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UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to Psychological Profiling

(Apologies in advance, this is a long one.)

Why do we need terrorists to destroy the cornerstones of democracy with bombs when governments are willing to do it themselves out of fear? Isn't that a sign that the terrorists have won? First the U.S. with its Patriot Act and warrantless NSA surveillance and now Britain, which is considering a new racial profiling program aimed at Muslims based on behavior, ethnicity, and religion.

THE Government is discussing with airport operators plans to introduce a screening system that allows security staff to focus on those passengers who pose the greatest risk.

The passenger-profiling technique involves selecting people who are behaving suspiciously, have an unusual travel pattern or, most controversially, have a certain ethnic or religious background.

Three days before last week's terror threat in London, before the fear set in, authorities were far more realistic about the downside to profiling:

Three days before last week's arrests, the highest-ranking Muslim police officer in Britain gave warning that profiling techniques based on physical appearance were already causing anger and mistrust among young Muslims. Tarique Ghaffur, an assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said: "We must think long and hard about the causal factors of anger and resentment.

"There is a very real danger that the counter-terrorism label is also being used by other law-enforcement agencies to the effect that there is a real risk of criminalising minority communities."

In the U.S., DHS Chief Michael Chertoff is leading the charge for expanded surveillance and terror laws. But that's not the worst of it. The U.S. is actually looking at an Israeli system of psychological profiling that would supposedly reveal passenger's "hostile intent."

At airport security checkpoints in Knoxville, Tenn. this summer, scores of departing passengers were chosen to step behind a curtain, sit in a metallic oval booth and don headphones.

With one hand inserted into a sensor that monitors physical responses, the travelers used the other hand to answer questions on a touch screen about their plans. A machine measured biometric responses -- blood pressure, pulse and sweat levels -- that then were analyzed by software. The idea was to ferret out U.S. officials who were carrying out carefully constructed but make-believe terrorist missions.

What kind of questions do they ask?

They won't even say what questions were asked of travelers, though the system is generally designed to measure physical responses to hot-button questions like "Are you planning to immigrate illegally?" or "Are you smuggling drugs."

The relevance to terrorism?

The method isn't intended to catch specific lies, says Shabtai Shoval, chief executive of Suspect Detection Systems, the start-up business behind the technology dubbed Cogito. "What we are looking for are patterns of behavior that indicate something all terrorists have: the fear of being caught," he says.

The program is already in place at some airports:

To date, the TSA has more confidence in people than machines to detect suspicious behavior. A small program now is using screening officers to watch travelers for suspicious behavior. "It may be the only thing I know of that favors the human solution instead of technology," says TSA chief Kip Hawley.

Did you ever get the feeling you were being analyzed going through security? You probably were:

The people-based program -- called Screening Passengers by Observation Technique, or SPOT -- began undergoing tests at Boston's Logan Airport after 9/11 and has expanded to about a dozen airports. Trained teams watch travelers in security lines and elsewhere. They look for obvious things like someone wearing a heavy coat on a hot day, but also for subtle signs like vocal timbre, gestures and tiny facial movements that indicate someone is trying to disguise an emotion.

....More than 80% of those approached are quickly dismissed, he says. The explanations for hiding emotions often are innocent: A traveler might be stressed out from work, worried about missing a flight or sad because a relative just died. If suspicions remain, the traveler is interviewed at greater length by a screener with more specialized training.

The TSA denies the program is racial profiling:

The TSA says that, because the program is based on human behavior, not attributes, it isn't vulnerable to racial profiling. Critics worry it still could run afoul of civil rights. "Our concern is that giving TSA screeners this kind of responsibility and discretion can result in their making decisions not based on solid criteria but on impermissible characteristics such as race," says Gregory T. Nojeim, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington legislative office.

The program hasn't caught any terrorists, only drug mules. How pathetic.

SPOT teams have identified about 100 people who were trying to smuggle drugs, use fake IDs and commit other crimes, but not terrorist acts.

Not profiling, my a**. Who do you think they ask to submit to the further checks? Of course it's those of a certain racial or ethnic appearance or religious background. They are using the same old drug courier profile they used in Operation Pipeline -- who do you think they pull aside to ask these questions?

The New York Times writes: "In 1986, the Drug Enforcement Administration's Operation Pipeline enlisted police departments across the country to search for narcotics traffickers on major highways and told officers, to cite one example, that Latinos and West Indians dominated the drug trade and therefore warranted extra scrutiny.

"Since then, the D.E.A. and the Department of Transportation have financed and taught an array of drug interdiction programs that emphasize the ethnic and racial characteristics of narcotics organizations and teach the police ways to single out cars and drivers who are smuggling.

"Among the characteristics officers in Operation Pipeline have been trained to look for: people with dreadlocks and cars with two Latino males traveling together.."

That's when they weren't looking for people with fast food wrappers in their car, the sure mark of a drug trafficker, or as one officer put it:

Generally they don't have much luggage with 'em. If any. They usually use fast foods. They don't stop and go into restaurants and have full dinners. Usually stop at Quick Marts and things like this where they can gas and get fast food items. They generally don't stop to sleep. And quite often they carry pillows and blankets. They also, at times, you'll find that they have lots of different various types of communications equipment, such as CB radios, police scanners, radar detectors, this type of thing. Also, cellular phones are very popular as are phone pagers. You also occasionally find odor- masking materials, such as powdered soap, scattered around inside the car.

