We have met the TSA.... and he is us
We have met the TSA and he is us.... Yes, friends, the TSA (and its parent agency the DHS) are a direct result of our frenzied demands for a safer country. ("Our" does not mean necessarily "you" or "me", but "us" the citizens of the USA.)
We supported President Bush by an overwhelming majority when DHS and the TSA were created. We supported the Patriot Act. We supported allowing the federal government to take over airport and port security. We supported President Obama in allowing the DHS and TSA to continue to operate with bullies and thugs in their ranks. I'm not saying all TSA employees are bullies and thugs.
Since Sept 11, 2001, I have traveled a bit over 1,000,000 "base" miles via air. I *did* have a brief "brushing up against my junk incident" once in 2004, but I usually just witness clueless employees and inconsistenly enforced policies. By and large, MOST of the TSA people I have encountered were polite, but bored civil servants.
The current frenzy over back scatter machines, aggressive pat-downs, and 5 year olds being searched is a natural progression of the power and authority that we have enabled for the DHS and TSA. Regardless of who controls Congress or the White House, expect this to expand further.
I don't know of a better solution for transporation security, but I can tell you that the current "solution" is one of our own making. And I certainly don't trust Congress to make things any better. The only thing I know for sure is that terrorists and extremists are going to continue to look for ways to exploit current or future weaknesses.