Back in the day when hijacking planes to Cuba was the biggest threat to American airline travelers, beefed-up security included the addition of metal detectors at airports and random searches of carry-on luggage.
I apparently was on somebody's "random" list because for a while it seemed every trip I made I would be one of the people selected for the personal baggage check.
As I sat in the lounge waiting for a flight, a neatly dressed gentleman would approach, identify himself and ask if I would go with him to a small room.
Once we were in the room, he'd place the luggage on a table and methodically go through the clothing and other items to make sure I was not carrying a weapon.
It was irritating not because of the inconvenience, but because I never believed I was randomly selected. I assumed there had to be something about me or my "profile" that drew their attention.
As far as I could tell, I did not look like any of the hijackers I had seen, but to this day I've never figured out why me.
In more recent years, my random number has come up several times in another way. I have arrived at my destination, opened my bags and found a card informing me that my checked luggage had been selected to be searched.
Again, it was irritating, but in these times of growing threats we all have to put up with a little irritation. That is part of airline travel.
That's exactly how I view the latest airport security techniques that use whole-body imaging systems or, if a passenger opts out of that, enhanced pat-down procedures.
I really don't understand the outcry over these measures. And it seems the loudest objections are coming mostly from people who in the past have argued that we ought to be willing to give up some of our privacy in order to keep us safe.
Now we have Republicans on Capitol Hill talking about airport security being too invasive and how we need to find ways to protect people's privacy.
Some people are accusing Transportation Security Administration personnel of being voyeurs and molesters.
A few folks are urging travelers to protest during the holiday season by refusing to submit to full-body imaging and the enhanced pat-down.
A group called Liberty Guard has started "Opt Out Alliance" and is distributing a travelers' rights card that "contains the vital information you need to know when the TSA agents ask you to step aside for your groping or ask to view you naked through the X-ray scanner."
Some conservatives see this whole issue as another opportunity to slam the Obama administration. You wonder, have they no shame?
The answer is no.
Americans have short memories. Just last Christmas, a man on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit tried to detonate a bomb sewn into his underwear.
Had that bomb exploded over Detroit, critics would still be blaming the administration for not doing enough to protect them and for caring more about terrorists than American citizens.
Consider the number of plots that have been foiled in the last couple of years and we can count ourselves blessed that a lot of good people are working every day to keep us safe, understanding that we will not be able to stop every evil or insane person who wants to take innocent lives.
Those in an uproar over the new airport security procedures suggest that they be used only for people who fit the "profile" of a terrorist, whatever that might be. Isn't it obvious that profile is changing all the time?
If you say that old people or children or nuns, for example, should not have to be subjected to certain search methods, then guess what schemes the terrorists will begin using next? Profiling based on looks doesn't make sense.
And those calling for using private airport security rather than the TSA are simply out of touch with reality.
Stop the whining. Let the TSA do its job.
Oh, and enjoy your holiday travel.