Monday, November 22, 2010

T & A Searches Instituted by George W Bush - Oh Wait I mean TSA, Don't Touch My Junk

"ABC News producer reports that a TSA officer put her hands inside her underwear and touched her extensively at Newark Airport on Sunday in an experience the producer called demeaning and inappropriate. 'The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around,' ABC producer Carolyn Durand told ABC. 'It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist. It was embarrassing. It was demeaning. It was inappropriate'."
We Are Now Free to Move About Your Pants...
Whoa Nellie.  Let's please all be honest about concerns over our civil liberties, our privacy rights and our government's intrusion into our lives. The Patriot Act and a variety of measures designed to "keep us safe" were roundly denounced by a large chunk of Americans. I am wondering if it is a different chunk that is now protesting the invasion of privacy at the nation's airports.

tsa checkpoint
When i want to examine an issue without bringing in my own biases, i ask myself turn-about questions. Like, how would i and my friends and family have reacted to President Reagan or George Bush keeping an 18-year-old Pet Intern under the Oval Office Desk? (As compared to the same action by say, a Bill Clinton or a Kennedy??)
How did you react to Roman Polanski's rape charges--and would you have reacted the same to the exact same circumstances if it would have been, say, rush limbaugh?

This is not merely about T & A, er, TSA, the Transportation Security Administration, looking at our naked bodies or doing things we teach our children not to allow and if it happens, "tell someone!"
This is about the country being transformed into a pseudo quasi police state in the name of "security"--step by step. By the time each little chunk of Americans are ticked off, it will be too late.
Some thoughts about the scanners and the pat-downs:
  • The scanner images are not only save-able, but instantly sendable.(Parker's take here)  If you are a well -known (or perhaps well-endowed) person, the risk of your image going viral is probably very high--what if your name is Gloria Alred or Bristol Palin or John Stewart or Pavarotti or Aretha Franklin? (Assuming this happens, is everyone ok with that?)
  • What is the impact on children and teens--             of getting a police-level patdown from an unknown adult?
  •  How will those men, women and children who have been sexually assaulted deal with strangers touching their most private areas? The trauma from this crime is real and widespread. (HERE)
  • The effect on those who spend each day gazing or groping? Just wondering...
  • Oh yeah, who is it we are hiring for these jobs?      Like, are we as effective in this T & A Hiring as we are in say, noticing things like nervous crop plane students?***see sex offenders below
  • We stay two steps behind, reacting after the fact, and ineffectively looking at Things, not People. (Inkjet printer cartridges don't kill people, people pressing the Nokia cell phone detonator to the inkjet cartridge kill people...) When the bombs are in anal cavities, or implants, which apparently has been achieved, tested, and used overseas by "those guys", what will flying check-in be like? Yikes. Behavioral analysis and risk profiling make more fiscal, psychological, and strategic sense. Exactly which sensitivites and perceptions are we most afraid of? How many Would-Be Bombers would make it past a tried and true behavioral analysis and simple intelligent screening techniques?
  • Actually--                      I have not really thought much about it.      As a kid who travelled a lot, we got a lot of shots--i never thought twice about getting painfully pumped full of poisons--it was just what we had to do to travel country to country. And i had a good healthy education (military kid) wherein we always had a rigorous phys ed class and showers following. The locker room was a nice place...but while i am not overwhelmed by fear of my fabulous human body being observed, i am strongly for the right of those more private than i to be respected... but....
    Constitution: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"
  • Cavity searches, anyone?
  • don't touch my junk
  • Finally--i ponder this--WE ARE FREAKING OUT at the airport! we have allowed some Global Thuggy Punks to suddenly make all americans get treated like criminals! Fu Cryin' Out Loud!? Really!?
**Sex offenders:"Back in March, TSA employee Sean Shanahan, who was responsible for patting down passengers including children, was indicted for multiple child sex crimes. In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admitted that TSA put employees into action patting down passengers without even finishing background checks. That same report also stated that DHS did not disqualify applicants unless they had been convicted of felony rape or sexual abuse in the last 10 years -- so if they raped somebody 11 years ago, no problem. Judicial Watch reports that TSA has also hired illegal aliens and given them security badges in the past."  B. Shapiro

 HERE and HERE is how the Democratic underground puts it. I wish Maureen Dowd would put her two cents in.
 Michael Kinsley says, Go Ahead, Touch My Junk...

