Checkpoints All The Way Down

The investigation into the Brussels attack hasn’t concluded yet but politicians are already calling for actions to be taken to prevent such an attack from happening here:

Security experts, politicians and travelers alike say the Brussels bombings exposed a weak spot in airport security, between the terminal entrance and the screening checkpoint.

“If you think about the way things were done in Brussels — and have been done in other places — literally people only have to only walk in, and they can attack at will,” said Daniel Wagner, CEO of security consulting firm Country Risk Solutions.

These idiots will be putting security checkpoints before the security checkpoints if we let them:

Wagner suggests U.S. airports establish pre-terminal screening before travelers enter the facility.

“That is a common approach in many countries around the world — you cannot even get in the terminal until your bags and your person have been pre-screened,” he said. “That is, through an X-ray machine both for the bags and for the individual.”

It’ll be checkpoints all the way down. What none of these stooges have stopped to consider is that the checkpoints themselves are attractive targets. Checkpoints are chokepoints. They forces large numbers of people to gather in a single place so they can slowly (very slowly in the case of Minneapolis’ airport) be filtered through by security. If a suicide bomber wants to kill a lot of people they need only step in the checkpoint line.

Adding an additional chokepoint or moving the current one doesn’t fix the problem. Reducing the amount of damage a terrorist can cause in an airport requires dispersing people, which means making major changes to current airport security practices. The long security lines have to go. This can be done by simplifying the screening process, making it consistent (anybody who travels frequently knows that the orders barked by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) goons can change drastically from day to day), and increasing the number of checkpoints. None of those measures will be taken though because the idiots who make the policies know nothing about security.