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Child Molestation Impersonating National Security

| 11 Comments

Kent makes the point that there are better ways to protest TSA's grope-your-kid spectacle, and I agree.  My suggestion is that, instead of uselessly and perversely delaying your fellow travelers, demand that the new Congress subpoena Big Sis for a groping of what it pleases her to call her mind.

I was an Assistant US Attorney for a long time.  I believe in unapologetic enforcement of the law, and certainly enforcement against those who want to blow airplanes out of the sky has to be the first order of business.  I am also aware that normal Fourth Amendment standards, which call for the amount of government intrusion to be matched by the level and specificity of individualized suspicion, cannot apply in the airport context.  Some generalized surrender of personal privacy is unavoidable, given the dangers we face.  But this Administration has taken it both too far and in the wrong direction.  It's foolish and misdirected to think that Obama's reckless government can be called to account by holding up innocent travelers in the grope-your-kid line, but a calling to account is imperative nonetheless.

We know who the bombers are because we have a lot of experience.  They're jihadist Muslim men in their 20's and 30's.  I'm sorry if it's politcally incorrect thus to "profile" them, but that is in fact who they are and it's past time to act on this knowledge rather than pretending we don't have it.

What's happening now parades under the title of the suddenly-popular-with-liberals "national security," but I seriously doubt that's what's going on.  More likely, in my view, is that this gross and quasi-sexual public humiliation of your teenager is a reflection of the view that government controls citizens rather than the other way around.  You have to ask whether this is less Big Sis than Big Brother, trying to turn us into a nation of sheep:  Accept some government operative's hands all over you, or your daughter, or your son for that matter, or face the mailed fist.  It's absolutely no coincidence that this is the same government that from now on plans to make life-or-death medical decisions for you, your wishes be damned.

This is not the America I grew up with or care to live in.  Don't add to the burdens of your fellow travelers.  But when Thanksgiving is over, demand that a new and hopefully more sober Congress put on public display the real motives of those who want to start degrading you by stripping you (as it were) of your privacy, but aim to end by stripping you of your freedom.

Your kid is not an object to be played with by The State and neither are you.  This is the lesson our new Congress will need to teach our President.   

 

11 Comments


The profile of those who would do harm in the name of Allah is narrow and eminent to all. This latest intrusion will not improve air safety because we are wasting 95% of our resources on ordinary Americans.

Perhaps the modern battle-cry of "Don't touch my junk" will serve as the turning point in a public push-back against the unreasonable, anti-profiling ban.

I'm amazed that anyone thinks crude, race-based profiling is effective. It's not used by the Israelis or anyone else. Stop creating strawmen Bill.

Oh and I wouldn't object to proper profiling, like that in Israel (which also manages to avoid groping anyone), if it could be done effectively and without creating an unmanageable number of false positives or without stopping anyone who has brown skin. Hell, the US already profiles based on your name on entry to the country and when issuing visas, why not take it a step further. As I'm sure you aware I am a 'liberal'.

bhaal --

1. "I'm amazed that anyone thinks crude, race-based profiling is effective."

Islam is a not a race, in case you hadn't noticed. And you don't -- because you can't -- refute my observation that the people involved in the airline attacks in this country have been Muslim men in their 20's and 30's.

2. "Oh and I wouldn't object to proper profiling..."

Sure you would, since intelligent "profiling" would improve the security of the country you have made it quite clear you detest.

3. "...if it could be done effectively and without...stopping anyone who has brown skin."

In order to do effective race-baiting, you need to target a proposition that involves race. Nice try, though.

4. "As I'm sure you aware I am a 'liberal'."

No you're not. You're an anti-American, which I'm happy to say is different. And it is your anti-Americanism that leads you to voice no objection to a system that erodes American freedom and personal dignity.

I'm anti-american because I disagree with you? Whatever.

bhaal:

There is little dispute that evidence-based profiling is very effective. I'm amazed that anyone can think differently. You may object to it on other grounds but not on its' efficiency and productivity.

bhaal --

Is that the best you can do?

