Monday, December 13, 2010

Strange Bedfellows and the TSA


Some folks may remember, back in their misspent youth, waking up with a stranger next to them. A disconcerting experience, to say the least, and certainly a stellar argument against excessive alcohol consumption.

Well, anybody notice who’s lying in bed with us this morning?

The ACLU and many on the Left.

They are concerned about the TSA assault on our civil liberties, and we should welcome their partnership on the issue. That being said, they’re pretty quick to blame us for this situation:
“But conservatives bear a lot of blame for their current predicament. This comprehensive assault on individual freedom didn’t occur in a vacuum; it occurred because conservatives were successful in frightening Americans into choosing security over liberty every time the choice was before them, and because America’s elected officials take being blamed for a terrorist attack more seriously than their oath to protect the Constitution.”
The Leftists may have a small point here. Certainly, arguments against the Patriot Act, for example, included the phrase “slippery slope.”

However, the Leftists fail to make a key distinction. Can you spot it here (from the Leftist American Prospect)?
“As the holidays approach, conservatives livid over the new procedures might take a moment during the humiliating inconvenience of a virtual strip search or TSA grope session to think about what indefinite detention in an island prison or a week of forced sleep deprivation feels like. The peril of provoking mass panic every time an incompetent terrorist lights himself on fire might become more apparent.”
This quote shows how the Left misses the point entirely, but first a quick rebuttal to their deluded impression that fear of the terrorist threat is something that has been “ramped up” by conservatives for political gain. “Peril of provoking mass panic,” indeed. It doesn’t take but 30 seconds of Googling to find out what Islam would like to do to the West. And then there’s the solid and tragic evidence in front of us (aka what has already happened):

So this idea that conservatives are just trying to scare us all, and that if we ignore the Islamists they’ll stop their temper tantrum, is patently ridiculous.

But back to the larger disconnect evident in this quote. Leftists utterly fail to make the distinction between people suspected of/likely to engage in terrorism – and everybody else.  This is the crux of the problem with current TSA policy, as well. The folks at Guantanamo weren’t there because they wanted to go visit Grandma for Thanksgiving. Likewise, body cavity searches on Aunt Ethel are not necessary since every sane person knows that Aunt Ethel has no bomb in her underwear. Mostly, we know that by how she looks. But just to be sure, the TSA could be checking her passport to see where she’s been, or at least ascertaining if in fact she’s an American citizen. So, in the unlikely event that Aunt Ethel’s been to Yemen, then yeah, she would need to get in the grope-and-strip line. Everyone else should be getting a pass, however.

The Left is unhappy that our civil rights are being violated. That’s good. But we can’t let them blur the rights of American citizens with the rights of everyone else. Tactics and techniques used in interrogating a foreign-born Muslim who’s been caught in suspected terror activities – or for that matter, tactics and techniques used on anyone suspected of and arrested for a crime – clearly should not be equivalent to tactics and techniques used on a 3-year-old flying to Disneyland.



This isn’t even one of the most horrifying examples of TSA groping, but what a ridiculous waste of time (as well as an assault on both the innocence and dignity of this little boy).

The only sane solution to the TSA debacle is re-routing screening resources to the people who are suspicious. Many sensible solutions have been proposed, and all of them would have the serendipitous effect of restoring dignity to the American air traveler.

Ironically, it does serve the Left’s ultimate goals, even if they don’t realize it themselves, for Americans to line up like sheep to be poked and prodded at the government’s whim. A cowed people is a people who can be defeated and ruled by an elite such as the Left seeks to enthrone. But as long as individual Leftists don’t realize the benefit, and get into bed with us on this one – we may as well invite them to stay for breakfast, and work together to get this debacle corrected.

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