Astonishingly, rules apply to everyone.

Date:April 15, 2004 / year-entry #144
Orig Link:
Comments:    48
Summary:Spain's Crown Prince and his fiancée are outraged that they had to go through airport security in Miami. "The prince and his bodyguard felt they should not be subjected to the screening, but if they do not have an escort from the State Department or the Secret Service, it is required," she added. "It is...

Spain's Crown Prince and his fiancée are outraged that they had to go through airport security in Miami.

"The prince and his bodyguard felt they should not be subjected to the screening, but if they do not have an escort from the State Department or the Secret Service, it is required," she added. "It is the law."

Apparently, the Prince did not give the standard 72 hours' notice to obtain pre-clearance. (Hm, I wonder if I can get pre-clearance by submitting my itinerary 72 hours in advance.)

What bugs me even more is that the officials in Miami are all apologetic!

Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas sent the royal family a letter of apology on the same day, calling the situation "lamentable".

Reminds me of an article in the New York Times Magazine a few years ago titled Life is a Contact Sport [fee required], describing a mandatory meeting for all NFL rookies to introduce them to the "real world". My favorite part was this:

Kendrell Bell, a Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, tells of his great awakening to the verities of income tax: "I got a million-dollar signing bonus. But then I got the check, and it was only $624,000. I thought, Oh, well, I'll get the other half later. Then I found out that's all there was. I thought, They can't do this to me. Then I got on the Internet and I found out they can."

Shocking! Football players have to pay income tax! Where will the injustice end?

Happy Tax Day (US).

Comments (48)
  1. Tim Robinson says:

    The prince was issued a diplomatic visa and was effectively screened when the US agreed to issue this visa. Because of his status, he represents the Spanish nation, so any suspicion that he may be a terrorist reflects onto Spain itself.

    That is, screening the Prince of Spain is like screening the Spainish nation itself. Spain is right to be offended that the US does not trust its prince.

  2. Aarrgghh says:

    To most Americans, the Crown Prince of Spain is just some rich guy. Their first thought on meeting him is not going to be that he "is the Spanish nation itself".

    In any case, when the US issued a diplomatic visa or whatever, the US agreed not to screen the guy if he showed up with >= 72 hours warning. He’s not under any particular suspicion of being a terrorist, any more than anybody else travelling through a US airport.

    You can try to make some kind of anti-American point out of this, but basically what we’ve got here is nothing worse than a finite limit to the special consideration given to arrogant big-shots who think rules only apply to the little people.

    If the Spanish people want to pick some random bozo and prop him up as a toy God, fine; it’s their country. But they can’t seriously expect us to play along without limit.

  3. Chris Walker says:

    May I suggest that in such cases the airline should be able to inform other passengers of this condition and allow them to find other forms of transportation. Naming the seats occupied by the diplomates that refused to be searched for security reasons should put some pressure on people traveling under diplomatic immunity.

    I doubt that the TSA people are doing full body cavity searches. They probably just xray for bombs, weapons etc, and sniff for explosives. If they refuse to go thru this minimal search, as a fellow passenger, I would like to know.

    And besides, how do we know that this guy isn’t a King look-alike with forged IDs? I know the USA passports are getting harder to forge, but who knows about the Spanish technology.

  4. Tim Robinson says:

    Screening someone indicates that you believe there is a chance they are a terrorist; why would you bother screening them if you were sure they are not? Therefore screening the Crown Prince of Spain indicates that the US immigration services believe he may be a terrorist. The Spanish royal family are not just some rich guys but representatives of the head of state of Spain itself, and therefore of Spain as a whole.

    By this logic, the US believes there is a chance that a member of the Spanish royal family may wish to commit a terrorist attack on American soil.

  5. Ryan Watkins says:

    <blockquote><i>Screening someone indicates that you believe there is a chance they are a terrorist; why would you bother screening them if you were sure they are not?</i></blockquote>

    Because they realize that the identification system isn’t perfect, and thus they check everyone? Or atleast when its a last minute change.

  6. Raymond Chen says:

    "Screening someone indicates that you believe there is a chance they are a terrorist."

    No, screening someone indicates that you screen them. The rule is "Everybody gets screened."

    In New York City Hall, everyone must go through a metal detector, even the city councilmembers and the mayor himself. Nobody suspects the mayor of being a terrorist, but the rule is that everybody goes through the metal detector. No exceptions.

