I fly a lot, or at least I used to, back when my job came with vacation. I was flying regularly when the TSA was given the job of
scaring the public for no reason enforcing airline security. I saw the gradual tightening of the regulations and the silly way that the TSA quickly responded to the LAST threat. We had that moron try to set off a shoe bomb, so every air passenger in the US has to remove their shoes. People that before would never have thought of walking in their bare feet across a floor in such conditions found themselves forced to do so. Thousands of previous passengers have walked across that same surface – some in bare feet, others in socks since it was last washed. The flying public simply put up with this mandatory germ exposure – note that the TSA didn’t do a thing about providing sanitary conditions – they just said you had to do that, so we did. Of course, other countries do not treat their flying public like that. Next time you are in an airport, look at the passenger next to you – if he boarded in Rio, or Cancun, he may not have been asked to remove his shoes, yet he shares the same terminal as you. Why does our government permit international fliers into our “sterile areas” without going through the same ordeal that their citizens have to go through? How safe is that?
This makes me think that the whole business may not exactly be about security. If so, wouldn’t the TSA require advanced security procedures where international flights are concerned? That idiot shoe bomber departed from an European airport – they still aren’t required to remove their shoes. That’s right, Richard Reid (if he wasn’t in jail) could do the very same thing again, and the TSA’s present domestic shoe removal policy wouldn’t have affected his ability to get his stupid tennis shoe bomb on the flight. Reed was a moron – he volunteered to blow himself up (a clue) and he didn’t have the presence of mind to set his bomb off in the lavatory, where he could fumble with his matches undetected behind a locked lavatory door. Anyway, you can’t even wear cheap rubber flip flops to try to save your feet from the germs left by the last thousand passengers or so. What kind of a bomb could you hide in a flip flop? If you were serious, couldn’t you mold the whole darn thing out of PETN? Wouldn’t that x-ray as a solid item, just like a flip flop? Does this make you feel safer? Not me.
The latest trick from the TSA is the “naked body” scanner. These machines, many made by Rapidscan, who is a client of The Chertoff Group, a lobbying company run by the former secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff are being installed in many airports. Congress had an idea that the public wouldn’t like them, so they overwhelmingly passed an amendment back in June of 2009 that prohibited the scanners from being used as a primary method of screening – that’s where the “opt-out” provision comes from. You have a RIGHT not to have a naked picture of of you (or your children) taken and viewed by a person out of your sight. The TSA’s answer to that attempt to protect your rights was to make the alternative screening method, a”pat down” much more aggressive. Was this done to affect your decision to “opt out” of the naked body scanner? Why, yes it was. – a quote from the TSA agent in the linked article,”Nobody’s going to do it,” he said, “once they find out that we’re going to do.”
The “enhanced pat down” involves contact that would get you arrested for sexual battery if it happened anywhere else.
Can the government really do this?
The flying public is really upset.
Let’s watch and see what happens…