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The Do-Nothing Aclu
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How many times have you heard civil liberties activists argue that national security profiling should be based on behavior, not race/ethnicity/nationality/national origin/religion?

That’s the argument the ACLU makes again and again and again.

But if your B.S. detector starts going off full-tilt, you are not alone.

Truth is, the ACLU doesn’t want behavior-based profiling, either. Case in point: the ACLU is challenging new TSA training to teach screeners to flush out terrorists through casual conversation. (Hat tip: Stop the ACLU.)

Via ABC News:

Security screeners at 40 major airports across the country will be trained next year to use casual conversation to flush out possible terrorists.

The Transportation Security Administration will first teach screeners what suspicious behaviors to look for in travelers. These can include nervousness, wearing a big coat in the summer or reluctance to make eye contact with law enforcement. Then, the screener will quiz passengers on their travel plans in hopes of spotting possible terrorists.

The security technique, called behavior detection or behavior-pattern recognition, is already in place at several major airports, including those in Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Miami and Houston. Behavior detection is a common practice among police officers and customs agents, who often engage arriving passengers they suspect in more detailed conversation. But the proposed program that will be put in place at airport security checkpoints nationwide adds a psychological dimension to the screening process.

Boston Logan International Airport began a pilot program for behavior screening in 2002. Shortly after 9/11, the airport brought in an Israeli security specialist who helped train Massachusetts police in behavior screening.

Currently, the TSA screeners do the initial risk assessment and then hand over any suspicious passengers to police for further questioning.

George Naccara, the federal security director at Logan, called the program “a good use of taxpayers’ dollars.” Screeners have not found anyone with terrorist connections but by looking for suspicious behavior have found drug dealers, illegal immigrants and people with outstanding arrest warrants.

The American Civil Liberties Union has warned that the screening technique could result in racial profiling.

“This is a code word for targeting brown-skinned males between ages 17 and 45 years. It’s not only racial profiling, it’s ethnic profiling,” said Timothy Sparapani, who oversees privacy rights for the ACLU…

My question: Why is the TSA only starting this program now?! But I digress.

As I’ve noted before, the ACLU has filed suit against Boston Logan Airport officials to prevent them from using behaviorial profiling to detect security threats. The suit stems from a snit fit one ACLU official had when he was asked to produce ID by Boston Logan officials.

If the ACLU has its way, the interrogation methods used by Diana Dean–the Customs Agent whose questioning of a nervous and sweating young, brown-skinned male trying to cross the Washington state-Canada border unraveled al Qaeda’s LAX Millenium plot and saved untold innocent lives–would be banned nationwide.

If the ACLU has its way, we’d have no profiling of any kind.

And no border security.

No immigration enforcement.

No information-sharing.

No counterterrorism surveillance.

The ACLU response to terrorism is: Do Nothing. Who needs enemies?


More blog reax…

Pirate’s Cove: “It is simply amazing what the ACLU will complain about. If it has anything to do with protecting the American People, you can guarantee a whine and cheese fest. Now, they do not want people talking to other people…”

Chris at Two Babes and a Brain

Ace of Spades


7/26/05 NYPost Israelis know: Profiling’s key

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology