Sunday, November 21, 2010

They've Already Won

I was just reading and getting extremely pissed off about the new security measures adopted in the USA.

Reading humiliation after humiliation abounding at airport security counters across the USA is making me feel ill.  Now, in the name of national security, American citizens, among others are being subjected to either full body x-rays, or if you opt out of this, because of health concerns, you are treated to some TSA grey box stackers feeling up your private parts.  And if you refuse?  You run a risk of an $11,000 fine and for sure you won't make it to Aunt Tootie's for Thanksgiving on Delta flight 48.

Since when is America a police state?  The TSA's latest regulations constitutes a violation of civil rights and human decency.  Period.

It makes me think that the US is turning into a totalitarian state with the US Department of Homeland Security and the TSA taking on the role of the KGB in this little morality play.  It is the "they are out there" doctrine at its most disgusting, the mentality being that perhaps if we degrade people with crutches, prosthetic breasts as well as ordinary people by denying their civil rights at an airport security desk.  All's fair in the name of love, war and National Security apparently.  John Lyly, the renaissance poet credited with first writing this idea is probably turning in his grave.

Israel, having for decades the tightest and safest airport security in the world doesn't do anything close to this. Their method involves security officers engaging with each passenger, asking certain security questions and trained officers roaming the airport and monitoring passengers from the moment they arrive on airport property.  Although their methods have been in the past a bit shocking for non Israelis who were not used to being interrogated and being asked personal questions pre flight (like whom will you visit in Israel, what are their names, what do they do, where do they live), this seems like a sewing circle compared to the full body scan or body cavity search now present in US airports.

And guess what?  Even after all this violation and humiliation, the TSA is probably no better equipped now to catch a terrorist than it was previously.  When I fly out of Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv I do feel safe, but I think if I were flying out of the US with these ridiculous pat downs I would just feel violated.

It's enough to keep me out of the US frankly.  My autistic daughter is traumatized enough by the chaos, noise and rudness of what passes now for airport security.  When she was 3, I was threatened with not being allowed on my flight if I could not "force" my screaming, scared daughter to walk through the security gate on her own.  When I tried to get her to do it, she was scared of the two officers who were yelling at me and nothing would make her go through there without me.  When I offered first very politely, and then out of frustration to carry her, they told me again that she had to walk through on her own.  They told me to walk through first and when I refused (as I was afraid she would run away), they told me they could arrest me.  Finally, after about 8 minutes of poor Maya screaming bloody murder, they let me carry her through.  I can't imagine putting her through a full body search or x-ray now.  And apparently there is no compassion at all in the TSA, so I am seriously thinking of curbing my visits to the US (sorry family and friends!)

On 9/11 Al Qaeda was not only trying to take American lives but also to attack our very way of life.  To shake America to its foundations so that we would implode upon ourselves.  Our foundation has always been freedom and our country has fought hard for freedom at home and abroad.  The TSA's new measures not only roll the tide and cause of freedom for Americans backwards by declaring that at an airport security line, we no longer have a such thing as civil rights, freedom or dignity but play right into the hands of Al Qaeda's purpose, to destroy the freedoms we treasure by destroying us from within.

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