"From now on I'm going to refer to it as the Testicle Squeezing Authority."(Alex Sears -- Facebook, as posted by Billy Beck)Of course, the Feds say the images won't be saved. Riiiggghhht. And since they're such professionals, we don't have to worry about them playing immature pranks, now, do we? Personally, I don't have much concern; nobody wants to look at a fat old guy naked, but if you're a decent-looking woman, you're going to have problems. When they first started talking about the things, I told my wife the first time Angelina Jolie or another famous actress goes through one, the images will be online before the plane leaves the ground.
Look, the net is ablaze with talk about this: this article about a guy who set up his trip so he wouldn't encounter one of these machines, then did, and got into a conflict with agents, has almost 5000 comments in a few days. One more little voice isn't going to mean much. But can I shine the light from a slightly different angle?
First off, my frequent read, brother Borepatch has an excellent summary (and some, frankly, disturbing video) of a TSA agent groping a little girl. There is no situation under which this should be acceptable conduct.
Second off, the Feds have spent a wad of money on these things and resistance is not an option. You are going to get it one way or the other. So what was the overall intent of 9-11? First of all, it was an attack on symbols of American power: the WTC, the Pentagon and the Capital. It was an attack on our economy. It was an attempt to shut down businesses. Last week, the threat of bombs sent as cargo shut down shipping and shut down air cargo service into and out of Persian Gulf states.
Is this an attempt to do the same thing, orchestrated by the people who want to shut down the US economy - in other words, domestic economic terrorism? Orchestrated by the watermelon environmentalists, socialists, and new-world-order nut jobs who want to knock the US standard of living down? What if the national opt-out day protests work and air travel is shut down next Wednesday - perhaps the busiest day of the year? What if it leads to a violent uprising? Can you imagine a father reacting violently when a TSA goon treats his little girl like that? I sure can. Many people have suggested the president needs a Reichstag Fire moment - or more politely, an Oklahoma City moment - to get his magic back. That is, to impose even more draconian restrictions on personal liberties. Consider what would happen if the TSA relents, mothballs the machines and doesn't do anything else - and a plane goes down. Even if it can't be shown it was a terrorist attack, the screaming media would be saying that the evil racist Tea-partiers and stupid libertarians caused the attack to happen, by interfering with the important work of the TSA.
What you, dear reader, and I know that the TSA apparently does not, is that the bomb is not the weapon, nor is the gun, the knife, or the box cutter. The weapon is the brain; anything else is just a tool. The path the TSA on is now and is always going to be - has to be - reactive, and therefore, too late. The government was in charge of airline security the morning of 9/11 and they didn't do much good. The government was in charge of airline security when the underwear bomber was stopped by passengers, and they were in charge when the shoe bomber was stopped by passengers. Until they stop playing with more and more expensive and offensive screening and adopt the methods El Al, the Israeli state airline uses, this is not going to get any better.
Did you know you get real steak knife on El Al flights? I rest my case.