Security Theater

The Department of Homeland Security today said it will be demanding "enhanced security measures" for all commercial flights going into the US. The specific measures, which will be both "seen and unseen," aren't specified in a DHS fact sheet, but they generally include enhanced passenger screening, "heightened screening of personal electronic devices," and "deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening, and establishing additional pre-clearance locations."

Traveling by plane is far safer than driving. 

Since 9/11, the United States has seen a series of attempted attacks on commercial aviation. A shoe bomber. Liquid explosives. An underwear bomber. And a plot to detonate explosive cargo. Most of these were disrupted just in time, but our enemies have not always failed.

Ok, that's 4 events in 16 years. Meanwhile.

Since September 2001, there have been 9 events linked to terrorism involving airplanes worldwide. 5 resulted in injuries, a flight in China with 112 casualties, two simultaneously in Russia with 44 and 46 fatalities, one going from Egypt to Russia with 224 fatalities, and one in Somalia in which a successful suicide attempt injured two other passengers. The other 4 were all successfully thwarted.

There have been 224 mass shootings resulting in injury or death to multiple parties in the US 2017. There have been 627 people killed by the police in the US in 2017.

The saddest part might be that none of these scanning techniques are effective ways to deter and recognize threats. An Israeli security expert gave an incredible perspective on how behavioral analysis is vastly more effective. Sadly, this story was broken by the absolutely terrific comedy website, Cracked, as no other news organizations have thought fit to do some investigative journalism.