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I've been reading your blog for awhile now, but my first time reading this story. Thanks for sharing it.
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I firmly believe in "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Ben Franklin, at least according to Wikipedia.) The key point to this is the question of what is "essential liberty". Is it essential that I carry dangerous objects onto an aircraft? No, so I'm OK with there being safeguards to prevent it. Is it essential that I not be sexually assaulted? Absolutely, so I don't believe those safeguards can cross that line. Is it essential that I not go through a machine that might cause me to be seen nude? That's tougher, but my opinion is no - it might be embarrassing but it's not assault. Is it essential that I not be asked questions which may lead me to be further investigated, like what the Israelis do? Not at all, I'd happily answer such questions. One of the problems with the TSA is that they haven't correct answered most (maybe all) of those kinds of questions. The TSA guidelines are simply someone's knee-jerk reaction to some admittedly horrific events. Those guidelines have not been written to ensure that they 1) actually provide safety and 2) protect what are truly essential liberties; they provide neither of those things. What the guidelines do provide is the ability for politicians and bureaucrats to say that "action has been taken" to protect America's air passengers. At some point the outcry over the failure to provide both #1 and #2 above will outweigh the desire to "take action", but I don't think we're anywhere near that point yet.
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Apr 8, 2011