Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Maybe Complimentary Lie Detector Tests Will Come With Future Tickets

Suspects' body language can blow their cover
BOSTON — Carl Maccario noticed it the instant he watched a tape of three Sept. 11 hijackers going through security at Dulles International Airport.

Not one of the men looked at security guards.

"They all looked away and had their heads down," Maccario says.

Avoiding eye contact with authorities is the kind of behavior that could indicate someone may be planning a terrorist attack, says Maccario, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) program analyst at Boston's Logan International Airport. "The fear of discovery changes people's behavior and body language," he says.

Next year, the TSA says it will train screeners at 40 airports in behavior analysis. The screeners will join a growing number of police officers learning to detect the subtle, often unspoken clues that terrorists and criminals could display.

The technique is called behavior detection or behavior-pattern recognition. It's rooted in the notion that people convey emotions in subconscious gestures, facial expressions, speech patterns and answers to simple questions such as what flight they are taking.

Careful observation and questions of escalating intensity can unmask possible terrorists, who typically become anxious and deceptive around authorities, says Rafi Ron, former security chief at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport. Ron founded New Age Security Solutions in Virginia in October 2001 to teach police how to detect "indicators" of a possible terrorist.

How long will it take terrorists to figure out this one?

Behavior detection is "a recognized and legitimate law enforcement tool," says George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. "But it's also ripe for abuse. A person's observations are often colored by one's bias and prejudices."

Tests haven't been done in real settings such as an airport or on whether a terrorist could learn to appear honest.

Ekman says he has tried for 15 years to get the government to study behavior detection in places such as airports.

"Lab studies have proven people can detect liars," Ekman says. "We need studies to see if training can help people in the field."

Text bolded for emphasis by me.



  1. Maybe we're not making eye contact because:

    A) We're chasing our kids or trying to prevent the 2 yo from boarding on his own (this really happened to me in Atlanta).

    B) We're "negotiating" the 30th sibling squabble of the last hour.

    C) We're afraid to make eye contact as they take it to mean, "Please, jack me and my kids up. Do body and shoe searches on everyone because we're not frazzled enough from travling the 13 hours overseas."

    D) We're digging for the id's and paperwork required for the 6th time in 50 yards.

    E) The boy has to go to the bathroom. Again.

    F) We just got OFF the plane from the afore mentioned 13 hour trip and the "big" cat just couldn't wait anymore. The big cat made a big doody in his kennel. And Big Daddy just had to do his best to clean up the mess with 1 ply paper towels and water from the bathroom. While big cat howled the enitre time his mortification of doody-ing in his crate. And having to sit next to it, stepping in it, and getting it on himself. We're not making eye contact because we are ashamed of the smell eminating from the luggage cart. And the howling. And the boys has to go the the bathroom. Again. Even though he was just in there for 20 minutes with big cat, Big Daddy and the big mess. (Yes, this really happened, too.)

    G)We are severley weakened due to lack of nutrition of not eating for about 12 hours. And what little energy we had was sucked out of us by being on plane for 13 hours and going through the 60 checkpoints. And that energy was used to clean the big mess.

    H) Point: even if we WERE that disguntled, we wouldn't have the energy to do anything about it. Sometimes, not making eye contact simply means one is tired or distracted. Hmmmm, that NEVER happens when travelling.


  2. Tracy,
    That was very amusing -- I'm certain it was not when you were living it -- but now it is, at least to me.

    I was thinking earlier about how many reasons one might have for not making eye contact, or for being distracted before a flight. My fear of flying would be one reason (I'm busy praying). I never would have dreamed up yours.

    Bottom line is -- why do we have to tell everything? Free press just blows everything (well, not everything, but you know what I mean). Why are the terrorists way ahead of us? Maybe because we tell all our secrets in the media!

    Tomorrow al qaeda will be training them to make eye contact and smile in a friendly way.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!