“When our government has information on a known extremist and that information is not shared and acted upon as it should have been … a systemic failure has occurred. And I consider that totally unacceptable.” – President Obama today.
In my column earlier today, I wrote that in our current airport security system “every passenger is equally likely to be a terrorist, so every passenger must get equal treatment, except in extreme cases. That’s why it’s so hard to shift potential bad guys from the Department of Homeland Security’s much larger databases to TSA’s selectee and no-fly lists. As a libertarian, I agree that we should be very leery of forbidding people to fly without good reason. But requiring potentially high-risk travelers to undergo secondary screening (especially since we do some of this randomly, in any case) is hardly the end of the world. In fact, shifting to a risk-based approach to aviation security would likely mean increased security and lower costs, both for the TSA and especially lower wasted-time costs for most travelers.”