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TIA does not mean better security

Through programs like CAPPS II and TIA, we are creating an Orwellian society that will never be able to guarantee security.

In response to the August 8 Perspectives column by Charles Cooper, "Hanging DARPA out to dry":

Your argument equates total information awareness with total safety; an indefensible conclusion, given that it is only easy to piece the terrorist attack puzzle together after known terrorists emerge. Predicting the future is somewhat trickier given the possibility of surprise.

If the Pentagon cannot be protected from an air attack, no particular location can be secure. With only one commercial air route in and out of the Washington, D.C., area, it is hard to believe that the rogue hijacked plane (on Sept. 11, 2001) was completely untraceable by military radar, though commercial sources may have been "blind."

We have adequate intelligence and choose not to defend ourselves adequately using known measures. One always-on transponder attached to a remote, non-cabin area in each plane could greatly improve airline security. Instead, we choose to strip-search grandma at the airport. Through programs like CAPPS (Computer-Aided Passenger Prescreening System) II and TIA, we are creating an Orwellian society that will never be able to guarantee security.

Diane Bowser
Slippery Rock, Penna.