Wrapping up a quick trip to Lisbon for some EU/NATO stuff, President Obama was asked whether he cared to weigh in on the growing national kerfuffle over intrusive TSA airport security procedures. As it happens, he did:
I understand people’s frustrations. And what I’ve said to the TSA is that you have to constantly refine and measure whether what we’re doing is the only way to assure the American people’s safety. And you also have to think through are there ways of doing it that are less intrusive.
Obama, who lately hops on and off airplanes without suffering the indignities that many Americans are coping with this weekend and throughout the holiday season with the pat-downs and body scans, mentioned the Christmas Day bomber and the need to keep pace with new security threats.
But lest you think Obama — in the holiday spirit, or out of concern for the airlines or somesuch — would call a halt to this seasonal groping in time for the obligatory trip to grandma's — well, sorry.
At this point, TSA, in consultation with our counterterrorism experts, have indicated to me that the procedures that they’ve been putting in place are the only ones right now that they consider to be effective against the kind of threat that we saw in the Christmas Day bombing.
Only somewhat related: Obama on Wednesday will perform the annual turkey pardon at the White House. Gobble.