Most of us walk up to that TSA officer with our passport or ID, a little anxious, not knowing what we will be subjected to on the other side of the counter. Recently my sister came back from France. When she went through customs in the U.S.A, they wanted to know what she did for a living. Why does the TSA need to know that my sister is an artist? Is she a threat somehow? Furthermore, it is a question that does not pertain to her travel itinerary, her citizenship, or what she has packed in her suitcase, the questions TSA can ask.
Who gets punished for the underwear bomber? We do, those that love to travel. I was somewhat appalled when I discovered strip searches are still technically allowed. Then I started thinking, well is that not what is going on now? Airports are being ordered to use the full body scanners. Passengers are being assured that whoever is viewing you without clothing is in another room and cannot see you. A 40 something man is observing me completely without clothes in a room somewhere. I feel so at ease now.
After the shoe bomber, we now all practice the taking off our shoes routine. However, even if the shoe bomber had taken his shoes off and put them through the metal detector, the chemical inside them would not have been found. It could have only been detected in a chemical test. Now with the underwear bomber we are forced to remove our underwear practically with these full body scanners. One of my friends was going through the full body scanner just after a young girl in an apparently see-through shirt went in front of him. He heard the TSA agents radioing each other, discussing the “girl with the transparent shirt”. What does her shirt have to do with clearing security? Nothing.
Travelers need to start getting a temper about their rights at the airport. Whether you travel with brown, blond, white, black, gray, blue, pink, or green hair, adopt the stereotypically red-headed temper to what is being done to your liberties. My older brother called to my attention this quote by Benjamin Franklin, “Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Well, Ben, that is what we have on our hands now. The sacrifice for a little temporary safety gives travelers neither liberty nor safety.