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About the Enhanced Airport Security Screening

When I flew to Salt Lake City and back last week, I didn't experience any physical and emotional abuse from the TSA.  Maybe it was so traumatic that I've blocked it out of my memory.  More likely, Midland and SLC hadn't implemented the more aggressive pat-downs and body scans.  Maybe if they had and I experienced them first-hand I'd have a better understanding of why everyone seems to be in such an uproar over the new TSA policies...but I doubt it.

I'm as embarrassed by my body as the next guy, but I really don't care at all if a TSA employee has a peek at my kibbles and bits for the sake of safer air travel.  Am I worried about the potential danger due to scanner radiation?  Nope.  You subject yourself to 1000 times more radiation during a transcontinental flight than you do during the scan.  Wouldn't I feel violated by the enhanced pat-down?  I don't feel violated when my doctor touches my junk in a strictly professional manner.  I'm not sure why I should feel any different if a TSA employee were to do so.

On TDS last night, Lewis Black put it this way (video embedded below):

...the one thing people won't stand for: the government interfering with our travel plans.  I see.  So in the name of fighting terrorism we're willing to start wars, waterboard people, and kill civilians with unmanned drones...but the one line we won't cross is our waistline!


So it is dehumanizing to require Muslim men bare themselves before government officials at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, but it is not dehumanizing to require American citizens to bare themselves before government officials at the airport?

Warrantless wiretaps are unreasonable searches, but warrantless strip-searches are reasonable?

Where is the consistency?

Not to mention the parents of children who would really rather that government officials not peruse the kibbles and bits of their sons and daughters.

Yes, there's an ocean of difference between what was done at Abu Ghraib with Lynndie England in their faces humiliating them sexually and an anonymous TSA agent viewing an image with no direct interaction between viewer and viewee.

Yes, being subjected without your knowledge to warrantless wiretaps is different from voluntarily submitting to a scan or pat-down. Neither the wiretaps nor the scans/gropes gets me all the hot under the collar, but I don't think they are equivalent in terms of the potential for harm/abuse.

Getting back to the physician example, (assuming they both behave professionally) I feel no different about a doctor seeing/touching my child than a TSA agent.

I've recently been patted down entering a football stadium, a concert venue, etc. It didn't bother me. I'm not saying it makes me safe, but I believe that's what it is intended to do...and it doesn't bother me. The other vibe I get from this whole controversy is the impression that people think it's OK to assume that most/all TSA employees are least for the sake of argument.

I'm with you on this, Jon. I'm certainly against government intrusion into our lives, and I hate the idea of a nanny state. But I don't think the TSA screening fits into that category. It seems like a lot of whining over nothing.

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