Constitution 101

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Cartoon Peril, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    I remind you that prior to 9/11, the last terrorist attack against US commercial aviation was December 1988 with the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. That's almost 13 years. During that time, the terrorist attacks against the US were in the form of bombings, such as the first World Trade Center attack, the US military barracks in Riyadh, the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and the USS Cole before the 9/11 attacks took place. So I can fully appreciate how novices easily dismiss the threat to commercial aviation so easily. It is easy to underestimate the patience of the bad guys.

    I do agree with you that airport security is, by design, a Maginot Line. That is, unfortunately, the ugly nature of the beast. But I don't know of any other acceptable way to conduct airport screening without adversely affecting passenger's rights (beyond the rhetoric forum members love to lament in here :cool: ).

    I believe that if counterintelligence methods are to be implemented, then they need to be aggressive methods. The American public simply is not prepared for everything that comes with that package. CI/HUMINT is dirty business, and if you're going to complain about removing your shoes, then you are not ready for what it really takes to let our counterintelligence agencies do their jobs. I believe the human intelligence side of the house is probably in good shape, but that side is always subject to the prevailing winds of American politics. Again, the American public is not prepared to unleash these assets to their full potential. And perhaps this is a good thing. I've seen the good and the bad.

    Just my two cents.
     
  2. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    I have to agree that when it comes to security, you have a wide range of definitions. My military intelligence background affords me a definition that is probably different than someone with a law enforcement background or straight security background. My perspective of a reasonable risk assessment probably differs from my law enforcement and security counterparts.

    One minor point: administrative searches apply to prohibited items. Prior to 9/11, the airlines defined prohibited items, and they varied from air carrier to air carrier. TSA's initial prohibited items list was too extensive. I think the current list is reasonable, but I won't argue that it can be scaled back some more. I happen to believe that liquids, gels and aerosols can be fine tuned so that a bottle of water can be brought through the checkpoint. I think there's room for reasonable assessments, and we can do away with the 3:1:1 baggie.
     
  3. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Yes, that was tried in Argentina, it was called Guerra Sucia. Of course, it helps to have a coup d'etat, or, in Spanish, Golpe de Estado. In Chile, 9/11 has a entirely different meaning.


    The Chilean armed forces were neck-deep in blood after this coup. The Chilean Navy, for example, used its naval training ship as a torture center.
     
  4. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    Well, I'd like to think that US assets would do it with more finesse. Contrary to popular myth, military interrogators do not engage in torture; it is counterproductive and simply does not work, no matter how many times Jack Bauer saves the day on TV after beating the crap out of some villain. I do appreciate your point, and admit that I didn't think we were involved in torture at Abu Ghraib.

    Tom Pappas is a personal friend of mine. I do not believe he knowingly authorized the torture of Iraqi prisoners, and believe he took the blame because it was the right thing to do as the MFIC (Main Fella in Charge----hope you didn't think it stood for anything else).

    Back to your point, it is dirty business, but I don't think it would be as messy as the Chilean example you cite.
     
  5. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I have asked this same question on FT and since you are involved in TSA training I think it is a question you should be able to answer.

    How does the enhanced BDO activities which include interrogation of travelers comply (or fit in with) a limited TSA Administrative Search limited only to a search for WEI remain in bounds of current CFR's?
     
    AngryMiller likes this.
  6. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Just a note, Navy SERE training involved some interrogation techniques that some have termed torture.
     
  7. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    LOL. IMHO it doesn't but when has that ever stopped DHS/TSA from doing anything it wants to do to the traveling public?
     
  8. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    I'm not a fan of the BDO program. My answer would be biased. As for the training of BDOs, someone else does that.

    I fully appreciate the techniques and believe they would benefit TSOs when used in the right context. Fair enough?
     
  9. RB

    RB Founding Member

    No, I am asking primarily about how TSA is able to interrogate people and remain in the bounds of an Administrative Search limited to finding WEI?
     
    AngryMiller likes this.
  10. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    SERE training is all about torture because that's how we expect our troops to be treated. That's not the same as how we should treat prisoners. To put it in simple terms: torture does not work.
     
  11. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    I am familiar with the techniques because I used them during my military career. As for how TSA employs them, the justification for employing those techniques, etc., I am in the dark with you. This stuff is apparently deep, deep, deep SSI. :rolleyes:
     
  12. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Water Boarding is a very convincing method to gain cooperation.
     
  13. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Coming soon to an airport near you! If the vaunted BDO's feel you're evasive ....
     
  14. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    That's all I need to know.
    Fascistas atacan. La historia es nuestra.
     
  15. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Suspect you are being ignored.
     
  16. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    No argument waterboarding makes people talk. Whether it yields reliable intelligence is questionable. I say it does not.
     
  17. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Was a simple question asking for an opinion based response. :(
     
  18. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Lockerbie was beyond doubt an organized attack by Libya. They probably could have picked any flight they wanted. The other attacks were well organized efforts by al quaida. Anyone with resources could pick any target in the US. It's like shooting fish in the barrel. For groups like al quaida, there would have to be some psychological payoff, something special that would result from attacking that particular target. If the goal was simply disruption, then the target list is easier to obtain.

    Agree. That is why it is so objectionable to have crotch/butt/breast massages and/or strip searches for what is essentially EXTREMELY limited results. The intrusion is in itself objectionable on human, privacy, and constitutional grounds, and to have these violations basically done to virtually no effect is simply rubbing salt in the wounds.

    I'm not sure what you're referring to on this point. Do you mean foreign intelligence that seeks to determine these types of plans at/near the source? Constitutional safeguards wouldn't apply. Or do you mean aggressive methods employed on US citizens? If the latter, what do you mean by aggressive methods, as applied to US citizens in the US, and what kinds of things do you understand by the unleashing of assets to their full potential?
     
  19. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    In order to stop Muslim fundamentalists, we need to get inside the mosques. I realize this is politically unacceptable. The Israelis have no problem with this. If we say we want to be like the Israelis, then we need to push the line out further than what it currently is. My point is that airport security screening cannot work without a sound intelligence collection capability that looks outward and a sound counterintelligence capability that looks inward. The two go hand in hand. I do not advocate tossing out the Constitution. Those safeguards are there for a very sound reason.

    Then again, intelligence collection and evidence collection are two different things.
     
    KrazyKat likes this.
  20. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    that was a great movie, wasn't it.....
    one that you might like also is the movie Longitude, about the carpenter who designed the first sea-going clock, making precise navigation possible....
     
    Cartoon Peril likes this.

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