To top it all off, these pseudo-shrinks plan to take it one step further:

Even though his expertise is in human observation, U.S. behavior-recognition expert Dr. Ekman says projects like Cogito deserve a shot. He expects technology to advance even further, to devices like lasers that measure people's vital signs from a distance. Within a year, he predicts, such technology will be able to tell whether someone's "blood pressure or heart rate is significantly higher than the last 10 people" who entered an airport.

For those who protest that Arabs, not middle-age white women are committing the terror attacks, so why not just stop the Arabs, this ABA article has some good answers.

The attack on the World Trade Center on September 11 was not the first but the second assault on this landmark. When the first attack in 1993 failed to accomplish their goal, the terrorists pulled back and spent eight years devising an entirely new method of attack--planned to the smallest detail and then practiced so that it could be carried out almost perfectly. Despite our important military successes in Afghanistan, this set of qualities remains very much alive in the al-Qaeda structure. In the aftermath of September 11, we began to harden cockpit doors, to check carry-on bags for even the smallest potential weapons, and to profile Middle Eastern men. Al-Qaeda's answer was Richard Reid--a non-Arab, non-Middle Easterner from England; a British citizen with a valid British passport and a bomb in his shoe. Clearly, they knew what we were looking for, and they did not repeat what they had done in the past.

The Government tries to legitimize racial profiling two ways: the first is that they are using a behavioral approach rather than racial profiling. Baloney. How many white families traveling with children with little luggage and fast food wrappers in the car do you think they stopped and asked permission to search? Second, not everyone is pulled over for the psychological profiling, only those whom the screeners believe exhibit suspicious behavior. What percentage of those people do you think are white? Racial profiling under any other name is still racial profiling.

Like I said at the beginning, who needs the terrorists to take down America when the Government is doing such a better job of it by eradicating the civil liberties that are the hallmark of this great nation? At one time we were the beacon of liberty in the free world. That light has been dimming since September 11, and unless we clap three times for Tinkerbelle, it's about to go out.

The next question is who will it be after the Muslims? My answer: no one important, just you and me.

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    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#1)
    by Aaron on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 02:02:15 AM EST
    After the terrorist bomb plot was exposed in Great Britain, immediately the talking heads on Fox were proposing racial profiling. Boiling things down to race and ethnicity seems to be the default position to many on the right, it's their standard fallback posture. I'm tempted to think of this as the root of the problem, but I think it's just part of a larger wrongheaded perspective, a perspective which George W. Bush and many on the right seem to share. ["He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, and he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere."] Bush's belief in a worldwide Islamist conspiracy is foolish and dangerous You could take some of George Bush's comments regarding the Muslim world and replace one word, the word Muslim with the word Jew or Christian, and some of the same people who agree with his comments would immediately go insane, be calling for his head, and deriding the injustice of those comments. The actions of individuals, and disparate groups like Hezbollah and Al Qaeda should not be attributed to every follower of the Islamic religion, people who are ethnically Arab, or people of Middle Eastern descent. This is foolish, dangerous, unjust, untruthful, slanderous, scurrilous totally unacceptable position to take. Taking such a position is the intellectual equivalent of wearing a sign that says, "I'M AN IGNORANT MORON. SHUN ME LIKE THE FREAKIN PLAGUE!" Let's just hope that everyone in America who has dark hair and a dark olive complexion will remember these attitudes when the elections roll around.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#2)
    by HK on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 02:46:18 AM EST
    I am of mixed race, half Asian, half English, and have the dark hair and olive skin tone that Aaron talks about above. While I am very proud of my heritage, I am sick of my ethnic origin being such an issue in so many ways, whether it is as a person more likely to get stopped at airports or as a person who is more likely to get offered a job or a place in university because it looks good for their statistics. My ethnic origin is an important part of who I am, but it does not define me. I am quite terrified of flying. The last time I flew was Nov 2005 and I am pretty sure I behaved like a complete lunatic due to my nerves. I refused to take tranquillisers in case there was an emergency as I wanted to have a clear head! I visited the bathroom many more times than was normal simply because I was so jittery. Other passengers noticed and were very kind, but it could so easily have been a different response. To those who say that nerves would not be interpreted in that way, I would say don't be so sure. I'm no longer the most paranoid person in the airport these days. I don't know if I would dare to fly in the near future. The last time I flew to the US, I had my bag searched because a sniffer dog smelt the apple I had in it 6 hours previously. I kid you not. So I don't even want to think what I might have to face next time.

