Our adversaries have proved to be highly adaptive in their methods and unswerving in their efforts to bring down a large aircraft. It was inadequate screening in 2001 that allowed Richard Reid to board a flight from Paris to Miami with a bomb made of C-4 plastic explosives in his shoe. And it was insufficiently intrusive screening that last December enabled Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with a bomb made of PETN in his underwear—which of course is why our underwear is now being searched.
Since 9/11, al Qaeda has not succeeded in launching another terrorist spectacular in the United States. But it has succeeded in provoking a spectacular debate about aviation security. Several weeks ago—and even earlier at some airports—the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) initiated full-body scans and enhanced pat-downs, including inspections of private parts, that in some quarters are fueling outrage.
So is the flying public rightly angered? The media have documented a string of monstrous cases in which prosthetic breasts have been exposed and urostomy bags worn by bladder-cancer patients have been disconnected, with humiliating consequences.
These incidents certainly demand better training for security personnel. But they do not invalidate the need for intrusive screening.
Whole thing here.