Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The TSA and a presumption on innocence

This past weekend, I had to travel out of town (which is why I didn't get a chance to post anything since Friday). On my way home, I was in line for the security check and I actually paid attention to the new video that was playing for the passengers.

This new video was well-made (your tax dollars hard at work) and showed how to go through the security screening...what to do and what NOT to do. I must admit that I got particular satisfaction about the 'have your boarding pass and ID ready' segment because it showed a woman digging through her huge purse looking for things. Who hasn't been frustrated by that scenario in a check-out line, much less at an airport?

But then this phrase was uttered by the announcer, as the video looped back to the beginning:

You know you're not a threat, so show us.

The emphasis was on 'you' and 'us.'

When I looked around, no one was really paying attention. But my mind immediately went back to my history lessons and our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Apparently, the presumption of innocence is a foreign concept to the TSA. I wanted to shout back: Show me your probable cause!

While this statement and line of reasoning was scary, what was scarier was the lack of reaction from the general public. Granted, people may have just been ignoring the video, but there is no way the sentence failed to register - at least in the subconscious - of all those hearing it. Subliminal conditioning?

What has our country come to when government can use its authority to insist that we demonstrate our innocence through compliance with them - and the public doesn't revolt?


Brian said...


You are gem among the brain dead right side group of bloggers that care only about defeating Hillary or Hussain Obama, when all around us both parties are contributing to the erosion of our freedoms. Stay in the fight friend of freedom!

Robin said...

I think it might be conditioning. When they put the ban on liquids. I complained that I thought it was stupid. Really??? I have children with me and now I can't bring juice boxes with me, to quiet my kids down? And someone shot back with "They're just trying to keep us safe." Really? I don't know. I'm still under the impression that all of this searching and banning is mostly window dressing.

But... it really doesn't matter, since we haven't gone on an airplane since 2002. LOL! I just don't feel like being abused to to get on a flight. (Plus we really haven't had the money to fly anywhere).

Tami N. said...

It has become apparent today that our county Dog Warden must have attended the TSA's class on "If you're not guilty you have nothing to worry about."

I have had a few occasions to fly lately and I agree the screening experience was demeaning. I was literally yelled at by screeners in Detroit because I put my laptop and shoes in the same bin. In Tampa, the pulled many people out of line and put them in a device that blows jets of air at them. From a business aspect, what kind of customer service is this? It's not just fuel prices cutting into their profits.

Robin, you may find it interesting to learn that while you cannot take liquids through the screening process, you may purchase drinks after you screen in the airport for a price not controlled by the free market.

Maggie, I'm looking forward to more posting on the Dog Warden as I have a few things to say about that as well.

Keep up the good fight.

Chuck Greer said...

Scary, scary stuff. Again, I will plug the book I mentioned in a previous email, Maggie, and that is "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg, a must read for any thinking person, anyone who sees this sort of 'state-ism' for what it really is...thanks

Tim Higgins said...


I am shocked that you would complain about standing in line for a body cavity search when entertainment has now been provided for you. (end sarcasm)

You have to ask yourself which is worst, the Wal-Mart greeters following a set of rules written by the same bureaucrat who did the tax code trying to look like they are trying to catch a terrorist by abusing every air traveler; or the docile herd standing calmly in roped off lines awaiting their instructions.

As I have said more than once, with these people and this system in place, the only people captured will have to be more than terrorists, they will have to be morons.

Carol said...

Having flown within the past couple of months I know exactly which video you are referring to. It is insulting and condescending at best.

I could not take my $1.25 bottle of Pepsi through the security area, but I was free to purchase a flat fountain drink on "the other side" for $4.00. How kind of them.

An associate of mine (an older lady) had her shampoo in her carry on and they made her dispose of it and then detained her for a more detailed screening. The bottle in question was 3.75 oz. Her handicapped husband had a 4 oz. bottle of a analgesic gel in his bag and he had to toss it, too. Even though he had the prescription in his wallet for it.

OK - I'm not hiding anything, I'm not intent on doing bad things, and I try my level best to be law abiding. But some days you just want to scream at someone to get some freaking common sense.

GraphicGuy said...

There's been a gnawing question about this 'airport security' since I first experienced it years ago.

This 'security' line is most always set up somewhere within the confines of a very crowded airport - under the assumption that it will prevent some deranged terrorist from blowing up a plane with a hundred or so passengers on it.

Not wanting to give terrorists any ideas, but wouldn't it be MORE effective to blow that device while in the security line while there's potentially hundreds of victims to affect?

Just seems kind of silly.

Maggie Thurber said...

careful, graphicguy...you'll have them moving the security check points to the main entrances. But then, the same philosophy will apply...so they'll move to screening the car before they come into the airport grounds. But then, the same philosophy will apply...

where would it end???

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