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11/20/2005 Archived Entry: "Airport lie detectors"

IN A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF NEWS-RELEASE "JOURNALISM," Reuters reports that airline passengers may soon be subjected to voice-stress lie-detector tests. And get this. After noting that some 12 percent will show signs of nervousness (e.g. guilt, according to the promoters), the article jumps to this conclusion:

"Some may feel nervous because they have used drugs, while having no intention to smuggle drugs," he said. "The whole thing is performed in a low-key manner to avoid causing anxiety."

Uh huh. Noboby but criminals will feel nervous or stressed about one more freedom-threatening mind invasion. And being forced to don headphones and answer questions about whether you plan acts of terror or are smuggling drugs is "low key."

Let's not forget that the worst sociopaths can often breeze through "lie detectors" without a hint of nervousness. And let's also not forget that people with highly scrupulous consciences, or people who don't see the world in terms of yes/no, black/white may show stress even at the simplest questions. Not to mention all those millions who will show stress just because being distrusted, grilled, and generally abused in the name of security is -- despite the fantasy claims of marketers and cops -- effing stressful.

No wonder so many airlines are going bankrupt. They welcomed and continue to tolerate increasing abuse of their customers. Now, if only governments that adopt idiotic "security" technologies would follow the airlines into bankruptcy.

(Thank you to SL, CASPIAN, and others.)

Posted by Claire @ 12:13 PM CST

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