The TSA: Ruining Lives Over Forgetfulness

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Item: A Chinese woman studying at Hays State University in Kansas tried to board a plane with a stun gun in her purse. The TSA called the cops to arrest her. She later told the AP she hopes to “resolve” the incident with a fine.

Item: A state legislator in California tried to board a plane without realizing his loaded gun was in his carry-on bag. The TSA “detained” him to confiscate his .45-caliber Colt. Now he faces a year in jail and $11,000 in fines.

Item: A Green Beret fresh from his third deployment in Afghanistan boarded a plane in South Carolina to fly home for Christmas. His carry-on bag apparently contained some overlooked C-4, an explosive routinely issued to soldiers that’s harmless without a detonator. When he tried to board a second flight, the TSA found the C-4 and sicked the cops on him. He spent a week in jail before his release on bond. He could go to prison for 10 years.

You probably don’t consider these folks terrorists or anything close. No rational person would. For that we need the TSA.

And the agency obliged. Three lives ruined, three people guilty of nothing more than forgetfulness abused and tormented as though they’re full-fledged members of al-Qaeda, and for what? So the TSA can crow about the contraband its warrantless searches uncover at checkpoints, as if that justifies its existence and brutality?

Actually, to be fair, an agency that pretends 95-year-old invalids are dangerous hasn’t alleged that any of our trio is. Which may be even scarier: Our Rulers incarcerate the innocent solely because they can.

The TSA bragged with the new year that there are 1,235 more cases like those above from 2011 alone. A bureaucracy so bereft of decency that it swipes a woman’s cupcake as a threat to aviation and then, when the world laughs at such lunacy, defends the glutton who stole it, also constantly boasts about bagging passengers with weapons or even just ammunition. And no wonder: None of its employees anywhere at any time has ever apprehended an actual terrorist. Ergo, it manufactures bad guys from absent-minded victims lest taxpayers ask why they’re spending $8.2 billion annually on the TSA’s silly “security.”

Why don’t the intrepid sheeple brave enough to risk aviation’s gulag say “no” to such obviously self-interested bullying?

And to such peril. I don’t know about you, but if one of the 16 terrorists the TSA missed on 23 occasions from 2004-2008 were to board my flight, I’d be mighty grateful for the Chinese student’s stun-gun or the legislator’s pistol.

Yet the TSA strips passengers of every weapon but their teeth, leaving only the terrorists who easily circumvent its nonsense armed. Why?

The idea that disarmed passengers are safe passengers dates to the 1960s — but it has absolutely no research undergirding it. Rather, it was a political response to the “skyjackings” plaguing the late ‘60s and ‘70s.

Ironically, the U.S. government at first encouraged skyjacking as a tactic against Fidel Castro’s communism. But it seems none of these whiz-bang policy wonks ever realized dissidents could skyjack planes to Cuba as well.

In 1969, hijackers commandeered 82 of the millions of flights worldwide that year. Most such crimes “were generally carried out by four general categories of perpetrators,” Bartholomew Elias explains in his book, Airport and Aviation Security: U.S. Policy and Strategy in the Age of Global Terrorism; those “categories” consisted of “socio-political extremists; criminals seeking to escape prosecution; extortionists seeking ransoms; and the mentally disturbed.”

Hijackings are dramatic events that grab everybody’s attention; when newcasts showcased one every four or five days, the Feds had all the excuse they needed to meddle. And so the FAA imposed requirements for “security” — as if airlines weren’t already scrambling to protect their property and customers.

But recent legislation thwarted them, increasing the menace. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited vendors offering “public accommodations” from “discriminating” against members of questionable groups, such as “socio-political extremists” or the “mentally disturbed,” and constrained the airlines from actually, effectively safeguarding their flights.

Instead, the FAA insisted they substitute checkpoints to disarm passengers — though no one then or since has ever proven that robbing passengers of self-defense protects them. Nor has anyone researched whether checkpoints are the best method for finding weapons; indeed, the government’s own statistics on how many explosives and guns screeners overlook when tested eloquently argue that just about any other tactic would perform better.

But without abolition of the TSA and FAA, and the return of the responsibilities they arrogated to the airlines, ineffective checkpoints and the whole security circus is probably here to stay. First, government reaps a huge political payoff: Politicians and bureaucrats appear to be doing something — never mind what, or if it accomplishes anything — to prevent terrorism while completely controlling passengers. Second, their cronies who supply the materials and technology for the charade reap even more tangible rewards: billions of dollars in sales. These corrupt corporations will fight tooth-and-nail to preserve their profits. And third, the Feds have spent four decades convincing Americans that guns on planes spell certain doom and that checkpoints are all that prevent flights from exploding mid-air. So far, indoctrinated passengers closely clutch the very chains that bind them.

All that means hapless scapegoats will continue finding themselves behind bars as the American police-state intensifies.

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