Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 5:26 AM
Advanced imaging technology screening is optional for all passengers. Passengers who opt out of [advanced imaging] screening will receive alternative screening, including a physical pat-down.
(TSA statement issued November 15, 2010)
The media are reporting on a passenger who refused on Saturday to consent to a full-image body X-ray and then complained when a TSA official attempted to give him a pat-down as if he were the Rosa Parks of airline passengers.
Never mind that this passenger just happened to record his airport confrontation and wasted little time publishing it on YouTube. For this suggests that he was more interested in performing a one-man sting operation than in flying the way millions of us do every day.
Evidently this prima donna is too modest to subject his body to the naked exposure these X-ray machines produce; notwithstanding that in each case the screener is in some private back room and the X-ray blocks out all identifying features of the passenger being screened.
Yet here’s the specious clarion call this wannabe civil rights pioneer is sounding:
I don’t think that the government has any business seeing me naked as a condition of traveling about the country.
(I refuse to contribute to his obvious quest for 15 minutes of fame by publishing his name and picture.)
Except that nobody has a civil right to travel on commercial airplanes without first going through the airport’s standard, non-discriminatory screening procedures. If he does not want to subject himself to them, then he should take the train or rent a car.
So here’s the deal: As glib as his “don’t touch my junk” refrain may seem, it amounts to nothing more than narcissistic folly when it comes to airport security. Because the rest of us should not be put in danger because this jerk thinks TSA officials are lying in wait just to fondle his family jewels.
Hell, I’m on record complaining about some of the absurd and inconsistent screening requirements that have made traveling these days a farcical pain in the ass.
Yet I subject myself to them. Because anyone who goes to the airport and thinks that he can get away without going through these screening procedures is either a jackass or just someone looking to make a scene.
Meanwhile, I have no doubt that if a terrorist were to shoot up a bunch of people on an airplane because some TSA screener was too afraid to touch his junk during a pat-down, this wannabe Rosa Parks would be the first in line to criticize them for their lax security procedures.
[R]equiring that a potential passenger be allowed to revoke consent to an ongoing airport security search makes little sense in a post-9/11 world. Such a rule would afford terrorists multiple opportunities to attempt to penetrate airport security by ‘electing not to fly’ on the cusp of detection until a vulnerable portal is found.
(CNN quoting the recent ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, November 15, 2010)
U.S. security measures useless and overly intrusive