EgyptAir Tragedy: A Reminder of Why Security Matters

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Early reports differ on the number of passengers on board, but even the most conservative estimates say that at least 56 people could be dead following the disappearance of EgyptAir Flight MS804.

The plane dropped off radar screens early Thursday morning while flying somewhere over the Mediterranean Sea. While there were no official explanations for the plane’s demise, the early speculation centered around the possibility of terrorism. It’s only been a few short months since ISIS operatives brought a plane down over the Sinai peninsula.

Not one to wait for a consensus, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump tweeted: “Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness!”

The media and Hillary will have a field day with that tweet if this turns out to be something innocent, but Trump isn’t exactly out on a weak limb. As one CNN aviation analyst said, planes don’t just fall out of the sky for no reason. Certainly, we should not be confused about the intentions and capabilities of these terrorists.

Unless this plane’s investigation heads down a murky, Malaysian-esque path, we will likely know the cause soon. ISIS may help us out by claiming responsibility. But even if this turns out to be a technical malfunction, it alert us to the deterioration of our own domestic airline security. Bad from the beginning, TSA is now purposely making things hard on American passengers to make a political point. Well, great. Maybe we should take this time to really reexamine our security practices.

Right now, we’re doing little more than playacting. We aren’t trying to catch terrorists; we’re funding yet another useless and expensive government-backed program to make people feel safe. In the meantime, we’re inconveniencing millions of passengers every year. Reports have shown just how easy it is to get a weapon or a bomb past the TSA agents. We responded to the worst terrorist attack in American history by stocking our airports with security guards barely making minimum wage. That’s going to stop Al Qaeda?

Unfortunately, every time our government decides to “do something” about a problem, they throw billions at the wrong solutions. Until we have a president willing to overlook political correctness and distinguish a silly idea from a good one, we’re almost better off leaving well enough alone.