The debate on profiling has been going on, and is now published. I think Schneier has rather thoroughly demolished Harris’s arguments. Here’s his wrap-up, if you don’t want to read the whole thing.
The topic of this exchange, and the topic I’ve tried to stick to, is whether it makes sense to implement a two-tiered security system at airports, where "Muslims, or anyone who could conceivably be Muslim" get a higher tier of security and everyone else gets a lower tier. I have concluded that it does not, for the following reasons. One, the only benefit is efficiency. Two, the result is lower security because 1) not all Muslims can be identified by appearance, 2) screeners will make mistakes in implementing whatever profiling system you have in mind, and 3) not all terrorists are Muslim. Three, there are substantial monetary costs in implementing this system, in setting the system up, in administering it across all airports, and in paying for TSA screeners who can implement it. And four, there is an inefficiency in operating the system that isn’t there if screeners treat everyone the same way. Conclusion: airport profiling based on this ethnic and religious characteristic does not make sense.
And while you’ve objected to bits and pieces of this, the only argument you have made for this profiling system is that it’s common sense.
But here’s the real bottom line:
But perhaps most importantly, we should refuse to be terrorized. Terrorism isn’t really a crime against people or property; it’s a crime against our minds. If we are terrorized, then the terrorists win even if their plots fail. If we refuse to be terrorized, then the terrorists lose even if their plots succeed.
The terrorists have won their battles over the last ten years: they’ve got Americans pouring money into showy efforts at security, while convincing everyone to be in terror — when will we all wake up and realize that that’s exactly what terrorists want?