In the wake of public outrage over its security measures at US airports, the Transportation Security Administration has come out with all sorts of defensive statements about how thoroughly its screeners are vetted and trained. As if that were the issue.
The outrage is over intrusive pat-downs of women’s breasts and everyone’s inner thighs (supposedly not touching the genitals), and scanning machines that yield images verging on nude photos (images supposedly destroyed right away, even though some have already made it onto the Internet). What’s next? Cavity searches?
There are rumors of sex offenders hiring on as agents so they can get paid to pursue their avocation, accusations that Michael Chertoff encourages the measures because his client sells the scanning machines, concerns about too much radiation exposure for frequent fliers, and knowledgeable assertions that the screening procedures violate our Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
Meantime, all sorts of numbers are being circulated that show how low the odds are that an individual will die on a plane crashed by terrorists. You’re in more danger when you drive on the interstate. You’re in more danger from criminals on the street. People who have given any thought to the matter realize how ridiculous, illogical, and unconscionable — not to mention unconstitutional — it is for our own government to victimize and violate us at airports. The chances of actually catching a terrorist there are slim now, and there are so many other ways and places determined terrorists could strike. Assuming they even try. After all, their job is done; look what we’re doing to each other.
If that weren’t enough, President Obama has given a pass to Muslim women wearing hijabs. Their religion forbids their submitting to the revealing electronic scans, and the president has agreed they shall only be patted down on the head and neck. Political correctness run amok. Reverse profiling. Lunacy. Why bother when you make exceptions like this?
Back off, TSA. Until you have a marriage license, a medical license, or a warrant, you’re not entitled to treat me like your spouse, your patient, or your suspect. As the now-famous John Tyner said, “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” Meantime, don’t be surprised if I kick you in the groin or gouge your eyes. Nothing personal, you understand. It’s just a reflex. It’s what my parents, family, school, church, workplace, friends, and society taught me to do if assaulted.
Afterthought: I wonder how long these procedures would remain in place if all our Washington lawmakers and their families were forced to go through such searches. They all fly privately, of course, so they don’t have to endure such “inconveniences” at public airports.