I’m not one of those conservatives who reflexively bashes government employees’ intelligence, motivations and personalities. Some of my best friends – people I know, with brains and honorable motives – work at all levels of government, in all kinds of jobs. Not a one of them went into government because it was the only job they could qualify for (well, mostly; there’s no real private-sector market for fighter pilots).
Government, itself? That’s another story. I believe in closely scrutinizing any government agency, especially those that aren’t directly involved with defending our nation’s security.
Apropos not much – but we’ll come back to it.
The Strib is shocked, shocked, in the wake of the alleged Abdulmutallab bombing attempt, that privacy-rights activists ever opposed full-body scanning at airports:
Even more troubling is the extent to which privacy activists have been able to influence the political debate and restrict the use of whole-body imaging scanners in U.S. airports. To rally the opposition, the term “virtual strip search” has been used, conjuring images of Transportation Security Administration TSA screeners huddled around computers ogling the most shapely passengers.
Right. Because TSA employees are ascetic monks, immune to temptation.
That ridiculous scenario was too much for our elected officials, and the House overwhelming passed a nonbinding measure in June to prevent the scanners from being used for primary screening. The brainpower behind the amendment, rookie Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, referred to screened images as “TSA porn” and came up with this wonderful but ill-informed sound bite: “Nobody needs to see my wife and kids naked to secure an airplane.”
The Strib editorial board chides the privacy activists for their close-mindedness, in terms that stop just a little short of “why do Rebublicans hate airline passengers?”.
Now, I don’t have a huge problem with full-body scanning in and of itself, as a form of technology. It’s what it represents – and what the Strib, and by extension the rest of the left and media, have seemed to embrace over the past eight years – that is the problem.
The implication on the part of the Strib is that we, the public, should shut up and undergo whatever indignity our betters decide is best for us, because that’s our betters’ job. It puts all of the many burdens – inconvenience, implied suspicion, humiliation – on the travelling public. Of course, these measures are all, universally, reactive – which means that terroriosts will find a way around them (if they haven’t already); the scanning, with its intrusion and indignity, will also be useless. Not that it’ll go away.
But the Strib has consistently opposed the measures that’d put the burden on the would-be terrorists; they opposed wiretapping Americans for whom there exists a reasonable suspicion. When a group of citizens reacted with suspicion to a group of Muslin clerics whose behavior seemed, at this remove, stranger than Abdulmutallab’s, the Strib pilloried them, and those who defended them, as racists. The Strib couldn’t possibly abide by the concept of “profiling” – focusing security’s efforts on those most likely to cause problems, 20-40 year old middle-to-upper-middle-class Muslim men – even though that’s precisely what Israel’s El Al, one of the biggest terrorism targets in the world, has done to make themselves perhaps the safest airline in the world.
In other words, the Strib is fine with measures that demean and degrade you, Joe and Jane Citizen, provided that they are utterly politically correct, and without regard to the fact that they are in the long run completely useless.
Thanks, Strib. Same to you.