    In the US, "The rules apply to everyone" is a principle of fairness. When people are granted exceptions, Americans tend to get angry.

  7. Aarrgghh says:

    Tim Robinson: The whole point of the law being applied impartially is that it’s nothing personal.

    By the same reasoning, our (US) legal system’s "presumption of innocence" doesn’t mean anybody necessarily thinks you really ARE innocent; it just means that they’re not allowed to take their personal opinions into account.

    It’s not exactly rational to suggest that this means that the official position of the INS is that the Spanish royal family is engaged in terrorism. That’s paranoid thinking, son. It reminds me of the "state citizenship" theory which holds that if you use a zip code or two-letter state abbreviation in your return address, you’ve legally declared yourself to be a resident of a "federal zone" rather than a state, and thus voluntarily renounced your rights under the Constitution. There are far-right-wingers who really believe that gibberish (though they’re probably outnumbered by the Slashdot trolls who merely pretend to believe it…) Both are prime examples of Usenet-ish "I am not a lawyer, but here’s what I think…" syndrome.

  8. Tim Robinson says:

    Does the President get screened when boarding Air Force One? Or, if he does travel by regular airliner, does he get screened then?

  9. Ryan Watkins says:

    Well, fairness principle is probably already out the window in regards to the Crown Prince of Spain, as I would presume he has diplomatic immunity, among other nice perks.

  10. Raymond Chen says:

    I would hope that the President gets screened. Maybe somebody slipped a bomb into his coat pocket while he wasn’t looking.

  11. Ryan Watkins says:

    The plane containing the President is, by definition, Air Force One. He cant fly any other way. If he actually hopped on United flight from Dulles to Kennedy, the flight number would become Air Force One by virtue of him being on board.

  12. CC says:

    And I assume that when he lands at Madrid airport that he isn’t searched ;)

  13. IM says:

    Come on – this incident with the Spanish Crown Prince is indeed lamentable.

    It’s amusing that this case of stupid inflexible jobs-worth stickling is explained away with bollocks on how wonderfully egalitarian the US is.

    I suppose the US is new to this whole airport security thing and has yet to discover the difference between ‘being thorough’ and ‘being inflexible twannies’.


  14. Raymond Chen says:

    If I have to go through an annoying security search, then so too should everybody else!

  15. Mr. Cynic says:

    AFAIK from chatting with my secret service friends, the president lives in "protection bubbles" of a certain size and level. When somebody (or some thing like his laundry) enters a bubble, they are screened at an intensity appropriate to the bubble’s level. The closer you get to the president, the more strict the bubble and more intense the screening. Once inside the bubble, you’re considered good until you try to enter a higher-level bubble.

    Working the other way around when the president goes somewhere (such as Air Force One), the location has to become part of the bubble. So the bomb-dogs and pre-visit secret service agents do their thing. When they’re happy, they slap a protective cordon around the area and it become a part of the security bubble at a particular security level. Air-force one always is guarded, so that helps out some with the workload. :-)

    So the president probably gets a basic screening (metal detectors at the bottom of the stairs or whatever) but probably isn’t screened as much as you or I would be if we went to board air-force one since he lives in a bubble. Somebody slipping a bomb in his pocket is unlikely since the bomb would have to get int a bubble before it could be placed in his jacket.

    Reporters who do the "travel with the candidate" thing for the first time often find this annoying because they are scanned once at the beginning of the day and then are essentially ignored – until they want to go back to their hotel room to get a new laptop batttery. They left the bubble and thus have to be rescanned before they can get on the press bus, etc. The reporters think that THEY have been judged safe, but sometimes don’t grok that thats only the frist step of the security story. There are usually a few random "security is weird" articles by various reporters every campaign season. The last one I read was co-opted by the fact that a secret-service agent made a joke about a lebonese taxi driver slipping somebody a weapon to illustrate a point and one of the reporters was lebonese, but it still covered the basics.

    Of course, the secret service doesn’t talk much about its processes or plans (security through obscurity debate anybody?), so all the above could be total misinformation.

  16. Jeremy Bloath says:

    If the crown prince of Spain were indeed to blow up a US airliner, it would be a justifiable and courageous act of self-defense.

    The right of self-defense is fundamental.

    The American refusal to allow him this basic human right is typical of their terroristic mentality.

