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TSA screenings reveal political hypocrisy

By   /   December 10, 2010  /   Comments

You might have missed it if you happened to have been living under a rock or something, but we had a bit of a political scuffle recently involving the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. You see, some folks wanted to opt out of those really invasive scanners and decided to make a statement by doing it on the busiest travel day of the year. That day came and went, and little came of it. Supporters for TSA claimed a victory. But should they have?

What these supporters miss is that the reason there was so few opting out is that there were so few body scanners actually operational. TSA decided to run the day before Thanksgiving without the controversial scanners, so activists had nothing to opt out of.

So when people decided to opt out of the scanners, TSA worried that it could cause problems. They worried that it would cause delays and they would be blamed. They worried more that it would show how many people were truly disgusted with the idea of a scanner that shows your entire body to a perfect stranger. They worried about a lot of things, so they turned the scanners off.

Activists all over the country, who flew intending to opt out of the scan if selected, report that they were thwarted. Not through a lack of support, but a lack of opportunity. It’s hard to opt out of something that just ain’t there.

So now the moment seems to have passed. I honestly believe that future opt out days will be met with similar measures by TSA. Supporters will continue to claim that those of us who don’t want this kind of thing are whackos who support terrorism.

Oddly enough, no planes fell from the sky due to terrorist actions. No hijackings occurred. Nothing. It must have been a Thanksgiving miracle, since we’ve been told these measures are necessary to stop terrorists.

What’s amusing to me is who these supporters, and some of the opponents, actually are. Whoopie Goldberg, a noted liberal, spouted off in support of the so-called “porno scanners”. Most of the other supporters are similarly progressives. Many of the opponents are Republicans. Yet, if this had happened just three years ago, the positions would have been reversed.

This isn’t unusual. When President Clinton went into Kosovo, many arguments were made for and against his actions. The same arguments were revived when President Bush want to go into Iraq. The only difference was which parties were saying what. Now, the issue is fighting terrorism and our civil liberties.

I’d just like to remind those folks who have shifted their beliefs that I stood with them when they were accused of supporting terrorism because they objected to the PATRIOT Act. I stood with them when they railed against warrantless wiretaps. I stood with them when they screamed that the loss of liberty was not the way to defeat terrorism.

Now I have a different set of people beside me. Today, those who we railed against now stand beside me. I know it’s a temporary alliance. When they are back in control of the White House, the balance will shift back and so it will continue for who knows how long.

There is hypocrisy in politics. This isn’t groundbreaking, earth-shattering news here. However, this is one of the clearest examples you can find. Apparently, taking away a man’s freedom is fine so long as you’re the one taking it away…at least it is to some.

Our freedoms are the one thing truly worth fighting for in this world. If a madman was trying to take over the United States in an effort to remove our freedoms, we would stand united in that fight. Republican, Democrat, and even Libertarian would stand and fight because our freedoms are so precious to us.

That’s why it’s so funny to me that so many folks are ready to destroy someone’s civil liberties based on who’s residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. In all fairness, there are still Democrats who oppose these scans, and I’m sure there are still Republicans who support them. They’re the minority in their parties though. Don’t feel too bad for them though, eventually a Republican will be in the White House and things will shift back, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

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  • Published: 1729 days ago on December 10, 2010
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  • Last Modified: December 6, 2010 @ 11:18 pm
  • Filed Under: Tom Knighton

About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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