Why we need the TSA's search tactics

Wednesday, November 24, 2010; 8:43 PM

Well here's something I never thought this conservative would say: I agree, in part, with Dana Milbank ["Republicans in a post-post-9/11 era," Sunday Opinions, Nov. 21].

As one of very few survivors in my area of the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, I favor the new airport imaging machines and pat-downs. I don't suspect my faceless image on black-and-white screen will draw much interest from anyone, and I don't worry about the minuscule amount of radiation. I suspect more Americans are likely to be harmed from burgers, fries and cigarettes. And the call to use Israel's flight safety procedures is ridiculous. Can one really compare the number of air travelers in Israel to those in the United States?

As a conservative, I wouldn't mind some form of profiling. However, with homegrown terrorism on the rise, can we really expect that to be effective? Great air safety will require many forms of intelligence-gathering in conjunction with the Transportation Security Administration's screening.

Rick Sandelli, Alexandria

Charles Krauthammer and George F. Will have it wrong ["Don't touch my junk," op-ed, Nov. 19; "Life in the T.S. of A.," op-ed, Nov. 21]. Consider this: In August 2007 my son was wounded in Iraq by a bomb that was "hidden" behind an 8-year-old Iraqi boy.

The fact that this child probably didn't know it was a bomb is immaterial. The point is that some people will sacrifice themselves or others to harm Americans. The child, the older person or the person in a wheelchair in the airport security line may look innocent, but could also - knowingly or unknowingly - be used by others to conceal explosives or weapons. Profiling won't identify these people, as Steve Bozzo suggested [letters, Nov. 22]. Until there is a better way, I applaud the Transportation Security Administration's efforts to ensure our safety when we fly.

Tom Curtis, Arlington

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