Even supposing that what’s left of Al Qaeda is clever and resourceful enough to recruit kindergartners and elderly leukemia patients, it’s not at all clear that tactic would be successful. Risk analysts Mark Stewart and John Mueller report that when the Christmas crotch-bomber’s “effort was duplicated on a decommissioned plane in a test set up by the BBC, the blast did not breach the fuselage, leading air accident investigator Capt. J. Joseph to conclude, ‘I am very confident that the flight crew could have taken this aeroplane without any incident at all and get it to the ground safely.’ ”

A free people ought to be brave enough not to quake before the imaginary threat of a Depends bomber. No society can be made perfectly safe, and, in the pursuit of safety, certain policies ought to be considered beyond the pale.

We can debate whether waterboarding falls into that category, but ritual humiliation of innocent citizens surely qualifies. TSA’s abuses are making our choice ever clearer: Assume some risk … or assume the position.