The approach, in a nutshell, is centered around looking at people, not just their bags or their shoes or their toiletries. There's profiling, sure, but it's profiling based on behavior:
The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?"Two benign questions. The questions aren't important. The way people act when they answer them is," [transportation security consultant Rafi] Sela said. Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of "distress" — behavioural profiling.
You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side? "The whole time, they are looking into your eyes — which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds,"
When you finally get to the luggage check:
"First, it's fast — there's almost no line. That's because they're not looking for liquids, they're not looking at your shoes. They're not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you," said Sela. "Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes ... and that's how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys."
And here's the kicker: It's faster.
The goal at Ben-Gurion airport is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in a maximum of 25 minutes.
So why don't we do it this way? The article cites bureaucratic inertia and resistance to change, which is certainly part of it. But I think there's something more going on.
See, in order to make a system like that work, you've got to hire smart people and you've got to train them well. And if you want people like that, you've got to pay them well.
A smart, trained workforce demanding a decent wage is the last thing people like Jim DeMint want...hell, they might do something worse than blowing up a plane. They might actually join a union.
You get what you pay for.