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I'm a Conservative Troglodyte who puts more emphasis on common sense rather than political parties.

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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Profile This...

JAY TEA over at Wizbang pontificated on the importance of profiling as it applies to domestic security and dipped into the semantics of the term “profiling” a bit. I agree wholeheartedly with his take. “Profiling” has taken on more meaning that it deserves. It is, immediately, given a negative (racially biased) connotation when in fact that’s not what it means at all.

Jay Tea puts it this way:

(From his Post)
Let's also be reasonable about just what "profiling" involves. We're not talking about thought crimes here, a la "Minority Report." We're not talking about mass roundups of those who look funny, a la "The Siege." Hollywood is NOT reality, despite what certain people (with names like Sheen, Streisand, or Moore) would have you believe.

Profiling is nothing more than good police work. It's been used for a long time, and it works.

Allow me the opportunity to make an attempt to assist him on this summation as I did here back in November.

In November of 2004 the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging behavioral profiling in airports. Not race. Not gender. Not age. No, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging BEHAVIORAL PROFILING. So, what makes up behavior profiling?

As an example, suppose it is the middle of summer and a passenger getting on a plane is dressed in bulky winter clothes that would allow him/her to hide some sort of weapon or explosive device. The behavior of the individual (what he’s wearing) presents an opportunity to complicate safety.

How about this one? The airport security firm notices an individual(s) canvassing the terminal taking photographs of all, in-place, security measures. Kind of odd, right?

Or, suppose a group of men traveling alone without luggage show up at the gate after purchasing their tickets individually in cash. Prior to boarding the group interacted exclusively, and when they boarded the plane they acted if they didn’t know each other. And, to top it off, suppose they carried no luggage and had purchased one way tickets. Add all those “behavioral” idiosyncrasies together, and an on the ball security personnel should take a closer look.

The lawsuit that the ACLU filed last November challenges the security personnel and police on singling out these “strangely” acting individuals for questioning. The ACLU claims the technique "effectively condones and encourages racial and ethnic profiling."

One more thing. The lawsuit filed by the ACLU was venued in Boston, MA. Their motivation was established by evaluating the security techniques mentioned above at Logan International. That’s where two of the 9/11 flights originated.

I’ll stand with Jay Tea on this topic. Not only do I support behavioral profiling. I’ll be the first one on the flight to initiate it…without consideration for someone else’s “feelings.” I, certainly, support an individual’s opportunity to exercise their non-conformity provided it doesn’t interfere with my own opportunity to be secure and safe. When that line is crossed, there are repercussions. Answering a few questions at the airport is one of those repercussions. I'm not contrite on this issue in any fashion, so DEAL WITH IT...

Good one Jay Tea...

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