Calling All Cowards

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Like me, you’ve probably wondered where the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rustles up the gutless baboons it sics on passengers at its security theaters. Or perhaps you’ve speculated about just how low the IQ and morals must sink for a wannabe baboon to grunt, "Hmmm, think I’ll git me a job where I can stand around on the taxpayers’ dime, except for when I’m busy feeling u2018em up and rummagin’ their bags for money and drugs to u2018confiscate,’ heh-heh."

Here’s our answer: pizza boxes. The TSA is advertising for screeners on the boxes in which Washington DC’s pizzerias deliver their product. Though some might praise the agency for its sense of propriety — how fitting that it recruits for its cheesy make-work with a cheese-y pie! — I call it an offense against a beloved treat. Bread, garlicky sauce, melted mozzarella: does dinner come any more delicious than this? The fact that busybodies obsessed with our diet hyperventilate over this innocent pleasure only adds to its allure.

Meanwhile, grab a bucket: you’ll need it to catch your lunch after reading the ad. “A career where X-ray vision and federal benefits come standard,” the headline shamelessly proclaims. The TSA’s strip-search machines traumatize victims (including its own employees), are carcinogenic, and do not detect explosives, yet Our Masters exploit the misery for their idea of a witticism. The copy below this insult gushes, "See yourself in a vital role for Homeland Security. Be part of a dynamic security team protecting airports and skies as you proudly secure your future." And hey, you also get to abuse crippled kids, amputees, the elderly, hard-working patriots carrying cash, folks feeling ill, and even those passengers who’ve followed your silly rules to the letter. Yo, Pistole: if the pizza boxes don’t pay off, maybe you can spring for the back cover of Sadists International.

Alas, the TSA’s public servants compensate with cowardliness what they lack in decency. No passenger is too innocuous or unlikely a threat to spook these goofballs. When one of them forced Danielle Shanese Smith, 25, into their smutty scanner at Charlotte-Douglas [NC] International Airport earlier this month, her involuntary strip-tease "indicated anomalies." So her assailant "asked if she had anything in her pockets." She responded, "’I have a bomb.’ … asked to repeat her statement in front of second officer, Smith did so … The officers requested a supervisor, who asked her again if she had anything in her pockets. Smith replied: u2018a bomb, cuz I am a (expletive) terrorist’…"

How many times have we all longed to similarly sass the TSA’s tormenters?

Of course, "officers found no explosive"; when do they ever? So they punished the lady by insisting she "had u2018an intense stare’ and u2018a non-joking demeanor’ that made theme [sic] believe her threat was credible…" Way to go, ma’am! Put the invertebrates in their place with a look!

Naturally, Ms. Smith’s hostility to the TSA’s wickedness has barred her from American aviation: she "is not allowed to fly commercially or enter an airport until her case is concluded." Would that we could say the same for the goons who searched her without a warrant. The Feds may even bankrupt and imprison her for her words: "The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Smith, if convicted, faces a maximum penalty of a $250,000 fine, five years in prison or both." Seems that while chucking the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments, the TSA threw out the Eighth as well. For good measure, "airport police charged Smith with disorderly conduct."

Older men also inspire the TSA’s bullies to retaliate. Richard Bellows, a taxpayer from Carmel, IN, not only neglected to overlook the TSA’s sloth in Indianapolis International Airport, he dared complain about it. "Bellows was in line at about 6 a.m. Tuesday when he asked a Transportation Security Administration official why it was taking so long — especially when he could see five TSA scanners who appeared to be loafing." Uh-oh. Haven’t Our Masters made it crystal clear that uppity serfs annoy them? Our job is to cringe and obey, not imply that our time is valuable, our lives are our own, and the police-state had better stop hassling us.

Ergo, the TSA re-educated Mr. Bellows: its miffed minions barred him from his flight and almost convinced cops to arrest him. "…TSA behavioral detection officer Jamie Wilmot, at first said Bellows brushed him when he walked by [after he had complained] … But Wilmot later told behavioral detection supervisor Aaron Anderson and security manager Lisa Scott it felt more like a push than a shove." So Anderson, Scott, and "Airport Officer Michael Brite" — apparently summoned when Barney Fife-sorry, Jamie Wilmot barely survived the 63-year-old Mr. Bellows’ brush, push, or whatever — resorted to the TSA’s numerous, notorious surveillance cameras.

Our Rulers have squandered millions of our taxes on these gadgets. The unwary assume this demonstrates the TSA’s concern for our safety. Au contraire. The cameras are there to catch us, not protect us. For example, victims of the TSA’s robbery plead with it to review its videotape and confirm their tales of theft when the agency denies its lackeys’ criminality. Imagine their shock when told that the cameras didn’t film the felony because they are pointed at passengers — though no passenger anywhere has yet swiped a screener’s jewelry, drugs, or money, let alone his dignity and peace of mind.

Fortunately, the usual scenario reversed itself in Mr. Bellows’ case. "After watching replays of the brush/push from four different camera angles and doing a warrant check on Bellows, the officials decided that it [sic] was not threatening enough for an arrest." Ya think? "But they told Bellows he couldn’t fly out Tuesday and would have to leave Wednesday. And when he came back he would be interviewed again, with further action still possible." That’ll teach him to speak his mind like a free man.

"We are committed to making each traveler’s screening experience as pleasant and smooth as possible," the TSA prattles. "We are also committed to treating each traveler with dignity and respect…"

You better believe it.

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

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