The 800lb TSA Agent In The Room. What Is Not Being Discussed In The Groping Debate.
OK, So…it’s a couple weeks since the TSA’s invasive searches began and since I haven’t a lot of time to blog, I haven’t weighed in on the subject yet.
I was originally thinking everything has been said that could be said…but today…while listening to a week old Podcast of the Rush Limbaugh Program…The thought occurred to me…that not everything has been said on the subject…unless of course Rush has said something in one of my as of yet un-listened to installments.
So…What hasn’t been said?
Well…let’s wait for the answer for a moment…and put some context on my thoughts…
I’ve been preaching at my Mom who is staying with us at the moment about the intrusiveness and over the top nature of the way the TSA is going about this…On the one hand…you can opt for the equivalent of a strip search…or you can opt for what we used to call in my military days a combat pat down.
This is when you cover every inch of a suspect’s body including anatomy with your hand squeezing…checking every crack, crease, and crevice for items taped, inserted, or otherwise concealed in the folds of an individual’s skin or musculature.
Oh…ADD moment…a word on the Combat searches…and the groping of people’s bikini area…I know why this is being done…and I can speak from experience that it’s important to grab and grope the crotch area. When I was a young Airman in the Security Police, We regularly participated in exercises to train us how to deal with flight line threats and unauthorized breeches of high security areas.
As such…we would have to combat search our fellow SPs. Being the shy country boy I was at the time…I was constantly in trouble for avoiding the crotch area when doing my pat and squeeze searches…I always thought I had covered the area well enough to not miss anything and couldn’t bring myself to touch a fellow airman’s “junk” until one night I was doing a search on my Flight Chief…I started with the left arm and worked to the belt line squeezing first the chest muscles,,,then the back muscles and then down the sides…repeating on the right…I did the belt line and then the buttocks thoroughly and then proceeded to do my usual “close enough” groping of the crotch region, first from the front…then from underneath and behind…at which point I proceeded to work down the legs…
This requires an officer to squat and bend down losing sight of the upper half of the suspect’s body…
Well…imagine my surprise…as I’m bent down with my face all but buried in my flight chief’s side I find myself staring directly into the barrel of a life sized replica of a Colt .45 Army issue automatic pistol which my flight chief had pulled out of the crotch region I had considered to be “close enough”.
Those of you who have held a colt automatic know how big they are and the fact that I had missed it taught me to never be shy again…something that served me well in my later years working corrections.
I lay all that out to say…I understand the reason for the grabbing and squeezing…and all the “Junk touching” as a necessary evil…and I support it…in the appropriate context…I’ll explain the appropriate context as we get further along… end ADD departure and let’s get back to the 800lb TSA Agent in the room.
As I was saying…I’ve been preaching at Mom…because she sees nothing wrong with what’s going on in this area…I’ve gone down the Ben Franklin Road quoing him:
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
To no avail.
I’ve quoted the Forth Amendment:
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.
Again to no avail….
So…how to drive home the over the top nature of what is being done here?
I mean…could the Forth Amendment be any clearer? What probable cause do the TSA and the government have to justify violating traveler’s “Persons”?
It doesn’t seem to me that wanting to get from point A to Point B by flying the friendly skies provides probable cause to justify doing a virtual strip search of a person…or doing a combat pat down of what we USED to call suspects when justifying the search…
All because Mohamed Atta and a group of America hating murderers decided to destroy this nation and everything she stands for by flying planes into buildings? (Maybe they succeeded in doing far more than they believed possible that day given what we’ve surrendered as a result?).
So…Here’s the 800lb TSA Agent in the room everyone is missing.
What happens at some future date…when a group of America hating extremists walk into a crowded theater…or a Hanna Montana Concert…or some gathering of people in the tens of thousands on the DC Mall…or a football game…or…name your venue….what happens when this group of men walk amongst a tightly packed crowd and blow themselves up along with a couple hundred screaming fans watching the Spurs win their next championship…(heh…couldn’t resist).
What will America be like in 20 years…when you are forced to choose between a grope and squeeze pat down or a virtual strip search in order to attend a professional sporting event…Would you want to live in this country if every time you went into a mall, or large shopping center, office complex and/or business center you were to be treated to this kind of invasive search? How often would you stay home rather than be violated that day?
Are you ready for such an America that requires you to showcase your “Junk” at every turn?
For what? To prove you are worthy of trust? To prove you are innocent of any evil intent when you’ve done nothing to justify suspicion to begin with?
“Ahh Ace”… you say? “You’ve lost your mind…it’ll never happen in America!”
Yeah…that’s what I was told in the 90s…when the Dems were going after “Big Tobacco” adding punitive taxes because of the extra burden cancer puts on the Medicare and Medicaid systems…I said then…that if they could do it to tobacco…they could do it to McDonalds…
Well look at at em go in California…more specifically San Fransisco would ya?!
So…What is it I advocate? When do I think it would be OK to do the combat pat searches or virtual strip searches?
Like the Forth Amendment says…when and only when they have probable cause.
Do as the Israelis do. Watch for behavior. Pull those acting suspiciously aside and observe and question them….make them go through layers of security like an Onion being peeled as I’ve heard their system described…
Arm the pilots…as El Al does…and have armed guards on every single flight….Terrorists go for soft targets….harden the target and you defeat the terrorist…
Believing every American who flies is a suspect simply because they decide to travel by air is lunacy!
There is a reason we haven’t had another 911 since we put Air Marshals on our planes…and we’ve had passengers willing to take action rather than passively letting terrorists have their way.
It stretches our resources too thin searching innocent people, frisking Grandma and the 3rd Nun in line looking for the items identified in the terrorist’s last attempt while leaving them to attack in a way we haven’t thought of yet because we’ve been so busy reacting to them instead of beating them to the punch!