Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On National Review's Advice to Give Thanks to the TSA Employees, and What We Should Really Give Them

Marc A. Thiessen, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, writes at National Review:

In the coming days, millions of Americans will travel to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. May I pose a novel idea? As we go through the airport screening line, let's stop and say "thanks" to the men and women of the TSA who give up time with their families during the holidays to keep us safe from terror.

In the past few weeks, these patriots have been compared with Big Brother and accused of sexual assault. They've suffered the same kinds of public indignities the Left has heaped on the men and women of the CIA--being accused of engaging un-American and unlawful behavior for doing the difficult and unpleasant work of protecting the country. They deserve better.
He continues:

If a passenger who is supposed to be seated near us on our next flight has a bomb in his underwear, I suspect most of us would prefer that the explosive be uncovered when he tries to get through airport security--not when a Dutch tourist sees the passenger in the row ahead of him try to set it off and dives across the plane to stop him, as happened on a flight to Detroit last Christmas.

In the last two weeks, I have been through TSA screening eight times--and not once was I asked to go through the millimeter-wave machine, or undergo an enhanced pat-down. Odds are that most of the 2.2 million passengers who will go through airport security each day during this holiday weekend will have a similar experience. On the last leg of my trip, I finally asked to go through both procedures to see what all the fuss was about. No one touched my junk.
First, it is idiotic to claim, "No one touched my junk." When his "junk" has been radiated in a fashion where the consequences are unkown.

When it comes to my body, I am really am a very late adopter, even when tests have been done, which they haven't with the porn scanners. Let Thiessen get his balls exposed to the scanner once a week for the next 10 years, and then let him write an article about the condition of his balls, and I might consider stepping into one of those things.

But the bigger picture is that Thiessen simply has a facsist mentality. He sets up the strawman argument that if government dosesn't provide security for passengers, no one will. That's simply absurd.

Security needs to be turned over to the airlines. That's how innovations in products come about and a common respect for a customer comes about. Not by turning it over to an organization, the government, that is the embodiment of coercion with bad attitude.

Using basic economic principles, Bill Anderson called it in 2002:
Once screeners become full-fledged government employees, however, the incentives structure will change dramatically. The inspectors will be working for the federal government and will have no obligations at all toward passengers, except to treat all of them like criminals...In this new atmosphere, one can expect a number of things. First, searches will be slower and more cumbersome, since the fewer people who actually get through, the lower the probability that a plane can be hijacked. Empty seats on flights will not matter to federal employees whose paychecks will come courtesy of the taxpayers.

Second, it is quite likely that screeners and other government security personnel will be more rude toward passengers than they are at present. While some of us have suffered through some brutal searches, I fear the worst is to come.

It is the same basic economic principles that Anderson used to warn us, that we can use to understand how to remove these abusive, possibly dangerous to our health, searches. Get government out of the equation. As many have pointed out before me, the airlines have plenty of incentive to protect their passengers. They don't want to lose multi-million dollar aircraft and they don't want to become known as an airline that loses its passengers to bombings.

Americans may get a kick out of ordering soup from a "Soup Nazi", but they don't want that attitude in all parts of their lives. And they certainly don't want to be told they have an "option" between a "grab up"  and a radiation scan. The real option is to let the airlines handle it, in whatever new and creative ways they choose.

This Thanksgiving the only thing the TSA employees deserve from us is a kindly warning.

First, ask them, why TSA superiors won't let them where radiation badges to check how much radiation they are exposed to. And then point them to scientists who question how difficult it is to control the radiation bursts from those machines and the unkown consequences of the particular radiation coming from those machines.

You see, I suspect Joe Pistole, Janet Napolitano and Michael Chertoff are messing big time with the heads of the average TSA employee, and possibly putting them at great risk. After all, what's the harm in wearing a tiny radiation badge?


  1. First, given the CIA-National Review-Complex, I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Treason writes that piece at NR knowing full well that the "Underwear Bomber" was allowed on the plane even though he didn't have a passport, and was in fact led on the plane by a U.S. government agent (The Sharp-Dressed Man, according to Kurt Haskell - see

    And also, Mr. Treason notes that the TSA Nazis "keep us safe from terror." No, only a fool would actually think that. What would keep us safe from terrorism is the U.S. government stopping its decades-long intrusions in the Middle East and its trespassing on foreign lands with hundreds of military bases and other government buildings and bureaus, that the terrorists themselves have said is what motivates their terrorism. (The remote-controlled drones that are killing innocent civilians over there each day are also not helpful.)

    This whole thing is more disgusting than ever now. Just more reason to call for secession and nullification. (For holiday gift-giving - that is, if you have anything left after the government has stolen your last worthless dollar - please consider Tom Woods's book Nullification. Give it to your favorite statist in the family.)

  2. On the treason front, don't miss Dorothy Rabinowitz's disgusting remarks on this, reported in the Wall Street Journal Report transcript. She accuses Americans who complain about the TSA's new genital probes of suffering from an undeserved sense of "entitlement", and urges them to act like adults and bend over for Israel style garrison-state treatment. This is the same woman who defended the Israel Lobby spies on spurious Constitutional grounds last year.

