“Even if it was done right it would be the wrong thing to do.”

Everyone should go read this Vanity Fair piece on airport security, in which the author interviews perennial Heathen favorite Bruce Schneier.

As has been pointed out abundantly before, and by smarter people than I, NOTHING being done “because of 9/11” is at all useful from a security perspective except these three point:

  • Reinforcing the cockpit doors;
  • Positive luggage matching, such that it’s no longer possible to have your bags fly if you don’t board; and
  • You and I and everyone else reading this knows to resist any potential hijacker, period, full stop.

Literally everything else the TSA is doing — and they spend billions a year, including over a billion on the cancer-and-porno scanners — is a complete waste of time, money, and awareness. The expenditure, both in real dollars and in inconvenience and lost productivity, is far, far out of scale with the potential threat. In the last decade, orders of magnitude more people have drowned in their tubs than have been killed by terrorists. It’s a real “boy who cried wolf” situation — we’re watching the wrong things, at the wrong places, and in so doing making it less likely we’ll notice real threats. Remember, the terrorists’ goal isn’t to blow up or crash airplanes. The terrorists’ goal is to sow terror. Harden airports? Maybe they’ll hit malls.

And, as the title notes, we’re not even making airports secure. (Not that it matters.) Here’s the full quote:

“We’re spending billions upon billions of dollars doing this–and it is almost entirely pointless. Not only is it not done right, but even if it was done right it would be the wrong thing to do.”

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