Saturday, September 15, 2007

US Policemen Tour Ben Gurion Airport

Well, they finally took my advice.

Ever since 2001 - and especially since airline terminal procedures in this country have become interminably painful spectacles - I’ve been asking why we can’t draw on the experience of the Israelis. They are certainly more at risk for air terrorism than any other entity country. “Why,” (I said to the wall) “aren’t we sending our Homeland Security and TSA minions to Israel to get a first-hand look at how the professionals do it?” Of course, they ought to fly El-Al there and back, just to be on the safe side.

Now I see that some police officers have done just that:

Chief Fultz of Ohio“What we’ve seen so far has been very, very impressive,” Lester Fultz, Deputy Chief of Ohio Police Special Operations division told Ynetnews.

“There’s a lot of ways to learn - you can do the heavy lifting yourself, or you can learn from some other people’s experiences - and that’s what we’re really doing here… some of this is very new to us as Americans, but the Israelis have done this and are very good at it,” he added.

Anthony Perillo, Deputy Chief of Newark Police, described security procedures at Ben Gurion as “hi-tech and hi-speed.” Perillo, who is also a communications officer for Homeland Security, added: “We all have to be vigilant, that’s the bottom line… I think if we all stick together and learn together, we can advance, and hopefully we won’t have any more terrorist attacks.”

Pardon me, Chief Perillo, but our chances of no more terrorist attacks are about as likely as the Jersey mob in your hometown becoming altar boys. You’d be more credible if you’d quit spitting out those Homeland Insecurity bromides at us. You could have stopped at “stick together and learn together” and sounded much wiser.

Meanwhile, Chief Fultz did offer some interesting observations:

“The level of threat here is perceived to be higher and more difficult, so they really begin their security, as we’ve just seen, a lot earlier than we do in American airports,” Fultz noted.

Asked of his impressions of Israel, Fultz said that the media “does not always display the problem as it really is,” and adding that he found “a beautiful country and a beautiful people” in Israel.

Who knows better how the media distort things than the police? It’s good to hear him say so.

Watch the video at the Ynet link above to see the police confronted with the question of racial profiling. They skate around it, but I sense that maybe they’re trying to come to grips with the reality whilst still retaining their jobs.

This visit bodes well for us here in America. Let’s hope there are many more.


[Ends here]

6 comments:

AWOL Civilization said...

The Israelis had their wake-up call in 1972, when the airport was the scene of a terrorist attack that killed 26 civilians (16 of them Americans). Since that time, Ben-Gurion has been one of the most intensively patrolled and surveyed public spaces on the planet.

One of the secrets of Israeli airline security has been "racial" profiling, which is actually profiling based on national origin, ethnicity, and suspicious itineraries (e.g., a Latin American priest who spends a year in Moscow, then a month in Lebanon, and decides to hop over to Israel for a few days to see the Christian holy places).

heroyalwhyness said...

At first glance, this sounds promising.
However . . .

Would the Israelis hire muslims for airport security as our TSA does?

Not to mention baggage handlers
http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=site%3Ajihadwatch.org+baggage+handlers&fr=yfp-t-471&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

Having passed through several airports in the continental US recently, I couldn't help but notice that every vendor met PC/MC standards as well.

And what about our maintenance crews that board every vessel between flights? What do you want to bet that they also meet this suicidal policy?

That our interest in Ben Gurion Airport style security comes long after the infiltration of TSA by PC/MC suicidal policy exposes yet another threat not just to the US but to Israel as this exercise likely reveals a variety of non-tech strategies re: airport security as well.

I want our airports as secure as the Israeli airports have proven to be. Will this effort inadvertently expose potential weakness in the Israeli security practices to those eager to exploit it here in our own TSA or those they sympathize with?

gun-totin-wacko said...

It's all theater, IMHO. I've always recalled the statement by a senior Israeli official after 9-11. He said that US airport security is very good at doing what it's intended to do: present the *illusion* of security.

Unless and until we get rid of the P.C. mindset, we'll never approach the level of safety they have. And there are too many people in this country that don't want to accept that much "interference".

A liberal friend told me years ago that we can't go any further in security without it becoming a major civil rights issue, so we basically have to accept the risk as "the nature of the business".

Recall the whole "flying imams" issue. They're going to toss out any safety, lest it upset some people.

Some years back, I believe it was a few months after 9-11, I heard a woman talking about a domestic flight she had taken. White woman, her husband and baby, also her mother and her adult brother, who was developmentally disabled. They got pulled out and searched both ways. She thought it was because the tickets were purchased by her sister via internet. I almost told her "no, it's because you clearly were not a risk, and you're also not a minority, so it's safe for them to harass you. Plus, they knew they wouldn't find anything, but would look like they were trying."

It's the way the game is played now. Pick on the folks who least look threatening, so that the ones who are a threat don't feel singled out.

Stupidity.

Dymphna said...

Y'all could be right. You made me remember the incredibly stupid Dem proposal to unionize TSA. Make sure no one, however inept or suspect, could be fired.

Interestingly, you are repeating what anonymous federal marshalls said to Annie Jacobsen:

"It's All for Show"

If you haven't read her book, I recommend it. She also has a blog now on the subject. I believe it's called "Aviation Nation."

Still, I'm glad these guys got a look at Israel...some minds get changed in the process. Makes it harder to argue with first-hand information. I don't think B'nai Brith's money was wasted.

gun-totin-wacko said...

Annie Jacobsen: She's the one who was on a flight with the group of 'slammys that acted so suspiciously, correct? Because that's the context of the discussion with my liberal friend.

He admitted that the men acted strangely, and that under the circumstances they deserved to be detained, but he still argued that you can't just detain or harass muslims that act strangely in an airport (or on a plane), because that's a violation of their civil rights.

The Average Joe said...

Uh, Dymphna, the Jersey mob in Chief Perillo's hometown probably were altar boys.