The threat of underwear bombs “does not justify the indiscriminate use of body scanners for primary screening,” explains Heritage fellow James Carafano:
Eliminating the threat of serious liquid bombs by restricting carry-on liquids took that immediate danger of the table. Small bombs strapped to bodies or air mailed are far from guaranteed to bring down a plane. Sure any bomb on a plane might do some damage–but let’s face it you could also just stab people in the neck with sharpened pencils to kill a couple of passengers on a plane. And if you wanted to kill a handful of people with a bomb, you could just blow yourself up at the ticket counter before you got near security.
That is not to say that sensible primary screening, or more thorough and rare secondary screening, should end. But we should be spending our security buck where it gives us the biggest bang.
The best security is intelligence and law enforcement that finds and stops the bad people before they get near the plane. Let’s continue to do common sense screening at the airport, but lets stop pretending that is the best line of defense.
TSA should back off requiring the body scanners for primary screening.