I imagine the photograph above offends you for many reasons. A few that come to mind are Nazi’s themselves, persecution of Jews, the inhumanity of humanity, the utter disregard for the individual, the abdication to evil, the invasion of privacy, et al.
Many of you are probably also offended that I would use this photograph in a story about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). A huge difference exists between the TSA and the Nazis. The former haven’t engaged in genocide and other atrocities. However, some similarities exist, too, and if we ignore those similarities, we ignore them at our own peril.
Some of the similarities, though, are frightening. These similarities include the complete disregard for the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution, the denigration of the individual’s privacy, the Orwellian and kabuki nature of the so-called security provided by TSA, the subjugation to an ever-growing bureaucracy all in the name of safety without regard to risk, and the mission creep of a bureaucracy more concerned about protecting labor union jobs than providing genuine security.
Over the weekend a video surfaced from the Columbus, Ohio, airport showing TSA screeners swabbing passengers’ drinks at the gate. According to the person posting the video they were apparently swabbing drinks purchased inside the sterile area, beyond the screening lines, looking for explosives. If this is true, TSA has accomplished something I haven’t been able to in over 7 years – exposing the fatal flaws in their current methods; and, proving that TSA is more concerned about appearances and mission creep than they are in genuine security.
Here is the video:
You will hear TSA claim they have “many layers” of security, all of which work together to keep us safe from hijackers and terrorists. Another way to consider their “many layers” is that none of the layers are sufficient alone, that some layers are more equal than others, that some layers simply don’t work, or, “many layers” is a euphemism for mission creep.
Americans are willingly giving up their civil rights all in the name of security – security that is mostly show business.
The next step? An internal security officer asking me as I travel from state-to-state, “may I see your papers please?”
Many will argue that comparing the TSA to Nazi Germany is inappropriate and, in fact, belittles the horror of the Holocaust. The horror of the Holocaust must never be forgotten. But there are lessons to learn, too, from such comparisons. While Americans are not being systematically murdered, our freedoms are being systematically eroded. While Americans are still free to travel, we are increasingly stopped without even the slightest of suspicion, other than the fact of traveling. While Americans have the ability and willingness to defend our freedom vis-a-vis the Second Amendment and the totality of the U.S. Constitution, we are nonetheless continuing to capitulate to a government that ever-increasingly expands its own power.
No one can deny the mission creep – first the airports. Then bus stations, rail stations, sporting events and now, drinks at the gate. We are the frogs in the kettle of water, slowing giving up freedom in the name of security.
Draw your own comparison if you don’t like mine.