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Stepped-up security screening at airports in the wake of foiled terrorism plots has provoked an outcry from airline pilots and travelers, including parents of children who say they are too intrusive.
Industry officials, travelers and pilots have complained bitterly to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about new full-body scanners and more rigorous patdown checks begun recent weeks.
Security officials have defended the measures as necessary after foiled plots by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has tried to hide bombs in clothing and parcels that have made it aboard a U.S. passenger airliner and two cargo planes.
With the busiest holiday travel season nearing, fliers face long security lines and new rigorous patdown checks aimed at discovering hidden explosives. As a result, some travelers are questioning whether to fly at all.
A crucial part of gunman Mohammad Ajmal Kasab's confession at the Mumbai attack trial has been censored by the judge on the grounds that it could inflame religious tensions between Hindus and Muslims in India. After stunning the court on Monday by admitting guilt in the the three-day rampage that killed 166 people, Kasab gave further testimony on Tuesday that included details about his training by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistan-based militant group on U.S. and Indian terrorist lists.
The front-page report in today's The Hindu, which noted the judge's gag order in its sub-header, put it this way:
Do dead terrorists lose all right to any respect? I ask this because my post Should India cremate Mumbai militants, spread ashes at sea? last week has prompted a surprising wave of comments suggesting these corpses should be desecrated. Readers have been proposing (and we have been deleting) graphic and crude scenarios for disposing of the nine corpses still lying in a Mumbai morgue. The proposed solution of cremating the bodies and spreading the ashes at sea - originally from a blog post by Leor Halevi in the Washington Post - seemed far too tame for them. (Photo: Gunmen at Mumbai train station, 26 Nov 2008/Official CCTV image via Reuters TV)
The Mumbai militants were murderers. Once they're dead, though, what purpose would it serve to dismember them, feed them to crocodiles or turn them into a stoning pillar? What would it say about the Indian government if it disposed of these bodies without even the barest minimum of respect for the dead? Indeed, what does it say about readers who want it to do just that?