Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hands Down Your Pants? Hoo Boy, Here We Go

Let me say something first. I've been covering the TSA since the day it began. In this blog and elsewhere, I've been fair, but also very tough on the agency when I thought it was appropiate, which was frequently.

But whenever I write a post or a column that blasts or ridicules the TSA, I always do so with the anxiety that, God forbid, I might go online or pick up the paper tomorrow and see a blaring heradline: Terrorists Crash 747 Into Rhode Island Orphanage -- while at the same time there's my little blog or column pissing and moaning about some checkpoint hassles.

That said, I repeat here that the current public fury about the checkpoints, which admittedly is being fanned by conservative and libertarian media, with the MSM huffing along behind, is just about out of control.

It must be addressed, head-on, by Washington.

For example, look at the latest sensation, via the Drudge Report, of charges that patdowns can include hands down your pants. The report is anecdotal and perhaps reflects an anomaly, rather than a policy -- but it is going viral.

This level of emotion and fury cannot be shrugged off much longer.



ChefNick said...

Instead of having patdowns and brain-scatter machines, why not just have TWO HEAVILY ARMED ANONYMOUS AIR MARSHALLS ON EVERY SINGLE FLIGHT IN NORTH AMERICA . . . GUARANTEED AND WIDELY PUBLICISED? Maybe at the end of every flight the captain could announce the fact that "You have been protected by two armed air marshals throughout this entire flight and will also be protected on your ensuing flight."

I realise that may not prevent Rashid-al-Wabdall'ah from smuggling silly putty through in his rectum, but hey, it's an idea.

PKL said...

Why does it matter if the story is being "fanned" by conservative and libertarian media? The TSA's screening policy should be judged on its own merits.

One of the more irritating aspects of contemporary U.S. debate is that ideas are judged in the first instance by the identity of the people propagating the ideas rather than on the ideas' intrinsic value.