The "don't touch my junk" story furnishes a catalyst to focus public loathing for big parts of the national security apparatus. And, of course, its buzzing devices and technicians, people often afflicted with normal human bad judgment. Rude treatments and callousness embedded as professional good practices have backfired.
Most who know anything about security saw this coming years ago.
"Experts call it 'security theater,' to insure the market for this new, expensive boondoggle doesn't dry up when the public refuses to participate," opines an e-mail on the matter from the FireDogLake blog.
"The House of Representatives voted against funding ... [body] scanners because they are incredibly invasive and don't keep us safe. So the Department of Homeland Security flipped them the middle finger and used $25 million in stimulus funds to buy machines anyway - creating just one job in the process."
Another damning post is here.
Unfortunately, American leadership believes there is a technological answer for everything. And this has led to the permeation of prying and degrading machinery all through society. When you couple it with the average quality of employees required to work it, people just as plagued with bad thinking and judgment as anyone else but trained to strictly enforce senseless rules, you have what you do now.
All things considered equal, enduring technology and/or the frisking of your johnson is now to be made permanent.
The assumption that terrorists have become increasingly ingenious has also been pernicious.
Reality shows that isn't the picture.
Instead the truth is that terrorists have been forced into building more intricate, small and consequently unreliable devices to get past security. And they have also been compelled to rely on mediocre to very bad or even totally incapable human resources.
And there simply are not enough of them to pose the national threat pundits normally assign. Although in the future, if they try often enough, they certainly have their chances of being infrequently successful.
This has all been said, in various forms, in this blog before.
And the latest failed plot has nothing to do with onerous whole body scanning or making the feeling of your nuts mandatory. But everything to do with the stupid practice and business procedures of UPS and Fed-Ex in a crap country conspicuously known for its terrorists, Yemen.
There any random nuisance could walk into a worldwide business services store and send a small IED in a cardboard box into the air.
Here it's satirically emphasized in a home video employing the ubiquitous logistics melody.
These are just facts and not justification -- which is what the latest failed plot has been used as -- to antagonize passengers on American flights more and more until they detest going up in the air.
However, I'd be lying if I thought anything would change. Instead, like everything else it will only get worse. And people will sadly just learn to stomach it, the businesses involved in making widgets for searching people very happy with the state of affairs, one in which they can sell more and more odious mechanisms into the queues.
While there is some hope that the current surge of complaint in the media may bring about change, the battle looks over here. The underwear bomber and the national security businesses won, even though the former is in jail.
This post was published in an earlier edition at Dick Destiny blog.