Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TSA Backlash Week: The LA Times Thinks Anal Probing Would Be Going Too Far

In a provocatively titled editorial, "Shut up and be scanned," the LA Times asserts that body scans and pat downs aren't too intrusive at the nation's airports. Luckily, the paper does offer an answer to the question, "How far is too far." Unfortunately, the answer is: "Pretty far":
"In reaction to the new high-tech scans, suicide bombers may well switch to buses and trains rather than airplanes, or airborne killers might resort to inserting explosives into their body cavities, where the machines can't detect them. So, it's reasonable to ask, what's next? Anal probes at the airport? It's safe to say that if the TSA gets to that point, it will have crossed the line, and it might be time to explore less invasive methods."

I think that's a joke. Is that a joke? I ... can't really tell.

Dunno. Seems to me that reasonable people can agree that a reasonable level of privacy starts somewhere farther from your person than your colon. But I'm not certain the LA Times is being reasonable here. The headline offers up the peevish counterresponse of those who are so afraid of terrorism they're willing to give up just about any level of personal freedom to avoid it. Anal probes? That might be too far, but go ahead and look at me naked. JUST SHUT UP AND BE SCANNED! And there's no point in such cases suggesting to such folks that their chances of dying at the hands of terrorism is roughly the same as being struck by lightning in a car crash. The fear is already there, embedded like a particularly persistent tick. One hates to use a cliche, but it's true: In such cases, the terrorists really have won.

1 comment:

brendancalling said...

i'm telling you man, next time i go to Philly international, I am NOT using the body scan, and if they want to do the enhanced pat down, i am taking off all my clothes in full view of every other passenger.

everyone else should do the same.