“Each of these steps raises the bar to an attack. None of this is perfect. None of them is foolproof. But we’re always better off when we build higher levels of security,” [Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff] said.
It becomes increasingly clear that Chertoff seeks to lull the entire nation into a false sense of security. Requiring everyone entering the country to show a single document so that security officers only have to worry about recognizing that one document does not make us safer. In fact, it makes us less safe. It’s like taking all the passwords you have for your bank, your credit card, your email, your whatever, and making them one long, random string of characters. It’s really hard to break that string. But if someone breaks it, or steals it, they know everything about you.
It doesn’t matter how hard it is to forge a passport. It’s not necessary to forge one. Just steal one. All terrorists are Arab guys with beards and turbans, right? And don’t they all look the same? How do you know that the guy coming through your security checkpoint, most of his face concealed by a beard, is actually the guy pictured on the passport he hands you? And do we honestly think that no one is capable of recruiting someone with a clean passport to blow up a plane or something? We can’t possibly believe that we have a list of everyone who might ever wish to do the United States harm.
Someday, I hope people look back on this time in our history and realize how stupid we’re being. And I hope it happens before we’ve done irreparable harm to the country.