Amazingly, I agree with Ms. Napolitano

Drudge has a great big freak-out line while linking to a Yahoo News article about the installation of millimeter-wave scanners at airports.

I’m of two minds here.  First, it won’t stop several forms of explosives that can be smuggled in via carry-ons.  But second, it will absolutely shut down 99.44% of all the effective weapons which a passenger could bring onto a plane on his person and concealed underneath clothing (and I say this as a guy who’s reasonably handy with improvised stuff).

So while I’d prefer a better solution for baggage and carry-ons, I’m absolutely in favor of replacing the currently-ineffective scanners, which won’t stop a sophisticated attacker short of having everybody strip down to their underwear anyway.  It is a better and more elegant solution, in spite of the outside possibility that some bored guy might enjoy looking at electronic representations of thousands upon thousands of fat people walking through scanners every day.

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  1. Compared to every other means of detecting underwear bombs, it’s a complete winner!

  2. Yep. We’re rapidly getting to the point where it’s high-tech-or-strip-search.

    Of course, that still won’t safe you from the homicidal jackass willing to put it on a timer and shove it up his butt… but plain old metal-detecting should do that, as I don’t think an uber-tiny kitchen timer could be made reliably with only plastic parts.

  3. Roger

     /  January 12, 2010

    There’s simply too many variables involved with passenger counts, carry-on luggage, plane to plane transfers, and target areas.

    It’s a good deterrent, but not a complete solution. I don’t feel any safer, but then again I’m *far* more likely to die on the way to the airport than on the plane.

  4. happycrow

     /  January 14, 2010

    You’re right. NONE of these are anything but deterrents. But, a certain level of deterrent …. deters. And maybe gets me to Newark faster.


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