Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Progress on Air Cargo? Just minutes after CONTRAPOSITIVE raised the issue of air cargo screening on passenger planes, a major development took place: The Transportation Security Administration announced that it will soon require screening of freight cargo on both passenger and commercial planes. (Whether the folks at the TSA have been reading CONTRAPOSITIVE remains an open question.)

While it's too early to draw any firm conclusions about what the new screening standards mean, there are couple discouraging signs. First, the standards appear to call for random, rather than comprehensive screening. And second, cargo operators won't be required to employ the full range of screening techniques (including, for example, explosives-detection systems designed to detect bomb residue) that are used to screen passenger bags--at least that's the impression left by the early piece on CNN.

In any event, these are preliminary observations. More to come on this topic, and hopefully soon.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.