Friday, November 10, 2006

What is important?

With the liquid ban still mostly in effect, months after any pretend or real threat has passed, the time comes for any intelligent citizen to ask one resounding question to the TSA: what is important? The boarding pass flaw still unchecked, the question becomes even more pressing.

Let us, in asking this question, take the view of a passenger going through the "security checkpoint." A passenger, most often also a citizen of the United States of America, is made to remove shoes, watches, coats, purses, backpacks, belts, rings, wallets, key chains, cell phones, and any number of other arbitrarily chosen objects. Meanwhile, the line behind them grows. If we accept the premise upon which the TSA supposedly operates, that the world before the checkpoint is dangerous, and that the world after the checkpoint is safe, then we realize that the TSA is placing American citizens into danger.

Indeed, I claim that with every arbitrary inconvenience, with every invasion of privacy, with every bureaucratic hiccup, with every police-state-style intimidation, the TSA has every reason to believe that they are putting American citizens into mortal danger. Citizens are being thrust into a situation where they are crammed in a tight space, with no substantive security measures protecting them. If a rouge suicide bomber ever wanted a nice target, the TSA has saved him the walk all the way to their gate.

What, pray tell, is being protected by the TSA? What does the organization feel is important enough to protect at the direct cost of the safety of the American populace? For what is our safety spent with not even a receipt to show for it? Is it the planes, the private property of already heavily subsidized corporations? Is it the Commander-In-Chief's approval ratings? Is it the jobs of the agents? Their place in the federal government at all? What is important to the TSA?

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