There I was, minding my own business at my computer, when this irresistible invitation invaded my in-box:
From: Ron Moore <———> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Mon, Dec 6, 2010 9:33 am Subject: Former TSA Officer available for interview and analysis of current TSA controversy
First, I laughed. Heartily. Then I wondered why ol' Ron included me on his list of prospects. Or perhaps I was a very late and desperate addition: as it happens, I had wasted Sunday evening reading an interview with him — not in the New York Times or the Washington Post but at an obscure travelers' website. Maybe when Ron's first tier of choices didn't jump to chat with a deviant who pawed passengers for a living, he fell back to his 20th and 21st rungs.
Ron bills himself as a whistle-blower, but he's actually a typical critic of the agency. These folks all sing the same tune (or did: few of them dare slither out from under their rocks now, given the national fury): "There's nothing wrong with the TSA that more power, money and [take your pick better training, better leaders, more Congressional oversight, unionization] wouldn't cure."
That's when I started laughing again. An interview with a guy eager to provide an "analysis of current TSA controversy" oughta be interesting — especially when "analysis" for Ron means defending the indefensible: "Pat-downs are not comfortable for the TSO but there is a very specific right way to do the job," he had opined in the interview that set me fuming Sunday.
Astoundingly, when I proceeded to the body of Ron's email, I found the "current controversy" didn't apply to pedophilia and molestation at all. The TSA's eviscerated the Fourth Amendment, it's terrifying toddlers and nauseating pilots, it's sexually assaulting nuns and clergy, expectant mothers, honeymooners, teens, grandparents, survivors of rape and cancer but Ron's big concern is screeners' fate should the bogus schemes to "privatize" the TSA succeed.
The TSA screams for abolition, not "privatization" — especially as the latter's proponents envision it. Ron succinctly and accurately described that vision in his interview: “If screening is privatized it will only [be] the staffing, the uniforms will remain the same, and the policies will be managed by TSA managers. Private companies will have no say in policy, period.” He's absolutely right on this, and no one who loves freedom should support this scam.
Meanwhile, Ron wanted me to know he has "5 years service in the Agency" and is a "national TSA union leader." He could "provide the perspective of someone who has served on the checkpoint." (Love that "served"! As if these rapists are dispensing ice cream or burgers and fries.)
Did I want to interview him? You bet! I thought Ron and I could enjoy quite an entertaining time of it.
Accordingly, I emailed him this cheery little note:
Thanks for your offer; I’d like to ask a few questions and either publish your answers as a straight interview or incorporate them in an article. I have written for Barron’s, the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington, New York, and Denver Posts, the Ottawa Citizen, and many other publications and websites.
1) How did you begin working for the TSA? Did you wake up one morning and say, “Ah, I’d like to make little kids cry by stealing their teddy bears and grope pilots until they puke”? Or was Wal-Mart not hiring that week?
2) Have you ever read the US Constitution? Does the Fourth Amendment mean anything to you? Or do you figure it no longer applies to pervs in your exalted line of “work”?
3) Do you ever feel badly when you see your neighbors losing their homes to foreclosure while you sponge off their taxes?
4) Could you share with us exactly what it feels like to squeeze another guy’s junk? Readers want to know. Did it take you a while to adapt to these new “duties,” or did you take to them naturally? If the latter, does that worry you?
5) Along those same lines, if screeners are such great folks, why haven’t we read of mass resignations over management’s orders to sexually assault passengers?
6) How many of your co-“workers” have kicked the magnetometers when attractive women walk through them? How many times have you done that? What opportunities do you foresee with the new carcinogenic scanners?
7) The TSA has so far slaughtered one man (Rigoberto Alpizar, Dec 2005) and is morally culpable for the death of a woman (Carol Anne Gotbaum, Oct 2007). How would you suggest passengers best protect themselves from you and your accomplices, especially now that you are sexually assaulting them?
8) Do you agree with your co-“worker” in LA who proclaimed after work one day, “I am god”? On the other hand, the TSA tied with the IRS in a poll a few years ago as America’s most hated bureaucracy. How do you and other screeners reconcile these disparate positions?
9) Given the public’s mood at the moment, do you fear Congress will abolish the TSA? What are your plans for employment in that case? Does the thought of honest work scare you?
10) Do you feel at all guilty for helping push America towards a police state? If not, why not?
I’d appreciate a response ASAP as I’m on deadline. I may also have additional questions and follow-ups.
Ron must have been really desperate: I had a reply 8 hours later. Unfortunately, he doubted that my questions were "serious." Which is natural enough: the corporate media has spoiled Our Rulers and their lackeys by parroting their premises, to wit, that their murder and mayhem, theft, and lying and now their sexual assaults benefit us. Our interests lie close to their hearts; they work tirelessly for our good, even if unintended consequences keep popping up to bite us in the butt. Obviously, anyone who doesn't share this delusion is a wacko and can't possibly be "serious."
Ron also accused me of ignoring the link in his email. It took me to an article he'd written explaining at great length who he was and why unions can save the TSA. Truth to tell, I had only skimmed the piece because I've read that same nonsense innumerable times before.
And so I countered:
Oh, Ron, I do indeed know who you are. I happen to have read your interview here (http://www.elliott.org/first-person/ex-tsa-officer-every-new-controversy-breaks-down-morale-further/ ) the night before your email arrived in my in-box. I’ve also come across your name here and there in other reports on your employer, usu when the article concerns the TSA and unionizing.
And yes, my questions are serious. So are the readers who have written me for yrs w/ their tales of horror after a screener has savaged them. So far as I can determine after covering and studying the TSA for five yrs, screeners are a bunch of sociopaths while the agency itself is dedicated to destroying the last vestiges of freedom here and installing a police state.
So any light you can shed on the mentality of those who agree to subjugate their fellow citizens for the princely sum of ca. $25,000/yr is appreciated. And who are risking cancer the while, acc. to yesterday’s report in USA TODAY. Seems the TSA shows the same concern for you, its stooges, as it does for us, its victims.
Alas, Ron went silent on me. Even this final email a few days later didn't raise him.
Last chance: I am sending in my article tomorrow morning. Do you wish to respond to any of my questions?
Here’s a final one: You recognize in your interview at http://www.elliott.org/first-person/ex-tsa-officer-every-new-controversy-breaks-down-morale-further/ that “Aviation screening policy was dictated by the FAA before 9/11. If screening is privatized it will only [be] the staffing, the uniforms will remain the same, and the policies will be managed by TSA managers. Private companies will have no say in policy, period.”
Since the Feds were dictating policies that clearly failed on 9/11, policies that killed almost 3000 people, why in Heaven’s name do you advocate government’s continued stranglehold on aviation’s security? Why not return responsibility for this area to the airlines, who have far more of a vested interest in protecting multi-billion dollar inventory, highly-trained personnel, and repeat customers than you or any screener or bureaucrat could possibly enjoy?
Thanks. If I don’t hear from you soon, I’ll note that you did not respond in my article.
Sadly, I hereby note it.
Think it was something I said?
December 13, 2010