When the large African-American woman ─ in the employ of the American taxpayer to torment the same subjects at the Miami International Airport ─ summoned me with a crooked finger for a pat down, I thought of the film “Midnight Express.” And in particular, the scene where Billy Hayes’ far-from-delightful Turkish jailer schemes to enjoy some time alone with the young American. My tormentor wore the same sadistic, atavistic expression. Her giant digits were soon upon my chest and between my legs.
In front of me, a frail woman was struggling to stand upright as the same goons, brows furrowed, studied her walking stick for traces of semtex. Once I had reached the safety of a privately operated cafe, I watched the agents of the Transportation Security Administration lunge at a middle-aged man’s groin.
Most recently ─ and to banshee yelps of, “We have an Opt Out!”, “Opt Out!” ─ the TSA attack dogs swarmed a young woman by the name of Meg McLain, who had declined the ostensibly optional full-body scan. The TSA’s website describes its scanners as consisting of “two types of imaging technology, millimeter wave and backscatter.” With the aid of stimulus loot, this rogue agency has acquired an additional “450 advanced imaging technology units,” which, of course, are “safe for all passengers,” tiny and tall. “The technology meets national health and safety standards,” we are assured.
A cursory perusal of the literature on the cumulative effects of ionizing radiation confirms that there is no consensus about this modality’s safety. However, truth in the TSA universe is adjudicated by coercion ─ by forcing a captive audience to choose between the Scylla of the scan and the Charybdis of the “enhanced pat down.”
Properly cornered, Ms. McLain was escorted to a cordoned-off area. “This girl here has all kinds of opinion on how we’re doing our job, y’all,” boomed one of McLain’s TSA masters. Heeding the call of the wild, this employee’s manager left, only to return with a dozen cops to backup the seven pack animals already snarling at the young woman. As the malicious, out-and-out assault on her person and property continued, Ms. McLain soon found herself cuffed, her belongings confiscated, and her ticket ripped to shreds in malicious spite. She knows not how close she came to being seriously hurt for her defiant speech. (Ask the grieving family of Carol Anne Gotbaum, who met her demise not in a Pakistani or Saudi airport, but in Phoenix’s Sky Harbor.)
The attractiveness variable is, however, a statistical outlier; a red herring that should not form the focus of an uprising at the airports. To counter the salacious, if spurious, sexual angle, the TSA could easily produce accurate evidence of the equal number of attacks perpetrated on feeble, little old men and their wives. It would appear that this cross-section of the population is as likely to be targeted by TSA terrorists as is the attractive, distaff demographic.
I’ve watched dozens of documented attacks, or accounts thereof, on YouTube. If the footage is at all representative, attractiveness is not the salient feature of the victims. The sex-appeal tack will, invariably, invite evidentiary exculpation: “See, I attacked grandpa, too; I’m all about the random.” You don’t want the TSA’s hounds to be fair in their pursuit of the American people; you want them to cease and desist it. And you want individual culprits and their higher-ups publicly exposed and punished.
If the countless YouTube clips I’ve cringed through are in any way typical occurrences – then what we have here are affirmatively appointed federal recruits, loosed upon meek, mild-mannered, mainstream Americans. What is salient about the assailed is that they are, from what I’ve observed, members of the pilloried and pliant majority.
This onslaught is a quest for submission, not sex.
Temperamentally unsuited to obedience is Michael Roberts, a pilot. One does not expect CNN’s Kiran Chetry to ask the right questions, but Mr. Roberts, who flies for ExpressJet Airlines, certainly volunteered the right answers. He refused the full body scanner. Like Ms. McLain, Mr. Roberts was ushered into the untouchable’s zone (for “secondary screening”), where his privates were to be palpitated. He declined.
“I am not comfortable with being physically assaulted by an agent of the federal government on my way to work, in violation of the Fourth Amendment and other constitutional provisions,” is how this laudable American put it. “These bullies tried to have their way with me, and I took my case to the street.”
The YouTube “street” served as a venue for another gentleman, this time from Portland. He vented his distress at having his wheelchair-bound mother being ordered to “spread-eagle against the wall,” in preparation for the ministrations of the TSA’s resident Mengele. The Portland complainant implied that the courtesy of preventative and indefinite detention ─ a police-state tactic introduced by the now-celebrated George Bush ─ could well have been extended to his poor parents. He makes a good point.
A not-so-young-and-pretty woman is forced to remove her nipple rings. A seventeen year-old frequent flier is made to expose her prosthetic leg, and groped for good measure, on each and every trip she takes as she tours the country with a church choir.
The Chicago-based CBS2 TV station films a palsied old man quivering in his wheelchair while being manhandled in plain view. A large African-American woman watches on from her position within the privileged, screening pen.
“I have power, I have power, I have power,” bellowed one such TSA “supervisor” at Robert Perry, aged 71, who protested having his pants pulled down in public. Mr. Perry’s artificial knee had set-off the metal detector. This served as a cue for the cattle prodders to pounce.
America’s airports are ugly, militarized places. As I write, malicious assaults on person and property are underway there, carried out by the detritus of humanity, and with federal imprimatur. The TSA workforce manning crucial sections of the air terminals reflects the federal government’s legislated preference for angry minorities. Each one of these workers seems singularly intent on exacting revenge upon his or her perceived oppressors. The alternative media (Anderson Cooper and his ilk are excluded) must insist that these perpetrators be tagged, collared, and impounded.
The triumphant Republican majority in Congress claims to have a new-found affinity for freedom. The first order of business for this crop of congressmen is to stop the en masse molestation of the population.
©2010 By ILANA MERCER