Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Security Theater

One of my many-times-a-day read is the Evolution of Security blog that is put out by TSA.

In it, the bloggers unsuccessfully try to present their agency as a dedicated group of security professionals who have the safety of traveling public foremost in their minds.

Instead, they have successfully managed to demonstrate that they are a rogue agency that plays fast and loose with civil liberties, that cares not a wit about the US constitution, and that uses draconian techniques to stifle their critics.

I actually feel sorry for the team that does the actual blogging -- I'm certain that they often feel very, very sick when they are finished making post that is clearly not of their making.

So what have we learned about the TSA:

  • There is no scientific validity in their liquids ban. If there were, then all of the confiscated liquds would be treated like hazardous waste, rather than just tossed in a trash bin next to the security station.
  • If you are a journalist, and you write bad things about them, your name will go on a list and you will be subjected to additional screenings every time you try to fly.
  • They have no Constitutional basis for demanding ID as a requirment to enter the departure area.
  • They have no legal authority to prevent someone from flying, but act as judge, jury and executioner by dealying people who don't cooperate long enough that they miss their flights.
  • Their newest scanners are basically electronic strip search machines.
  • They will accept a driver's license that is based on fraudulent Mexican ID as proof of identity, or even a Costco card, but will not accept ID that is produced by NASA, the Department of the Interior, etc.
  • They claim that they do not maintain their own private watch lists - but they do. Or at least they did until yesterday when USA Today called them on it.
I could go on and on. And I think that TSA will be a regular topic in this blog from this point forward. Just take a look at their blog. Read the comments, especially from the commenters who use their names or their net names, like Trollkiller, etc. The routinely call TSA's bluff.

TSA is dangerous, it is out of control, and it is your rights that it is running all over. And, despite their pretty badges and law-enforcement type uniforms, they are NOT law enforcement. They have no more arrest authority than the old guy in the green vest at Wal*Mart. They just act like they do.

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