  17. bryan says:

    The president going to madrid is of course the good example from an outside the U.S viewpoint. I bet a lot of people would get offended if the President had to wait somewhere to be screened.

    I’m all for equalitarianism but with perhaps a smidgin of realism as well, the spanish crown prince is the spanish crown prince and is therefore by definition more important than most likely anyone commenting on this post ever will be. His importance is not defined by his wealth but is defined by, as was pointed out up above, his status as a figurehead for the spanish nation (in fact the guy is probably wealthy because he is important, not like so many people important because he is wealthy); as such an insult delivered to him is an insult delivered to spain. Even if he took it well there would no doubt be people who for one political reason or another in spain took it badly.

    Thus the security folks should apologise profusely since what they were in fact doing is what is generally referred to as causing a diplomatic incident, which is something one apologises for if one does not want negative consequences down the road for an international social blunder.

    But hey, that rich guy had to be treated like a dork just like me so if trade suffers or something because of it later I’m well satisfied.

    I live in Denmark currently and things are much more equalitarian here than well just about anywhere I’ve ever lived, including the U.S, but I’m pretty sure people would get pissed off at the insult to national pride if the crown Prince had to wait several hours to pass through a terrorist screening to get into the U.S , hey especially in the current political climate.

  18. Raymond Chen says:

    "The American refusal to allow him this basic human right is typical of their terroristic mentality."

    If the crown prince of Spain has a basic human right to bypass airport security, then I too have that right (as a human being).

    Now if you claimed that he had a privilege under diplomatic protocol, I would be more likely to agree with you. But to claim that it’s a basic human right to bypass airport security?

  19. bryan says:

    the basic fact is that he messed up by not following the protocols that would have let him get through without being checked. on the other hand it’s common enough I think to hear people complaining about the inflexibility of bureaucratic systems when dealing with the unexpected, it was unexpected that a crown prince of a friendly nation came without following established protocols however it might have been better to pass him through rather than causing an incident.

    Of course as in everything the benefit of a human mind is that it can be trained to react with the absolute inflexibility of a computer and just fuck up when the protocols are not properly followed. it’s really neat I think.

    I think Jeremy Bloath was trying to snark or troll.

  20. Tim Robinson says:

    On a related point: the Crown Prince of Spain has diplomatic immunity. So if he did blow up a plane, then presumably either (a) the US couldn’t do anything, or (b) the US would treat it as an act of war by Spain.

  21. Jeremy Bloath says:

    Raymond, I did not say that bypassing airport security is a basic human right. I said that blowing up American airliners is a basic human right. By all means, he should have been screened for drugs and whatnot, but any rational interpretation of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights dictates that any and all explosives found on his person should have been left in his possession, thus preserving his right to self-defense.

  22. Karl Barrus says:

    <i>The plane containing the President is, by definition, Air Force One.</i>

    Actually the designation changes – if he flies on an Army aircraft, it is "Army One"; on a Navy aircract, it is "Navy One", on a Marine craft "Marine One"; and if for some reason he’s ever on a civilian airline it is "Executive One".

    Or, that’s what a Discovery Channel show on Air Force One said.

  23. Mat says:

    See, Jeremy has not a clue. Spain has been a very strong ally, and thus, it’s incomprehensible that Jeremy would treat the US and Spain differently — assuming he wasn’t talking out his arse.

    My take? The royal assistants dropped the ball, and the security guys did their job. It’s a "story" because it’s a potential annoyance.

    Tim is correct, as well. Should a member of Spain’s government or monarchy be shown to be at fault for an attack on US assets, that’s a diplomatic issue, and indeed an "act of war".

    And Jeremy’s "blowing up American airliners is a basic human right." shows you exactly how hypocritical the guy is. I’m guessing Ms. Bloath is getting near an IP block…

  24. Well, when Bush went to London, he wanted all sorts of stuff that definately change the rules. I’d like to see what happens when some american government has to get a cavity search :).

    Somehow, it appears that many americans think that A) terrorism is new, and B) only the states are targeted…

  25. Raymond Chen says:

    (Personally I thought it was great when Brazil started fingerprinting US citizens.)

  26. CC says:

    I remember the last time W came to London and wanted (or rather his security people did) to shut down half of London, we’re a small country but we don’t like being told what to do (unless it’s to take part in illegal foreign military campaigns apparently ;) ).

