Wednesday, November 24, 2010

National Opt-Outapalooza!

The National Opt Out Day homepage is here, and there's commentary at Memeorandum. And Voting Female's got a roundup, featuring this aggressive Speedo protester at Salt Lake City International Airport below. Plus, at London's Daily Mail, "From bikinis to Speedos to racy underwear, the passengers who claim they WANT to be 'transparent to the TSA'."

The odd stories will lead the news, but how's that opt out thingy working out otherwise?

Fox News has a report, "
Many Opting Out of “National Opt Out Day”; TSA Warns Of Possible Impact On Holiday Travel." And at ABC News, "TSA Opt Out Day: Thanksgiving Travelers Quiet So Far: Airport Travelers Share Their Experiences With the Transportation Security Administration." And video from ABC, "TSA Chief's Airports Update." And the chief's at USA Today, "Why We Need TSA's Security Measures."

Recall my previous entry: "How Far on TSA Opposition?" I'd go for the body scanners since I'm worried that one of the al Qaeda freaks is actually gonna get through — and, yeah, I know the response that searches and scanners don't work, blah, blah, but until we profile Muslims ...

That said, check the additional commentary from Jazz Shaw at Hot Air, "
Double Standards and the TSA Screeds." And from Glenn Reynolds, "TIME TO GET THE PUBLIC INVOLVED IN AIRPORT SECURITY CHOICES." He links to his Popular Mechanics piece out today, "The TSA, the Law and Democracy: The People's Security," with this key passage:
Today's airport security is widely regarded as a waste of time—the TSA has never caught a terrorist that we know of—and many regard it as what security expert Bruce Schneier calls "security theater," something aimed at giving the appearance of safety, as opposed to its reality.

Even if that's a bit too harsh, it's clear that American security policy is aimed at keeping objects off of planes. For the Israelis, on the other hand, profiling isn't a bug but a feature. Israeli Arabs can breeze through security, while Americans with odd stamps on their passports—as globe-hopping correspondent Michael Totten recently noted—face extensive questioning. The Israelis focus on the person, looking for signs of nervousness, stories that don't hang together and other evidence of nefarious intent. This makes sense. Ultimately, it's people, not objects, who pose the danger.
Yid With Lid has more on that: "These Are The Reasons Why Israel's Airline Security Doesn't Need To Touch Our Junk." Or your breasts: "Woman: TSA Agents Singled Me Out For My Breasts."

And the polling is changing on all of this. While Gallup reports wide
public support for TSA screening procedures, WaPo indicates that half of all Americans think agressive pat-downs go too far. And LAT reports on a Zogby poll that says "61% oppose new airport security measures."

And the radicals at The Nation have offered a novel defense of Janetalia Napolitano, "
The Washington Lobbyists and Koch-Funded Libertarians Behind the TSA Scandal":
So now let's take one more look at the TSA hysteria, and re-evaluate if we should continue to simply accept the surface narrative, or consider what we might learn by looking beneath the surface. Because everywhere you look, the alleged victims' stories often turn out to be false or highly suspicious, promoted by lobbyists posing as "ordinary guys," and everywhere the cast of characters is always the same: drawn from the cult-ish fringes of the libertarian movement, with trails leading straight to the billionaire Koch brothers' network of libertarian think-tanks and advocacy groups. The tea party must really be freaking out the commies, since radical leftists and radical libertarians have long been on the same side. I'll believe folks at The Nation when they come out aggressively against the Ground Zero Mega Mosque, or in favor of the Afghanistand deployment.
And I guess this is one of those extremely rare times where I agree with Glenn Greenwald: "Anatomy of a journalistic smear job."

RELATED: "As Anger Over Body Scanners Grows, Their Developer Comes to Their Defense."


Added: "Travelers’ Reports: Better Than Expected."


ergin said...

Americans will never be free so long as we are subjected to the statist totalitarianism embodied by unaccountable agencies such as the DHS and TSA. Want to cut the deficit and government spending? Dissolve the DHS, save billions of dollars, avoid needless hassles.