Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Airport Tyranny

by Walter E. Williams - June 18th, 2008 -

. . . people can be arrested if they act in a way that "might distract or inhibit a [TSA] screener from effectively performing his or her duties … A screener encountering such a situation must turn away from his or her normal duties to deal with the disruptive individual, which may affect the screening of other individuals." That means it is a federal offense, and a fine of up to $1,500, for any alleged "nonphysical interference" that makes a TSA screener "turn away" from whatever he was doing.

What's nonphysical interference is solely up to the discretion of a TSA screener since it isn't defined in the regulations. TSA agents can levy fines for a passenger disagreeing with the behavior or arrogance of a screener. The TSA has made little effort to control screener behavior. Bovard reports that in March 2004, airline passengers filed almost 3,000 formal complaints with the federal government over the conduct of TSA screeners. Hundreds have complained about the rudeness of TSA screeners. And yet, none of these passenger complaints resulted in disciplinary measures.


Do you want to know what socialism is? It is a nation where people have become such sheep that this useless and abusive agency is tolerated. The idea that safety officials CAN'T profile and thus must treat everyone like a criminal, is just dandy for building a huge union protected bureaucracy that can criminalize citizen's behavior just for despising the tyrannical scum who work in the agency.

That is what we have today. The TSA has accomplished some good things. The question is whether the costs are worth it. Training Americans to be sheep, tolerant of bureaucratic abuse, seems to have been the major accomplishment. I wonder whether long term the "safety" they have provided will not prove to have simply replaced the tyranny of Islamo-fascism with the tyranny of socialism. The bureaucrats have certainly made a significant start in suppressing our freedom.


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