As if we have not been violated enough, airport security is back in the news today with the discovery that Orlando International Airport is considering the replacement of TSA screeners with those managed by a private company.
And, for those who may not follow newsy news, it seems as though the Access Hollywood crowd can rediscover the TSA story for themselves. Pop culture princess Khloe Kardashian told comedian and talk show host George Lopez on Monday that, during airport screenings, TSA agents are “basically just raping you in public.” And Kardashian’s rape comparison comes on the heels (six-inch-high stripper-esque heels, I’m sure) of a statement made by former Playboy Playmate and Baywatch star Donna D’errico about her suspicion that TSA agents had singled her out for the “naked” scanner because of her looks.
(Incidentally, my favorite quote from Ms. D’errico is about boyfriend and Merv Griffin Entertainment president Roy Bank: “My boyfriend looks much more like a terrorist than either I or my son do, and he went through security with no problems.” Whether she intended it to or not–probably not–Ms. D’errico’s statement only reinforces the most problematic and ineffective aspect of TSA protocol — searching for weapons rather than terrorists.)
Shortly before travelers across the country prepared their private parts for the fondling now associated with Thanksgiving travel, Thomas Sowell centered the hammerhead on the spike in a piece written at TownHall about this administration’s security concerns about everyday American people compared with its concerns about actual threats to our national security. A somewhat long excerpt:
“Security” may be the excuse being offered for the outrageous things being done to American air travelers, but the heavy-handed arrogance and contempt for ordinary people that is the hallmark of this administration in other areas is all too painfully apparent in these new and invasive airport procedures.
Can you remember a time when a Cabinet member in a free America boasted of having his “foot on the neck” of some business or when the President of the United States threatened on television to put his foot on another part of some citizens’ anatomy?
Yet this and more has happened in the current administration, which is not yet two years old. One Cabinet member warned that there would be “zero tolerance” for “misinformation” when an insurance company said the obvious, that the mandates of ObamaCare would raise costs and therefore raise premiums. Zero tolerance for exercising the First Amendment right of free speech?
More than two centuries ago, Edmund Burke warned about the dangers of new people with new power. This administration, only halfway through its term, has demonstrated that in many ways.
What other administration has had an Attorney General call the American People “cowards”? And refuse to call terrorists Islamic? What other administration has had a Secretary of Homeland Security warn law enforcement officials across the country of security threats from people who are anti-abortion, for federalism or are returning military veterans?
If anything good comes out of the airport “security” outrages, it may be in opening the eyes of more people to the utter contempt that this administration has for the American people.
Those who made excuses for all of candidate Barack Obama’s long years of alliances with people who expressed their contempt for this country, and when as president he appointed people with a record of antipathy to American interests and values, may finally get it when they feel some stranger’s hand in their crotch.
As for the excuse of “security,” this is one of the least security-minded administrations we have had. When hundreds of illegal immigrants from terrorist-sponsoring countries were captured crossing the border from Mexico– and then released on their own recognizance within the United States, that tells you all you need to know about this administration’s concern for security.
When captured terrorists who are not covered by either the Geneva Convention or the Constitution of the United States are nevertheless put on trial in American civilian courts by the Obama Justice Department, that too tells you all you need to know about how concerned they are about national security.
Never in the history of the Republic has so much damage been visited so quickly upon Americans by a power-crazed regime masquerading as a principled executive administration than in the last twenty-three months. And, sadly – but not surprisingly – the regime apparatchiks remain proud of the wreckage they have produced.
Memo to the electorate: what, exactly, were you thinking on November 4, 2008?
Without (again) chronicling the bill of particulars which might be drawn up by a fourth grader against the folks in power – so blatant and obvious are their transgressions against both the people and their founding document, the Constitution – consider only the latest example of their excesses: government-sanctioned molestation of air travelers. As a follow-up to Jeff Schreiber’s Transacting Sexual Assaults from last month, please note: things have only gone further south.