    What kind of questions do they ask?
    You beat me to that one.
    Al-Qaeda's answer was Richard Reid--a non-Arab, non-Middle Easterner from England; a British citizen with a valid British passport and a bomb in his shoe.
    And I'm sure there is a large enough pool of fanatics to draw from. Those among you that have viewed "The Root of All Evil" an hour long show by the world's leading evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins (available on Youtube) might remember him interviewing the New Yorker (possibly jewish even)now living in Jeruselem that had converted to Islam. This guy was overflowing with hatred for the west, "A bit of trouble there just waiting to happen" thinks I. As an aside, we western males are bad news for "allowing" our women to dress like sluts.Are you listeng girls? I digress. For those among you that have not watched Dawkins, I thoughly recommend you do, if only to see pastor Ted Haggard having his two minutes worth. Back to profiling, I'm pulling off the service area on the motorway, and there he stands with his thumb out, the full kit, the whole nine yards, a punk. Jump in says I, two minutes down the road he's thanking me profusely as very few people offer him a lift. Not a problem, You've made your statement, I know where you're comming from, it's the guy in the suit that would worry me. What the answer to it all is, I know not, but I think the days of quick cheap air travel are a thing of the past,fewer flights,higher prices? The financial implications and the knock on are pretty staggering. But if you will pardon a touch of vulgarity, given the batting record of this administration, I think they would have great difficulty apprehending a fart in a bottle.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#4)
    by Aaron on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 03:07:32 AM EST
    Something based on the Israeli model like they use at Ben Gurion Airport is probably a pretty good idea, and significantly more effective and efficient than random searches. But the idea of making it an official policy to search people who have a certain appearance or name is ill-advised. Even if you were to proceed from the position that Muslims pose a significantly greater risk, security officials would be mistaken in thinking that all Muslims fit a specific racial or ethnic type. A visit to Mecca during The Hajj (The fifth pillar of Islam, a pilgrimage to Mecca during the month of Dhu al-Qadahwill) will immediately dispel any belief that Muslims can be confined to some narrow racial or ethnic phenotype, for you will see people of virtually every color and ethnicity there. No doubt airport screeners in America and other parts of the Western world will already act on their preconceptions and misconceptions regarding Muslims, no need to make it an official policy. Far better to concentrate on behavior, the Israelis have got this down to a science, and they've been very successful in spotting people who intend harm. What will politicians here in America who support racial profiling say when some good-looking blonde haired blue-eyed Nordic type blows up a plane because the airport screeners didn't give him a second look? Didn't Cat Stevens get detained at some airport because his Muslim name, Yusuf Islam, was on some terrorist watchlist? Cat Stevens for god sakes! Detained Cat Stevens heading home Few musicians in the world today or throughout history are responsible for creating more peace, harmony and understanding in the minds of people then he is.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#5)
    by Aaron on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 03:14:35 AM EST
    Now I've been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come And I believe it could be, something good has begun Oh I've been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one And I believe it could be, some day it's going to come Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again Now I've been smiling lately, thinking about the good things to come And I believe it could be, something good has begun Oh peace train sounding louder Glide on the peace train Come on now peace train Yes, peace train holy roller Everyone jump upon the peace train Come on now peace train Get your bags together, go bring your good friends too Cause it's getting nearer, it soon will be with you Now come and join the living, it's not so far from you And it's getting nearer, soon it will all be true Now I've been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is Why must we go on hating, why can't we live in bliss Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again Peace Train (Cat Stevens)

    Coincidently you will find a little taste of Dawkins at onegoodmove (2 mins.) under Teapot Atheists.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#7)
    by Slado on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 06:06:41 AM EST
    Its absolutely stupid not to profile in an airport. Only people who don't take terrorism seriously can make an argument against it. It doesn't have to be just racially based. If you are flying to NYC from England with no return ticket etc... then you are pulled out of line and questioned. The Isrealis have this down to a science. They live in the most hostile area in the world and bombers don't try to climb onto thier planes because they know they'll be caught. Democrats and liberals constantly complain that we aren't keeping the homeland safe but they want us to pull 80yr old grandmothers out of line so it doesn't appear that we're profiling. If you fly at all, I do, you know that the current system to pull people out of line is useless. Who made the comment about Richard Reid? Did you see a picture of him? Give me a break. Shoe Bomber

    Agent wants a lot from his air marshals "We should win every battle," Patton said. "If we don't, shame on us." ... Another real-world incident: "I have a bomb," passenger Rigoberto Alpizar was reported as saying as he tried to flee an American Airlines flight on Dec. 7, 2005, in Miami. Was he scared? Bipolar? Angry? Air marshals broke cover and shot Alpizar on the boarding bridge. He died. There was no bomb, and no evidence that Alpizar was a terrorist of any kind. The service deemed the use of deadly force, the only such incident in federal air marshal history, appropriate for the situation.
    I assume these aren't the drug smuggling marshalls being discussed in the article. Screeners who take pride in tripping people up on ordinary information? Rafi's system might be perfect for airport security in Israel, but last I checked, the US isn't Israel.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#9)
    by lilybart on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 07:04:56 AM EST
    I think this is an idea worth looking at. Unless those who object think that giving up their lip gloss is a better idea. We KNOW who the terrorists are. They may be caucasian looking, but still, if there is a background check on everyone, we have a better chance of catching them. There are no non-Muslim Swedes looking to blow up planes.

    TL.... They were buying the phones to resell them and make money for school. And you believe that BS? How much can they make per phone...? And why take them apart and throw away the chargers? Something very fishy there... but no DIRECT link could be found so they go free. Isn't America wonderful? BTW the egg on the face pic was not necessary. He's only trying to do his job. We all expect that don't we? The real egg would be if he ignored them and they ended up blowing something up. Gabriel... Airplane passenger lists, airport security? Now now..let's not jump to conclusions. These are nice sweat 'innocent' lads here.

    There are no non-Muslim Swedes looking to blow up planes.
    Maybe maybe not, but there was a white christian belgium woman who didn't fit the profile.

    There are no non-Muslim Swedes looking to blow up planes.
    Maybe maybe not, but there was a white christian belgium woman who didn't fit the profile.

