Friday, August 05, 2005


NYCLU Sues New York City Over Subway Bag Search Policy

"This NYPD bag search policy is unprecedented, unlawful and ineffective," said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. "It is essential that police be aggressive in maintaining security in public transportation. But our very real concerns about terrorism do not justify the NYPD subjecting millions of innocent people to suspicionless searches in a way that does not identify any person seeking to engage in terrorist activity and is unlikely to have any meaningful deterrent effect on terrorist activity."

Insh'allaha, Belmont Club:

The justification for profiling derives from statistics. Insurance companies use it to set your premiums. Customs inspectors use it to identify drug mules. A geologist who is looking for oil sinks his drill near certain structures. The enemy uses profiling all the time, the false positives be damned. Robert Fisk was beaten by Afghans on the mistaken assumption that he was a Westerner. BBC correspondent Frank Gardner was shot by Islamists in Riyadh even as he cried "I’m a Muslim, help me, I’m a Muslim, help me".


It is also a frank admission of the want of a better tool. I've often argued that mass categorizations are what is left after we've denied ourselves the means to precisely target perpetrators protected by political correctness. You screen everybody who comes out of the Finsbury Park mosque when you cannot deport its notorious imam. A policy which forswears fighting terrorism abroad will imply you are going to screen everyone who arrives at the border. If nobody wants to find Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan they will sooner or later do house to house searches in Leicester. The inability of the "moderate" Islamic community to discourage terrorists in their midst may mean you can't separate the sheep from the goats and one day everyone of certain persuasion will be presumed to be goat. Political correctness is the process of shutting our eyes; profiling is the groping that we do afterwards.


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