Nothing To Fear Except Water and Socks

Bruce Schneier points to an article that suggests (absent any specific examples) that terrorists have taken advantage of bomb anxieties to heighten fear and waste resources by leaving fake bombs in public places. Since security mania requires citizens always to be vigilant (or paranoid) about the possibility that anyone’s backpack might be full of C4, the terrorists thereby underscore and reinforce the fear reflex and keep security forces busy on needless errands — and in the long run, may perhaps diminish suspicion of a package that contains an actual bomb.
 
If on the other hand we just acknowledged that we and the world are better off if we refuse to be terrified, if we support ordinary good police work, if we prepare to sustain some casualties in the interest of continuing as an open society that shows the world what kind of community sensible, confident, reasonable people of goodwill can build up — nah, that’s crazy talk.

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  1. It has occurred to me that the entire US airline system could be brought to a halt simply with a coordinated effort at shutting down security at a number of key airports by walking through unauthorized.

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