A few days ago Jeffrey Goldberg, in an article he wrote for Bloomberg
(the news site, not the New York politico) spoke to TSA director John Pistole about various matters including the "backscatter X-ray" machines, which are potentially dangerous quite apart from their obvious privacy violations; other countries ban them even as the TSA rolls them out into evermore American airports. When Goldberg asked Pistole why the agency didn't at least replace them with safer options, Pistole discussed the benefits of competition among government contractors: "This is the best thing in terms of driving innovation and incentivizing manufacturers to produce the best possible products at the best possible prices."
So by Pistole's own admission, TSA values "a friendly business environment for government contractors" more than "the safety of Americans" or "the effectiveness of TSA's presumed job."
Meanwhile, "In These Times" yesterday published a nauseatingly sympathetic
story about the TSA union complaining "Media's portrayal of TSA employees has hurt our bargaining power." Groping breast-cancer patients, confiscating cupcakes, shoving their hands down the underwear of a six-year-old girl -- these actions by TSA employees aren't the problem, see; the problem is that pesky ol' media reporting
such actions, which makes Americans less sympathetic to the employees who molest them.
TSA agents made similar complaints back in November 2010, when the groping policy was still new and I mentioned
"the agents of the Transportation Security Administration have been sobbing their little hearts out because they just can't understand
why Americans have to be all rude and cranky rather than passively adopt submissive-criminal body poses while uniform-wearing thugs fondle their genitals. Union officials are especially outraged that people who are just following orders should actually be blamed for what they do."
And now they say the same, boo-hoo, pity the poor TSAgent who risks getting carpal tunnel after cupping women's breasts or men's balls all the livelong day.
It's times like this I wish I were back in college. Because if I were in college I'd probably be stoned right now, plus when I was in college you had
to be stoned -- far more stoned than ever I personally got -- to actually believe these TSA gropings would be the law for more than a year now, and still things only keep getting worse. You'd have to be hallucinating to imagine the government would erase habeus corpus as it did in the NDAA bill
, and you'd need to be in the final stage before permanent brain death to believe anyone
in the American government could be psychotic enough to find a seven-day food stockpile
cause for suspicion. I'm stone sober and still can't quite believe any of this.