It is all about Common Sense

July 8, 2011

The search by security officials of a 95 year old woman’s adult diaper at an airport security checkpoint in Florida recently has once again caused a storm of controversy among those who believe that not everyone boarding an airplane needs to be checked.

As odd as it may seem to those who are cavalier about their air travel security, and about airplane security in general, would find it hard to believe that a 95 year old woman wearing an adult diaper could be a danger to anyone.

But the danger is always there. The only reasonable mitigation of that real and apparent danger is to completely search those whose undergarments or adult diapers cause concern for security officers.

Far better to have searched an elderly woman wearing an adult diaper than allowing her to board without being searched.

Those who are opposed to such searches claim it is all about common sense and that those conducting the searches are not using common sense.

The exact opposite is true and besides, the security officials conducting the search of the elderly woman in this instance were extremely sensitive, discussed the search with her and proceeded without incident, according to security officials familiar with the case.

The bottom line is that no amount of security is enough in the modern world.

One mistake, one slip-up, one person allowed to go through security without a search because that person didn’t appear dangerous and all can be lost a few hours later while seated in the airplane.

There have been other incidents across the nation and at airports around the world where incendiary and bomb like materials have been hidden in passenger’s underwear.

We also know that some terrorists have attempted to use sneakers as bombs.

There is no legitimate reason to compromise valuable and nearly flawless search procedures by security officials because some people think the searches are foolish.

Thinking like that is foolish.

If all passengers wearing adult diapers were not searched, if this is what became standard protocol, then we can be assured that terrorists would relish the possibility of using an elderly person wearing an adult diaper to store explosives and to blow themselves up – but only when the plane was full.

Compromising security by creating categories of those to be searched and those not to be searched gives an advantage to the enemy.

It is a cunning enemy we face.

No need to give a cunning enemy an advantage.