Lie Back and Think of England


LA Times Editorial Board to the public: “Shut up and be scanned.” I kid you not. (Matt Welch at Reason has collated a list of other editorial boards publicly supporting TSA’s new “Scan or Grope” policy.)

Aside from “scanners are safe” and “Scan or Grope keeps us safe,” here’s the LA TImes’s analysis of the objections to Scan-or-Grope:

There’s no bright line to indicate where our quest for security becomes intolerably invasive of our privacy, but we’re still pretty sure the TSA hasn’t yet crossed it. Although the pat-downs are seriously embarrassing, they’re also usually voluntary — to avoid them, you just have to go through the scanner.

So, it’s reasonable to ask, what’s next? Anal probes at the airport? It’s safe to say that if the TSA gets to that point, it will have crossed the line, and it might be time to explore less invasive methods. Meanwhile, though, a full-body scan isn’t a terribly high price to pay for a measure of peace of mind.

I understand that there are people willing to be scan-or-groped before getting on a plane. There are people who are not willing to have their belongings x-rayed before getting on a plane. The “line” where our quest for security becomes intolerably invasive of our privacy is extremely subjective.

Who is the LA Times Editorial Board to tell you where that line is? They can’t even name a point at which the TSA will have gone too far: if the TSA starts probing our anuses, it “might be time to explore less invasive methods”?

“Might be”? “Explore”? For crying out loud, how far up your large intestine does the scope have to be for “might” to become “will definitely” and “explore” to become “institute”? I guess when you’re statist apologists, you don’t want to go on the record disapproving of anything the government might decide to do later.


12 responses to “Lie Back and Think of England”

    • There is no bright line to indicate where our queft for security againft ye Red Indians becometh intolerably invasive of our privacy, but we’re still pretty sure the King hath not passed it with Writs of Assistance.

  1. Why is it now that they (they, being world news reports) are reporting that private companies are being sought to take over the new scanning/groping process rather then have TSA agents do it? Is it because they are starting to hear the public outcry and fear of lawsuits? Isn’t TSA already a contracted company much like the IRS?

  2. Wow… we spend YEARS telling our kids to come tell us if someone touches them in one of the *ahem* sensitive areas. Then we go to the air port where we stand idly by while some jackbooted GOON shoves his hands down their pants and generally fondles our children. The only alternative is to start x-raying them while they’re still growing.

    Frankly, if it’s such a good thing why are the pilots exempted from it? Why are the stewardess exempted from it? And now more groups are coming forward to demand an exemption to it? If it’s so great why don’t the Obama kids have to do it? Why don’t our Senators have to do it?

    We have video of an elderly man being searched and fondled in totally inappropriate ways by a TSA agent because he’s in a chair. We have the TSA’s own video of an employee stealing money out of a woman’s purse. We have the Infowars employee who – along with her 2 small daughters – were ALL sexually assaulted by a TSA employee. We have an elderly man who is a cancer survivor with a catheter who had to fly soaked in his own urine because they spilled his catheter bag while searching him. We have the young man who refused to submit to the xray or the search because the TSA agent started to grab his crotch. He tried to leave and is being threatened with a $10,000 fine simply because it makes him unbearably uncomfortable to have another man grab his crotch. Then there is the TSA employee who shot his coworkers for making fun of him for having a small penis which they observed during a test scan of him.

    The stories of abuse, assault, theft, and just downright Gestapo like conduct are pouring out. How long before this crap comes to an end? And do you know the worst part of it? NONE of this is doing a thing to keep us any safer. I don’t know how they think limiting us to 3 oz of liquid is going to stop anything. Taking my nail clippers isn’t going to make anyone safer. Neither is taking my &^%$$ apple juice. All of this crap is just pure 100% theater.

    I guess its good in some ways that the TSA hired everyone off the sex offenders registry and gave them a job. I wonder when they’ll get their new uniforms with the swastikas on them.

  3. Um, ahem, it seems to me pretty evident why the pilots are exempt. If the pilot is bent on destruction of American people or property, he or she is in control of a mighty effective weapon without needing to smuggle in anything additional. Most of your garden variety terrorist pilots would rather just crash the plane than try to bring a box cutter on board…it’s just a heck of a lot easier to do. Seriously, putting pilots through the scan-or-grope doesn’t impact my safety. They already have the keys to the magic cockpit door and the controls to the giant airplane.

    • Ah, but what about the non-suicidal garden-variety terrorist pilots, who could use this tremendous hole in our security to carry box cutters to their suicidal confederates in the secured area?

  4. I’m thinking the terrorists are watching all this unfold and having a good laugh. I don’t have the money to fly anywhere right now, but if I did, I’d rent a car and drive there. I’m waiting to hear if airline ticket sales drop and then maybe the private airline industy will get more involved.

  5. Hi Mark. I really enjoy reading your blog.

    A “non-suicidal garden variety terrorist” pilot could to much worse than carrying a box-cutter to a suicidal/homicidal friend in the secured area of the airport. He could take his buddy a firearm, thanks to the federal legislation that allows for armed pilots. And then there’s this story: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/11/23/plane.magazine.found/index.html?hpt=T2

    Assuming that the clip found by the TODDLER actually belongs to a law enforcement officer, this shows just how asinine TSA actually is. They can’t monitor their own federal air marshals enough to ensure they don’t leave a fully loaded clip in a plane, but they are expected to screen tons of passengers effectively?

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