My recent post about the TSA hasn’t generated a lot of comments on the site, but it sure has generated a lot of hits, especially from people who posted links on Facebook. I thought I’d take a few minutes today to clarify a few things and give you folks some additional links.
First of all, although most of you agreed that the TSA has crossed the line, it occurred to me that some of you might actually agree with their policies. After all, the old saying goes, if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide, right? Well, allow me to introduce you to the concept of Israelification.
Israel has been dealing with terrorists far longer than the US has, and has been far more successful than the US in dealing with airport security. Back in the 1960s, Israel instituted pat-downs and other procedures at their airports similar to what the US has today… and the Israeli public freaked. In the linked article, Israeli security expert Rafi Sela, says:
“Israelis, unlike Canadians and Americans, don’t take shit from anybody. When the security agency in Israel started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for – not for hours – but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here. We said, ‘We’re not going to do this. You’re going to find a way that will take care of security without touching the efficiency of the airport.”
By simply refusing to put up with the status quo, the Israelis came up with a much more efficient and less intrusive system. And there’s no reason why it can’t work here.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the whole TSA situation, the Schneier on Security blog has a great overview that can fill in the details. If you already know about the brouhaha but want to keep abreast of the TSA’s latest shenanigans, The Consumerist has created this tag for their latest TSA blog posts.
Here are links to some new TSA stories, or stories I couldn’t fit into my first post:
– A body scanner operator at Denver International airport was caught masturbating to images of a girl’s high school netball team who were going through security.
CORRECTION: This article was originally posted on a British version of The Onion, but I initially found it on one of those news reposting sites where it was posted as real news. I didn’t bother reading the original article all the way to see that it was, in fact, a parody. I apologize.
– A TSA screener forced a breast cancer survivor to show her prosthetic breast at a security checkpoint.
– Another TSA screener forced a bladder cancer survivor to remove his urostomy (urine) bag, humiliating him and soaking his clothes in urine.
– A colo-rectal cancer survivor from from Tempe, Arizona was strip searched… because TSA agents had never heard of a colostomy bag.
– It’s not just nobodies that get hassled by TSA. Magician and comedian Penn Jillette was also given the extra-special patdown by TSA goons (although this was back in 2002).
– Here’s a YouTube video of a young boy who was forced to remove his shirt after going through the metal detector:
It’s hard to tell how old the kid is, but the kids shoulders barely come up to his father’s waist, so I’m guessing that he’s 7 or 8.
– Here’s another video of an unhappy 3 year-old girl getting the grope treatment. On the one hand, she could calm down a bit; on the other hand, she’s 3 years old and terrified.
– A man with two and a half hours to spare managed to talk his way out of a body scan and a pat down. However, this guy had already gotten off an international flight and was refusing a secondary scan after clearing customs.
– A San Diego man refused both the scanner and the pat down, and voluntarily stripped down to his underwear. Yes, he was arrested.
– At least one GOP Congressman thinks the body scanners violate the Fourth Amendment.
– A pilot explains why TSA is so pointless. I touched on some of this in my original post, but this guy says it more eloquently than I could.
– And lastly, here’s a headline for you: “TSA chief warns against boycott of airport scans”. Because Big Brother hates being fucked with!