Friday, July 22, 2005

He who trades liberty for security deserves neither and will lose both

Alarmed by a new round of attacks in London, police in New York have begun random searches of bags and packages brought into the city's vast subway system.

Brilliant. A system that is truly random -- in which the police exercise no discretion -- is 100 percent useless. Given that more than 4 million people use the subway per day, random searchs won't deter squat.

Moreover check out this HUTA rule: "People who do not submit to a search will be allowed to leave, but will not be permitted into the subway station."

So, let me see if I have this straight: If you’re a terrorist and you don’t want your backpack full of dynamite to be inspected, all you have to do it decline the random search, walk to one of the other 468 stations in NYC, and try again

At the end of the day, all this does set the dangerous precedant of permiting the police to search people without cause.

Note: If the searches are truly random, I don't see a constitutional problem - yet, but we're on the slippery slope, and for what? The police can't check even one-half-of-one percent of the people passing through the subway system each day.