Finding The Bad Guys

Current Security Measures Too Bothersome

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney:


I hate to say this - I love saying things I hate to say - but the airlines are in more trouble than they know because flying simply isn't fun anymore. It used to be exciting to go someplace; now, it's a drag.

Last week in New Orleans, people trying to get home from the Super Bowl waited in line for as long as four hours. I got to the airport at 5:20 Monday morning and had to beg them to get me checked out so I could catch the 7:30 flight.

They say no one's complaining but it's just too unpleasant.

I don't know where they get the security guards either. I was frisked by a guy who wouldn't have known a bomb from a Band-Aid.

I've been going through security checks all my life but nothing like this. Usually some kind of simple ID you hung around your neck was all you needed:

  • Super Bowl 1987 in Pasadena.

  • You never know when I'll want to go back to the Kentucky Derby again so I kept this.

  • This got me into the anchor booth at the Republican Convention in 1996.
  • And here's my War Department ID, 1946. I could get into the White House with this.

  • This was for the Pope's visit to New York in 1987. You probably didn't need this if you were Catholic.

  • One of these gets me in the front door at CBS, 1967. I still have that shirt; 1978, the cameraman must have told me to smile. I've been here since 1949 - you'd think they'd know me at the front door by now.


Something has to happen, though. They’ve got to find a better way to identify the bad guys or the rest of us are going to stay home and watch the world go by on television.

Getting into the Giants football games was a pain in the neck this season because it took so long. I may not go next year. You couldn't even bring a thermos of hot coffee or a bag with a sandwich in it.

Security people probably had something going with the concessions people inside the stadium selling coffee and sandwiches.

We need some system for permanently identifying safe people. Most of us are never going to blow anything up and there's got to be something better than one of these photo IDs - a tattoo somewhere maybe.

The Saudis used an American devise to scan the eyes of travelers. I wouldn't mind having something planted permanently in my arm that would identify me.

If we don't do something, people are going to stop flying. If they stop flying and I don't go to the Giants games, it means the bastards have won.


© MMII, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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