With the demise of the worst aspects of the porno-scanners comes new hope for people who want to be treated like human beings when passing through airport security: We'll soon be able to keep our shoes on. "We are moving towards an intelligence and risk-based approach to how we screen," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano tells Politico. "I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on." Woo-hoo! Basic human dignity! However she noted that "one of the last things you will [see] is the reduction or limitation on liquids," meaning our pricey, extra-hold Staten Island-strength hair epoxy will still be thrown away.
Yet Napolitano didn't sound hopeful about airport security getting meaningfully less intrusive, at least for a long time. "We can't adopt blanket exclusions because the exclusion is exploited by terrorists," she said, referring to expansions of the TSA's new practice of not patting down small children. As for the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, "many things have already been put in place not because there’s a specific, credible threat but we want Sunday to be a day of commemoration and remembrances and we want it to be safe." There was no mention of any meaningful reform of the TSA, which has been accused of violating the rights of passengers as well as participating in other criminal activity.
So leave it to a member of the Bush administration's homeland security team to make Napolitano's remarks sound like, well, someone from the Bush administration: “When we implemented that three-ounce liquids ban in the summer of 2006, did I think that would be a forever thing? No. It has to do with the complacency and laziness of the bureaucracy.” A complacency that graduates of Richard Reid's Shoebomber Academy For Disheveled Gentlemen are just itching to exploit.