Fiddle About With Uncle
Now that Drexel’s parents have come forward and made national headlines, other parents have come forth with their children’s stories too: last week eight-year-old Spencer Sheahan was fondled on his way to Disneyland. Spencer said “I didn’t know what they were going to do to me”; Anna Drexel’s parents said their daughter started to cry after her groping, and asked if she’d done something wrong.
No, dear, you did nothing wrong: the TSA did, and to a lesser extent your parents did too, taking you on an airplane a full six months after TSA implemented its molestation policy. TSA agents in Washington DC might have gone too far when they pulled a 15-year-old girl away from her mother before groping the teen; the girl turned out to be the daughter of Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who has introduced legislation that would ban TSA agents from groping a minor “unless a parent gives consent and is present for the screening. If a minor is traveling alone, a representative of an air carrier must supervise the pat down.”
Chaffetz means well but misses the point: the problem isn’t “minors are being groped without their parents’ consent” but “every flier in America is being groped (or at least at risk of it) without their consent.” And having your mom or an airline executive watch while you’re being degraded won’t make it any easier. Just ask little Anna Drexel.
The TSA has been a pointless, useless, unconstitutional organization from its very inception. Preventing another 9/11 required two things, and we’ve already done them both: strengthen cockpit doors so hijackers can’t force their way in, and let passengers know the old conventional wisdom “During a hijacking, the best course of action is to be quiet and do what the hijackers tell you” is wrong.
Everything else since then has been pointless: the bans on tweezers and similar grooming items, the restrictions on toiletries, all these and more have done nothing but erode the fourth amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Back in September 2006 I said of the TSA: “these stupid rules aren’t meant to make us safer, but only train us in habits of evermore mindless obedience.”
And that was back in the good old days, when TSA was merely a sad unconstitutional joke of a make-work program, not the out-of-control mass molestation squad it is now.