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2008/08/01

Why Subway Security Doesn't Make Me Feel Safe

One of the measures put into place to protect against terrorism during the Games was security checks in all subway stations.  Many thought this would lead to huge lines and big hassles, but it has yet to cause any real problems, even during rush hour, though there is a reason why, every station has a different degree of security.  While Tiananmen East is being patrolled by 3 or 4 subway "security" as well as police officers (and occasionally swat police armed with automatic weapons, forcing me to laugh as I passed by), other stations have one or two subway "security" that are easily dodged.  

It's not only that the security can be avoided (especially by foreigners "playing dumb" when called over in Chinese), it's that they are only checking bags.  For those in Beijing who've witnessed the process from the time the security checks were originally put in place, it's well known that these checks have gotten stricter as we get closer to the Games, but there are still a lot of holes.  The glaring one is that they don't actually check what an individual has on his person or any liquids they may be carrying.  They aren't going to install airport style metal detectors that every individual must go through, nor do they test liquids, so all they are doing is forcing would be terrorists to move any weapons from their bag to their person.

With the threat of terrorism supposedly very real, these "security checks" do little to make me feel safer on the subway.  Either get serious about security or give it up, none of this half-assedness that we've come to expect from the government.  Terrorists are usually more committed to their attack then police are at stopping them, but the "security checks" in place are only for show and will do little to deter or stop a real terrorist.

2 comments:

Turtlewind said...

There are no terrorists! It's all an invention by the government; an imaginary enemy helps to keep the people on their side. There's no need for anything more than security theater because there's no real threat to defend against, so stop encouraging them to make our life a nuisance with actually intrusive security measures.

b. cheng said...

Turtlewind, I know its not very famous, but there's this group of people who obviously aren't terrorists called al-qaida, does that ring any bells? Are they not terrorists? The Olympics are a gathering of nations, a gathering for international athletes and a great target for international terrorists, especially in China which doesn't have any background in dealing with international terrorists. But perhaps we should simply ignore them?