The debate concerning border security has missed a fundamental point. None of the "terrorists" who have made headlines in the last couple of years snuck across the Rio Grande. The shoe bomber, the underwear bomber and even the two in Boston all flew on airplanes coming into the United States. This, of course, begs the question of the value or purpose of the Transportation Security Administration, the arm of our government that makes us safe by patting down Grandma and pushing toddlers through a metal detector.
I recently returned from a trip where I went through security in England, South Africa and Germany. Not once did I have to remove my shoes or belt, nor was I ever patted down. A few months ago, the TSA instituted a program known as "pre-check." The idea is that if you meet certain criteria including giving a lot of information to the TSA, they allow you to walk through a special line where you do not have to remove your shoes or belt. Although it makes it a bit more convenient for people flying to Kansas City, the irony is that if you are flying internationally, you are not allowed to use this line but must go through the normal screening procedures.
The real time to see our government at work, however, is when you land in the United States. Everyone landing in the United States must clear immigration and customs. Apparently the TSA does not trust this other arm of the government, because while still inside a secure customs area at Dulles, I was obliged to go through a security screening as well. If TSA could demonstrate that in all of the years it has existed it has caught one terrorist, I might see some justification for this nonsense. The only terrorists who have been confronted were stopped by ordinary passengers on the flights.
Security is one thing, but this overzealous, nanny state mentality suggesting that some government agent "knows best" is getting old. Where does it stop?