Those who would give up liberty for security may get on the damn plane

Maybe I will give up air travel after all. Take this man, who refused to give TSA officials a free look at his privates, or an even more intimate grope, and has been threatened with being sued for his impudence:

After another minute or so, he returned and asked for my name. I asked why he needed it, and reminded him that the female supervisor/agent had already taken a report. He said that he was trying to be friendly and help me out. I asked to what end. He reminded me that I could be sued civilly and face a $10,000 fine and that my cooperation could help mitigate the penalties I was facing.

Those authorities are out of control.

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11 responses to “Those who would give up liberty for security may get on the damn plane

  1. I’m not going to gve up air travel necessarily – but I am giving up air gravel to the USA.

  2. Out of control is an understatement.

  3. Well what is the alternative in the age of the underpants Bomber?
    If more thorough checks were abandoned would you not be in the chorus of complaint that the authorities had not done enough to keep the flying public safe?

  4. The alternative is “not doing that”.

    They’ll never make terrorism impossible: this sort of thing is massively disproportionate to the reality of the threat.

    Just out of interest, Iain, and I know I’m going to regret engaging with you (and so is everyone else) – where would you draw the line? What other indignities would you be happy having imposed on your wife – and kids?

  5. If more thorough checks were abandoned would you not be in the chorus of complaint that the authorities had not done enough to keep the flying public safe?

    Honestly, no.

  6. The whole air travel security wank is a waste of money. As London and Madrid have shown, would be terrorists could simply board buses instead, or walk with a briefcase full of kaboom into a cramped subway. Same effect.

    And when the first plane is blown up with a bomb shoved up a hairy rectum, Iain starts giggling with anticipation to having anal probes performed on him.

  7. “Well what is the alternative in the age of the underpants Bomber”
    I don’t think anyone is arguing against reasonable levels of security for air travel. What is disturbing is the seemingly ufettered power being provided to these civilian security companies. Did you miss the point about the possibility of him being sued civilly?

    There’s another story in this morning’s news about the new”security measures”:
    http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/airport-pat-down-was-sexual-assault/story-e6frfq80-1225955026206

  8. Jeremy

    Just out of interest, Iain, and I know I’m going to regret engaging with you (and so is everyone else) – where would you draw the line? What other indignities would you be happy having imposed on your wife – and kids?

    Well it just so happens that I wrote a piece at mine on this topic where I said this:

    The answer is simple there are three options:

    1. Use the full body scanner option as no touching of your person is required
    2. Learn to enjoy being publicly touched up.
    3. don’t fly in commercial aircraft

    Its not the fault of the security people that they have to thoroughly search everyone who wants to fly, so live with it.

    Up Up and away Comrades

    Now as my dislike of air travel is the stuff of legend I would of course relay upon option “3” or if the travel was essential option “1”

    I am still waiting for you top suggest a viable alternative, perhaps you are wanting to suggest that security service should be more selective in who they closely scrutinise but are afraid to suggest that in case it sounds like you are saying that Muslims should get more thorough scrutiny than other travellers.

  9. Iain – it’d be great if you could shock us all and actually address the question Lefty put to you, i.e. “where would you draw the line?”

    What you’ve done above is to simply state that you’re happy with the line where it is currently drawn. Lefty has asked you how far you would allow the security checks to go before you started to object.

    For example, would you support a decision to make cavity searches mandatory for all airline travellers?

  10. Iain the full body scanners have dangerous levels of radiation. The pictures from them have – repeatedly – been saved and leaked. There have been numerous cases of security personal been overheard saying things like “hey, we have a cutie coming up”. Not to mention the cost, and the fact they’re not effective. So to say your option 1 is a good option is, well, silly (you can see my piece on it at (you can see my piece on it at here)

    Better options, of course, exist (i’d suggest some aspects of the Israeli model, to use one example, ought be looked at) Or that we just take a more mature and sophisticated approach to risk management.

  11. Mondo
    As I have said many times I am no fan of flying and I just won’t let my wife and children travel on any aircraft. That said I consider mass air travel to be a social luxury that has a fast approaching use by date quite simply because it is such an energy intensive industry that will have to be curtailed as oil becomes more expensive. So the question of drawing the line seems rather moot to me but if you want to fly where submitting to invasive and embarrassing prerequisite to getting on the plane are going to be the norm then you have to wear that as the price of passage.

    Tim
    You make a good point about the way that the Israeli’s do airport security but then they have a very much smaller volume of travellers to contend with and a very incentivised security service. I have my doubts that security people on a minimum wage in the US could be so diligent.

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