By now you’ve heard of the Taking Scissors Away posse’s latest valiant effort against bomb-smuggling in the form of an enhanced pat-down of a 95-year old, wheel-chair-bound woman who is dying of leukemia and was flying to the place where she intends to be buried. If the pat-down itself is not outrageous enough, they made her remove her adult diaper. Oh, and her daughter, Jean Weber, burst into tears which was seen as ‘unusual conduct’ causing her to be frisked as well. The daughter missed the flight which caused her mother to travel alone and without an adult diaper since she did not have a replacement with her.
“Wait, we did no such thing!” a Touching Stuff Aggressively spokesman declared. Oh, right. They did not make her remove her diaper, they merely had to examine the diaper which they could not properly do since it was soiled. The woman could not fly unless the diaper was properly inspected. So she decided to remove the diaper in order to make her flight. See? The Teaching Submission to Americans folks didn’t make her remove the diaper! That was her choice.
The Testicle Searchers of America are all about choice. You don’t want to be sexually assaulted? Fine, just let us look at you naked in our cancer machine. Union representatives at Boston’s Logan International Airport have asked the Terribly Senseless Antics to “allow its members to wear radiation monitoring devices” after claiming to have “discovered a ‘cluster’ of cancer cases among TSA workers there.” While we need to hear more facts, and I’m skeptical as to how forthcoming Homeland Security will be with those facts, this is certainly an alarming development. The complaint all along has been that the government was rushing to put the scanners in place without having first ensured the safety of the machines. [See: ‘TSA Scanners’ Safety Questioned By Scientists’]
A former Texas Governor oversaw the creation of the Transportation Security Administration and it might take another former Texas Governor to dismantle it. In its final day in session, The Texas House of Representatives will take up a “measure to criminalize invasive airport security pat-downs” when it convenes at 10am Wednesday, June 29th (which is this morning at the time of this writing). Critics have called the move a publicity stunt and it remains to be seen what the final version will look like even if it passes. I support this effort even if it turns out to only be symbolic. Millions of us are, as the saying goes, mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Thumbs up to Keith Olbermann for naming TSA Adminstrator John Pistole his ‘Worst Person in the World,’ commenting that Pistole needs to be replaced with “a human being” after the incident with Jean Weber’s mother.
We should not have to sacrifice basic human dignity when we buy an airline ticket. We should not have to be radiated and humiliated in order to fly. The TSA wants to offer us a choice: expose yourself to hazardous radiation or have your private parts fondled in aggressive, invasive pat-downs. If you have to remove your prosthetic breast, have your colostomy bag burst, or remove your soiled adult diaper, then that’s what the TSA will make you do. Offering the Nuremberg Defense, they’re just following orders. As Isaac Yeffet, former Director of El Al Airline’s security, commented “This is not security. This is a joke.” Radiation and invasive groping are not our only choices but it’s up to us whether we will speak out or continue to tolerate these abuses.
Update: 11:58am 6/29/11 The anti-TSA groping bill has failed in the TX House of Representatives.
Update: 11:26am 6/30/11 Texas TSA Bill Succumbs to Squabbling by Jacob Sullum, Reason.com