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TSA embraces age discrimination

Posted by Richard on March 14, 2012

The Transportation Security Administration is going to ease up on air travelers over the age of 75. They’ll be able to keep their shoes and jackets on and will no longer be groped (emphasis added):

The new guidelines from the Transportation Security Administration, which take effect Monday at four U.S. airports, are part of an effort to move away from its one-size-fits-all security procedures and speed lower-risk passengers through while focusing on those who may need more scrutiny. Similar changes were made last fall for travelers 12 and younger.

Since the 9/11 terror attacks that led to tighter security, air travelers have criticized what they say is a lack of common sense in screening all passengers the same way, including young children and the elderly. That criticism grew louder in 2010 when the government began using a more invasive pat-down that involves screeners feeling a traveler’s genital and breast areas through their clothing.

“By moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to security and applying some intelligence-driven and risk-based security models, TSA is looking at how this works for passengers,” said agency spokesman Jim Fotenos.

Correct me if I’m wrong — isn’t this profiling? I thought profiling was both ineffective and un-American.

I guess it’s OK if it’s just based on ageism. I guess the Obama administration has determined that the single most reliable predictor of whether someone might be a security risk, the one thing that potential terrorists have in common, is being between the ages of 12 and 75.

I’m so glad they’ve figured that out. I feel safer already. Oh, look — a 76-year-old woman in a hijab accompanied by her two Yemeni grandsons.

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