I’ve discussed before the fact that the Iraqi government has spent over $85 million for these dowsing rods that are supposed to detect bombs.
I suppose once you’ve sunk that sort of money in, you might as well use them.
And, to be fair, security theater might have its uses. If the bad guys don’t know that the wands are useless hocus pocus, they might be more wary of trying to sneak through checkpoints — and the the apparent triggering of a dowsing rod might trigger a real psychological reaction that a security agent could recognize.
The problem, of course, would be if the wand wavers think they’re actually able to detect explosives, and that leads them to let up on other reasonable security measures.
Wondering how common the dowsing rods are, I did a quick Google image search for “Iraq Checkpoint.” Looks like they’re common. A few more pics after the jump.