That’s right, Virginia, as we’ve learned from the travel horror stories over the past few weeks, the new sexual predators on the block are not those guys in the trenchcoats skulking in the alleyways along the routes home from schools; they are not the Internet surfers trolling for kids to satisfy their base urges; they are not the Left Coast porn merchants pumping out quadruple-X rated DVD’s. No, one need look no farther than your local airport to find the new assailants: they wear the uniforms of the Transportation Security Administration.
From requiring a breast cancer survivor flight attendant to remove and display to TSA personnel her prosthesis to strip searching a four year-old boy to groping a crying three year-old girl in the arms of her dad to causing a bladder cancer patient’s urostomy bag to spring a leak and soak him in his own urine — the TSA officials just don’t get it.
Nor, apparently, do they want to. Rather, the Obama administration’s fealty to political correctness mandates that all persons seeking to travel by air are to be treated as if they were potential terrorists. This includes, of course, children, breast cancer survivors, nuns, double amputees and folks with incontinency issues. Who’s next, registered Republicans?
It is beyond ironic that an administration headed up by a person who claims to have been a Constitutional Law professor appears to be so comfortable, even insouciant, as Khloe Kardashian and other not-so-busty Americans are required as a condition of exercising their rights to travel to surrender their Fourth Amendment rights to be protected from their government against its “unreasonable searches.” Reasonable searches are fine: unreasonable searches are not. Political cartoonist Michael Ramirez regularly breathes life into the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, and his cartoon from last month presents no exception. [A long time ago, I received a polite letter from Ramirez's syndicator asking me to remove a cartoon from these pages, so to see what Rick is talking about, click HERE. -- Jeff]
Sowell, in his November 23 piece, makes the perfectly logical point: why not adopt the Israeli system of … shudder… profiling? It works. And only a goof or Janet (“Man-Caused Disaster”) Napolitano would deny that it is far more “reasonable” to subject to heightened scrutiny those who are more likely to present a threat than it is to subject all air travelers, 99 percent of whom are patriotic Americans, to the grossly unreasonable searches they are now being required to endure by TSA voyeurs. Heck, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out — it only takes a former Baywatch actress.
And, speaking of modest proposals, how about this one: why not institute a commercial air transportation protocol under which fliers are offered the option of actually being profiled? If the regime cares so little about the Fourth Amendment (and don’t look for any help from the ACLU or the [Social] Justice Department on the issue), why not make it easier for air travelers to sign a form waiving any otherwise preserved constitutional rights against being profiled?
The basis for the general aversion to racial profiling is the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806 (1996). However, the Fourteenth Amendment, by its own terms, generally applies only to states and state conduct and not to the federal government or the conduct of its employees and, moreover, does not apply to or constrain the acts of private persons or entities. Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830 (1982).
So, yes, in theory, the feds could profile — but the PC mullahs (not to mention the DNC) would go ballistic. And Eric Holder will most likely conclude that while the TSA can defecate on your Fourth Amendment rights, you have no parallel right to waive the legally groundless prohibition on profiling.
The fact that the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to private persons or entities explains why some airports – including the aforementioned Orlando International and, go figure, San Francisco – are deciding to ditch the TSA gropers for private sector screening personnel who can and should use common sense in evaluating the respective security risks presented between, say, a bearded 29-year old claiming to be a Yemeni exchange student and an 85-year-old habit-draped nun. Even under current protocols, both individuals could be presented with the option at the initial screening point: Line “A” if you want the PC-mandated, back-scatter “naked” X-ray and/or pat-down treatment; Line “B” if you want Israeli-style profiling.
No problem. The lines – especially Line “B” – speed up by a tenfold factor and the politically correct crowd who prefers X-rays, aggressive frisking and occasionally being “felt-up” by TSA personnel can continue to endure increasingly invasive, unreasonable searches. You gotta wonder how folks will react when the TSA announces that full scale body cavity searches are coming. The folks in Line “A” will likely rejoice, but the folks in Line “B” will be on their way to 35,000 feet.
Problem solved. You’re welcome, America.