    At the risk of (incorrectly) labelled anti-american; I’m not –

    To add to Michael G’s list

    C) The states have the right to do what they damn well please ..

    D) .. and are immune from all laws outside of the US (take the request that US Soldiers be immune from prosecution under new international laws ratified last year).

    But this is straying too far from topic and I don’t think it’s wise to start another US vs The World argument, it’s non-constructive … sorry.

  27. Leonardo Brondani Schenkel says:

    (Disclaimer: I’m Brazilian.)

    It was funny when one man from US was arrested in Brazil because he raised his middle finger to the Brazilian federal police when taking pictures for the fingerprinting process. (No, it was not the American Airlines pilot. It was another incident.)

    When Brazilian media asked why he did that, he responded: "I’m an American citizen. I’m not a monkey."

    It seems like he thought that fingerprinting should be applied only to the third world "monkeys". American citizens should be exempt of this, of course.

    (I don’t want to start a flame war here; I’m writing this only because I think it was funny.)

    I’m serious now: Brazil begun fingerprinting US citizens based on a diplomatic reciprocity agreement between Brazil-US. There is no record of terrorist activity in Brazil or caused by any Brazilian citizens towards US (or anyone), and vice-versa. So if US considers Brazilian citizens suspiscious of terrorism (what is unfounded), Brazil can treat Americans the same (unfounded, too). This is a retaliation, it has nothing to do with security. Only people from US are being fingerprinted.

    (P.S.: Sorry for the lousy English.)

  28. bryan says:

    shorter Aarrgghh(re the brazillian stuff): Since we treat everybody like shit nobody should single us out to be treated like shit.

    well how’s this for an analogy, everybody on your block goes to each others houses for parties, there is a certain etiquette understood by everyone on your block as being required for treating people on your block.

    Everyone but you has occasionally had bad things happen at these parties, but the rules of etiquette have basically been maintained.

    Then something bad happens at your party, you get upset and you flip the rules of etiquette all around and start being very rude to everybody that comes to your parties henceforth.

    So some of the other people on the street say "hey we’ll maintain the rules of etiquette with the rest of you but when that one guy comes to our party we’re gonna treat him just as badly as he treats us" and then when that happens you whine about how people are treating you unfairly. Wow, life sure is tough.

  29. Some are more equal than others says:

    I wonder if Sharon had to wait and be screened at the airport on his recent visit to the see the President. I somehow doubt it.

  30. asdf says:

    I would of liked the Kendrell Bell story if they didn’t withhold money from him so he gets audited by the IRS instead.

  31. Aarrgghh says:

    Some are more etc.: Actually, there’ve been cases of Israelis born in Iraq or Iran or Syria, who fled with their families when they were kids, and who as adults had trouble getting into the US because they were born in some place that’s on the List of Bad Places or whatever.

    Leonardo: Point(s) taken.

    bryan: My point was that the "him" being treated unjustly is not, in the vast majority of cases, the same "him" who treated anybody else unjustly. They just happen to carry the same color passport. I’ve never fingerprinted anybody from Brazil, and I’ve never thought fingerprinting anybody from Brazil made much sense. If I go to Brazil, I get fingerprinted, even though I’m not the guy who peed in their clam dip. I am not all Americans; I am (at most) one of them. Two people can belong to the same group without being the same person. What the heck, if I go to Brazil, I’ll go along with the program politely, but I can do that without believing it makes much sense.

    Secondly, as somebody pointed out, airport security isn’t exactly a brand-new US invention that we whipped up out of the blue just to piss people off.

  32. A N European says:

    Aarrgghh – "You can try to make some kind of anti-American point out of this, but basically what we’ve got here is nothing worse than a finite limit to the special consideration given to ***arrogant big-shots who think rules only apply to the little people***."

    Oh that’s rich … really.

  33. Raymond Chen says:

    Even I don’t get searched when I *land* at an airport.

  34. Paul says:

    For what it’s worth, exactly the same thing happened last year to New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark on a visit to Australia:

    The fuss made over this was much the same.

  35. Aarrgghh says:

    So the Brazillian government thinks the US government is treating random Brazilians like everybody else. They take their revenge by treating random Americans (few to none of whom are personally responsible for the policy to which the Brazillian government objects) *differently* from everyone else.

