Random patdowns began at 30 international airports across Japan this week.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the random body searches are being conducted to check for chemical and plastic explosive materials that are not picked up by metal detectors, TBS reported.

Oh good, Japan joins in the fun of groping passengers in the name of security. I feel safer already.

The current TSA measures create an even greater harm: loss of liberty. Airports are effectively rights-free zones. Security officers have enormous power over you as a passenger. You have limited rights to refuse a search. Your possessions can be confiscated. You cannot make jokes, or wear clothing, that airport security does not approve of. You cannot travel anonymously. (Remember when we would mock Soviet-style “show me your papers” societies? That we’ve become inured to the very practice is a harm.) And if you’re on a certain secret list, you cannot fly, and you enter a Kafkaesque world where you cannot face your accuser, protest your innocence, clear your name, or even get confirmation from the government that someone, somewhere, has judged you guilty. These police powers would be illegal anywhere but in an airport, and we are all harmed—individually and collectively—by their existence.

I sin harme over Anders Behring Breiviks ugjerninger overgår de politiske kommentatorene hverandre i å finne uttrykk for sin avsky. Men de bommer når denne avskyen rettes mot Breiviks framtreden i retten. Bildet av en «iskald» Anders Behring Breivik som «ryster og sjokkerer» med sin oppførsel stemmer ikke med virkeligheten.

Den Anders Behring Breivik som sitter i tiltaleboksen i rettssal 250 i Oslo tingrett, er en drapsmann som gjør det han får beskjed om og som svarer samarbeidsvillig og reflekterende på spørsmål. At hans gjerninger 22. juli i fjor ikke er til å begripe, er ikke det samme som at alt han i dag sier og gjør er monstrøst.

Det er et tap for den norske offentligheten at ikke alle interesserte gis anledning til å følge rettsprosessen direkte slik at de selv kunne ha dannet seg et inntrykk av det det som foregår og mannen som sitter tiltalt, uten politiske kommentatorers filtre.

2011 råder det inga tvivel om hur de friserade sanningarna staplades på rad för att driva igenom kriget mot terrorismen och invasionen av Irak. Men där vi åtminstone i Sverige har haft lätt att fälla kritiska omdömen om de ansvariga politikerna för deras agerande, har vi haft så mycket svårare att betrakta nöjesindustrins aktörer som medansvariga för det samhälle som vi nu håller på att skapa. Där vi gång på gång väljer slutenhet i stället för öppenhet och kontroll i stället för frihet.

The US has become estranged from the rest of the world. It is partly its own fault, but the rest of the world also shares some of the blame -- because many only see America as a perpetrator, and no longer regard it as a victim.

This was most evident on the day that bin Laden was killed. Americans cheered spontaneously on the streets when they heard the news. But many people in other parts of the world did not want to celebrate with them. They reacted with agitation to the openly flaunted joy over the terrorist's death. The alienation of the others often sounded patronizing and self-satisfied.

But it underlined the fact that the victims of the attacks were no longer in the foreground. Instead, the sins of the original victim were brought into focus -- America's sins. The superpower, to a large extent, only has itself to blame. But that is still sad nonetheless.

Some neocon idiocrat has found a link between porn and terrorism. Or has she?

Pornography is not a necessary cause of terrorism. The abolition of pornography would not lead to the cessation of terrorism in the world. Terrorism existed well before graphic pornography and its mass spread via the internet.

Likewise, pornography is not a sufficient cause for terrorism. There are pornography users, even addicts, who do not become terrorists. [...]

Yet pornography now appears frequently in the possession of violent terrorists and their supporters, including Osama bin Laden. [...]

I wonder whether the pornography of today-now ubiquitous and increasingly grotesque-is one of the influences warping the mentality of those who aspire to or who actually go on to engage in ever more grotesque public violence.

In other words, she openly admits that porn doesn't actually have anything to do with terrorism. But they both make her angry so, surely, they must still be related somehow.

We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.

US President Barack Obama gets precious few opportunities to announce a victory. So it's no wonder he chose grand words on Sunday night as the TV crews' spotlights shone upon him and he informed the nation about the deadly strike against Osama bin Laden. "Justice has been done," he said.

It may be that this sentence comes back to haunt him in the years to come. What is just about killing a feared terrorist in his home in the middle of Pakistan? For the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, and for patriotic Americans who saw their grand nation challenged by a band of criminals, the answer might be simple. But international law experts, who have been grappling with the question of the legal status of the US-led war on terror for years, find Obama's pithy words on Sunday night more problematic.

A passenger managed to waltz past JFK's ramped-up security gantlet with three boxcutters in his carry-on luggage -- easily boarding an international flight while carrying the weapon of choice of the 9/11 hijackers, sources told The Post yesterday.

The stunning breach grounded the flight for three hours Saturday night and drew fury from Port Authority cops, who accused the Transportation Security Administration of being asleep on the job.

...

The TSA spokeswoman Davis insisted that the traveling public was not at risk.

"There have been a number of additional security layers that have been implemented on aircraft that would prevent someone from causing harm with boxcutters," she insisted.

Presumably, he didn't bring any toothpaste on board, so there was never any real danger.

FOR the first time since World War II, Japan is establishing a secret foreign intelligence service to spy on China and North Korea and gather information to prevent terrorist attacks.

The spy unit has been created under the wing of Japan's peak intelligence agency, the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office, or Naicho. It is modelled on Western intelligence services such as the CIA, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service and Britain's MI6.

The existence of the new Japanese espionage capability is revealed in a leaked US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and provided exclusively to the Herald.

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