British Bombings, Russian Wrecks, and the TSA

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my ongoing effort to protect myself from the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA), I’m trying to guess which part of our anatomy
the agency will choose to paw following the terrorist attacks in

all, these are the bureaucrats who transformed the crash of Russian
airliners into carte blanche for molesting airline passengers last
fall. Women wishing to board flights had first to run a gauntlet
of screeners required to cop a feel. Puerile parlance, I know, and
I apologize, but how else to describe the duties of our public perverts
— ah, servants?

Great Grope became official TSA policy on September 22, 2004, about
a month after a couple of Chechen women had allegedly blown up two
Russian airliners. Actually, no one knows how the planes exploded
because little evidence survived: one suspect’s remains were scattered
so widely that nothing could be determined from them. CNN thus reported
on August 30, 2004, that “Russian authorities are taking great care
not to assign blame in the crashes.”

because commie-pinko bureaucrats aren’t as imaginative as red-blooded
American ones. From half a world away and with absolutely no evidence,
the TSA determined that the women smuggled explosives aboard the
aircraft by strapping them to their bodies — in fact, to their bosoms.
Unfortunately, no one at the TSA bothered to research the sartorial
preferences of Chechen suicide bombers. If they had, they would
have discovered that the ladies wear “martyr’s belts,” not martyr’s bustiers.

the facts nor the lack of copycat incidents swayed the titillated
TSA. Instead, it decreed that groping women was vital for national
security. The protests and pleas of its humiliated victims availed
nothing: women were denied boarding unless they submitted to what
one passenger termed “a public breast exam.” An attorney named Rhonda
Gaynier recalled her ordeal at the TSA’s literal hands: “They touched
me between my breasts and I stopped them. When I refused to allow
them to continue, they refused my boarding.” She complained to a
male supervisor who was watching — yep, I’m wondering where the
TSA recruits these yahoos, too — and was told the search was mandatory.
Ms. Gaynier replied, “That’s ridiculous, you’re treating me like
a criminal.” A second screener then “came around to [the] front
of my breasts and touched them with her fingertips. That’s when
I said, ‘Whoa, what are you doing? I don’t think that’s appropriate.'”
When Ms. Gaynier called such treatment “offensive,” the leering
supervisor said, “‘Ma’am, that’s not offensive.'”

Patti Lupone was forced on November 5, 2004, to strip to her camisole
at one airport, despite vehement protests. “I took off my belt,
I took off my clogs, I took off my leather jacket,” she said. “But
when the screener said, ‘Now take off your shirt,’ I hesitated.
I said, ‘But I’ll be exposed!”‘ Anxious to make her flight, she
finally complied, and the screener “was all over me with her hands.”
Imagine the screener’s report to her friends that evening: “Guess
who I screened today! Some big-shot actress that thinks she’s so
hot. Ha! Guess what I did to her!”

TSA persisted in this harassment for three months, until public
outrage forced it to desist. On December 23, 2004, it announced
that screeners would henceforth grope only the “chest perimeter,”
defined as “a line below the chest area to the waist and… the
individual’s entire back.”

Hatfield, the TSA's chief spokesman, sounded like a panting prom
date as he tried to explain why the molestation which had been essential
to national security one day could be “modified” the next: “We can
still get at the threat with this modified pat-down procedure.”
Threat? Come now, Mark, isn’t that a tad harsh? We’re talking
a part of the female physique here generally considered either comfortingly
maternal or pleasurably erotic. Trust the bureaucrats to see a “threat”
where the rest of humanity sees a blessing – and vice versa.

them too, to capitalize on tragedy. Folks have been brutally, senselessly
murdered across the Atlantic — so in post-Constitutional America,
women must fear they will be molested in bus and train stations
as they were in airports. Further concerns arise: will men be manhandled,
too? What about dogs and the occasional pet snake twined about its
owner's neck on the subway? To be considered patriotic Americans,
should we coordinate our outfits over the next days with the colors
of the heightened terrorism alerts? Will that spare us a groping
by transit cops? Why are “officials” nationwide insisting there’s
no reason to fear a terrorist strike here but in the next breath
offering such advice as this gem from New York City’s mayor, Michael
Bloomberg: “Go about your life, and when you see something
suspicious turn it over to the professionals” [emphasis added]?
Good to know the “professionals” are there, especially because a
herd of disarmed sheeple can’t do much against deadly terrorists.

remind me again how to tell the “professionals” from the terrorists.

12, 2005

Akers [send her mail] writes
primarily about the American Revolution.

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