    Two wrongs never make a right unless the second one is done to an American. *Yawn*…

    What’s interesting here is that the some people in this discussion keep seeing people as individuals, and others keep seeing them as representatives of groups. If an American does a bad thing, you do something bad to the next American you see. Each American is "the Americans"; they’re all perfectly interchangeable. As for the crown prince, why, he’s perfectly interchangeable with Spain, right? To me, that seems like a peculiar notion. If it correlates with anti-Americanism, that’s just because bigotry is fundamentally a matter of getting groups mixed up with individuals.

    Anyhow: If I were an innocent American hauled before the ICC, I’d feel about as likely to be treated justly as an innocent black American in front of a white jury in Alabama circa 1920.

    Well, maybe that comparison was ill-chosen: As an American born in Cleveland in 1968, I am personally responsible for all injustices which took place in Alabama 48 years earlier, so I DESERVE to be treated unjustly. Right?

    Another interesting attribute of bigotry is that it always tends toward a state of maximum self-parody.

  36. Leonardo Brondani Schenkel says:

    "So the Brazillian government thinks the US government is treating random Brazilians like everybody else. They take their revenge by treating random Americans (few to none of whom are personally responsible for the policy to which the Brazillian government objects) *differently* from everyone else." — Aarrgghh.

    Not like everybody else. There are a list of 27 countries (if memory serves well) whose citizens are exempt of fingerprinting. Brazil thinks it should be on this list simply because there is no record of any terrorist activity made by a Brazilian.

    "Two wrongs never make a right unless the second one is done to an American. *Yawn*…" — Aarrgghh.

    I never said that. What I think is: if US is right to fingerprint anyone it wants, Brazil is right too. If US is wrong, so is Brazil.

    U.S. actually complained to Brazil about the fingerprinting. And Brazil said it has a legal ground, because (like I said) there is a diplomatic treaty signed by both US and Brazil that says the treatment given to the citizens of both countries should be equal. An example: Brazil does not require visas for citizens of many countries, but requires it for US citizens because US requires them from us. If US drops this restriction, Brazil is *required* by the treaty to do this too. Likewise, if US stops fingerprinting Brazilians then Brazil too is *required* to stop. (Well, we all know "required* is a strong word. Actually both of them are sovereign countries and can do everything they want. But my personal view is that treaties are signed to be respected.)

    "Well, maybe that comparison was ill-chosen: As an American born in Cleveland in 1968, I am personally responsible for all injustices which took place in Alabama 48 years earlier, so I DESERVE to be treated unjustly. Right?" — Aarrgghh.


  37. Ryan Watkins says:

    Re: "I wonder if Sharon had to wait and be screened at the airport on his recent visit to the see the President. I somehow doubt it."

    Well, certainly not on a flight in from Israel.

    And I bet Israel had the forsight to provide the requisite notice of his departure, rather than just showing up to hop on a plane.

  38. Ryan Watkins says:

    Re: "It just is not the done thing."

    Always a sound reason when discussing issues of national security.

  39. A regular viewer says:

    I was under the impression that this thread was sort of under a general acceptance that this was not a "security" issue, but "rules apply to everyone". A matter of priciple rather than an issue of life and death.

  40. Ryan Watkins says:

    Any individual case post 9/11 is a "rules apply to everyone", because I dont think we’ve arrested any Al Qaeda by searching people at the airport. We’re all non-terrorists. I’m no more threat than the prince. But everyone is checked, presumeably for reasons of national security.

    And the rules he was provided were even special – he just had to give the normal 72 hr notice. But he didnt do that either, so they need to search him.

    Maybe its easier to sidestep the normal background processes if you dont give them time.

    I can imagine that maybe the Crown Prince of Spain is not a big problem to ID properly to wave the security check.

    But what about a diplomat from Yemen?

    But what about the hundreds in the Saudi royal family?

    What about a Saudi prince that shows up at the airport, no warning, sans entourage and only sorta looks like his passport picture? Do you just wave him thru?

    So the rule is, give us 72 hr notice to work it out and we’ll wave you thru with the royal treatment. If not, you’ll probably end up with a lil extra hassle to verify everything is ok. I’m sure he didnt queue up with the rest of the plebs for an hour or two.

  41. A regular viewer says:

    It’s a purely American phenomenon. She is, if I am right, the only nation in the world that genuinely believes in "Classlessness". Oh! Except maybe the Aussies. We, the remaining 90% of the world have no problem in identifying with the situation.