    While not directly relevant to this article, it does speak to those who support the curtailing of our innocent until proven guilty right to counter the immense prosecutorial powers of government. In Gitmo, we clearly have waived this right for detainees, comforting our conscience by saying that it is better that 10 innocent men are locked up if we've managed to net the eleventh man who is a real threat. For Chrissake we can't even provide justice for our own citizens - even when sentencing them to death. Anyone who endorses this heightened profiling "guilty until you prove otherwise" (and by the way the proof is classified and you can't use it)approach to security must be prepared for a large number of completely innocent folks being detained, added to suspect and no fly lists, etc. And based on the past few years, one quickly appreciates prosecutorial zeal that even Hugo's Inspector Javert would have found to his taste. The interesting thing to me is that the government seems very quick to impose regulations on individuals (voters) that traumatize them. They say we are safer. I say that scaring the sh*t out of us anytime they can works to the advantage of the Hawks. I understand the reason that bags aren't screened is that the industry has refused to pay the "security tax" that individual travellers are charged for purely economic reasons. Score one for baggage industry lobbyists. Also score one for terrorists. Another happy loophole. And now, for Herman Goering at Nuremburg:
    "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
    -- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

    Slado, "Its absolutely stupid not to profile in an airport. Only people who don't take terrorism seriously can make an argument against it." Stunningly ignorant comment. It was the French authorities, based on their "feelings" about Reid, that got him pulled off the first AA flight, over AA and american authorities objections. Some of us do take security very seriously, yet feel compelled to criticize the extremely insecure steps so far taken by the US authorities. Does that make us "unamerican"?

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#15)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 07:50:33 AM EST
    How much can they make per phone...?
    Trac phone on sale- $20. Reseller - $18. $18/phone * 1000= $18,000
    He's only trying to do his job.
    How many white folks buying cell phones did the cops investigate? A new WOT, War On Telephones.

    Let's see how long it takes for the genius' protection of us to stop putting Dell laptops into the cargo bins of the planes where they can do the real damage.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#17)
    by oldtree on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 07:55:06 AM EST
    if I may be so bold as to suggest a slightly alternative suggestion; governments are certainly taking advantage of terror to take away citizen's rights. I don't think it would matter though, anything that they could use to do this, they would do. Since "terra" is the scariest, there is little doubt that they will never stop using it to control us and remove our rights. If you have any doubts, note that we have lost over half our rights under the constitution in 5 years alone. Laws are ignored and the people in power are conpiring to break numerous laws, they have gone beyond admitting it, they broadcast it on their fake news shows I am afraid that no matter who is in power they will use this. I hope to be wrong number 9, number 9, number 9

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 08:10:27 AM EST
    Security machines that can detecte minute amounts of explosive residue are already being used effectively. Why won't the feds simply solve this problem and spend the money necessary to install them in EVERY airport? The new machines, at something like $150,000 a pop are certainly affordable and free us from demonizing entire communities, races, and faiths in the "security" process. Is safety the real issue, or is money?

