Sept. 1, 2011
This is an editorial written by Gail A. Jaquish and published in the Washington Times on Aug 29, 2011.
The subheading, I think, really says it all.
Coercive treatment fosters a passive population
Ten years after Sept. 11, 2001, Americans continue adjusting to evolving Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport safety procedures. While there is a limit to what Americans can reasonably expect TSA to accomplish to reduce the risk of terrorist attempts in an open society, there is also a limit to what TSA can reasonably expect a free people to tolerate.
At TSA security checkpoints, I used to seek the fastest-moving line. Now, I search for a line without a body scanner. Seeing no such line on a recent trip, I cued up, placed my carry-on possessions and articles of clothing onto the conveyor that moves items through X-ray and waited for the dreaded words, “Ma’am, step into the body scanner.” “No,” I replied.
Glancing at me with blatant annoyance, the TSA agent shouted, “Female pat-down!” Another TSA agent ordered me into a portable room enclosure. As I stepped inside the room, I noticed a sign taped to the door reminding TSA personnel, “Do not lock the door.” My anxiety grew as the TSA agent toyed with the lock, oddly pushing the button in and out numerous times, provoking my request for a supervisor. The supervisor arrived – a big supervisor. Big mistake. I assumed having a witness was to my benefit. I was wrong.
The supervisor immediately stated it was my “fault” I was getting a pat-down. She contemptuously added, “This was your choice.” Since I have cause for avoiding a body scanner that delivers radiation, I did not view the pat-down as my choice; but rather, the only course available in order to travel by commercial airline.