The bloated blather over TSA pat downs and intrusive scanners this Thanksgiving is, like most noise amplified by the media, surface level, at best.
Look, if I knew there were true bogeymen, unstoppable by any other means, I would willingly fly naked and ask to fly stuffed like a T-give turkey: TSA hands up rectum and any other possible portal. The problem here is that the chances of your plane being used as a bomb your next flight is about as likely as that same plane flying into one of the twin towers, or at least it should be.
In case you missed the news flash, the towers aren't there anymore.
Most of the guys who have tried since then were so bad at what they attempted to do they were caught with relative ease. The shoe bomber really did... bomb, didn't he?
Just like the 9/11 gang did a lot wrong: partying the night before, learning to fly but not land... what goofs. A Stooge act, certainly not worthy of the more intellectual Marx Brothers or even Abbot and Costello. Yet no matter how much they yelled, "Hey Abbot!" ...or poked each other in the eye ...those who should have done something about it seemed to be doing a see no evil, hear no evil, act. Lucky for us it was just planes and not a, "Nuke, nuke, nuke."
Why it's almost as if those patriotic folks who worked and lived at Pennsylvania Avenue didn't want them to be caught.
Instead of our elected officials paying more attention to warning: flags raised by intelligence sources and reports of odd behavior... we have spent a lot of money creating Homeland Security, TSA and hiring probably mostly good folks at questionably low wages to do a highly questionable job. All targeted at meeting us before we fly, not with a wave and "Welcome to our airport," but treating us as guilty before proven innocent of being terrorists.
Cheap labor checking us out is new in America, how? Once it was just a casual glance and, "Welcome to our store." Now, at airports, TSA guys are our very, very, very personal form of WalMart greeters.
"Welcome to DebarkMart, now lift your skirt, drop that underwear and bend over, Bitch."
Not all that far away, eh? Ah, something to look forward to.
Of course this is propelled on by the Cheney/Libby/Bush doctrine. Remember? Even if it's there's one hundredth of a percent we'd better go slaughter a lot of people. Well, maybe there's a one one hundred of the chance the guy in line with you might be a terrorist, and one one hundredth of a chance, of a chance, he might board without incident. And one one hundredth of a chance, of a chance, of a chance, he might succeed. So buck up and bend over America!
Using this "logic," there's more than a one hundredth of a chance that one of your loved ones might be a mass murderer. Better start killing them now, right?
Now there may be some days you're tempted with a few of them, but that's beside the point, OK?
Thom Hartmann calls this all "Security theater." Intended to keep us scared while making us think it actually achieves something. He believes we need to go back to simple procedure: checking IDs, great databases, paying attention to detail. That's how Israel does it, according to Hartmann. We think we have more of a problem than Israel?
Perhaps if the machines are so damn safe, let's have the TSA guys wear radiation badges and be publicly checked for any possible adverse effects themselves. A proposal I'm sure they'll adopt right away... not.
And why aren't teabag patriots as annoyed by yet another massive amount of money being spent we don't have? Maybe because their favorite pols are promoting "be scared, be very scared, of the bogeyman" memes'? You know, some of the same pols who are heavily invested in, or retire to consult for a big fee for, companies that make these "intrusive" devices.
There's more than one "turkey" being served here.
Yes, I saw the towers come down. Yes, I've heard the story told about how happened, happened, and believe most of it to be true. But if we're smart we also know, "All this ain't necessary," to prevent such acts. 9/11 could have been prevented. Despite certain lies told by certain presidents, not only was it predicted but... the last guy who attempted to take down the towers told us they'd be back. The truth is simple: they failed to pay attention to many warnings and "red flags" about the jackasses on 9/11... intentional, or not.
Why? Well we could get into all kinds of weird theories, like the current Dick Cheney is a robot: the real one flew one of the planes. But honest, America, we need not to get all weird about this. Here are the most likely reasons...
Convenience. (See the next reason.)
Easier than doing something. (See the next reason.)
And the reason that ties them all together: pols don't get much credit for what they stop from happening, but far too much credit for standing on the ruins after... even if they did nothing previous to the event to prevent such. Even if they gave money to those who supported those who caused the event, like the Taliban.
While we need to realize different law enforcement agencies could have done a better job: as we all can in life, the fault, the problem, was up at the top of the food chain: and it still is in my opinion.
Not a problem at our airports.
Not a problem with Grandpa or Grandma.
Not a problem with Mom or Dad.
Certainly not the fault of some five year old they're eager to have some stranger grope, or eager to have a peek beneath their clothes.
Instead doing their job and paying attention to the kind of warnings that could prevent another 9/11, they'd rather blame us, push all off on us. But I certainly understand parents who might have a problem with their substituting poorly paid TSA staff leering at little one's junk.
"My, isn't that cute."
Sounds like I hate the guys and gals at TSA, right? No, I actually have no gripe with those guys and gals at the airport as a whole. I'm sure it's not a pleasant, or titillating, job for most. And, hey, at least they practice safe sex: they wear a hand condom in the form of "glove." But one hopes they screen out those who apply due to charges of being a pedophile or other sex-related crimes.
And though this is not their fault, but policymakers, TSA does help serve up the message...
"Welcome to another American airport. Yes, America: where, when politicians fail their country, refuse to do their damn jobs, we get both the blame and the grope."
Betcha not too... fond-le... of that America.
Which is why there is so much Hell is being raised.
The real noise here should be over the fact that those who refused to do their job, neglected to do their job, or were oblivious to what their job was... other than finding some way, any way, to invade Iraq... have been rewarded for not doing their jobs for... whatever reason.
But it gets worse than that.
Investments in Halliburton, the company formerly named for the worst sewage that pours from an RV: Blackwater and... surprise! ... investing in the company that builds equipment to scan at airports, while also mandating its use?
Congrats, Mr. Politician! Your reward: riches achieved through your willingness to take advantage of events created by Ain't America grand?
It can always get worse...
"...your absolute failure..."
Well, "failure" ...unless you were devoted to a making a certain suggestion come true, a suggestion offered up by a group many of the last administration were members of: Project for a New American Century. That "suggestion?" We needed a 9/11 like event.
Remember all the noise about Bill Clinton bombing an "aspirin factory?" Well, never guess who they were trying to hit? Maybe if we had bombed a few more "aspirin factories;" instead of considering impeaching a president "the most important thing" for Congress to be doing, we would be going through none of this.
No longer guilty first. Prove innocent by letting a stranger see you naked.
The fondling should have been left to Monica instead of exported to strangers at an airport.
But let's scoot our DeLorean back to our present day "hopey changey" future...
After all this? Well we should just forget and forgive. Look "forward," not "backwards." And be "thankful" for the "right" to do anything, no matter how absurd or obscene, to prove we're not guilty of being terrorists wanting to fly. "Thankful," even if it feels like a form of rape.
At least from one curmudgeonly columnist, I have to respond...
"No thanks... given."
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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