The curious irrationality of airport security.

The conventional wisdom debunked.
April 11 2002 3:42 PM

Checking Out the Checkpoints

The curious irrationality of airport security.

(Continued from Page 1)

That's a good start. But it's only a start. That pool of people ought to be the ones pulled aside for special screening, and that special screening ought to be an occasion for at least a little investigation of the passenger. Where are you headed? What do you do for a living? The way to stop terrorism is to X-ray terrorists, not their hand luggage. This was the most troubling thing of all in my experience that day. No one, in the course of all that searching and frisking, ever asked me a single question—except, in the course of a body search, "Do you mind, sir, if I touch your back?" I don't mind being touched. What I mind is a security system that doesn't make flying more secure.

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of David and Goliath.

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