Keeping our Shoes on at the Airport?

Politico notes (Janet Napolitano: ‘Shoes off’ screening to end) that we may get to keep our shoes on at the airport at sometime in the foreseeable future.  Of course, the headline is more definitive than what the Secretary actually said:

“We are moving towards an intelligence and risk-based approach to how we screen,” Napolitano told Mike Allen during a morning forum at the Newseum. “I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on. One of the last things you will [see] is the reduction or limitation on liquids.”

We shall see (but it would be nice to go through screening with my shoes on).

FILED UNDER: National Security, US Politics, , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    …an intelligence and risk-based approach to how we screen.

    Hmm. Interesting language. Hopefully she means racial / ethnic profiling. For as the Israelis and El Al have proven beyond any shadow of a doubt (except of course to reality-challenged liberal idiots), the very best way to keep your country’s airplanes from getting blow’d up is to engage in common sense profiling.

  2. Brian A. says:

    I don’t think that racial or ethnic profiling are the way to go, or at least not the way to describe it. How about behavioral profiling? That is what El Al does. Also keep in mind that El Al is doing it on such a small scale in relation to the US. I hope this is the way TSA moves towards but only time will tell.

  3. Matthew Shugart says:

    I have hardly ever been asked to take off shoes in any country other than US. And not at all in last few years, passing through many non-US airports.

    Shoes off is just another act in US security theater.

    And my favorite security anecdote is that my wife, who has a substantial piece of metal implanted in her hip, does not set off the metal detectors in Israel, a country that has real airport security rather than the theater.

  4. @Matthew Shugart:

    Shoes off is just another act in US security theater.


  5. RW Rogers says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Double Bingo! It seems to me most so-called security precautions, whether at an airport or elsewhere, are little more than theater designed to impress or intimidate the vast majority least likely to commit any offense at all. They are probably intended to over-emphasize the need for them and prevent serious debate about their usefulness. Security is also big business, both private and public, with a history of massive contributions to politicians of both parties.

  6. Fiona says:

    Shoes off is just another act in US security theater.

    Thank you for a phrase I will be appropriating for my own use: “US security theater.” Amazing how much humiliation Americans will endure for the sake of a false sense of security.