Hands down the pants, hands down the pants, looking like a fool with your hands down your pants!

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.


2 Responses to Hands down the pants, hands down the pants, looking like a fool with your hands down your pants!

  1. I can see the reasoning behind this; terrorist puts some explosives in their pants, out of sight. Washes their hands for 15 minutes in the most caustic cleaner they can find at an industrial supply store and then pass through security undetected. Not a good plan, but a plan none the less.

    In reality, does this practice really do a thing to improve security? Probably not in any measurable kind of way. What happened to the puffer machines I have seen at several airports, including DIA? Effective and doesn’t require the passenger to wash their hands when they are done.

    I also don’t see a problem with refusing the whole body imager, I have been through them before (probably because I was looking at it the whole time I was in the security line trying to figure out what it was) and I’ll go through them again, but that is my personal preference. Others aren’t willing to go through it, that’s their choice.

    Last I checked putting your hands down your pants in public was frowned upon. Asking people to do things like that in public, in front of total strangers is going to make a lot of people uncomfortable. I’ll withhold any Canadian jokes here, but someone should have had the foresight to see that this kind of policy was not going to have a happy ending.

  2. Couldn’t you just use a bomb sniffing dog? Why not put a few more of them around security checkpoints and if the dog picks up a scent on an individual, then deal with this (in my opinion) crazy nonsense about making people stick their hands down their pants. Better yet, why doesn’t airports just get more of those full body scanners. Seems like those are the only way to effectively search for weapons and materials being used at the present time. Oh yeah, that’s why they don’t have them, they cost an incredible amount of money and the government is giving it all to the banks.

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