves, 10 years without an incident on a domestic flight is not due to the current passenger screening schemes which are reactive rather than proactive. As a quality engineering professional I know that screening inspection is only 80% effective and implementing preventative measures is the only way to achieve high levels of quality. The same holds true in assuring that no terrorist bomb incidences will occur in the future. The Israeli's have it right - we should be focusing on preventative/proactive measures such as realtime intelligence gatherng and analysis and passenger profiling.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  163. Allen in Hartwell GA

    There are roughly 1,500,000,000 (1.5 billion) Muslims in the world, of every race, color, and ethnicity. How do you profile against that?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  164. Bruce E. S.

    Nothing we do will completely fool proof or "fair". But, lets remember we are trying to prevent terrorism not just hazzle every man , woman, and child.

    Here's a thought. We treat Citizens of this country differently then non citizens. There are certain privileges that come with citzenship, such as the ability to vote for President, and another should be expedited "regular airport screening". Leave the pat downs, and extra scrutiny for the non US citizens or people whose behavior warrants further scrutiny. Yes, there are nuts in this country like Tim McVeigh but hopefully our increased "intelligence" will catch them in the future.

    I am sick and tired of seeing the 74 year old grandma, and the 5 year old child subjected to the same level of airline security as everyone else. Are they REALLY A THREAT? Lets focus on the likely subjects.

    Lets improve our intelligence, hire more agents, improve communication between agencies. Lets not ignore trains, stadiums, and other venues.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  165. Travis.Travis

    Flying on planes is not a right. If you dont like the rules they have implemented, drive.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  166. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, what you describe as "smart profiling" is the best thing for us since we are a nation of "not me" critics. Considering the number of airports, and passengers flying everyday in the USA, a big tunnel with full-body scanners would be best – then we could be herded through them like the cattle we act like.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  167. bill

    YES!! we should

    November 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  168. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Everybody points out the Israeli's success, yet no one thinks about the number of airports, the number of passengers, the pre-screening before getting a ticket, or the training required to pick out someone suspicious rather than someone nervous about flying. Not only that, but Israelis are much more understanding and know that any security is for their benefit.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  169. Kenneth Krieger

    We profile Democrats and Republicans, white and black, and male and female. Is it profiling or is it recognizing differences. Everyone is too sensitive. We can not see the forest for the trees. Ken Krierger Cape Coral, Florida

    November 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  170. Rick

    Its ironic – We as a nation continually look towards other countries in making comparisons to how we do things in the U.S. We tend to say in the U.S. that if it is good enough for other countries then it is good enough for us. Funny thing is that other countries use profiling as a way to isolate on potential threats. Isn't it a double standard NOT to inlcude racial profiling in the US.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  171. Joe-OKC OK

    Yes, lets profile. I don't think we have had many white-male Islamic taliband running around trying to blow things up. These have been Muslim men, not women, not elderly. Muslim men. I think we are in for another attack if we don't get serious about this.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  172. Edward Reilly

    It works for Israel, Jack, and worked for me personally while a Customs Inspector in the 70's, as I broke our "rule" of "examining one bag of each passenger", and instead would question them and observe their facial and voice reactions to my questions....letting those not suspected keep moving. Ended up the "Seizure King" (most in USA) for two years prior to promotion into management, partly due inspected far more pax. This is what Israel is doing so well. DOES require some intelligent and PERCEPTIVE (yes, women are generally better at) employees, and better pay to get same, but WILL be effective, and less intrusive for 99% of travelers.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  173. Nina, Phoenix AZ

    We need to relax until we can find a convenient and cost effective procedure

    November 24, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  174. Valmiki Raghunathan

    When you talk of profiling, people think of racial/religious/national origin – based profiling. We need to come up with a different term for profiling based on things like personal behavior, travel pattern, and other issues such as one-way tickets, use of cash for tickets, no or very little baggage for long flights, etc. Look at the country that has issued passports – in some countries you can get a fake passport for a few dollars.

    I am all for such intelligent "profiling".

    We have to accept that our 'way of life' has changed.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  175. Greg

    They said only 20% of the people are presently getting scanned but that means 20% of grandma's visiting grandkids get scanned and 80% of people with Yemen on their passport do not, because it still is 20% getting scanned. Crazy!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  176. Gary

    Many people think profiling is a bad thing, when indeed we want to profile terriorism. Where did this person's flight originate-Yemen or Pakistan, or has this person been in any terriorist countries recently? Did they buy a one-way ticket with no luggage? Behavioral profiling, or intelligence will be the key to our future safety.
    We also need to make it clear to countries involved in these organizations that should a plane go down to one of these groups, it would be an act of war, resulting in serious roto-tilling of the the areas supporting these groups.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  177. Rick

    Its okay to feel people up, but not okay to profile – give me a break!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  178. Paul from VA

    If we had had profiling, the 911 terrorists would all be sitting in jail right now and thousands of more people would be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  179. Buthaina

    How do you profile a blond, blue eyed Middle Eastern, not many of them but some are? How do you profile a Pakistani from a Hindu Indian? And how do you profile the Timothy Mcveigh kind?

    November 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm |