Tuesday, November 23, 2010



Everyone is talking about the especially intrusive security procedures put in place at our nation’s airports by the Bush/Obama administration. A common opinion, expressed by everyone from the random traveler into whose face a microphone is thrust to those at the acme of the media and political worlds, is that these assaults on our dignity as human beings are perfectly acceptable as long as they keep us safe.

Aside from its frontal assault on the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, this “I’ll pay any price for security” attitude is way off base on at least two fronts. First, no procedure, no matter how lascivious and intrusive, can keep us completely safe. If terrorists really want to take down an airplane, they will figure out a way to do it, either through the cargo hold, by enlisting the aid of a person or people with security clearances, or any number of ingenious ways, assuming they are the terrorist masterminds our government would have us believe, that we haven’t yet considered.

Yes, having us submit to what would be sexual assault in any other context in our otherwise hyper-sensitive society, will make the terrorists’ evil designs more difficult, but there are more effective and less intrusive, at least to the typical flier, ways to make their tasks more difficult, as the Israelis have shown us. And, yes, I am speaking of, inter alia, profiling, i.e., looking for the bomber rather than the bomb. But the Bush/Obama administration would never even consider something as intrusive and degrading as profiling…no, sir. Instead, they have decided to burst bags of urine on kidney patients, strip down crying little boys, and feel up people in wheelchairs, all in the interest of “keeping us safe.”

As Richard Nixon liked to say, “Make no mistake.” You aren’t providing gratuitous thrills to TSA agents, and denizens of the Bush/Obama administration, in order to be made safe. You are being subjected go such humiliation in order to allow the Bush/Obama administration to avoid having to engage in more effective, but more politically sensitive, counter-terrorism measures. You are being forced to do an electronic burlesque act in order to allow the politicians in Washington to remain the gutless, spineless, milquetoasts that they are. And, of course, to reward the manufacturers of the scanning machines, who have spent nearly $10 million lobbying the Washington Weenies over the last two years.

No comments: