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November 29, 2010

The Real Threat of Security Theater

snltsaWriting in the NY Times over the holiday weekend, Roger Cohen lucidly identifies the true threat of the elaborate security theater that the Transportation Security Administration has foisted upon us in our nation's airports:

I don't doubt the patriotism of the Americans involved in keeping the country safe, nor do I discount the threat, but I am sure of this: The unfettered growth of the Department of Homeland Security and the T.S.A. represent a greater long-term threat to the prosperity, character and wellbeing of the United States than a few madmen in the valleys of Waziristan or the voids of Yemen.

America is a nation of openness, boldness and risk-taking. Close this nation, cow it, constrict it and you unravel its magic. [.  .  .]

.  .  . During the Bosnian war, besieged Sarajevans had a word - "inat" - for the contempt-cum-spite they showed barbarous gunners on the hills by dressing and carrying on as normal. Inat is what Americans should show the jihadist cave-dwellers.

So I give thanks this week for the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

I give thanks for Benjamin Franklin's words after the 1787 Constitutional Convention describing the results of its deliberations: "A Republic, if you can keep it."

To keep it, push back against enhanced patting, Chertoff's naked-screening and the sinister drumbeat of fear.


Posted by Tom at November 29, 2010 12:01 AM |


Does the purchase of an airline ticket imply consent for TSA searches? That is an argument that is being offered by TSA bigwigs and I am not sure if they are correct.

Posted by: Warren Murdoch Author Profile Page at December 1, 2010 3:08 PM

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