So they did it. The NYCLU has filed suit against NYC in order to stop the random searches of subway riders' bags. This is strange, considering the searches aren't mandatory. There has also been much talk of how ineffective random searches are. A few local politicians are also suggesting targeted searches, or profiling. The NYCLU would definitely oppose this. Other politicians are saying that the police record the race, religion, and nationality of everyone searched (probably to get data aiding the NYCLU's lawsuit). This is absurd on it's face.
Let's look at the effects of the policy. Random searches are a deterrent, to some extent. They are far from ideal, but today's PC crowd finds profiling to be some kind of dirty word, and no government agency has had the courage to do it. Here's my point. When the police do random searches, a potential bomber will be made more nervous and apprehensive. The hope is that this will give the police enough suspicion to single them out for search. Of course, they can just leave the subway, and blow themselves up in any crowded area above ground. That is not what we are trying to prevent, at least unless it starts happening. If we faced a rash of suicide bombing above ground, as Israel has, there would be a hugely different reaction, so let's throw out that last argument.
No policy can be 100 percent effective. The NYCLU is opposing a halting step towards protecting everyone's civil right to life. They seem to froget that the 4th Amendment guards "against unreasonable searches and seizures." The key word there is "unreasonable." Would they have us wait until someone actually blows up a subway before supporting this policy? They wouldn't even support it then, as evidenced by their opposition to airline search policies since 9/11. Let them sue, and hope that the courts find these searches "resonable" under the Constitution.
Bill O'reilly, America's leading and most powerful critic of the ACLU, had on one of their defenders, who actually said "you can't suggest what they're doing is wrong." He was referring to the NYCLU, not the police! This is the mindset we are dealing with. He kept saying that O'reilly was "framing the issue" wrongly, but he had it backwards. I don't know what's in the people at the NYCLU's hearts, but their actions are making us less secure against a very real terrorist threat. For more on this see the STOP the ACLU website; I've linked to their similar take on this.
As with any new policy, it will evolve as the situation demands. There is a profile of a suicide bomber, and it should be applied. The NYPD should not carry the policy on indefinitely, but the threat level may justify it for some time. It is also important to remember that much of their information and investigation regarding terrorism is necessarily classified, for obvious reasons (one would think). The NYCLU suit may jepoardize many NYers lives, while giving a false impression of "protecting our rights."