Even though I’ve done a lot of traveling for work as of late, I’ve resisted writing on the TSA. It seems that it’s almost universal knowledge that the TSA often tries to protect us through an impenetrable barrier of ridiculousness. When there’s nothing new to add to the dialogue, why do so? However, I think I found an opening, and it has to do with tweaking and expanding upon a point Charles Krauthammer recently made.
Like the president, I acknowledge that they’re under extreme pressure to make sure we’re safe. I wish that liberals cut George Bush and his administration some slack when he had to deal with the same thing, but it’s nice to see that reality dictates the president must now publicly say so:
“In the aftermath of the Christmas day bombing, our TSA personnel are properly under enormous pressure to make sure that you don’t have somebody slipping on a plane with some sort of explosive device on their persons. Since the explosive device that was on Mr. Abdulmutallab was not detected by ordinary metal detectors it has meant that TSA has had to try to adapt to make sure that passengers are safe. Now that’s a tough situation. One of the most frustrating aspects of this fight against terrorism is that it has created a whole security apparatus around us that causes huge inconvenience for all of us…What I’ve said to the TSA is that you have to constantly refine and measure whether what we’re doing is the only way to ensure the American people’s safe…”
And here’s where Charles Krauthammer’s outstanding piece comes in. He mentioned that “the ultimate idiocy is the full-body screening of the pilot. The pilot doesn’t need a bomb or box cutter to bring down a plane.”
I love Charles, but it should be noted that ANYONE can bring down a plane without a bomb or box cutter! And what has me annoyed is that the people in charge of protecting us seem to always be looking to the last attempted attack instead of thinking outside the box for what the next attack might look like. Unlike the New York Times or Geraldo Rivera (on purpose or inadvertently, respectively), I’m not in the business of telegraphing our next move to people who want to kill us. However, if Homeland Security personnel asked me I could probably give them ten ways off the top of my head that individuals would be able to show up to the airport in shorts, a t shirt, and a ticket—get through security—and then take down a plane. I’m confident al Qaeda can do so too.
TSA wants to palm our privates? Fine. It’s time to swallow contraband or put it in other deep, dark places. Is it going to be cavity search time next Thanksgiving? You don’t want to allow passengers to get up in the last hour of the flight? I guess al Qaeda just needs to take the plane down in the first 30 minutes…
I understand that we need multiple layers of security in order to guard against terrorists, but it seems as though the left downplays how important the offensive components are, and latches on to the defensive. Instead of enhanced pat downs for grandma and grandpa, why aren’t we making Islamic terrorists so paranoid that they’re the ones spending and ungodly amount of time screening each other for the turncoat jihadist or CIA operative in their midst?
I was in Little Rock Arkansas at 5:30 a.m. a few days ago in a line that made me think I was at Disneyland waiting for a brand new ride. Only I wasn’t in Disneyland and I almost missed my flight. In Little Rock. Personally, I don’t care if some TSA screener touches my junk. I was in the military. I had to put up with all sorts of degrading things. Some overweight guy with a wand and plastic glove doesn’t bother me. But it is generally stupid. And we should try and rid ourselves of stupid when we can.
See you in the airport this week, guys.