To be clear, among the signs that you're anti-American is that you make a backdoor but immediate allegation that America uses (or proposes to use) "profiling" of "anyone who has a brown skin" when nothing of the kind was suggested. As I pointed out, and you don't dispute, jihadist Islam is not a race. This did not prevent you from leaping to the weary, anti-American charge of racism. That is a classic ploy designed to try to bully the USA with race-based guilt. It took you, what, ten seconds to get there? (You have also tried the anti-American, race-baiting ploy with the death penalty).

Another among the signs of your anti-Americanism is your condemning my criticism of a TSA grope-your-kid "security" system that is designed to, and does, turn thousands if not millions of air travelers into pliant, submissive serfs of any government operative who wants to feel them up (pardon the gross phrasing but we all know that's what it is). The TSA program is designed to inculcate a degree of subservience to government that is alien to the spirit of a free and independent citizenry, but to read your remarks you have no problem with it. To the contrary, the problem is with my consternation about government-sponsored child molesting.

My goodness.

Yet a third indication of your anti-Americanism is your continued arrogant condemnation of the great majority of our citizens who support the death penalty because it is just and because, through now-proven deterrence, it saves lives. But, detesting the country, those American lives are ones you want destroyed rather than saved -- hence your look-down-the-snoot dismissal of American capital punishment.

You and your fellow anti-Americans think you can hide behind your patronizing, we-in-Europe-know-more attitude, when in fact that attitude is not a disguise but a give-away. You're just too dense to realize it.

Bill - you've clearly over-analysed my comments. I didn't suggest that America uses or proposes to use race-based profiling. I was just using it as an example of a profiling system that America should not adopt. I don't know why you feel the need to twist my comment to

You are an objectionable, offensive Bush administration hack, making random and illogical allegations of anti-americanism. I don't know what pathology I've triggered in that messed up head of yours, but it obviously isn't healthy. Get help.

bhaal --

So I guess it WAS the best you could do. So I suspected. The problem -- or at least one problem -- with you anti-American types is that you can't tell the difference between insult and argument.

If that's your argument what do you do for insult. Come around my house and shoot me?

You accused me of wanting to kill Americans, including presumably the Americans I am friends with, work with every day and will spend Thanksgiving with. Then you called me dense. If you retract those comments I'm more than willing to have a civil debate with you, but I will want an apology first.

Another liberal, checkin' in.

First of all, a point of agreement: TSA security theater is both over-intrusive and disgusting. I've thought so since well before the groping began: the liquid rule and its effect on lactating mothers, for instance, was also an absurd overreaction.

Profiling, though... meh. If you profile, then the bad guys will learn to use people outside the profile. I've had some experience defending cases of drug importation through JFK airport, and the smugglers were endlessly inventive about who they recruited as mules. Israeli Ecstasy traffickers, for instance, used Hasidic yeshiva students coming home from Amsterdam or Antwerp, and told them they were smuggling diamonds.

If you want terrorists, then Hamas, back when it was in the suicide-bombing business, would recruit mothers, young women, the elderly, teenagers, the mentally ill -- anyone who might be able to get past a checkpoint or onto a bus with less scrutiny.

The bottom line is that you can start with a profile, but eventually the profile will have to include all of us. (And before anyone mentions Israel, their profiles are also ridiculously over-inclusive, and I've heard plenty of horror stories -- from Jews as well as Arabs -- about their airport screening. They don't grope, but they do engage in intrusive personal questioning, and they sometimes shoot laptops.)

The real problem isn't political correctness -- it's that we've been conditioned to want 100 percent security, which is impossible to achieve. Since 9/11, we've turned into a country of little old ladies who want to be protected, and both the Bush and Obama administrations have encouraged this attitude as a means of accreting and keeping power.

What we really need to do is be adults, recognize that bad things will sometimes happen, and that the marginal increase in safety provided by intrusive security measures isn't worth the loss of human dignity. We need to understand that we're all responsible for our own safety -- after all, that was how the underwear bomber got caught -- and that we have to accept some degree of risk as the price of an open society.

(We also need to get over our fear of civilian trials for terror suspects, even if that means occasional acquittals, but I digress.)

And it isn't a liberal-conservative thing either. Quite a few of the lawmakers complaining about TSA groping are Democrats, and the sort of submissiveness being encouraged by the TSA ("pour out your breast milk, lady") did not begin with the Obama administration. The iron law of bureaucracy knows no party.

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