It’s easy to scape-goat one individual here, but the problem with the note is that it’s representative of the bigger privacy intrusions that the U.S. government, through the TSA and other sources, levels every day. The invasion is inherent to the TSA’s mission, regardless of whether a funny note is left behind — the note only serves to highlight the absurdity of all this security theater. As much as this is a funny and titillating story, when I put the note on Twitter for what I thought was a relatively limited audience I was hoping it would open up a bigger conversation about privacy rights (or lack thereof) in post-9/11 America. It unfortunately hasn’t done that, and instead has turned into a media circus. I would imagine that the TSA agent in question feels the same way I do at this point: I just want this story to go away. The note was inappropriate, the agent in question acted unprofessionally when s/he put in in my bag, there should be consequences and I’m glad the TSA takes these things seriously. But I get no satisfaction in hearing that someone may be in danger of losing their job over this. I would much prefer a look at why ‘security’ has been used to justify so many intrusions on our civil liberties, rather than fire a person who made a mistake.
I want to point out a simple concept here. Americans are groped, prodded, scanned, and have their luggage searched because they want to go on a vacation or take a business trip. I have said it before and I will say it again. I would much rather go on a plane where no one had been searched.
“Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate,” said Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons.
Yes, the TSA has branched out to highways because the airports just aren’t enough. How long until the TSA begins searching entrances to developments because terrorists have to live somewhere?
How long until you are scanned scanned before entering a grocery store or movie theater because these are likely places for a terrorist attack?
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Ben Franklin
I would rather know that every person on the plane with me could have a gun. How many terrorists do you think would attempt something on that plane?
Remember, please, that you are born with inherent rights. If you continue to give those rights up because you are afraid one day you will wake up and find that you have no rights left.