Friday, August 18, 2006


This just in:

Houston airport screeners to be trained in behavior watching

HOUSTON -- Security personnel at Houston's two major airports may soon be watching for strange or possibly alarming behaviors and facial expressions among throngs of travelers.

Mark Mancuso, deputy director of public safety and technology at the Houston Airport System, said members of his staff are slated to be trained in observation and detection techniques to see unusual behavior in airline passengers that might indicate malicious intent.
You can read the full article *HERE*.

I’ve been through screeners many times. Once a sniffer dog got overly interested in my butt when I was trying to board a flight to Mexico. What do people smuggle into Mexico? I think I had a case for sexual harassment. It was obvious what the dog wanted. It made me feel like an object.

I’ve done the Tijuana border crossing many times. Going south is free sailing. Coming back can sometimes bring a problem. My first time down there, a long time ago, the traffic was light. I rolled down my window for the US border guard.

“Are you bringing back any alcohol, sir?” he asked.

“Yeah. Just a bottle of tequila.”

“I’ll have to confiscate that, sir.”


So, much to my amazement, he took my bottle.

“You mean,” I asked him, “all I had to say was ‘no, I didn’t have any,’ and I could have kept it?”

He didn’t answer.

What a system that was. Only the people who told the truth were penalized.

Another time I decided to act guilty just to see what the US border guard would do. So when I pulled up to him I acted nervous and wouldn’t make eye contact. Sure enough, he ordered me off to the side and did a search of my car. How about that? No way would I tell him I was putting on an act just to see how he would react. That might have pissed him off. So our border guards have been doing behavior watching for a long time.

It was easy, being innocent, to act guilty. Would it be easy, if I were guilty, to act innocent? I don’t know. That problem hasn’t come up.


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