It’s time for 90-year old coot commentator Fred Fiske to pack up his general sense of misplaced frustration and outrage and head on home for good. Last night’s commentary rant (available in Real Media and Windows Media Player, since WAMU is so very much “with the times”) featured Fiske railing against those of us who are choosing to opt out of the new nekkid scanners. Fiske’s primary concern is arriving at his destination safely, and is willing to strip to his skivvies to do so, and encourages us to all suck it up and deal with this new intrusiveness in our lives.
Pardon me, Fred, but screw that.
A boarding pass isn’t probable cause. You don’t get to take naked pictures of me or feel me up just because I have one. It’s not like the TSA has caught any terrorists so far, and these new “enhanced” patdowns and pictures won’t catch anyone intent upon concealing explosives inside their body.
Worse, with reports coming out that the scanners are 20 times as powerful as the government claims, and SNL mocking it repeatedly, and more links from Bruce Schneier than I can shake a stick at, to use a metaphor I am certain Fiske would be familiar with, this isn’t about safety, this is about compliance.
I get that DC is a town with more threats than, say, Kansas City, but we all knew that when we came here. You move to a big city, especially one that’s the center of government, and you’re going to be moving to a place that has enemies. Kowtowing to the enemies isn’t the way to safety, it’s the way toward authoritarianism.
I understand wanting to be safe, but these new procedures don’t make us any safer than we were before, and it only serves to traumatize sexual abuse victims who want to fly, exposes more Americans to excessive amounts of radiation, and frustrates the hell out of both TSOs and flyers.