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 08:19:46 AM EST
    It ain't gonna be easy being Lebanese American. I love how some folks wax poetic about freedom and justice yet fail to realize the inherent risk of living in a free and just society. So they just change the definition of freedom and justice to include profiling and such. Paiging Mr. Orwell.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 09:12:28 AM EST
    Et al - It is always easy to find a reason to not do something that needs to be done. If the young Moslem community is upset they should be told the truth. "You are being looked at because of the actions of your peers. If you want to complain, be our guest, but it would be more helpful if you started being super active in identifying people engaged in plots, and to quit complaining that you are fearful of being looked at every time there is another plot exposed.... in which young Moslem males have a prominent role." HK - Take some drugs and chill out. If you continue to act strange, something bad is going to happen. When it does, blame the Moslem terrorists that have everyone on edge. Aaron - There is no world wide conspiracy, and Bush doesn't think there is. What there is, is a number of organizations with one large goal, establishing Islam as the religion of the world, and a number of smaller goals. They are supported by various nation states, Iran and Syria and Hezbollah being one example, plus various organizations that collect money, etc., for them. This is why the CJ system strategy by itself won't work, and also why the pre-emptive military strike by itself won't work. You have to destroy the infrastructure supporting the terrorists, both as criminal enterprises outside the state, and as criminal enterprises as extensions of the state. That is why Iraq, with Saddam's desire to have WMD's that, sooner or later he would have sold/given to a terrorist group, had to go. And you must convince the pool of people who are involved, and who are recruited from, that they cannot win. These people were originally thought to come from groups that had been disadvantaged, poor, etc. We now know that this is not true. Many of the "terrorists" have an education, and have a future. But for some reason they are willing to embrace the call of the radical, and kill themselves. I believe that they do this out of guilt. They accept the call of the radical Imams that the West is corrupt, and because they have accepted part of the West, they to are corrupt and only through jihad and killing innocent people, can they cleanse their souls. The first step in stopping that is stop the preaching by the radical Imams. kdog - You need to consider that what we are looking at is terrorist organizations that are potting to attack and kill thousands of people. Mouthing words about accepting risk makes no sense in that context.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#21)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:04:14 AM EST
    Et al - It is always easy to find a reason to not do something that needs to be done.
    but it's a bit different when they are proactive, like bush diverting funds for bomb detection equip.
    "You are being looked at because of the actions of your peers.
    1 billion muslims and a few hundred are 'suiciders.' It never occured to this commenter that the majority of muslims don't consider terrorists their peers. This is the equal of ppj getting searched, arrested, held indefinitely because he's white like McVeigh.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#22)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:16:45 AM EST
    Et al - It is always easy to find a reason to not do something that needs to be done.
    but it's a bit different when they are proactive, like bush diverting funds for bomb detection equip.
    "You are being looked at because of the actions of your peers.
    1 billion muslims and a few hundred are 'suiciders.' It never occured to this commenter that the majority of muslims don't consider terrorists their peers. This is the equal of ppj getting searched, arrested, held indefinitely because he's white like McVeigh.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#23)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:27:25 AM EST
    Et al - It is always easy to find a reason to not do something that needs to be done.
    but it's a bit different when they are proactive, like bush diverting funds for bomb detection equip.
    "You are being looked at because of the actions of your peers.
    1 billion muslims and a few hundred are 'suiciders.' It never occured to this commenter that the majority of muslims don't consider terrorists their peers. This is the equal of ppj getting searched, arrested, held indefinitely because he's white like McVeigh.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#24)
    by HK on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:28:53 AM EST
    If you want to complain, be our guest, but it would be more helpful if you started being super active in identifying people engaged in plots
    This may come as a shock to you, Jim, but quite a large number of us assorted 'Darkies' have no idea who the people are who are engaged in these plots. We do not have some sort of telepathic ability between us. Nor do we all know each other. I didn't even bother reading the rest of your post. It's five minutes of my life that I won't get back. This racial profiling will give a false sense of security. If everybody with a certain colour skin is pulled over, what do you think the terrorists will start doing? You got in in one! Use white folks. as others have pointed out, this is already starting to happen. Dadler, you have the best solution, but in answer to your question why they won't do that
    Is safety the real issue, or is money?
    I would say it's money, but it's also that the administration is grasping the opportunity to demonise racial groups so that there is a face to the bad guys. This racial profiling is not just unfair, it is a very inefficient way to solve the problem of terror in the air. But I fully expect it to go ahead and next time I'm at an airport, after I've been through all the questions, metal detectors, scans, ID checks, x-rays etc, I will be asked to stand next to a colour chart. Visit America. Land of the free.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#25)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:32:24 AM EST
    I apologise for the redundant posts, I got a weird 'connection lost' error and the next time it came up there they were. Sorry.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:33:51 AM EST
    Sailor writes:
    1 billion muslims and a few hundred are 'suiciders.' It never occured to this commenter that the majority of muslims don't consider terrorists their peers.
    Did it ever occur to you that if there weren't terrorist bombers we wouldn't need bomb detection equipmen? Did it ever occur to you that, sooner or later, high tech, low tech or no tech, they will succeed. Did it ever occur to you that if there are 1 billion or 100 billion non-bombers and if there are only 100 bombers, then the Moslem community should be able to fix the problem in a heart beat? The facts are that they haven't. If they won't, then someone elese will have to. And if they don't want to be profiled, they should help fix the problem. Quit making excuses or them, Sailor. They are intelligent human beings who can change their actions. But first someone must tell them their current actions are not acceptable.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:37:44 AM EST
    Sailor writes:
    1 billion muslims and a few hundred are 'suiciders.' It never occured to this commenter that the majority of muslims don't consider terrorists their peers.
    Did it ever occur to you that if there weren't terrorist bombers we wouldn't need bomb detection equipmen? Did it ever occur to you that, sooner or later, high tech, low tech or no tech, they will succeed. Did it ever occur to you that if there are 1 billion or 100 billion non-bombers and if there are only 100 bombers, then the Moslem community should be able to fix the problem in a heart beat? The facts are that they haven't. If they won't, then someone elese will have to. And if they don't want to be profiled, they should help fix the problem. Quit making excuses or them, Sailor. They are intelligent human beings who can change their actions. But first someone must tell them their current actions are not acceptable.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:47:40 AM EST
    HK - This may come as a shock to you, but the comment was, if you can read, was directd to Moslems as a group. As a further shock, if someone's feelings are hurt, I don't care. And no one is forcing you to visit America if you consider so bad.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:51:49 AM EST
    oldtree writes:
    governments are certainly taking advantage of terror to take away citizen's rights.
    Please tell me what right you have lost.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#30)
    by HK on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:54:43 AM EST
    HK - This may come as a shock to you, but the comment was, if you can read, was directd to Moslems as a group.
    Jim, why didn't you say? Of course, 'Moslems' are telepathic and do all know each other. I am tempted to write 'deleted' here because what I want to write next would be.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#32)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 11:22:30 AM EST
    Did it ever occur to you that if there weren't terrorist bombers we wouldn't need bomb detection equipmen?
    non sequitur, but what the hey. Then why was bush diverting money from it?
    Did it ever occur to you that if there are 1 billion or 100 billion non-bombers and if there are only 100 bombers, then the Moslem community should be able to fix the problem in a heart beat?
    like the christian community stopped mcveigh? The 'terrerists' are not a part of those communities, I couldn't stop mcveigh, they can't stop suiciders. And quit accusing folks of supporting terrorists just because you beleive in racial profiling and they don't. And finally, as to my original point, it makes no more sense than stopping every redneck because mcveigh was a redneck.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#33)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 11:27:08 AM EST
    This may come as a shock to you, but the comment was, if you can read, was directd to Moslems as a group.
    count on ppj to advocate collective punishment for a tiny minority of the billion muslims world wide.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 12:52:44 PM EST
    One problem Jim...my Lebanese heritage is Lebanese Christian. I don't know any muslim extremists, I don't know any terrorists. Why should I give up my rights again? My Lebanese uncle was in town this weekend...I went to Brooklyn to buy the some Lebanese delicacies for him...I guess I should consider myself lucky no one called the fuzz on my arse. I guess my uncle should consider himself lucky he was allowed to fly home. Profiling is for tyrants and fraidy-cats. Freedom ain't free...I say suck it up people.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#35)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 12:52:54 PM EST
    There are many valid reasons, too many to list here, that lie detector evidence is not admissible in court. Primarily because of the large number of false "positives" that presume a person is being deceptive makes it unreliable. Besides, everyone knows that reading tea leaves, casting bones, Gypsy fortune tellers, Tarot card reading, flipping coins, cutting cards, rock/paper/scissors, slaughtering chickens and practicing voodoo are MUCH more accurate. And Dadler, the machines to which you refer, a "high tech" solution, is not nearly so accurate in performance as the "old technology", DOGS. A well-trained bomb/drug detecting dog will outperform machines every time, and has the advantage of being mobile, able to fit into cramped spaces, and they are about $115,000,000.00 cheaper than a machine. Sometimes the old ways work best. Train a typical bomb dog to detect salt, place 10 55-gallon drums of water side-by-side, add ONE teaspoon of salt to one barrel (a ratio of one million to one), and that dog will identify the salt barrel 100% of the time. Machines cannot claim anywhere near that success rate.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#36)
    by Al on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 01:57:08 PM EST
    Remember Jean Charles de Menezes. Racists don't consider the vast number of false positives that profiling techniques will yield because they think that their targets -- Muslims, in this case -- all conform to the same simple stereotype. Also, people who dislike Muslims will relish seeing them inconvenienced and humiliated under the guise of protection from terrorism.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#38)
    by Dadler on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 02:21:15 PM EST
    Bill Arnett, I'm aware of the dogs, and I'd be all for making a kennel of every airport. My point was more about there are solutions to securing us from explosives on planes that could be implemented quickly and relatively easily. Which is an irony of the terror obssession with planes -- they're not that hard to secure. But that wouldn't allow the fear card to be played with the populace for political purposes. However, with children and people fearful of or allergic to dogs, you gotta have some alternative. But you do make a spot-on point nonetheless.

