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November 24th, 2010
10:14 AM ET

International Security vs. TSA

In this country we're all about the pat downs and body scans, but it's much different around the world.  Would you trade a pat down for profiling?  Keep your shoes on but be forced to go through multiple checkpoints?  What do you think of how airports overseas handle security?

Leave me your comments below.  Also be sure to send in your iReports.

Post by:
Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Southgate Jo

    European airport secutiry isn't as methodical as our TSA for a reason, they don't have a target on their back. America took the point on the war on terror. Since that time we have had numerous attempts at attacking us but, because they were unsuccessful, we forget about them, or classify them lower on our priority scale. The TSA was asked to do a job, protect Americans, I personally think they're doing a great job. If i'm asked to go through a full body scan or a pat down, no big deal. It's the price we pay for being the worlds peacekeeper. Americans have long been the premadonnas of the world. It's time we pull our collective heads from that dark place and pay attention. The bad guys want your life ...are you willing to let them take it?

    November 24, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  2. David Thelen

    As they say in business, out of 200 ideas, 2 may be doable. Now I do not have a knowledge of materials engineering; however, this may be something for people at MIT to work on. Would it be possible that some kind of computer chip, clothing or container materials be used to detect certain unwanted materials? This way, people who are frequent flyers, could wear this item as they check through security. A less intrusive scanner could read this computer chip, clothing or check on items for unwanted materials. Perhaps shipping box containers could include this computer chip or material that will turn color or change in some way that a special scanner could detect. This way, perhaps a full load of packages with this material, could help scanners detect unwanted materials being shipped. Is this concept doable? Can this be a better way to improve security without being so intrusive?

    November 24, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  3. Pam Epps

    I was watching a peice on Israeli airport security and they use profiling in their security. Somehow we have to get away from this idea that profiling is ALWAYS bad. That is only a Politically correct thing. My feeling is that Politically correct needs to be thrown out the window on airport security. Learn from the best, the Israelis.

    November 24, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  4. Susan

    Yes, Israel does a better job at airport security, and yes, it is people dependent. I'm not as concerned about the scanners as I am about the knowledge and integrity of the TSA agents. We need better tools (including profiling), better training, and a better caliber of agents.

    November 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  5. David

    More power to them! I'm American born and bread and I'd be more than happy if they treated us the same way.... My friends might disagree but everytime I fly I feel good knowing I'm safe.. The more they probe the better off we are! We're just a bunch of baby's here in the USA... It's not a matter of yours or my freedom it's our safety. Grow Up America.

    November 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  6. Chris Jenkins

    I am now travelling a lot in Europe for my work, and my recent travel back from Amsterdam I was observing the security setup they had there. They have a dual system where everyone goes through a passport/ID check. The security scanners are located at every gate. This accomplishes two things in my mind:
    1. The lines for doing the TSA undress/unpack routine are much lower since only the people getting on the flight are checked.
    2. The actual search was more thorough since the searchers were not being forced to "hurry" due to the long lines.

    There are two things that are different, however:
    1. Amsterdam is a very International destination meaning most, if not all, flights are international flights.
    2. Most other countries in the world are not targets like the USA is.

    I think an approach to have security at the last leg would help TSA be more thorough adn efficient. Yes, it means more scanners, personnel, but...people need jobs, so that increased demand would help.

    November 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  7. lynn in anchorage, alaska

    All this pat-down outrage is just the issue of the day... By next week, we'll have forgotten all about it and will be complaining about something else. In the meantime, the guy who coined the "Don't touch my Junk" phrase has made a fortune in t-shirt sales... Love you TJ! 😀

    November 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  8. Omar

    Picking Israel's Airports to compare it with the US is like comparing apples and oranges.
    1st Israel discriminate against Palestinians and Arabs, that goes against our standard of living.
    2nd They have what, 2 airports comparing it with US airports it is just laughable.

