Ever since the failed execution of the the Great Christmas Underwear Bombing, the blogosphere and print media have been abuzz with snarky criticisms of the new haphazard security measures enacted in response. My favorite comes from here:
I had a fantasy in which the Fed and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) switched roles.
If a bank failed at 9 a.m. one morning and shut its doors, the TSA would announce that all banks henceforth begin their business day at 10 a.m.
And, if a terrorist managed to get on board a plane between Stockholm and Washington, the Fed would increase the number of flights between the cities.
But the U.S. isn’t the only one to be having some security missteps. In Israel, there are reports claiming that the military has developed a security program that involves training dogs to attack anyone who says “Allah hu akbar”, or Arabic for “God is great.”
Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi on Monday told the Knesset plenum that at a canine unit ceremony held the day before, parents of the soldiers witnessed demonstrations proving these allegations.
“IDF dogs are trained to pounce and attack any Arab who shouts ‘Allah hu akbar,’ as a Pavlovian reaction,” said Tibi.
The IDF has denied any such training program is in place, and the denial is pretty believable given how ridiculously ineffective such a plan would be. The stated purpose of the training program is to have dogs who will attack suicide bombers who announce “Allah hu akbar” immediately before detonating explosives — but unless the K-9 force is staffed entirely by a bunch of Rin Tin Tins and Lassies, pretty much no dog is going to be able to reach a terrorist and neutralize them before they have the ability to press a button.
Over in the UK, government officials have hit a stumbling block in the implementation of their latest security technology, as the full-body scanners at airport check points violate child pornography laws:
The rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children, the Guardian has learned.
Privacy campaigners claim the images created by the machines are so graphic they amount to “virtual strip-searching” and have called for safeguards to protect the privacy of passengers involved.
Ministers now face having to exempt under 18s from the scans or face the delays of introducing new legislation to ensure airport security staff do not commit offences under child pornography laws.
Finally, over in Denmark, Kurt Westergaard showed that “panic rooms” are not merely impractical Hollywood-style gizmos, but can actually be effectively employed to protect yourself during home invasions. Of course, the recommended use for panic rooms probably includes keeping your five year old granddaughter on the same side as the panic room wall as yourself, and not outside with the attacker:
He did not have time to collect the child from the living room before locking himself into a “panic room”, a specially fortified bathroom. He said the assailant had shouted “swear words, really crude words” and shrieked about “blood” and “revenge”, as he smashed the axe in vain against the bathroom door.
“I feared for my grandchild,” he told Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that had commissioned the cartoon. “But she did great. I knew that he wouldn’t do anything to her.” He went on: “It was close, really close. But we did it.”