Amtrak to Start Passenger Screening
Amtrak is going to start randomly screening passengers, in an effort to close the security-theater gap between trains and airplanes.
It's kind of random:
The teams will show up unannounced at stations and set up baggage screening areas in front of boarding gates. Officers will randomly pull people out of line and wipe their bags with a special swab that is then put through a machine that detects explosives. If the machine detects anything, officers will open the bag for visual inspection.
Anybody who is selected for screening and refuses will not be allowed to board and their ticket will be refunded.
In addition to the screening, counterterrorism officers with bomb-sniffing dogs will patrol platforms and walk through trains, and sometimes will ride the trains, officials said.
This is the most telling comment:
"There is no new or different specific threat," [Amtrak chief executive Alex] Kummant said. "This is just the correct step to take."
Why is it the correct step to take? Because it makes him feel better. That's the very definition of security theater.
Posted on February 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM • 62 Comments