    deleted and this commenter is banned.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 03:17:43 PM EST
    Sailor - The "Christian Community" never knew that it had a problem with McVeigh. As soon as he drew attention to himself he was hunted down, arrested, etc. While it is true that some Moslem countries are cooperating, the Imams who whip up hate at every opportunity, do not. That is one of the problems. If we don't want the government to stick its nose into the situation, then we must expect the Moslem community to fix the problem by condemning the actions, the rhetoric, etc. With freedom comes responsibility. When people do not exercise it, then the government comes in. And no, I am not accusing people of anything. Just that when you have groups of young men plotting to blow up 10 airliners or subways, then someone has to know about it in some fashion who is not directly connected. HK - I wrote the following: HK - This may come as a shock to you, but the comment was, if you can read, was directd to Moslems as a group. You responded:
    Jim, why didn't you say? Of course, 'Moslems' are telepathic and do all know each other.
    Now let me see. The subject is racial profiling of young who may be Moslem. And my comment said:
    If the young Moslem community is upset they should be told the truth. "You are being looked at because of the actions of your peers.
    Al- Profiling is but one tool. kdog - There are like a 30-40 million brown skinned people in America, and I don't think they have to worry about being attacked shopping in Walmart... What we are talking about is trying to make the security of public transportation better. As I noted, profiling is a tool for that purpose. When you try to connect to other activities, I just don't see it. And freedom doesn't mean we have to take stupid risks. Sailor - Leave it to you to inaccurately call a statement "punishment." Et al - Will anyone please tell me what "rights" we have lost? Sky-ho - Wow. You must have found the mother lode of good stuff.

    Hmm If you ran the numbers, what percentage of actual and suspected terrorists would be south asian or arab? I'd guess pretty darn high. If we further narrowed it down to "which ones are muslim", we'd have a near 100 percent test. Perhaps we should profile by showing offensive Mohammad cartoons, and screen based on reactions to that...

