Tag Archive for 'transportation-security-administration'

Why Won’t Obama Curb the TSA?

Published April 29th, 2011 by tcarpenter

The Transportation Security Administration’s outrages against air travelers reached new heights earlier this month with the (very) thorough pat-down of six-year-old Anna Drexel at the New Orleans airport.  Not only did that action violate common sense, it violated common decency.  The girl’s parents caught the horrific incident on their cell phone video camera, and it immediately went viral on the internet.   After being subjected to what one critic later described as the “freedom fondle,” Anna burst into tears.  That was hardly a surprise.  She had been told repeatedly by her parents and teachers that it was wrong, wrong, wrong for any stranger to touch her in her private places.  Anyone, that is, except arrogant, thuggish bureaucrats working for the TSA.  Talk about mixed messages!

Angry members of Congress have introduced legislation to bar such procedures on young children in the future.  But why should legislation be needed to end the practice–and the TSA’s other offenses against the basic civil liberties of the American people?  The TSA is an agency of the executive branch.  President Obama is the head of the executive branch.  He could order an end to all such abuses with the stroke of his pen on an executive order.  Why has he not done so?  His failure on this issue is just the latest piece of evidence that all of his  rhetoric about “hope and change” in the 2008 presidential campaign was just that–empty rhetoric.  

Decent Americans have had more than enough of the TSA’s airport security theater–useless and obnoxious intrusions on our civil liberties in the name of preventing terrorism.   If President Obama is too timid or uncaring to rein-in this rogue agency, Congress should do it without further delay.

The TSA’s Latest Idiocy

Published March 21st, 2009 by tcarpenter

In his farewell speech to Congress in 1951, General Douglas MacArthur intoned that “old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”  Likewise, bad policy ideas never die.  Unfortunately, they never fade away either.  They just get recycled.  The latest example is the decision by the Transportation Security Administration to resume random screenings of airport passengers at the gate.  After massive complaints from the public, the TSA abandoned that absurd practice several years ago.

Of all the post-9-11 airport “safety” measures, the random screenings were the most intrusive and useless.  All too many instances arose in which the randomly selected passenger turned out to be a toddler or a 90-year-old woman in a wheelchair.  As if there was even a snowball’s chance in Hell that such individuals were possible terrorists.  My colleague Doug Bandow has a good piece on that practice. 

Most of the TSA’s measures at airports are designed to show activity rather than have any real relevance to stopping terrorism, and the random searches were the most blatant examples of activity for the sake of activity.  Why America’s security bureaucrats have decided to bring back that useless policy is anyone’s guess.   Perhaps TSA really stands for Terminally Stupid Actions.