For example, an Al Qaeda plot based on stealthy liquid explosives was uncovered in 1995. If confiscating commonplace personal items makes us safer, why wasn’t it done 11 years ago? Because it doesn’t make us safer. In 1995 we were calm enough to accept that the real job of security belongs to intelligence and law enforcement professionals, not airport screeners. We are free to ban everything from pencils to chewing gum; there will remain limitless ways to smuggle dangerous, undetectable items onto aircraft. That’s not capitulation. What’s going on at airports this month is capitulation.