    November 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  9. Lesley Byrne

    I am a Western woman who does humanitarian work in the Middle East, including Afghanistan, which requires me to fly in and out of Dubai and Amman, Jordan. You should look at their security, which has three to four check points, including all luggage going through the scanners and a person walking through metal detector as soon as you walk in through the sliding doors of their terminals, before you can check in at the counter. Then after checking in, you go through at least two to three more check points and at one of those check points, women and men go through separate pat down areas, which are closed off from men, and everybody is very respectful. Then when you arrive at any of the Middle Eastern airports, before you can leave the airport, all bags are c hecked through the screener again! Dubai as you know is one of the largest airports in the world, and if they can make it work with security, which is obviously a huge issue for the, without having to use body scanners or very invasive pat downs, we can do it in the US as well. In Islamic countries, there is no way they could ever use body scanners and they are facing the same issues as the US, believe me.

    November 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  10. Nicholas S.

    First of all you are interviewing the wrong people for opinions and surveys. You need to talk to the business travelers, who travel on Mondays and return home on Fridays. These are the people who travel everyweek and can comment on the Airport Screening. The other people the media interviewed only travel once or twice a year, and around a holiday. I travel every week and I go through many airports in a month. I do not like someone feeling up my groin and going through my wallet. It is dehumanizing, and invasive. TSA Security Screening is just ridiculous. It needs to be regulated and coordinated. Every location is different. The TSA people are rude, and conceited. They talk to you like dirt, and you dare not question them or they can kick you out of line or call the police on you. It is a one-sidded situation. They do what they want, when they want, and you cannot do a darn thing about it. The searches and pat-downs are dehumanizing and uncalled for. It should be eliminated.

    November 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  11. Austin Walker

    I think its all pretty rediculous. Terrorists have us so concentrated on airplanes that we are taking our eye off the ball elsewhere. If terrorists want to kill people, they will. what measure do we have in place to stop people from blowing themselves up while waiting in the security line or at the baggage counter, they could potentially use a much larger bomb and kill even more people than they would on a plane. So this being said I don't understand the point of giving up our dignity and civil liberties for the sake of trying to keep bombs off planes. There are smarter ways of doing these things, they simply require well trained people as a prime element. Furthermore, I am an OEF veteran, and i could never have used the "pat-down" methods being employed in our airports to search people in a WAR ZONE. think about it people.
    "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security, deserve niether liberty nor security."
    -Ben Franklin

    November 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  12. sherry

    Pat down frenzy is becoming too much. Then again, everyone loves an issue. I'd rather be safe than sorry!

    November 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  13. Josiane

    The new "scanner safe underwear".... I cannot believe people will actually fall for it. What a waste of money. Don't you think they will request these be taken off (hopefully privately)? If the scanner cannot see through it, why wouldn't a terrorist buy them to smuggle things through? I am tired of this thing. Get through the scanner already and move on. It's really not that big of a deal. No one's body is all THAT special to warrant any kind of fuss.

    November 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  14. Steve Kirby

    I think these scanners are a waste of money. Just another ploy to have a gov' contract and get rich scheme.

    Other contries still use a proven method of detection. Metal detectors and a well trained bomb dogs. They have shown in Russia that a well trained dog can detect less than a gram of explosives on or even inside a human body. Then once someone fails one of those two steps then comes the body rub down.

    With all the security but none of the radiation. I find a dog sniffing me much less intrusive than a 3D scan of my naughty bits. Now thats something to think about.

    November 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  15. Noel Camm

    I don't usually post but had to thank TJ for asking us to thank those good TSA workers. You all really have no idea the abuse they suffer just for doing their jobs. I flew through Atlanta the other day and was traveling with a colleague from India. She said this new security is nothing. In India they undergo much more invasive procedures and always have as much of the world. These TSA agents take their jobs very seriously. They are constantly tested which also keeps them always alert. The one I know personally, when he first started, was so afraid he had missed someone that he could not hardly stand it until he got home to turn on the television to make sure that no plane he had screened had blown up or crashed. They suffer being belittled, cussed out, having clothes thrown at them every single day and by passengers who are regulars! I am sure there are bad ones-every workplace has those but let's all remember these things...PLEASE!!

    Also it WOULD help if the media would quit stirring up the hype.

    November 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  16. Christopher Quesenberry

    I have travelled through many parts of the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom, and South America. I would much prefer to have multiple checkpoints and/or enhanced screening rather than "profiling." If only one person doesn't "match" an established profile and makes it through security with a weapon of anykind, then it could turn out terribly for everyone. Stop the insanity America, put on your big kid britches, and suck it up. It is better to be frisked or "scanned" than to have your day, and possibly life, ruined by a terrorist.