    No other "people" would be surprised by the fact the something is *seriously amiss* when a Head of State, or His/Her Official Rep., was given the same treatment as the general populace, whatever the "facts of the situation" may be. It just is not the done thing.

    Add to the complication, the US of A has no separate Head of State and the Democratic Chief Representative of People. The Prime Minister of India is the latter, the President of India the former. In the case of Spain & Great Britain, it is the Monarch who is the Head of State,a nd they have PMs to run the day to day business of govt. I believe almost every other nation has some sort of a distinction between the domestic policy maker and the international figurehead.

    I am not going to argue the merits and demerits of such a system. Just want to point out that it is the system.

  42. Mat says:

    Hey, what’s better, letting our guard down and having 9/11 happen again? I’ll piss off a prince first…

  43. Hey Mat, newsflash for you. The so-called security measures enacted in rage after 9/11 don’t make you any more secure.

    Your attitude of "hey, well, better not to have 9/11 again" just lets the us government get a stronger hold on things.

    The anti-terrorism laws are being created to make it look like the government is doing something. Wanna make sure 9/11 never ever happens again? Destroy every plane and person who could possibly construct one. And that’ll only stop an attacker from crashing a plane into a building. It wouldn’t, for example, stop them from detonating a nuke.

    It’s understandable that your terrified of seeing 9/11 happen again. But blindly letting others make "security" decisions for you isn’t accomplishing anything.

  44. BTW, Raymond, in New York, the city councilmen and their guests only started having to go through the security scans sometime in July last year.

    It seems that one of the guests of one of the councilmen had a grudge against him (they were opponents in a recent election and the councilman had promised him something to get him to withdraw from the election and the newly elected councilman reneged I believe), so the arranged a meeting in city hall with the councilman, and after getting through the security screens, the rival opened fire.

  45. Mat says:

    Michael, are you actually saying that we may as well continue the level of security we had pre 9/11 then? Would that be best?

    Look, even if the security is not that great, but the perception is that it’s much more likely someone would get caught, they won’t try. I’d prefer that, myself.

    We all let others make security decisions for us — just take a look at your government. That’s not a good or bad thing; it’s just the inherent job of a government. Unless you’re France. =)

  46. I don’t live in my country of citizenship (Canada) and haven’t for a long time. I resist others making security decisions for me at every possible opportunity (like Bank of America..sheesh, they send me unencrypted email).

    Even so, it’s definately the job of the government to protect their country. That said, the u.s. is doing a lousy job. Right now, you’re probably less secure than you were before 9/11. Why?

    The new measures do little. Checking photo ID at every place — what does that accomplish? I’ll give you a hint: it starts with "not" and ends with "hing". In airplanes in particular: Why can I still reach the cockpit while in flight? It’s like running Windows XP RTM on the Internet, but making sure that you don’t open attachments: there’s a core vulnerability that hasn’t been addressed well enough.

    Apart from that, the states when and blew up a bunch of people on the other side of the world. What has that accomplished? Well, one thing for sure, they’ve pissed off a people. Some of the people they’ve pissed off might be inclined to attack back. You’ve given increased reason for attack.

    However, the freedom you’ve given up — that’s easily abused. People have become numb to thinking "oh, this is for security". To get a drivers license, they want your SSN (I refuse to get an SSN). All this data makes it much easier to say, steal your identity.

    Also, a false sense of security can weaken security. The Titanic didn’t plan for lifeboats or emergencies as well because everyone thought that it was unsinkable. Doing all this security "eye candy" just makes people think that they are more secure, and adds to the surprise value when an attack is in place.

    Systems like CAPPS make you less secure by giving terrorists a sure way of knowing if they will be scanned (there’s a whitepaper on this, but I can’t find it now). This allows them to know which one of their members will most likely not be scanned (and thus help them choose who to send on a mission).

    The main reason that there hasn’t been any new successful attacks (not just on airlines) is lack of effort. Also remember that terrorism has been exceedingly effective. All these security measures, all this living in fear and suspicion — this is EXACTLY the outcome desired by the attackers. You don’t actually need to kill a few thousand people to instill terror — sure, it’s easier to scare people with high casualties, but look at the anthrax attacks.

    Resigning yourself to "We all let others make security decisions for us — just take a look at your government" is the attitude that allows these silly non-security measures to be implemented. It’s irresponsible to blindly agree with whatever these politicians come up with.

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