Saturday, August 21, 2010

TSA Abuses Liberty

Daniel Rueben: ""Everything in my purse was out, including my wallet and my checkbook. I had two prescriptions in there. One was diet pills. This was embarrassing. A TSA officer said, 'Hey, I've always been curious about these. Do they work?'
"I was just so taken aback, I said, 'Yeah.' "
What happened next, she says, was more than embarrassing. It was infuriating.
That same screener started emptying her wallet. "He was taking out the receipts and looking at them," she said.
"I understand that TSA is tasked with strengthening national security but [it] surely does not need to know what I purchased at Kohl's or Wal-Mart," she wrote in her complaint, which she sent me last week.
She says she asked what he was looking for and he replied, "Razor blades." She wondered, "Wouldn't that have shown up on the metal detector?"
In a side pocket she had tucked a deposit slip and seven checks made out to her and her husband, worth about $8,000
Her thought: "Oh, my God, this is none of his business."
Two Philadelphia police officers joined at least four TSA officers who had gathered around her. After conferring with the TSA screeners, one of the Philadelphia officers told her he was there because her checks were numbered sequentially, which she says they were not.
"It's an indication you've embezzled these checks," she says the police officer told her. He also told her she appeared nervous. She hadn't before that moment, she says.
She protested when the officer started to walk away with the checks. "That's my money," she remembers saying. The officer's reply? "It's not your money.""

Yet another miserable story in the ever growing chronicles of Department of Homeland (when did we start calling it the Homeland?) Security's Transportation Security Administration, a tale woefully full of abuse of power against the very American's it was created to protect.

Or maybe it wasn't. It is but security theater, the delicate dance of pretending to protect people from imaginary fears to propel the bureaucracy and the power of the establishment well into the future. If we were really intended to be safe in the air from threats that actually exist, we would clear out this entire sham and put police on board flights.
Better yet, let the airlines and insurance handle their own security. Competition provides innovation, efficiency, happy customers, and better solutions. Before you complain about the current state of the Airline industry, consider how much of what is wrong is the result of Government intervention, particularly since the events of 9/11. Then ask, 'Could the airlines have handled this any worse if they had wanted to?'


Gino said...

and last year i was boarding the plane (several times) with 48 cans of liquid, and 6 bottles of water, and a dozen plastic stringes.

Palm boy said...

Presumably, no one died as a result of this.