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Airport delays prompt false security

February 15, 2004

Regarding "Queues Moving Faster at Airports" (Sourcebook issue, Feb. 1): My experience seems to have been different from yours. I travel to Philadelphia the Tuesday before Thanksgiving every year. In 2001, I got to LAX a bit earlier than usual because of all the chatter about the need to get there two hours early. I got my boarding pass and was through inspection in 20 minutes. The same for 2002.

This year was a nightmare. The extra step of inspecting the bags wasted 15 minutes. The line for inspections crawled along. The process took more than 45 minutes. Everyone was angry, our bags were invaded, locks were snipped off, those dangerous nail clippers and scissors were confiscated. Do I feel safer? No. If the terrorists want to do something, soon or later they will.

The security measures are a colossal waste of time. They were put in place to make people feel better about terrorism, but they, in fact, take our attention away from effective prevention.

Harlan Levinson

Los Angeles

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