Yes, It Is a Police State
June 16, 2011
As regular readers know, I’m not one for hyperbole, so perhaps some are thinking that my title is ironic. Nope, I mean it. An accumulation of events in recent months leads me to no other conclusion than that we are in fact living in a police state in the good old US of A.
The list of reasons is fairly long, but we can certainly start with our favorite gropers at the TSA. In my ideal world, airline safety would be the responsibility of those with the most directly to lose financially from doing it poorly: the airlines and the airports. But even in a world where government has taken on that responsibility, we should be protected by the Fourth Amendment against “unreasonable” searches. It’s one thing to walk through the standard metal detector, which seems reasonable, but when we are expected to pose virtually nude in a submissive position for government agents, and when refusing to do so earns you a feel-up that would count as sexual battery in most states, that is something else entirely.
If I had told you 20 years ago that in 2011 this is what would happen every day to thousands of travelers — including toddlers and the handicapped — at U.S. airports, you would not have believed me. And on top of everything else, it doesn’t work! It’s mere “security theatre.” When residents of the United States have a legitimate fear of being sexually abused by agents of the State when engaging in peaceful air travel, we live in a police state.