They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
– Benjamin Franklin
How many terrorists have the TSA caught? Richard Reed, aka “The Shoe Bomber”? Nope. Try again. How about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka “The Underwear Bomber”? Nope. 0 for 2. Truth be known, the Transportation Safety Administration has only succeeded in getting the American people to surrender their rights as private citizens.
Many of our fellow citizens have been duped into believing that terror lurks around every corner and that the vigilant agents are the last line of defense between them and certain death. The “if it bleeds, it leads” mantra of the twenty-four hour news cycle only reinforces this feeling; scaring suburbanites is de rigueur of cable news. Government and defense contractors are keenly aware of this and are quick to exploit the fear, extend their reach and expand their budgets and profits respectively.
Take for instance L-3 Communications and the ironically named Rapiscan, makers of some of the “Naked Scanners” in airports around the country. They received sight unseen contracts in excess of $165 million each for their devices. These two companies got over $300 million of our tax dollars with no demonstration of the efficacy of the technology. Lobbyists (and former Congressional staffers) from the two companies assured senators and congressmen there products were what the nation needed.
Checks were signed. Machines were delivered. But a funny thing happened. Some of the public decided that having government workers ogle images of their naked bodies was a bit too much and they opted out of the scans. It must have been a real bummer. How could the TSA justify such costly devices now?
Hence the new more intrusive pat downs. If not going through the machines was made even more offensive and humiliating, then more people would “opt” for the nudie show.
Again there are some out there that are so fearful and so convinced that this is all being done for us and not to us, that they do not see how ridiculous the TSA and its offensive unchecked power have become. “Naked pictures? Well… OK.” “Feeling my privates? It’s just part of the process…” For those people, here is the new pat down being perpetrated on a three-year-old girl:
Are we saying do away with the TSA? No. We are saying it needs a complete overhaul ASAP. Those of you that have resigned themselves to being groped by little more than WalMart employees need to add a new word to your vocabulary: Israelification (Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!).
Israel faces multiple threats from all directions daily. Yet their airport security areas look nothing like ours. They do not tolerate the offensive nonsense we have had to endure. Through multiple layers of screening passengers, talking to them and interacting with them, they are able to observe who is acting nervous and might be a potential threat. It was summed up neatly by Daring Fireball reader JW:
“In the US, they search for weapons. In Israel, they search for terrorists”.
Why can Israel do a better job than we can?
Things must get better. There is a dangerous level of hostility towards the TSA. Some level headed and clever people are willing to give the individual agents a break, but reading the blogosphere it is clear that passengers are not the only ones that are going to feel assaulted this holiday season.
Sadly, Secretary Homeland Security, Frau Napolitano, is not going to be the agent of change we so desperately need. The erstwhile belief in the system that led her to say “that the system worked” in regards to apprehending the “Underwear Bomber” is at the very heart of the matter. The bomber caught himself on fire and it was, in fact, passengers that apprehended him. So in response, we now sacrifice our dignity in “naked scanners”, which just today she reiterated, do not violate our privacy rights. She also added:
“If people want to travel by some other means, they have that right.”
Clearly she knows that flying is the only option for most Americans. Here sheer arrogance at being beyond reproach is disgusting, and is a clear indication of President Obama’s tyrannical proclivities. It is also a warning shot across the bow to the traveling public. Just yesterday Secretary Napolitano stated:
“It’s all about security. It’s all about everybody recognizing their role.”
Guess what your role is….
All is not totally lost however. Public backlash is growing. Various lawmakers are vowing to take action. Urge your congressman and senator to force the TSA to change their new policies. Sign a petition like Fly With Dignity. Report any abuse during passenger screening to the ACLU (we’re not above stooping to use them to fight the TSA). Participate in National Opt-Out Day.
Fight for you freedom.