Agreed something is radically wrong but profiling isn't the answer to fixing it.
As I stated earlier, it is not racial, but it is profiling.
I believe in this case "racial" has been incorrectly attached to "profiling". Let's face it terrorists can and do come in all shades humanly possible. While it is impossible (in many cases) to determine a persons religion by looking at them, that does not mean there are indicators that cannot be examined, call it profiling if you wish. Country of origin - If the person comes from a nation where there is a high probability of terrorist activity, check them out. Places visited - If the person has traveled to places that have high amounts of terrorist activity, as indicted by their passport, check them out. Suspicious activity - If the person seems nervous, edgy, overtly cautious, check them out. In order to accomplish this, I believe it would take more than just the persons at the counter. Plain-clothes officers, trained to identify suspicious behavior, need to mingle among the travelers in the waiting areas and terminals.
I'm all for privacy and convenience, but unfortunately these are the times we are living in. I would much rather be inconvenienced a little and arrive at my destination safely than zip through the airport only to have my plane explode with me on it. I also believe that a traveler should, at their own option, be able to submit to a background check of sorts that would eliminate some (but never all) suspicions. The check might include credit history, age, religion, criminal record and organization affiliations, again voluntary. Lets face it, a 39 year old, with a family, a good job, regardless of their race, is less likely to be a problem than a 22 year old college drop out, never had a job, no kids, member of the young anarchists (sorry young folks, grow up responsibly and you'll get yours).
I also would not be opposed to a credit-card sized ID, for domestic travel. It would be tied to a passport number if a person had one (and could be if they obtain one later). You need a picture ID to travel by air anyway, this would be convenient for that. The card would have a chip that keeps travel info, and perhaps a biometric finger print encoded and uploads that to a database whenever it is swiped (too big brotherish? If you have something to hide then drive domestically). As a convenience to the traveler, a kiosk could be set up at the airport where they could get a replacement card, for a nominal charge, by using a pin and biometric reading, and view the information in the data base on them. When you go to the ticket counter present your ID and finger print (maybe another form of ID for persons without hands) cleared for travel. Security would be able to see where the traveler has been over the course of their life, not just a 10 year passport. I would only support this for security and only if the information was strictly for that purpose. I know folks like privacy, I do too, and hate the thought of giving up any ground on that front. I do miss the days of running through the airport to catch a flight or waiting at the gate for a loved one, but with people trying to kill hundreds at a go, we need to aid in their capture before they can carry out their actions.