Saturday, July 17, 2004

Morons of the Day Award?

So, ok, does this make any sense?

Beards are out. So are jeans and athletic shoes. Suit coats are in, even on the steamiest summer days.

That dress code, imposed by the Department of Homeland Security, makes federal air marshals uneasy - and not just because casual clothes are more comfortable in cramped airline seats. The marshals fear that their appearance makes it easier for terrorists to identify them, according to a professional group representing more than 1,300 air marshals.

"If a 12-year-old can pick them out, a trained terrorist has no problem picking them out," said John D. Amat, a spokesman for the group, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association...

Andrea Houck, 52, who was traveling through New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport this week, said that she thought federal air marshals should be "totally undercover."

"Look around you," Ms. Houck said as she pointed to other passengers waiting in the food court. "Most people are traveling in T-shirts, sweatshirts and khakis." She added: "If I was a terrorist and I spotted someone dressed like an air marshal in a suit, I wouldn't get on that flight. I would get on another one."
Why not just make 'em wear nametags, or hang their badges on their suitcoat breast pockets? Is the air marshall program is being administered by the bureaucratic equivalent of the Keystone Kops? This just doesn't seem make a whole lot of sense.

But feel free to persuade me otherwise. (I'm a frequent flyer, so no bullshitting allowed.)