Bringing Olympic security back home

 - 
08/11/2008
A great story in the Chicago Tribune today about how Olympic organizers in that city, hoping to bring the 2016 Summer Games to the States, are taking notes on what's going on in Beijing. Notably, it's alarming any number of people that with all the security present, it was still impossible to prevent the stabbing of the Bachmans, who have close ties to U.S. Olympic volleyball. First, note that I linked to an Australian take on the stabbing tragedy and read that closely. For people who haven't traveled abroad much, this is the reality: The attack on Saturday prompted Australian Olympic boss John Coates to order Australian athletes to wear their team uniform whenever they leave the Olympic Green so they are not mistaken for Americans. "Australians are very popular in China," Mr Coates said. "I don't know if the US are felt about the same way." English-speaking people the world over are at pains to make it known they are not Americans. Whatever your political views, that can't be a great thing. Anyway, the Chicago article makes the obvious point that all the security in the world can't hope to prevent one rogue crazy person from performing one rogue crazy act. It can simply minimize the chances of such a thing happening and quickly catch that crazy person and restore public confidence. I think it behooves the security industry in general to agree with this point. No security system is going to prevent every possible violent act, and if you go promising that it will, you're going to have egg on your face at some point. Of particular note in the Chicago article, too, is this paragraph: And a Chicago plan would include several layers of intelligence activities, with officers looking for so called “DLRs,” or folks who “don’t look right,” such as a person wearing an overcoat in the summer time. Does that remind anyone of many of the lessons I learned over in Israel? That Americans have come up with a term, DLR, for what is essentially profiling is an indication of our PC society, but it's no matter. What's important is that U.S. security is beginning to be more discriminating (in a good way) in the way it performs its work.