Supposedly here’s what we can expect.
Air travelers will eventually be able to keep their shoes on to pass through security, but the restrictions on carrying liquids on board are likely to remain in place for some time, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a POLITICO Playbook breakfast Tuesday.
As I’ve explained before, sometimes it seems that the only way to get rid of one silly boondoggle is with a more expensive boondoggle. Napolitano suggests that I may be correct.
“The solution to many if not all of these inconveniences is better and better technology,” Napolitano added.
Indeed, we get to keep our shoes on if taxpayers are willing to shell out for expensive equipment. The reason it works is because it aligns the lobbying of equipment manufacturers with those who wish to change silly security rules, together those “bootleggers and Baptists” align to overcome bureaucratic inertia.
The Homeland Security head did not detail the new technology that will be introduced that would allow passengers to keep their shoes on at airport security checkpoints.
I might suggest that the technology ought simply to be “feet.” Those work pretty well at keeping shoes on, at least in my experience.
But are we keeping rules in place because we actually think they’re responsive to, like, actual plans, plots, or danger?
She added, “We don’t have specific or credible information that an attack is pending, that’s not to say it isn’t…There’s no specific or credible threat. That’s the term of art. It’s also a possibility that we will have a lone actor a lone wolf decide, ‘This is a great day to get some attention. I’m going to do something’.”
Some experts have warned that the federal bureaucracy often add layers of precautions but rarely goes back and takes a hard look at whether they’re necessary.
“When we implemented that three-ounce liquids ban in the summer of 2006, did I think that would be a forever thing? No,” Bush homeland security adviser Fran Townsend told POLITICO recently. “It has to do with the complacency and laziness of the bureaucracy.”