TSA ... might not be willing to admit it, but they seem to have come to terms with two simple truths.The first is that a potentially deadly sharp object -- a knife, if you will -- can be improvised from virtually anything, including no shortage of materials found on airplanes. Even a child knows this....The second truth is that, from a terrorist's standpoint, the September 11th blueprint is no longer a useful strategy....Conventional wisdom holds that the attacks succeeded because 19 hijackers took advantage of a weakness in airport security by smuggling boxcutters onto jetliners. And conventional wisdom is wrong.What the men actually took advantage of was a weakness in our thinking, and our presumptions of what a hijacking was, and how one would be expected to unfold, based on the decades-long track record of hijackings.
"Now is not the time for reduced vigilance," he said in a statement, "or to place additional burdens on TSA agents who should be looking for dangerous items, not wasting time measuring the length of a knife blade."
Patrick Smith makes the sanity-restoring counter point:"In the confined environment of an airplane, even a small blade in the hands of a terrorist can lead to disaster."
We need to get past the emotionally charged style of security-think that ultimately makes us less safe. These new measures are sensible, and meanwhile TSA can, or should, concentrate or more potent threats to safety -- your safety as well as mine -- such as bombs and explosives.As does former TSA director Kip Hawley, here. Meanwhile politicians who give in to fraidy-cat reactions make it harder ever to evolve a sustainable security policy. That would be one in which we guard against the most catastrophic threats -- in the airlines' case, onboard explosions -- and concentrate on dangerous people -- while accepting other risks as the price of a free, non-police-state life. The politicians now fretting about the TSA have slowed the process of restoring normal free American life.