The Illusion of Security

Last week several bombs were detonated in the London mass transit systems. Who and why are still questions answered only by conjecture. If it was Al Qaeda then we might as well close down the torture hotel we opened in Cuba, as several years of aggressive ‘questioning’ haven’t yielded enough clues to generate so much as an alert in regards to the recent bombing. This really doesn’t look good for the post-9/11 world of counter-terror intelligence gathering.

In the US we continue to close the barn door after the horses have escaped. In the San Francisco Bay Area that means putting BART on a ‘heightened security status’. What exactly does that mean? That means that the restrooms are closed for the duration and that before a train leaves the last station before the bay tunnel a BART Police officer walks down the outside of the train looking bored. No joke. Melanie and I were taking BART to work this morning and at the West Oakland station there was a departure delay for a security check. The BART officer who walked past our car, on the outside, barely glanced in the window. I doubt she could have seen a package under a seat on the opposite side of the car from her, and I know she couldn’t see under the seats next to the window she walked past. I realized that the officers were not patrolling in order to look for potential problems, they were patrolling in order to be seen.

The Illusion of Security is alive and well in America.


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