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#41)
    by HK on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 03:43:12 PM EST
    Jim, this was the quote I attributed to you, and correctly:
    If you want to complain, be our guest, but it would be more helpful if you started being super active in identifying people engaged in plots
    I was pointing out that you seem to think that the entire Muslim community is harbouring terrorists. This is offensive and untrue. And insisting on calling them Moslems is outdated and considered rude - why do you persistently insult these people? Not employing racial profiling is not a 'stupid risk'. Racial profiling is highly unlikely to have any benefit as the terrorists you so rightly call intelligent find pale-skinned recruits. As pointed out by commenters above, other methods would combine to provide a far greater, positive effect. Racial profiling will at best alienate large numbers of innocent olive skinned people and at worst will give a false sense of security.
    I just don't see it.
    We know.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#42)
    by Al on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 04:08:35 PM EST
    There are about 1 billion Muslims around the world. If we take the membership in Al Qaeda as 10,000 this comes out to be 1 AQ member for every 100,000 Muslims. Good luck finding him. If you add to this the high probability of error in identifying a Muslim by sight, or a terrorist by nervousness, it is evident that any kind of profiling is useless as a tool for finding terrorists. I think the real problem they are trying to solve is how to stop alienating airline passengers. The reasoning is that while they would still be pissing off the Muslims, the good news is that they would only be pissing off the Muslims. But actually, those are the people you least want to be pissing off, specially the younger ones. I have another idea. (Warning: Sarcasm alert). Since all the known terrorists involved in attacks since 9-11 are male, we should only screen men. That reduces the population to worry about by half, and men are much easier to recognize than Muslims, so the percentage of false positives would be negligible.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#31)
    by Sumner on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 08:08:07 PM EST
    DSM-V is scheduled to be released in 2007. I wonder if it is politically correct or religiously corrected. Will it simply be another government manual, serving government? We know from Gitmo that psychological profiles have been compiled and used to identify and attack and manipulate and control the individual at their worst fears level. Advances now go far beyond mere profiles and give one pause as to ambitions such as TeenScreen. Recent developments in the field far exceed anything even Milgram envisioned.

    There are any number of racial prejudices towards individuals of all stripes. All Spanish people should be given body cavity searches because their ancestry leads back to the Inquisition. All British people should be given cavity searches because their ancestry leads back to the brutal British occupation of India. All Christians should be given body cavity searches because of the Crusades. All Texans must be given full body cavity searches because a couple of rednecks dragged a black man to death behind their pickup truck a few years ago. Etc. Etc. I'm not flying until this garbage is over. No way I'm getting on a hot, uncomfortable airplane without my own supply of cold bottled water and an ipod. Especially since you sit on the runway not moving for 20-30 minutes crammed together like sardines without the A/C running. I used to travel for business prior to this farce, I wouldn't do so again.

    Mfox.... Anyone who endorses this heightened profiling "guilty until you prove otherwise" The times they are a changin...and we must change with them. Ask yourself this.... what good is it to prove someone's guilty "after they've killed a few hundred people? We have to be proactive on this. Sailor.... How many white folks buying cell phones did the cops investigate? How many white folks bought hundreds & hundreds at a time? How many white folks blow up themselves and as many innocents as they can? 1 billion muslims and a few hundred are 'suiciders.' IF only it were a few hundred! This is the equal of ppj getting searched, arrested, held indefinitely because he's white like McVeigh. NO..it's not and I've heard this lame argument before. McViegh was ONE guy! Far different than a whole religious sect that is on record about they're hate for the west and is also responsible for ALL...let me repeat ...."ALL" .... the terrorists activities in the world at the present time. Nice try though! count on ppj to advocate collective punishment for a tiny minority of the billion muslims world wide and BTW.... Refusing to let any of them on planes might be .... but giving these people an extra look at the airport is hardly "punishment"! And when you are talking about a BILLION people..... several million could be considered a "tiny minority"!!! Oldtree..... If you have any doubts, note that we have lost over half our rights under the constitution in 5 years alone. Link please... What rights do you 'think' you no longer have? HK.... but it's also that the administration is grasping the opportunity to demonise racial groups so that there is a face to the bad guys. Yes...once again it's all GW's fault. He's just looking for someone to pick on! LOL Never mind that this "particular" racial group has brought this on themselves... I hate to tell you this (just in case you have been away somewhere) but this is the face (Muslim men between 15 & 45) of the bad guys!!!!

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#45)
    by Peaches on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 12:19:58 PM EST
    Link please...
    bb asks for links. Did you see that?... bb asks for LINKS... BB asks for LINKS. Unfreakinbelievable

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#46)
    by HK on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 02:07:16 PM EST
    once again it's all GW's fault. He's just looking for someone to pick on
    Um, basically, yes. There is a threat. Terrorists have attacked. Most of them have been young male Muslims. But they are not attacking because they are young male Muslims. It is possible that people will become sympathetic to the terrorists'cause who do not fit that demographic. So maybe, just maybe, there is a better way to increase airport security that will not offend thousands of innocent people. Young male Muslims are not the face of the enemy, although it may have been their guise so far. And in any case, the bad guys are not limited to one group. In many ways GWB is the face of the bad guys. And as for our loss of rights, well, I am reminded of the old adage: just because we are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get us.

    mfox says:
    Anyone who endorses this heightened profiling "guilty until you prove otherwise" (and by the way the proof is classified and you can't use it)approach to security must be prepared for a large number of completely innocent folks being detained, added to suspect and no fly lists, etc. And based on the past few years, one quickly appreciates prosecutorial zeal that even Hugo's Inspector Javert would have found to his taste.
    BB's reply:
    The times they are a changin...and we must change with them. Ask yourself this.... what good is it to prove someone's guilty "after they've killed a few hundred people? We have to be proactive on this.
    What an incredibly ignorant and ridiculous response. You are more of a threat to this country than any terrorist.