Thomas Sowell says: 
No country has better airport security than Israel-- and no country needs it more, since Israel is the most hated target of Islamic extremist terrorists. Yet, somehow, Israeli airport security people don't have to strip passengers naked electronically or have strangers feeling their private parts. Does anyone seriously believe that we have better airport security than Israel? Is our security record better than theirs? "Security" may be the excuse being offered for the outrageous things being done to American air travelers, but the heavy-handed arrogance and contempt for ordinary people that is the hallmark of this administration in other areas is all too painfully apparent in these new and invasive airport procedures.
Can you remember a time when a Cabinet member in a free America boasted of having his "foot on the neck" of some business or when the President of the United States threatened on television to put his foot on another part of some citizens' anatomy?
Yet this and more has happened in the current administration, which is not yet two years old. One Cabinet member warned that there would be "zero tolerance" for "misinformation" when an insurance company said the obvious, that the mandates of ObamaCare would raise costs and therefore raise premiums. Zero tolerance for exercising the First Amendment right of free speech?
More than two centuries ago, Edmund Burke warned about the dangers of new people with new power...
...  ...As for the excuse of "security," this is one of the least security-minded administrations we have had. When hundreds of illegal immigrants from terrorist-sponsoring countries were captured crossing the border from Mexico-- and then released on their own recognizance within the United States, that tells you all you need to know about this administration's concern for security.
When captured terrorists who are not covered by either the
Not a lot of people in other countries, or perhaps even in this country, are going to help us stop terrorists if their role is revealed and their families are exposed to revenge by the terrorists' bloodthirsty comrades.
....What do the Israeli airport security people do that American airport security do not do? They profile. They question some individuals for more than half an hour, open up all their luggage and spread the contents on the counter-- and they let others go through with scarcely a word. And it works.
Meanwhile, this administration is so hung up on political correctness that they have turned "profiling" into a bugaboo. They would rather have electronic scanners look under the clothes of nuns than to detain a Jihadist imam for some questioning. 
Will America be undermined from within by an administration obsessed with political correctness and intoxicated with the adolescent thrill of exercising its new-found powers? Stay tuned.

Enduring the bare necessities in airport screening--By Kathleen Parker Sunday, November 21, 2010;
In the accelerating debate about airport pat-downs that feel like a clumsy third date and body scans that border on Peeping Tom shows, it's hard to find a sane place to land.
Is this really for our own good? Or are we trading what's left of our human dignity by participating in a Kafkaesque farce that more closely resembles a college fraternity psychology experiment devised around a keg:
"Okay, here's the plan. Americans are terrified of an airplane bomber, right? So let's see what we can get them to do if we promise them safety."
"Like what?"

"I dunno, like let us touch their genitals and use scanners that show them naked, stuff like that."
"No WAY!"
In the three weeks since the Transportation Security Administration began its new scanner/pat-down procedures, hundreds of people have protested. Some have reported to consumer agencies and the American Civil Liberties Union that they've been touched aggressively in the genital area. Others have reported inappropriate commentary about their physiques.
Fair question: Is all this worth it? What price in dignity and privacy are we willing to pay for the illusion of safety? It's not as though flying is a delightful experience with out the sexual harassment.
This Thanksgiving Eve, some number of unhappy travelers are planning to demonstrate their opposition to the TSA's expanded powers by protesting at security check-in or by boycotting travel altogether. Reassurances from the TSA, meanwhile, are less than edifying.

Even though, yes, the scans essentially reveal your jock and bra size, inspectors are sitting elsewhere and don't know the human identity of the exposed corpus.
Nor, we can guess, do they care. The absence of nudist airports isn't on many lists of society's regrettable oversights. Those who wish not to submit to the body scan, whether out of modesty or concerns about radiation exposure, can submit instead to intimate frisking. Children under 12 are given modified pat-downs, though this isn't much comfort.

Touching a 13-year-old boy or girl, possibly the most sensitive creature on the planet, is supposed to be just hunky-dory? in flying home for Thanksgiving, I will be scanned or handled going and coming. My predisposition at this writing: I'm just not that into turkey.
This isn't merely a matter of modesty, though that is a consideration. I don't like the idea of some stranger - regardless of whether he or she can see my face - examining my concessions to gravity without my permission. Surrendering to rule shouldn't be confused with granting permission. One is submission; the other an invitation to mutual consent.
As to the alternative, no thank you. The idea of a stranger, even one of the same sex, foraging around my private principalities is simply unacceptable. Forget the creepiness factor, which is sufficient; consider the principle - quickly! - before you get used to the notion that government has the right to do Whatever Is Necessary To Protect You.

From what, if not this?
It isn't at all clear, meanwhile, that such searches will ensure greater safety. Theoretically the idea is to protect us from would-be "Christmas bombers." You recall the chap who tried to blow up a plane by igniting explosive material concealed in his undies. So now none of us is entitled to pantaloon protection.
Heaven forbid that the next inept, would-be terrorist conceals his flammables in his nether region.
  •  Shall soon our interior caves and corridors require exploration to ensure that the system works?
    It is further reassuring to recall that the Christmas bomber was foiled in his mission when a fellow passenger tackled him. Whereupon, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the tackling was evidence that "the system" works. Ah.

    And what happens to these glorious images of dehumanized Americans once their bodies are scanned? How long before we see a montage of the digitally denuded on some Web site?
    Notwithstanding government promises to the contrary, they may be preserved. The U.S. Marshals Service conceded this year that some 35,000 images from a scanner at a Florida courthouse security checkpoint had been saved.
    The TSA insists that though storage is possible, the storing feature isn't activated when devices are installed at airports. Small comfort.
    But more alarming than the apparatuses is our willingness to go lowing into the night. Incrementally, we adapt to the stripping of civil liberties until, with the passage of time and the blinkering of generational memory, we no longer remember when things were otherwise.

  • The Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners at the airports.
    It's a booth you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you. They see this as a win-win for everyone, with none of the concerns about racial profiling. It also would eliminate the costs of a long and expensive trial. Justice would be swift.
    You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly
    thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system . . ."Attention
    standby passengers - we now have a seat available on flight number
    1234. Shalom!"

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