The Instigator
aircraftmechgirl
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
Deathbeforedishonour
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Israeli-Style Behavioral Profiling in Airports is Superior to the American Tech-Based System

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,324 times Debate No: 17494
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

aircraftmechgirl

Pro

I am proposing a debate in which I will argue that ethnic and behavioral profiling, such as the system used by Israel at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, is superior to the American technology-based security system.

First round is for acceptance, with positions to be stated in later rounds.
Deathbeforedishonour

Con

I accept good luck to my opponent your going to need it. :)
Debate Round No. 1
aircraftmechgirl

Pro

Evidence shows that profiling is effective within the context of human intelligence, and its use in airport security cannot be understated.

Outline:

1. I will explain the need for profiling.
2. I will explain the American system.
2. I will explain how the Israeli system works.
3. I will show that the Israeli system is more reliable, and far safer overall based on the apparent threat.

The Need for Profiling

According to TROP, an organization that monitors Islamic terrorism throughout the world, as of today, 2011 there have been 17,446 fatal terrorist acts (including bombings, aircraft hijackings, kidnappings, etc.) committed by Islamist groups since 9/11. [http://www.thereligionofpeace.com...] While it may be politically incorrect and unpopular to state, the truth is that airborne terrorism is committed by a very specific subset of the population, with a very specific belief system. Regardless of how we hold up the idea of being "tolerant" as correct, the fact remains that Mormons and Catholics --and Jews--are not attempting to blow up the world.

How Does the American System Work?


The United States uses a "patch" system that is purely reaction-driven. Richard Reid hid explosives in his shoes; therefore, we all take our shoes off. A Nigerian hid explosives in his underwear, therefore now we are subject to full body scans. Screeners are technology-minded: They are concerned with what is in a passenger's bag but pay no real attention to what is in a passenger's face, body language, or mannerisms. Most passengers go through the entire checkpoint screening process without ever being directly challenged or asked a single question.

Passengers in the American system do not come under security scrutiny until they step into the ropes, so to speak, of a security checkpoint. Post-9/11 tensions about anti-Islamic sentiment have resulted in a media storm and accompanying political uproar anytime passengers of Middle Eastern descent or Islamic faith are subjected to additional screening or kept from boarding their flight, even after exhibiting erratic behavior that disturbed or frightened other passengers or crew.


In addition, the average TSA agent may be a high-school dropout, with little or no security experience.[1] They are not trained in human behavior, nor do they receive instruction on threat detection and/or assessment. Their history is full of near-misses and outright mishaps, up to and including allowing loaded firearms on flights. In fact, sixteen airports in the U.S. havegotten rid of the TSA in favor of private security firms due to incompetence and inability to perform their job to the highest standards of safety and integrity. [3]

How Does the Israeli System Work?

Agents at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv are members of Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence agency. They are all former members of the Israeli Defense Forces (prior military), speak at least two languages, and have at least one college degree. [4] They are trained in counterterrorism, behavioral analysis, threat assessment, and facial microexpressions. Agents drill constantly, and if anything gets through, the offending agent is fired on the spot. [5]


Where Profiling Comes into Play

Passengers at Ben Gurion are stopped before they even get out of their cars, and asked two questions: "How are you?" and "Where are you coming from?" The behavior of the person answering is more important than their answers themselves. Those who are Jewish and Israeli move to their plane with little hassle. However, passengers who are foreign are subjected to a far more stringent security protocol, including several conversations with Shin Bet agents who use their training to ascertain whether the passenger is a threat. Those who are of Arabic descent are given the most scrutiny as agents use a multi-level human-factor analysis that takes into account race, religion, general appearance and behavior.

Bret Stephens, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, mused in 2010 about the point a civilization becomes incompetent, stating that “when it fails to learn the lessons of its past…when it becomes crippled…it puts innocent lives recklessly at risk. Put simply,” Stephens continued, “we do not acquit ourselves morally by trying to abstain from a choice of evils. We just allow the nearest evil to make the choice for us”.