    November 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  17. Gregory Harmsen

    I have the answer to the screening process for airlines. Install an explosion proof booth which they will step into alone with their carry on. The door will close and whatever technological signal needs to be sent will be. This signal will trigger or ignite anything explosive on or in your body ! Now lets see how many people are willing to give of themselves for their cause ! We have a clean-up in booth # 4 !!!

    November 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  18. Kathleen

    Yes, I believe that security in Europe and Israel is far superior to our security. Some commentators have mentioned that other countries don't have a target on their back; I would argue that they do considering the recent threats that have been in the news, or any terrorist attacks that have occurred in recent years on trains and other mass transit. Israel faces the threat of terrorism every day, and they have the most secure airports in the world. We do have a lot to learn from them.

    The questioning I faced in Amsterdam (by a military official carrying an M-16) made me feel far safer and less invaded than anything we have here in the United States. I don't see how we can say profiling is unacceptable and say that virtual strip searching and genital cupping without a warrant is acceptable in the same breath. The point of all arguments against the new methodology rolled out by the bureaucratic organization called the TSA is that there is a better way to protect us against terrorism.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  19. Kevin Wrynn


    First I'd like to say that I think you do some pretty good work and specifically, you seem to listen to people. Very few folks in the business do that. I don't know if the producers think that it's good but I do.

    Now re: TSA. What if we could do away with the radiation? Why not use dogs sitting by the metal detectors to sniff folks going by? If they react, then a secondary pat down can occur.

    By the way, terrorists can just shove explosive up you know where and the machines wouldn't find it. Did you know that? Have any of the "experts" mentioned it. One terrorist already tried it in an effort to blow up one of the Saudi princes. I think the dogs would catch it but maybe an expect could tell you.

    Mostly though, if the government actually tracked down those who have overextended their visas (like the 9/11 terrorists) or make sure those with no passport or from a terror associated country not get on a plane (like the underwear bomber), we would be better off and a lot of this intrusion wouldn't be necessary.

    Finally, I say I sympathize with the agents too but here's the give away, they know that this "enhanced" pat down goes beyond. And "just doing their jobs" sounds a little familiar – maybe too familiar. Throw in a little profiling based on country of origin, one way tickets etc and maybe we all wouldn't have to cough when the TSA agent touches our "junk" like the doctor.

    November 24, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  20. Stephen Real

    I can’t recall any American trying to take down an airplane over the last hundred years. A hundred years! Can anyone recall an American trying to take down a plane over the last 100 years? Bueller? Anyone? and patting down little kids is truly a national embarrassment if not a right out obscenity… I’m truly embarrassed for the TSA management. Shame on you! Quite frankly fellas, Americans are very proud that the airplane was invented by an American in the good ole USA, if the TSA management didn’t get their head wrap up so tight over worrying they’d see the obvious embarrassment and mockery that the system has become. I don’t blame the TSA at all, I blame the management. Score one for Bin Laden.

    November 24, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  21. Mary

    It is Interesting post !

    November 27, 2010 at 2:01 am |
  22. karena knapp

    i also think people should grow up and accept the world is not a fairy tale.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  23. D.Burger

    Ali.Today is Nov.29 . Just want you to know I really enjoyed your News Program today.This is what Ted Turner envisioned.
    Entertaining as well as informative.
    Didn`t catch what your Co-Hosts name was,but I have seen her before.
    I had a lot of smiles watching your program today.
    Also I lived in Nairobi,Kenya for 4 years in the 70`s.I would go to Mombasa for a weekend getaway as well as business.
    I met and worked with Moslim people.I learned a lot about their Religion and their living.
    I loved waking up in the morning at daybreak hearing the call to prayer.
    I will never forget that.
    We all have and want the same things.Our belief in God,Allah are the same.

    November 29, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  24. Ben

    I hope Wikileaks does not release national security information into the hands of Terrorist. Someone should call these organization to order!!!. It will be very difficult for American intelligents to gather security information from foreign countries because of fear of leaking.

    November 30, 2010 at 1:19 pm |