The New York Civil Liberties Union's position on searching bags at the subway is fairly straightforward:
- Suspicionless searches are unconstitutional.
- Suspicion itself also is unconstitutional.
The left-wing organization is laughably contending in a lawsuit that random searches of bags at New York subway entrances are unconstitutional. Random searches. Of public transit passengers.
Hello? What's the difference between a subway and an airplane? Aside from the wings, and the fact that one's above ground and the other below, they're both metal tubes holding dozens of innocent, vulnerable passengers. And not even the kookiest, most liberal judge on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - the San Francisco-based "Tofu Court" - would rule that searches of airline passengers are unconstitutional. How could random searches of subway passengers be any less constitutional?
We do agree with the NYCLU contention that the random searches are silly and pointless. Teen-age girls from New Rochelle and little old ladies from Poughkeepsie aren't going to be attacking their country at the mouth of New York's subway system.
Ah, but it's quite possible that Muslim extremists might.
Yet, the NYCLU also opposes searches based on suspicion of Mideastern men.
So there you have it. According to the NYCLU, you can't search for explosives among subway passengers either with suspicion or without.
That's just nuts. And it's an invitation to terrorists to stage a London-style attack on America's mass transit systems.
Political correctness will be the death of us.
Certainly racial profiling has become a four-letter word. But not all four-letter words are obscene. At last check, "safe" was a four-letter word.
The simple fact is, statistical analysis is a critical tool in fighting crime. If there is a profile of an attacker or attackers that holds up to statistical scrutiny and probability, it would be illogical to ignore it.
On a more practical level, we'd be a nation of imbeciles to look away from the truth.
Opponents of profiling always trot out Timothy McVeigh as supposed proof that profiling 1) doesn't work and 2) never includes whites. Wrong on both counts. Fact is, white skinheads and militia members have been quite extensively profiled by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for decades.
Ignoring the truth, and risking mass casualties in order to assuage feelings, is unacceptable. Suspicion falls where suspicion falls. It's not our imagination. The West is under attack from young Mideastern Muslims.
The day that reasonable suspicion is outlawed is the day the outlaws win.
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