Testifying before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs yesterday, Transportation Security Administration Chief John S. Pistole insisted that the TSA is "not going to back down in the face of complaints that techniques are invasive" and "appealed to the flying public to become 'partners' in the effort to combat terrorism."
Am I the only person who recognizes how patently fucking stupid that is? Asking people who aren't terrorists to submit themselves to invasive (and unproven) security procedures to prove they aren't terrorists doesn't make them "partners" in combating terrorism. It just makes them victims of an unfettered police state where the appearance of "doing something" is more important than the actual efficacy of what you're doing.
[Pistole] said they try to strike a balance between privacy and security needs. "We want to be sensitive to people's feelings about privacy," he said. "We have to ensure that each person getting on every flight is secure."Now, I know he means "safe from terrorists," but that's a pretty hilarious thing to say considering that they're busily compromising people's sense of security with public scanner images, triggering pat-downs, and retributive legal investigations. Which is to say nothing of the potential health hazard of the full-body scans.
When a significant portion of the population is more afraid of what the TSA will do to them if they fly than what some hypothetical terrorist might do to them if they fly, we are losing the battle for making sure people are secure.