It’s almost laughable. Waiting in line to take off your shoes and get scanned before boarding a plane for the holidays. You’ve all been there. The bored attendants watching gray movies hoping to find something interesting (like a vibrator), peeking into your pockets, or rifling through your underwear. Scrubbing for atoms of sulfur on your lapel, or a page of the Koran in your hair. All in the name of a “secure America”.
But does this kind of blanket stop-and-search really uncover anything relevant to guarding our security? How many terrorists have actually been caught, or bombs defused, thanks to these continually-escalated TSA procedures?
None that I can think of. Diddly.
The reality is this sort of State pampering is just an appearance of security. It’s a carefully managed exercise in theatrics. It has near zero potential of actually turning anything up or catching any high-ranking dissident. Perhaps it helps bolster confidence across the American public while deterring potential terrorists from actually getting a bomb on board. Maybe. But terrorism in the 21st Century is about more than blowing up an airplane. Think about it. There are better ways to create havoc, and actually have an impact on the socio-economic underpinnings of American society, than blowing up a jumbo jet halfway across the Atlantic. (The 911 highjackers knew this. That’s why they didn’t need to bring bombs with them.)
A container vessel sailing into New York City harbor is a much easier way to get a large explosive into a crowded city. A private jet avoids all such security measures. Freight carriers bypass mass security, too. In fact the list is endless. You’d have to be an idiot to bypass these more effective means and bring a bomb on a commercial airline.
If the government really was after increasing border security, and not conditioning its citizenry into subservient zombies, why decrease funding to the New York Port Authority? Why not scan every container that comes in at U.S. ports instead of every holiday-goer? You’d catch a lot of illicit trade in the process, and actually have a positive impact on the economy. But, lets face it, security is not the real issue here.
The government doesn’t really care about catching terrorists at the airport. It’s not about that. Despite massive injections of tax-payer dollars, not much has really changed in the TSA search methodology. We still use the same mentality; x-ray machines, metal detectors, uniformed attendants. Yes, now there are fancy explosive detectors, too, but they’re so expensive they’re applied at random. That’s just a crap shoot.
In the 1980s the father of a victim of the Lockerbie disaster (when Libyan terrorists blew up a Pan Am jumbo over a small Scottish town) succeeded in bringing a replica of the bomb onto another passenger jet. He had used the same model of radio thought to have been used in the original disaster, only he had replaced all the plastique with marzipan. He got that through the scanners no problem. I bet he could do the same today.
The “American Taliban”, John Walker Lindh, succeeded in getting his shoe-bombs onto a plane, after 911, despite the appearance of protruding fuses. (Why the heck he wasn’t equipped with a lighter boggles the mind…. These terrorists are obviously moronic.) Now everyone has to remove their shoes. Great. Good work, people.
Lets be honest. This kind of ridiculous attempt at security only begins to make sense if you view the State as rifling through your fourth amendment along with your luggage. It has to be about desensitizing the public to State authority. Stand in line. Take off your clothes. Stand naked before us. Herd mentality for managing the herd. Enforce perception of authority and competence (even while showcasing the opposite). In the 21st century, our engorged government is busy legitimizing its existence. You need us, they say. And in TSA they have their ever-ready reminder. Nearly everyone travels, so nearly every citizen is reminded of the authority of the State. Never mind that it’s practically ineffective in accomplishing its mission – that’s too much thought. Just stand in line and wait your turn.
Come on people. This is America. Remember, National Opt-Out day is Nov. 24. It’s time to remind government where the sovereignty actually lies: In you and me. The government is the deputy. We are it’s ultimate authority. Don’t forget that as the TSA officer looks through your wife’s underwear.