The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Total Security Absurdity

Posted on | November 24, 2010 | 2 Comments

Gropegate continues to make news and inspire commentary:

Ann Coulter, meanwhile, offers a relevant clue:

Tip for the TSA: When your agents are asking passengers for their autographs, you’re probably not on the verge of nabbing Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. . . .
If security guards at a big, fat terrorist target like the U.S. Capitol can be expected to figure out that members of Congress aren’t a threat, why don’t we trust TSA agents to figure out that little grandmothers, nuns and 8-year-olds aren’t a threat either?

And she mentions my pet peeve about flying:

But all those people have to take their shoes off, remove their computers from their luggage and be subjected to a pat-down because TSA agents are prohibited by the Homeland Security Department from using an ounce of common sense.

The whole security-screening process annoys me, but having to remove my laptop from my carry-on is the worst of it. I carry my laptop in a backpack that’s always crammed with newspapers, magazines and sundry other stuff. The process of taking out the laptop, putting it in a separate bin, then putting it back in after I’ve passed through the screening — a total hassle. And all because three or four years ago, there was some tip that al-Qaeda had figured out how to rig laptops as bombs.

There is never an end to it. Once something becomes part of the screening process, it remains permanently part of the process and, as Coulter says, it’s all because TSA is forbidden to use common sense: I’m not a terrorist threat.

The Middle-Aged Journalist Jihad has never been a serious danger to American air travelers. Of course, if common sense were allowed by TSA,  if they reserved the more intensive screening procedures for people who might actually be terrorists — people with names like “Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab” — this would be “discrimination.”

And so they’re going to keep hassling us forever.


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