What do Richard Reid and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab have in common? Besides being crazed Muslim fanatics hell-bent on killing infidels, both the shoe bomber and the panty bomber were on international passenger flights destined to the United States. Richard Reid was on American Airlines flight 63 from Paris to Miami and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was on Northwest Airlines 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit.
And now... prepare to be outraged.
I recently boarded an international passenger flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Los Angeles, California. I arrived at the airport, checked my luggage and then boarded the plane with a bottle of mineral water in my hand. There were no humiliating body searches and no pornographic scans, just straight from the counter to the gate with no inconveniences at all.
Only after having arrived in the United States and preparing to board a domestic flight to Houston would I experience the degrading humiliation to America's air travellers face on a daily basis.
There are hundreds of international passenger flights which arrive in the United States each week and few if any are subjected to the type of scrutiny that America's domestic travellers are subjected to.
Ironically, the justification we hear for these new invasive proceedures is that we will stop people like Richard Reid and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.