November 23, 2010
John Locke, Ron Paul, and Airport Security
It has been rather a long time since I wrote on politics. As you can probably imagine, I'm pretty worked up about this whole body scanner business. As recently announced in a post on Homeland Stupidity, Ron Paul and two co-sponsors have introduced a bill in the House which would remove immunity from airport screeners and other federal employees who engage in certain sorts of behavior associated with airport screening. That is, it ensures that the screeners at airports are subject to the same laws regarding battery, sexual assault, child pornography, etc., as everyone else. I think there is something...
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January 5, 2010
How Great is the Threat of Aircraft-Based Terrorism?
In my recent post Preventing Terrorism "At All Costs"
, I argued that it is necessary to consider the genuine risks of terrorism and balance them against the cost and inconvenience of proposed security measures, rather than merely taking a knee-jerk "anything to make us safer" approach. In the course of the post, I compared the risk of aircraft-based terrorism to other risks we take every day, such as driving on Los Angeles freeways. In a recent post, Big Numbers and Air Travel
(HT: Uncommon Priors
) on his blog Good Math, Bad Math
, Mark Chu-Carroll examines the question of just how risky air travel really is...
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December 31, 2009
Preventing Terrorism "At All Costs"
Insofar as there is any debate about airline security measures at all (and there is not as much as there should be), the debate typically assumes that we ought to prevent terrorism "at all costs". But this is simply false. Last night I saw a segment on the local news here in Johnstown, PA, where a "terrorism expert" (it wasn't clear exactly what his qualifications were) said that we could catch terrorists much more effectively by engaging in religious profiling. Apparently a federal legislator recently said the same thing. What these people are pointing out is something that should be...
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July 18, 2006
No Manslaughter Charges Filed in Jean Charles de Menezes Case
An official press release
from the UK's Independent Police Complaints Commission
announced yesterday that, following an investigation of the brutal execution without trial
of innocent Tube passenger Jean Charles de Menezes
, the London Police Commissioner will face charges of "failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare" of Mr. Menezes under the "Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974." There will be no murder or manslaughter charges...
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August 17, 2005
Independent Commission: London Police Lied About Jean Charles de Menezes
The New York Times passes along
a report from British news outlet ITV (see also the longer article
in The Observer
) which obtained leaked documents from the Independent Police Complaints Commission suggesting that the London Police lied about the circumstances surrounding the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, the innocent Brazilian man who was executed without trial on the Tube last month in connection with the terrorist attacks of July 21.
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July 25, 2005
British Police Refuse to Apologize For Death, Defend "Shoot to Kill" Policy
"It wasn't just a random event, and the most important thing to recognize is that it is still happening out there ... Somebody else could be shot." - London Police Commisioner Sir Ian Blair, in an interview with Sky News.
The New York Times
on a statement issued by London's Police Commissioner in which he defended the "shoot to kill" policy he instituted following the bombings on July 7. Speaking of the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, a man who was shot to death on the Tube, London's subway system, last week by plain-clothes police men and later discovered not to have been related in any way to terrorism, Sir Ian insisted, "There is nothing gratuitous here in what is going on." Excuse me?!
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July 24, 2005
Man Shot to Death by London Police: Not a Terrorist After All
WorldMagBlog is linking to a New York Times article, published this morning, reporting that Scotland Yard admitted yesterday that the man gunned down by London police on the Tube last Friday was not connected to the terrorist bombings of July 7, or the attempted bombings of July 21st. The mayor of London, Ken Livingston, had issued "shoot to kill" orders for police, who previously did not carry firearms at all, in regard to terror suspects under certain circumstances. (For a good, short summary of events so far, see this post and this one by Josh at "Freedom Of..." He has...
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