In 1993, French sociologist Michel Wieviorka, while arguing against racism, inadvertently added more weight to the defense of profiling in security applications. “Some institutions,” he wrote, “…may use methods which, although not deliberately or explicitly racist in themselves, nevertheless contribute to the spread of serious outbreaks of violence”. The current American system of political correctness focuses more on preserving the “feelings” of certain groups than the safety of others. This has contributed to terrorist acts that would have been thwarted under a security system that allowed profiling of the group statistically responsible for air terrorism.

Does It Work?

In short, YES. Ben Gurion airport has never--ever--experienced a hijacking, even though they exist in the middle of the terrorist nexus, and are bordered on all sides by countries who seek their destruction. In addition, Israel has not seen an airborne terrorist threat in over 30 years. Contrast that with the U.S., who sees "near-misses" quite regularly.

The choice NOT to profile may give certain groups warm, fuzzy feelings but safety is not meant to feel good. The American governent's first and foremost responsibility is to protect its citizens. Profiling is about safety, period.

I would like to pose the following question to my opponent:
Pretend you are in an airport, about to enter security. You have a choice of two lines. In the first, the agents may be uneducated, they barely look at you, and never once ask you anything for fear they may offend you. In the second, the agents are extremely intense yet efficient, they are highly trained, they stare you down, make you feel uncomfortable, and because they are all of these things, you step onto your plane knowing with 100% certainty--based on a proven track record--that no one with evil intent is on the plane with you. Which line would you choose?


Sources:
[1]http://www.legal-criminal-justice-schools.com...
[2]http://abcnews.go.com...
[3]http://current.newsweek.com...
[4]http://www.bloomberg.com...
[5]http://articles.cnn.com...

Deathbeforedishonour

Con

My opponet has a pretty sound argument about the two security systems supported by loads of evedence, but my arguments are based on reason.

Rebuttals:



R1: What's the point?

My opponent puts a great deal of infeses on behavioral examination., but I would like to to ask her a simple question. What's the point? The American security focus on detecting the weopons, if you take the terrorest's guns away what threat is he? There is no need to know the persons behavior, because if they have weopons in there backage or on themselves, then they are going to be taken into custody.



R2: Is a collage education really needed for this job?

My opponent says that one reason that the Israeli system is better is because their agents are more educated, but does a American TSA agent really need to be educated? There main gould is to find anf confinscate weopons. This isn't a hard job considering what they do is use medal ditectors and scanners to pick up any kind of weapons they find on terrorists. They don't need to be trained in a second language, and they don't need to be ex military to complete a simple task.



Answer to my opponent's question:

I would choose the first line, because it would most likely not take as long as the second line, and because it would be just as good because I would be flying knowing that the TSA agents confiscated every potential weopon that was found on people.




My argument

C1: TSA has more funding.

The TSA is branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, so it gets government funding. It gets more funding then Israel does. It gets 8.1 billion dollars worth of funding[1]. Like my opponent said 'it is the first duty of the government to pertect it's citizens, and thats exactly what the governmet does. Israel is small and tiny compard to that of America so it doesn't have as much money to give to airport and meritime security. Therefore, TSA has better technology and better funding then that of Israel's security team. TSA is better.

Vote Con!

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
aircraftmechgirl

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for his response. I shall answer each rebuttal separately.

R1: What's the point?

My opponent asks what the point is in using a behavioral/human analysis instead of technological focus, and makes the claim that if a terrorist's weapons are taken away, they are not a threat.

First of all, his argument is defeated by simply pointing out that Richard Reid was able to get on a flight with a bomb in his shoe. A Nigerian Muslim was able to smuggle explosives in his underwear. Last week someone left a stun gun in the seat compartment of a JetBlue flight. Clearly, not all terrorists are getting their weapons taken away.

Isaak Yeffet is the former head of security for El Al and now an aviation security consultant in New York, so he is well-versed in both systems. He explained why behavioral analysis is important.

"In 2002, we had Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. This man gave the security people all the suspicious signs that any passenger could show. The man got a British passport in Belgium, not in England. Number Two: he flew to Paris, he bought a one-way ticket from Paris to Florida. He paid cash. He came to the airport with no luggage. What else do I need to know that this passenger is suspicious?"

He goes on to explain that the American system, in the wake of this, had the opportunity to change how they look at passengers...but they dropped the ball.

