An Australian Senator recently made some blunt comments about airport security, and she's receiving a lot of backlash from her political peers. I happen to think she's right about this issue, though. Check out Bruce Schneier's recap and comments on the issue, and his links to several news articles.
Some of Senator Amanda Vanstone's comments about airport security:
"If the day has come when a minister can't say what every other Australian says and that is that plastic knives drive us crazy, I think we're in desperate straits"
"Has it ever occurred to you that you just smash your wine glass and jump at someone, grab the top of their head and put it in their carotid artery and ask anything?"
"What I have said is that putting a plastic knife on a plane doesn't necessarily make you very much safer. Bear in mind there are other things that are on planes. ... People should not feel that because plastic knives are there, the world has dramatically changed -- because there are still HB pencils."
Personally, I agree that a lot of airport "security" is just for appearances. Going through U.S. airport security last year (I'm blanking on the location - I'll have to ask Brad to remind me where it was), I somehow managed to go through the wrong door, so I had to go back through security a second time. Even though nothing was found in my carry-on luggage the first time, after the second scan, they searched my backpack because a glass paperweight that I'd bought showed up on their x-ray. I had no problem with the search, but It doesn't promote much faith in the system when the same machine in the same airport scans your luggage twice, 'finding' something one time, but not another.