June 18, 2012

DEAR TSA: “I am not your customer.”

I am a “customer” of the airlines I fly. The TSA stands between me and the airline with a credible threat that they will not let us conduct business unless I go through a ludicrous song-and-dance routine that involves partially disrobing and then either being subjected to nude imaging or a full-on groping that involves hand-to-genital contact. . . .

The TSA should not be streamlined. Administrators should not “review screening procedures.” Screeners don’t need additional training. The TSA doesn’t need to be tweaked. It didn’t “go too far” in these specific instances. Its very existence goes too far. The TSA never should have been created in the first place, and it should be abolished now. Immediately. Without hesitation.

The TSA’s existence is an assault on American liberty and simple human dignity, as anyone who has had his or her genitals touched during an “enhanced pat-down” can tell you. Some still say we should be willing to trade off a little bit of liberty in order to get security, but this is a false trade-off. The TSA does not provide security. It provides what security expert Bruce Schneier calls “security theater.” The TSA only exists in order to give people the illusion of safety. Someone in an airport somewhere in the U.S. is being subjected to an unreasonable search by a gloved TSA screener right this minute. The cruel irony is that he or she is being stripped of liberty and dignity and is being made no safer for it.

Some people like stripping citizens of liberty and dignity.

Comments are closed.