Profiling: On the Ground & in the Air

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Profiling: On the Ground & in the Air

The Justice Department has chosen the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on America to implement a new program that will fingerprint and photograph thousands of foreign visitors to this country. The security program, designed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, will begin at several unnamed ports of entry and will mostly affect those from Muslim and Middle Eastern countries.

In other words, such people will be profiled. And it's about time, too, because elderly white women of the type I frequently see searched at airports, do not look like the people who have done and wish to do us harm.

Now the question I have is this: if profiling is a good thing for those entering this country, why isn't it also good for those already in the country who are flying on domestic airliners? It's because of transportation secretary Norman Manetta that the current silly system prevails. He had a bad experience during World War II when he and his parents were placed in Japanese interment camps. That was then. This is now. If the INS can profile - and it should - so should domestic airport security. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.