23 August 2007

...and the face police

Meanwhile, news reaches Hofflimits of a new breed of security officer that will be patrolling US airports from next year: Behaviour Detection Officers at JFK will be keeping an eye on your "micro expressions" for tell-tale signs that you might be a terrorist (story here). Although suicide bombers try to conceal their emotions as they prepare to detonate their payload, they give themselves away by "facial flashes." Self-appointed experts - who seem to be a mixture of phrenologists and eugenicists, with about as much credibility as either - have determined that fear and disgust are the key things to look for because they can hint of deception.

So Americans can now forget the mundane, constitutionally-protected legal oddity of Probable Cause; from 2008, if they show a little too much disgust, they might also be treated to a full cavity search and trip to Guantanamo Bay. After all, what possible reason could there be for showing "fear and disgust" after you find out your flight has been delayed, your baggage lost and that the only place to eat is Taco Bell? Let's hope they don't try similar tactics at Heathrow, or else they'd be forced to arrest more or less everyone who entered the airport.

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