Somewhere, George Orwell Is Waking Up To Say, “I Told You So!”

AnimalFarm
As my colleague Lisa Simeone has been pointing out for some time now, the “some animals are more equal than others” line is alive and well at the TSA checkpoint.

Bart Jansen writes at USA Today that those who have the bucks to pay to get into the TSA’s “Pre-check” program can do so. Who will pay? Businessmen, wealthy people, people not on a budget. The rest of us will continue to get our hoohoos grabbed by the hamburger clerks pretending to do security work same as we all have been these past years.

The Transportation Security Administration plans to dramatically expand its program to get travelers through airport checkpoints faster by inviting them to pay a nominal fee for voluntary background checks.

TSA’s Pre-check program offers travelers separate lines at checkpoints, where they leave on shoes and light coats and keep laptops in their bags. The free program operates at 40 airports and now covers members of frequent-flier programs for Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, United, US Airways, and Virgin America airlines. Airlines invite frequent-fliers to apply with little more than the information provided when buying a ticket.

But TSA Administrator John Pistole announced Friday the agency will expand eligibility for the program to include travelers who pay a one-time fee of $85 for five years, to cover an application with identifying information such as address and birthplace, a background check and fingerprinting.

Yes, that’s right. Your Fourth Amendment right to not be searched without probable cause will still be taken from you; but if you pay a fee, strangers employed by your government might no longer grope your sex parts at the airport. “Might” is still the operative word, because, as we’ve written more times than I can count, Pre-Check doesn’t guarantee you a grope-free experience.

As for the people who trade money and privacy to avoid being sexually assaulted in the name of security just because they need to take a business trip or want to be there for Granny on her 90th, think about it: You’re being treated like a criminal — being fingerprinted and giving information that is not your government’s business unless you have committed a crime.

If you’re not speaking up about this, you’re part of what’s enabled the degradation of our rights.

P.S. And if you think government is there to protect you, you should know that this little pay-to-avoid-groping dealie was brought to you by the sleazebags occupying the U.S. Senate.