Hands down the pants, hands down the pants, looking like a fool with your hands down your pants!
Recently, travelers in Canada have been asked to stick their hands down their pants, or in their pockets, so that screeners can swab their hands (after the fact) to determine if there is residue from explosives. Really? REALLY? Click on the link for some background on this and note the artwork. Are we really so impotent when it comes to understanding good security processes vs., these ridiculous and degrading procedures. Are we really so scared that we will subject ourselves to this level of embarrassment just to feel safer.
Apparently the traveler in question refused to pass through the whole body imager so that her entire figure could be revealed and scrutinized. Understand that I do not have an issue with the whole body imager as an element in the layered security system, but a good security profiler with about a half dozen questions could have successfully determined that this individual is not a threat, without her sticking her hands down her pants. An excellent security profiler would not have even stopped her at all.
Also, according to one CATSA official (Canada’s version of the TSA) the “hands down the pants,” procedures is an international aviation security practice. Oh really? I have the international security practices in hand and the “hands down the pants,” procedure isn’t in there!
As for the body imager, I can’t fault the passenger for just saying no. Seems one Bollywood actor was approached by screeners at London/Heathrow asking for autographs of his x-ray scan. . . you know, the kinds of images that we were told could not be saved.
Maybe General Larry Platt, that “pants on the ground” guy on American Idol can come up with some new lyrics to describe how foolish aviation security is getting.