Raspberries for the TSA


The terrorists and jihadists and those who hate us for our freedom think they’re going to blow up another plane in midair so soon (only 13 years!) after the last lot? The TSA and its UK counterpart so don’t think so! And if the ongoing campaign to keep the terrorists and jihadists and those who hate us for our freedom means that you and I are going to need to show up at the airport ever earlier, and can expect to be hassled even more outrageously than at present, well, that’s just the way it has to be. We cannot let the terrorists win!

The whole thing can be traced back to an unconfirmed tweet by a British alleged jihadist who speculated that the whole UK trembled at the prospect of his returning from Iraq with expertise passed down to him by the Saudi chemistry student Ibrahim al-Asiri, whom the TSA has branded nothing less cinematically sinister than An Evil Genius. Al-Asiri has reportedly devised an undetectable bomb that can be surgically implanted inside a prospective martyr who intends to blow up a plane. You or I might wonder if such a tweet might in fact be the handiwork of some delusional little twerp trying to make himself feel all powerful and manly, but of course neither of us is a security expert like the Department of Homeland Security spokesperson who described the TSA’s new, expanded passenger-hassling as an appropriate response to A Real-Time, Credible Threat.

Oh, it’s a great, great day both for the TSA, which now has something new it can wave in the faces of those who would reduce its funding, and for the manufacturers of unprecedentedly sophisticated (and, presumably, expensive) body scanners. Only a couple of months ago, the Brits were somehow making do with 10 such devices. There are now 21 in use at British airports, and security personnel have taken to swabbing everything in sight — not just clothing and shoes, but the occasional baby buggy too. Oh, they may gurgle cutely, infant jihadists, but don’t doubt that they have the destruction of The West in mind!

A student at Heathrow observed, “The security guys were paying a lot of attention to everyone’s bags…It seemed to take twice as long for each bag to go through [the scanners]. There were a lot of bags being taken aside too, when they came out the other side, for extra searches. I’ve never seen it done like that and I have traveled a lot.”

In the UK, a Department for Transport spokesman mealy-mouthed, “We have taken the decision to step up some of our aviation security measures. For obvious reasons, we will not be commenting in detail on those changes.”

Well, of course they won’t be commenting. And its our patriotic duty as passengers to accept the new fear without question or complaint. Baa!  The sound sheep make, you see.

In the sublime Erin Brockovich, the title character challenged corporate polluters to drink water they denied they’d polluted. They demurred. This column will not demur. Book me on a flight in which no one has been compelled to take off his or her shoes, or been prodded in inappropriate places, or been swabbed or made to pass through one of the ultrasophisticated new body scanners. Book me on 100 of them. I’ll board every one, blowing raspberries at the fascist thugs who purport to be interested in my safety as I do so.

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Comments (Showing 4 of 4)

  • Doc Savage at 7:36pm July 21, 2014

    Fairly juvenile “article.” The security agencies need to take threats into account. If you wish to make a cogent argument about the effectiveness of their efforts, I suggest you gather data, present it logically, and write without sophomoric flippant snark. Otherwise, your contributions are useless.

  • EmptyKim at 10:58pm July 21, 2014

    I couldn’t read this after the first paragraph.

  • temecularedwing at 12:13am July 22, 2014

    I suspect Doc you’re quite familiar with useless contributions. Current being a case in point. Cheers.

  • tchase at 8:40pm August 05, 2014

    Hear, hear!! The points made here are EXACTLY why me and so many of my friends refuse to fly. The TSA is one of the biggest overreaches of power there is. They need to be abolished.

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