My mailbox was overflowing this morning with links to that 3-year old in a wheelchair who got a pat down. Our response: “we won’t cover that.” And not just because it’s an old, inaccurate story. (In fact, it may be a “false flag” planted by the TSA to make its opponents look like “useful idiots.”)
Shiny Badge tracks one thing: TSA Agents who have been charged, indicted, or convicted of crimes committed against the Public. With over 400 cases in our database, that’s enough to keep us busy! We do have a full time job, too.
We watched that video. We certainly don’t approve of what we saw. But what we found objectionable was the clumsiness of the search, and the stupid conversation the TSA Officer tried to have with the child. (“Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?”)
The TSA is not there to make friends with children; the TSA’s goal should be to search passengers as quickly, effectively, and respectfully as possible.
Extreme cases make bad law. We would not want to see a law passed that would make it next to impossible to search a child or an old person. If something’s genuinely suspicious, a person should be searched.
We fly into and out of Tel Aviv at least once a year. The Israeli government takes no chances with security, yet we’ve never been treated rudely. We don’t even have to take our belts or shoes off. But we do get screened, professionally and thoroughly. The Officers doing the screening have a great deal of knowledge and skills on how to do a proper screening. And if a person in a wheelchair has a story that doesn’t add up, or appears suspicious, he will get a thorough search–even if he’s 2 years old.
In the United States, this form of security is impossible. Why? Because instead of hiring a small group of very intelligent people, the United States TSA hires a large group of, well, idiots. And idiots need to be able to follow a standard procedure form a manual.
That’s why we’re concerned about the recent lowering of standards for people over 75. And, given the momentum behind the “wheelchair search” video, we may see the lowering of standards for kids in wheelchairs. This is absurd. If a person is suspicious, regardless of age or use of a wheelchair, he should be checked out.
Airport Security in our country is all theater. The TSA should be eliminated and replaced with a smaller group of smarter people who have the training and authority to make decisions, and who are professional enough to treat the public with respect. (And not steal their iPads!)