As an industry professional with a very large stake in the matter, I’ve said for some time that TSA’s true mission clearly has very little to do with its stated mission of ensuring transportation security. This is evidenced by the outrageous stupidity of their policies and procedures and obvious disinterest in employing best practices that are scientifically and historically proven to work.
Whatever is driving the decision-making process, no one can reasonably claim that it has anything to do with legitimate, professional security. It would be a mistake to say that TSA has an authentic function that is simply being mismanaged by the agency’s leadership. It’s just not that easy to be that incompetent. Besides, where can one find a state-run, bureaucratic agency that actually does what it was ostensibly created to do?
I’ve also previously mentioned the recorded ‘public service’ announcement that plays every 15-20 minutes in my pilot base, Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH), which says, in part:
Any remarks or jokes concerning security may result in your arrest.
This announcement ensures traveler security how? Can we reasonably understand this as anything other than a desensitizing warning to ordinary citizens against challenging, questioning, or objecting to the state’s criminal actions in the security lines? And this isn’t the first time they have publicly gone on record threatening law-abiding travelers with ARREST should they speak ill of these bizarre and abusive police state tactics.
Many of us have also said that this madness will not stay in the airports if we fail to defend our Fourth Amendment rights and freedom. (Our lawsuit is crawling along, by the way – nothing interesting to report – but the only resistance that really matters is our collective refusal to subject ourselves to this abuse out in the streets, airports, train stations, etc.) Indeed, it is quickly spilling out of the airports already and we are complying in abject servitude as a people who clearly do not value or deserve the blessings and freedom that have been passed down to us at great cost to our forebears.
Curiously, however, we are for whatever reason quite diligent when it comes to documenting the wholesale erosion of our rights and liberty, as if recording it all makes it less real or at least more tolerable in some way. Here’s a recent example from YouTube, with commentary, filmed at a train station in Savannah:
The only bad thing on our trip was TSA was at the Savannah train station. There were about 14 agents pulling people inside the building and coralling everyone in a roped area AFTER you got OFF THE TRAIN! This made no sense!!! Poor family in front of us! 9 year old getting patted down and wanded. They groped our people too and were very unprofessional. I am all about security, but when have you ever been harassed and felt up getting OFF a plane? Shouldnt they be doing that getting ON??? And they wonder why so many people are mad at them.
No, I don’t think they wonder why so many people are mad at them at all. Nor do they seem to care. Why should they when they have so many willing participants, angry or not? Keep those cameras rolling though. It’s good entertainment. But maybe eventually we’ll recognize that it doesn’t make any difference. Want to make a difference? Go out and disrupt the status quo. Direct action gets satisfaction.