TSA Pat Downs – Just What Al Qaeda Ordered

Posted on November 21, 2010


Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has sought to make it so expensive to try to prevent an attack that it will take down the air line industry, the shipping industry and thousands of jobs.  They aren’t out to kill a lot of people or spend a lot of money – just send a package or two through the transportation system that will blow and ignite their two primary weapons of frustration and fear.

They think they can achieve this and they may be right. The more divided we are over TSA  pat downs and scans, the better they like it. When young boys are stripped in front of crowds of people for a pat down as their parents stand angrily by and another passenger tapes it on his iPhone it is the kind of theater that makes the audience scream: Enough! They drive or take the train more. They file an expensive lawsuit against the government if they are irritated and compromised enough.

The cost to us is high to counter low-cost al Qaeda terrorist attacks. This is the crux of the problem but there will never be a solution with the lack of leadership we have in the White House.  Obama’s comments on the matter come as if they are taken from a conversation overheard while walking past  an open window in the Oval Office – with all the force of a second hand report.  All he can say is “it’s frustrating but necessary.”  [ USA Today] Surely he could offer to look into the abuse of  TSA authority?  Isn’t there some way he can better identify with our disgust in this?

It’s just one more instance in the life of our country in which no one seems to  have a handle on some good PR.  It isn’t really necessary for the traveling public to be this distressed and angry.  It could all have been handled better and we know it.

It remains for our humorists to save our sanity.  Dave Barry was recently asked to step aside for a scan and a pat down.  Here is part of his report:

“Everyone else had a nice, sharp groin [image from the scanner], I guess. But when I went through, they pulled me aside and put me in this – kind of like little pen. And after like – I don’t know – three or four minutes of standing there, I asked one of them: Why am I here? And he said, you have a blurred groin. And I went, what? Because you hate to find this out at the airport.” Barry said he was quite surprised to learn of this, since he had just had a very thorough physical two weeks earlier.Barry then told the host what happened during the pat down. “And then while I was in there, the other guy with the boarding pass came in. And he says, oh, I’m a – you’re Dave Barry. I’m a big fan. And so I had this kind of surreal conversation with one guy telling me what a big fan he is, how much, you know, he likes my – and the other guy is groping me.” [thaindian.com]

Keep flying America.  We fight this war by continuing to live life as we have always known it – free of fear and unrestrained in our movements and choices. These frustrations are the “incoming.”  Just shoot it down with a cool head, remembering the big picture and press on.  This IS the war we are fighting – one of frustration and fear artfully constructed by a clever enemy.