WHY AMERICANS MUST RESPOND TO GOVERNMENT’S ABUSES
by Beverly Eakman
November 29, 2010
Most people had already made their Thanksgiving reservations — mostly non-refundable tickets — to visit relatives and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday. That is precisely why the Transportation Security Administration picked the week before the busiest flight holiday of the year to spring its groping and full-body-scanners on travelers. Discovering that their campaign of intimidation generated only a smattering of overt protests at the nation’s airports — even after John Tyner uttered his now-famous “don’t touch my junk” threat to TSA agents at the San Diego International Airport and made a video that went viral with his iPhone — policymakers became even more emboldened.
“It was probably not the most artful way of expressing my point,” Tyner told ABC News, “but I was trying to keep it lighthearted…. I said it with a half smile on my face.” In return for his tongue-in-cheek rebuke, the TSA gave Tyner the fullest possible hassle and even threatened him with jail.
Then we learned the TSA had acknowledged that senior officials and lawmakers routinely bypass standard airport screenings, after a video surfaced showing an incoming House Speaker John Boehner bypassing airport security checks. The TSA’s “Big Sis,” Janet Napolitano, never flies commercial, nor do most of her fellow colleagues among the government elite. According to Associated Press, most are “exempted government officials [who] have gone through several levels of security clearances, including FBI background checks.”