"What did we learn from this? Just to tell the passenger from now on, you take off your shoes when you come to the airport? This I call a patch on top of a patch."

Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab's father called the embassy and told them that his son had contacted him and said his father would not be hearing from him again. His father told the embassy his son was planning an airborne terrorist act, but nothing was done. His son was on the list of people connected to al Qaeda. As Yeffet explains, "I don't need more to understand that when he comes, I am not looking for more evidence. He is suspicious; I have to take care of him."

AbdulMutallab paid $3000 cash for his ticket. No one in the TSA knew that he had paid cash. No one knew he had called his father and was planning a terrorist attack. No one knew he was connected to al Qaeda. And because the American system doesn't care about people, only weapons, Abdul Mutallab got on a plane, and tried to detonate plastic explosives in his underwear.

Under the Israeli system, both of these men would have never made it onto a plane, because their heightened security net--based on the fact that these men were part of a demographic statistically known to be responsible for almost all airborne terrorism--would have unearthed their motives during the interview process.

R2: Is a collage [sic] education really needed for this job?

My opponent points out that since all TSA agents do is scan for weapons, they don't need an education. However, his argument here is dependent on R1 being correct. I have just disproven R1 above by giving two examples of terrorist acts that would have been prevented by the Israeli system--specifically, by agents trained to analyze the suspicious activity of passengers. TSA agents did not catch either of these men because a) they were not paying attention to the passenger, and b) their "simple task" was apparently not so simple, since they failed at it. Therefore, by disproving R1, I also disprove R2.

Answer to my question:

My opponent states that he would rather choose the American style line because it would "not take as long," and believes it would be just as safe because "the TSA agents confiscated every potential weopon that was found on people."

Since we have already shown conclusively that TSA agents do NOT confiscate every weapon on passengers, compared to the Israeli system, which has never, in its history, resulted in someone getting a weapon on a plane, my opponent would be choosing the line that is less safe.

Now I will rebut his argument.

C1: TSA has more funding.

My opponent makes the point that TSA is "better" because it gets 8.1 billion dollars of funding. The obvious question is, if they're so funded, why are they so incompetent? The simple answer is lack of education, training, and focus on the things that matter in security. Israel has a perfect security record--with less funding. If anything, my opponent just added weight to my argument.

The truth of the matter is, since 2002, 16 major airports have already kicked out TSA in favor of a civilian security force. Several other airports are considering doing the same. Why is this? The answer is clear. The TSA is NOT better than the Israeli system. I have proven this.

Vote Pro!

Sources:
http://www.thestar.com...
http://articles.cnn.com...;
http://www.time.com...
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com...;

Deathbeforedishonour

Con

Deathbeforedishonour forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
aircraftmechgirl

Pro

My opponent has, unfortunately, vanished amid proof that he plagiarized in another debate. He will not be completing this debate. Thus, I ask that you vote Pro. :)
Deathbeforedishonour

Con

Deathbeforedishonour forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
000ike
This lady is full of unorthodox opinions. I've subconsciously developed a bias against her arguments and root for her opponents to win. However, her argument here is actually pretty interesting.
Posted by aircraftmechgirl 6 years ago
aircraftmechgirl
Well, I just started the same argument with someone else, so maybe you'll get to watch it anyway. ;)
Posted by airmax1227 6 years ago
airmax1227
Well I'm bummed...this was a good topic...Probly best that you didn't waste your time with DBDH though...
Posted by aircraftmechgirl 6 years ago
aircraftmechgirl
Apparently since my opponent got caught plagiarizing on another highly visible debate, this particular one will be frozen in limbo for a few days. My apologies to those who were actually watching it.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
aircraftmechgirlDeathbeforedishonourTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits, ergo victory.
Vote Placed by kohai 6 years ago
kohai
aircraftmechgirlDeathbeforedishonourTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by ohnoyoulost 6 years ago
ohnoyoulost
aircraftmechgirlDeathbeforedishonourTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit, and "TSA has more funding."...come on.
Vote Placed by thett3 6 years ago
thett3
aircraftmechgirlDeathbeforedishonourTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit, and let's be honest, Pro was winning this debate anyway.