—I highly doubt that I will ever do any long-distance traveling by airplane now or at any time in the future. One reason, I am employed part-time and traveling on board an airplane is simply beyond my means. Since I don’t expect to even go near an airport, I would neither care one way or another, precisely what security measures were put in place to screen for extremists. As long as extremists were successfully caught and thwarted in their plans to attack innocent travelers. But of course, I am not Charles Krauthammer either.
In his republished syndicated column, “‘Don’t touch my junk’ indeed” Krauthammer exploits an airline passenger’s squeamishness at getting the full body scan would prefer a full body pat-down, as long as his “junk” wasn’t touched—with, I am assuming, sexual innuendo attached. And then utilizes that “squeamishness” to make a significant attack on “Obamacare.” Before he goes on to signal his disgust at the “political correctness” of we need to screen everybody because we don’t want to profile. Uh, does every would be extremist out to make a political or religious point by blowing up airplanes look like a middle eastern man? What if they are blond-haired women with children and wearing a suicide vest, ready to take out a plane-load of non-believers? Or attempting to facilitate such an act? Unfortunately, terrorism isn’t dependent on skin color, country of origin or religious background. So, yes, just as unfortunately, anyone can be considered a suspect until full-body screening or a full-body pat-down declares them to be innocent. Such is the age of terrorism.
The question now is; just how long did it take Krauthammer to suddenly find himself on the side of “civil liberties? Oh right, because the global war on terrorism was passed as a legacy from the Bush administration onto the Obama administration. So therefore, Homeland Security was created yesterday, too much government invasion into and therefore a denial of individual rights only happened when the Transportation Security Administration was invented whole-cloth by way of President Obama’s executive order. Only problem is, the shoe-bomber happened under G.W.’s watch, and the panty-bomber was just as quickly thwarted under Obama’s watch. But to prevent any more shoe- and panty-bombers, even more extraordinary security measures must be taken. That they apply to your 90 year old grandmother with a set of knitting needles ready to make that afghan? A child? A teenager? How about a burkha-wearing young woman with a laptop, a brief case and going to some lawyer’s convention?
Then let’s get a few things straight; the TSA becomes an official arm of law enforcement. They are there to catch criminal perpetrators. Even if unfortunately, they have a past history of not doing the job very well. Say, you have the situation develop on any city street in anywhere U.S.A. A dangerous criminal has shot a family to death and is trying to escape… The police are setting up a security cordon and flagging down anyone’s car, inspects passengers, inspects the car before clearing them to move on. The TSA provides a comparable security cordon to reduce the prospect of a terrorist attack on board an airplane. At least they should. If they can work the kinks out of the system and improve their over-all performance, then no doubt they will.
What gets me, is that people should demonstrate some kind of intelligence about this entire matter. Did they suddenly “get stupid” in the Obama era and only showed some kind of intelligent understanding of the security risks to airline travel if these measures were not taken during the GW era? Or is this simply the latest symbol of objecting to Obama? Homeland Security and the TSA came into existence post-9/11/2001. The kind of improved security equipment such as the full-body scanners takes time to develop, test, and made ready for market. Something that was put into the planning and developing stages of security firms years before, may only now come to an airport near you. Or has 9/11/2001 really been utterly forgotten since the age of Obama began?
What is telling, is that Krauthammer could find himself playing up Bonnie and Clyde as some kind of “rebel heroes” just because of whom portrayed them in the 1960s movie of the same name. Really, and if Osama bin Laden were portrayed in a future movie by a really handsome actor, we’d root for the mastermind of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Then again, thinking about Idaho’s legislative representative, Phil Hart, a tax cheat and timber thief gets rooted for and even re-elected despite his unethical behavior and criminal history as he is “sticking it to the man” meaning the government that he was elected to represent. Maybe it says a great deal about us. Or for that matter, Rep. Charles Rangel, that despite his own ethical questions, gets returned to Congress by the voters in his state. They could have replaced him with someone else, but they returned him to his elected office and thus, he is now being censured by his fellow representatives for past wrongful conduct. The voters could have censured him too. They did not. If past—Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty and yes we can have a serious crush on actors—is prologue, then I’d certainly have to say that this nation has a serious need for a head examination.
You’d think that Krauthammer was abruptly an American Civil Liberties Union member when he begins ranting about the useless security measures and indignities suffered by people going through them. Wonder why it took him so long to decide that people really could suffer indignities prior to at least knowing that their air travel to visit the grand kids could now be made with a modicum of security? Oh, that’s right, he absolutely hates Obama. Now what if Senator McCain had made it to the presidency? Would Krauthammer have made the same argument? Probably not. Says a lot about the man’s utter hypocrisy.