Finally: TSA to Screen Behavior

Posted: Aug 02, 2011 8:19 AM

In a small improvement for TSA, the agency will be implementing Israeli style behavioral screening techniques in addition to naked body scans and uncomfortable full body pat downs.

The training for the Israeli-style screening — a projected $1 billion national program dubbed Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques — kicks off today at Logan International Airport and will be put to use in Terminal A on Aug. 15. It requires screeners to make quick reads of whether passengers pose a danger or a terror threat based on their reactions to a set of routine questions.

But security experts wonder whether Transportation Safety Administration agents are up to the challenge after an embarrassing string of blunders — including patting down a 95-year-old grandmother in Florida and making her remove her adult diaper and frisking a 3-year-old girl who screamed “stop touching me” at a checkpoint in Tennessee.

I’m not convinced that the TSA has good enough people to make the Israeli approach work on a large scale,” said Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor who has followed the TSA at his blog,

But he noted, “Almost anything would be an improvement over the clown show we’ve got now.”

"Don't touch my junk."