Devices that can see through clothing! Women being groped in the airport! Children being frightened by uniformed security personnel! Nail clippers being confiscated from soldiers, and senior citizens in wheelchairs being harassed!
It sounds like a trailer to some crazy B-grade horror flick, but it’s real life for travelers in almost every airport in the country, including the Spokane International Airport.
On just about any given day, news comes out about another TSA outrage.
A google search using the term “recent TSA horror stories” returned over 143,000 results, from websites all across the political spectrum.
Some of those stories go back to 2004, but they are still outrageous, and should never have happened.
This is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue, or a conservative vs. liberal issue. This is an issue of fundamental rights being abrogated by an out-of-control Federal agency. No one should be forced to surrender their Constitutional rights on the whim of a security officer without probable cause.
The abuse started under the Bush administration, it continues under the current administration, and if unchecked, will only get worse under the next administration, regardless of the party in power.
Not even soldiers returning from war are exempt from TSA stupidity.
Erick Erickson writes at Redstate that soldiers – armed to the teeth with pistols and assault rifles – returning from Afghanistan learned that nail clippers were far more dangerous than actual weapons of war, as one soldier was required to give up his nail clippers while keeping his rifle.
Rather than accept being treated like cattle, Americans are standing up and saying, no.
One passenger became something of a folk hero when he told a TSO to stay away from his “junk.”
A website is advising travelers to not fly until the “porn scanners” have been removed. The site states:
We are opposed to the full-body backscatter x-ray airport scanners on grounds of health and privacy. We do not consent to strip searches, virtual or otherwise. We do not wish to be guinea pigs for new, and possibly dangerous, technology. We are not criminals. We are your customers. We will not beg the government anymore. We will simply stop flying until the porno-scanners are history.
Another site is calling for a National Opt Out Day.
Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has introduced legislation to help put an end to the outrages, but it may not get passed in time for holiday travel.
It may be time to rethink the role of the TSA. Or, at the very least, change the way the agency operates. Airport security is a necessity, but there is a limit to what Americans are willing to accept.
The President or Janet Napolitano can direct the agency to review its policies and make changes – perhaps adopting the Israeli model that has worked well for years – at any time. But will they?
At a recent hearing, the head of Homeland Security defended the current policy, and asked Americans for patience and understanding. She said we were all partners in the effort to protect the nation. But one does not normally grope, fondle or harass one’s partner.
Charles Krauthammer summed it up nicely when he wrote:
The junk man’s revolt marks the point at which a docile public declares that it will tolerate only so much idiocy. Metal detector? Back-of-the-hand pat? Okay. We will swallow hard and pretend airline attackers are randomly distributed in the population.
But now you insist on a full-body scan, a fairly accurate representation of my naked image to be viewed by a total stranger? Or alternatively, the full-body pat-down, which, as the junk man correctly noted, would be sexual assault if performed by anyone else?
This time you have gone too far, Big Bro’. The sleeping giant awakes. Take my shoes, remove my belt, waste my time and try my patience. But don’t touch my junk.
Americans want to do the right thing, and are willing to do whatever they can to help fight terrorism. But they will not tolerate being terrorized by their own government.