    Aaron.... replace one word, the word Muslim with the word Jew or Christian, and some of the same people who agree with his comments would immediately go insane Yes they would ...especially since Jews & Christians haven't called for the destruction of the US... Haven't been the ones strapping bombs to themselves and their children... Haven't been the ones trying to sneak explosives on planes... etc...etc...etc. The actions of individuals, and disparate groups like Hezbollah and Al Qaeda should not be attributed to every follower of the Islamic religion They are not...it's only you people on the left that claim they are. Nobody (includung Bush) ever said all Muslims are bad. But the fact is...all terrorists are Muslims. Why is that so hard for some of you to grasp? HK.... Most of them have been young male Muslims. NO...ALL of them have been young male Muslims! It is possible that people will become sympathetic to the terrorists'cause who do not fit that demographic. Yes it's possible...(although unlikely)... so in the meantime we .... ??? So maybe, just maybe, there is a better way to increase airport security that will not offend thousands of innocent people. I'm listening ... ( A little side note here... there are many that feel the lack of input -- or shall we say condemnation -- from the rest of the "peacful" Muslims says much!) In many ways GWB is the face of the bad guys. Yes...I'm sure he is to those that want us all dead. But, again, I'm listening... And as for our loss of rights, well, I am reminded of the old adage Old adages are nice... but again... what rights have you lost? I'm listening... Macro.... What an incredibly ignorant and ridiculous response. Please elaborate.... Innocent until proven guilty is great. Being judged by a jury of your peers is great.. Both noble and just causes when we are talking about our own citizens. However, in this world of terrorism... and our quest to try and stop it (AKA - protect American citizens from being killed because they are Americans) How is it that we are more concerned about protecting somebody that wants us dead more than we are about protecting our own? As I said...it's a little late to say... well, "I guess he wasn't innocent after all" (after the airliner goes down with 300 passengers) Yep..he's "proven" guilty now! Call me a racist, but searching (and possibly pissing off) a few Muslims is better than hundreds/thousands of dead Americans... Sorry, but that's my point of view! If we would have search the guys (Muslims) better on 9/11... 3000 people would still be alive. Yes, there would be 19 pissed Muslims... but so what!

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#49)
    by jondee on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 03:10:45 PM EST
    All terrorists are Muslims Bullet Brain, for starters google IRA, JDL, Stern Gang, Baruch Goldstein, that Basque organization, McVeigh.. Cuz me and Rush say so isnt a good basis for a historical debate, or a justification for puking all over the thread at TL.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#50)
    by Sailor on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 03:23:28 PM EST
    If we don't want the government to stick its nose into the situation, then we must expect the Moslem community to fix the problem by condemning the actions, the rhetoric, etc.
    they have, you just didn't want to listen to anything that didn't fit your narrow POV/mind.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 07:39:06 PM EST
    Sailor - If they have, I am sure you can provide some links. If you do not we will know that you are talking through your hat. Jondee - Quit the strawmen bit. All of the terrorist groups we are now involved with are Moslem. HK - So, you can't name me any rights that we have lost. My, my. What a surprise. You write:
    Young male Muslims are not the face of the enemy, although it may have been their guise so far
    Uh, I hate to mention this, but "so far" is what counts when it comes to people being killed. Let me know when the KKK and the Knights of Columbus joins them. Tampa Student:
    All Spanish people should be given body cavity searches because their ancestry leads back to the Inquisition.
    Now that's real intelligent. Guess what. We aren't worried about what their ancestors did, but what they are doing. You write:
    I'm not flying until this garbage is over. No way I'm getting on a hot, uncomfortable airplane without my own supply of cold bottled water and an ipod
    Hey, works for me. And if you don't want to travel for business, and get away with it, good for you. But there are thousands upon thousands who can't, and their workday and life style is extended and damaged by a bunch of idoits who think we should all be Moslems.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#52)
    by Sailor on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 07:50:38 PM EST
    If they have, I am sure you can provide some links.
    I did, 2,350,000 of them. Including the state dept and WH.gov. et al, see what I mean about "you just didn't want to listen to anything that didn't fit your narrow POV/mind.?"

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#53)
    by Sailor on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 07:57:55 PM EST
    You write:
    I'm not flying until this garbage is over. No way I'm getting on a hot, uncomfortable airplane without my own supply of cold bottled water and an ipod
    Hey, works for me. And if you don't want to travel for business, and get away with it, good for you.
    And you ask what freedoms have been taken away from us!? Sheesh!
    But there are thousands upon thousands who can't, and their workday and life style is extended and damaged by a bunch of idoits who think we should all be Moslems.
    While our "workday and life style is extended and damaged" by a bunch of fanatical christians.

    Re: UK Considers Racial Profiling, U.S. Moves to P (none / 0) (#54)
    by HK on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 03:01:25 AM EST
    HK - So, you can't name me any rights that we have lost. My, my. What a surprise.
    Jim, I, thankfully, live in the UK where so far there has been a much more sensible approach to airport security. Therefore I have not lost any rights. In the US, however, you have a little thing called the Constitution (you may have heard of it) and the 4th Amendment Bill of Rights states: The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches So don't spout that rubbish about no rights being lost. You know full well what the new 'security' amounts to. And this comment from you:
    a bunch of idoits who think we should all be Moslems
    Is extremely offensive. Not only do you insist on using a label that is considered at best incorrect and at worse insulting, but you have now practically said that only an idiot would think that people should be Muslims. I am not religious and believe in choice, but it is perfectly reasonable that if a person believes their POV to be right, that they should want others to hold it too. Forcing this in any way, especially through violence, is wrong, but wanting it is not.

    UK Considers Racial Profiling (none / 0) (#55)
    by oyunoyna on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 03:42:06 PM EST
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