  3. Marc A. Thiessen is another neo-con who hasn't done his homework. The greatest terrorist organization on this planet is the U.S. government. If we want to stop terrorism, we neeed to stop engaging in it.

    Thiessen would have fit in well in 1930s Nazi Germany. Deutschland uber alles.

  4. "As we go through the airport screening line, let's stop and say "thanks" to the men and women of the TSA who give up time with their families during the holidays to keep us safe from terror."

    Shouldn't we also thank the ticket agents and baggage handlers who "give up" time with their families so that we can travel?

  5. Perhaps we could also express our thanks to Mr. Thiessen's heroes in the Bush administration, and their successors in the Obama administration, who make terrorist violence vastly more likely than it would otherwise be by maintaining an enormous, deeply loathed global military presence and a destructive program of military aid to violent and oppressive regimes. Does anyone other than Pat Robertson seriously think that, absent a USG military presence in the Middle East, people would be willing to lose their lives in the course of suicide terrorism? Thiessen is either hypocritical or ignorant if he is unaware of his patrons' role in creating the risk of terrorism he and his ilk have sought to see addressed through ongoing, thuggish assaults on our freedom, dignity, and convenience.

  6. Uh, just a reminder... as I recall, the airlines lobbied to have airport security performed by government rather than by private security.

    If the airlines are finally made to recognize that business is down because of that choice, perhaps they'll lobby the other way.

    As for me, I'll only fly if I am absolutely without any other choice ... a very rare circumstance indeed. If airport security and airline policy got real, that would certainly improve my likelihood of flying.

  7. It doesn't matter who runs security, an airline-ticket is a not a carte-blanche, since contracts of adhesion are not valid. Flying is a necessity in today's world, but we've got federal judges who grew up before commercial air-travel even existed; the US v. Davis decision needs to be appealed to the Supreme Court, since there is no such THING as a "voluntary search" if it's a condition of flying at all.

    Right-wing whackjobs love to arrogantly spew how "flying isn't a right--" well neither is having an apartment, however that doesn't mean you can be a slumlord on the grounds that no one has a "right" to an apartment; and similarly, simply owning an airline doesn't mean that you can subject your passengers to feel-ups and strip-searches.

    However it seems that the Amerian federal court is no better than the German one re Hitler.

  8. Maybe an individual would be brave enough to "wear" a radaiation badge (where does one even aquire such a thing?) and pass through the scanners and mark the level of exposure at each airport, scanner, etc and WHEN this badge starts to glow, or whatever, make their findings public for all to see. Maybe a few people engaging in this, on different, random routes so the TSA cannot claim this was an isolated incident. This proof would certainly validate the measure of radiation per trip, cummunitavly, etc and allow people to see for themselves. Im sure such an organized action would make mainstream news & hopefully wake up those nay-sayers to a clear and present danger that exsists now, and not the indoctrinated fear that a "terrorist" bomber may be on the plane with you. The chances of that actually ocurring are miniscule using tried & proven methods (metal detectors & wands), well trained personel that can pickup on susoicious behavior, and some of the newer technology like the puffer that sniffs for explosive compounds. We as American Citizens and visitors from abroad can enjoy the feedom, ease and comfort of air travel once again.

  9. I am not thankful to the TSA, to the DHS, or to the SIXTEEN assorted (and rarely coordinated) agencies the U.S. Government sanctions to do the dirty work of spying and gathering "intelligence" on me, my family, my neighbors, my friends, and my community members.

    Until the TSA is dismantled, and both Napolitano and Pistole FIRED, I won't be flying again.

    I wish somebody would crank up a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of these fear- and hate-mongering organizations. If I knew how to do it, believe me, I would.

    Who sleeps well, when Big Brother keeps whispering, "Look out for the bogeyman! He's under the bed! In the shoes! In the underwear!" -- anyone want to hazard a guess where they'll insist that bogeyman is hiding next??


  10. So the next time a meter reader wants to enter your house you should be able to grope them as they may be terrorists using phony I.D.

    Then we get to grope possible terrorist Census takers or any other "govt lackie" sent to access our home.

  11. This man is evil. This is about petty crime...not terrorism.

  12. I'm afraid the geni is out of the bottle. The TSA has already issued a secret memo that people opposing te scanners, or organizin protests are to be considered potential terrorists,and can e held indefinately. When the uproar dies own, and it will, the scanners will be installed at bus and train stations, sports stadiums, shopping malls, and all government buildings. There is a lot of money being made on these scanners, and they are not going to give it up.

  13. That Thiessen guy must be a reincarnated nazi. Either that, or he doesn't have the brains god gave a snow pea. Small-minded people with mentalities of pre-schoolers (no offense to the pre-schoolers), like Thiessen, are the greatest danger to freedom we have because they go out of their ways to endorse and support those who would enslave us. The ultimate sycophantic boot licker, he is. The guy is a menace.

  14. Excellent comments, everyone. Did you know also that Chertoff gets kickbacks from the body scanner business?

  15. This guy, Thiessen, has not only drunk the Kool-Aid, he has made into Jello-shots and ice cubes, and probably mainlined it.
    Is he the perfect sap for government bullshit, or what?!?