Another namby-pamby Congressional response to TSA abuse

As we’ve been reporting here for years, many of us have used all sorts of methods to fight TSA abuse. 

There’s not just one way to resist. There are several. That’s true for all kinds of protest, about all kinds of things. There’s never just one way. The point is to stand up against injustice when you see it, whether or not you’re successful. Fighting the TSA is a longterm battle, not a short one.

One of the methods we’ve used, repeatedly — and which TSA supporters and apologists constantly harp on — is writing to our Congressional representatives. On the one hand it’s a pointless exercise — Senators and Reps don’t give a flying fig unless you’re a lobbyist with money, and not enough of them have been personally abused yet, which would be the best lesson of all. On the other hand, writing to them establishes a paper trail, and proves, now and in the future, that not everyone just stood by dumbly, accepting without protest the evisceration of their rights and the violation of their bodies.

So allow me to show you the latest response from one of my so-called representatives, only one in a string of worthless responses full of mewling bromides and lethargy, and signifying nothing. From Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, via email, dated May 19, 2014:

Dear Ms. Simeone:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airline security.  I appreciate hearing from you about these issues.

The Transportation Security Administration continues to review its screening procedures.  I believe that we need to keep a watchful eye on air safety by strengthening screening procedures and reviewing current technology to make sure that it is achieving its purpose.  This must be done in a way that protects our constitutional rights.

You may be interested in knowing that the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014(P.L. 113-76) included provisions requiring the TSA, no later than April 15, 2014, to certify that one in four members of the traveling public is eligible for expedited screening, and to submit a strategy for increasing eligibility to 50 percent by the end of 2014.  The accompanying explanatory statement also requires TSA to provide specialized customer service training to all Transportation Security Officers.

If you would like to file a complaint regarding a particular situation you had with the TSA, please visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website at

Again, thanks for writing.  I want you to know that I will continue to do what I can to balance the need for privacy and quick screenings with policies that make air travel safe.  Please let me know if I can be of any help to you in the future.

Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator

Please do not respond directly to this e-mail. The originating e-mail account is not monitored.
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Oh, yeah, I’ll follow you. Can’t think of anything more thrilling.

Tell ya what, Babs: here’s hoping you and yours get the grope of a lifetime, that your belongings are pawed through, damaged, and stolen, that you’re all forced to swallow the medicine you’ve shoved down the throats of the rest of us. It’s already happened to a few of your colleagues, but not enough; not nearly enough.

Though even then, you’ll probably slink back to your cocoon of manufactured fear and dire warnings about The Terrorists! . As we know, fear is profitable. Fear is an industry. And there are many people in this country who are only too happy to buy into it.

(Cross-posted at ABombazine)

  • Chris Bray

    Mine don’t bother to respond, so yours are ahead of the fairly dismal curve.

  • Kitten

    My representative told me that the best way to avoid going through the nude-o-scope was to just go through the scanners.

    • Ha! This is great! Ignorance on parade!!

      • Kitten

        In keeping with your John Adams theme, in the musical “1776,” Adams exclaims, “I have come to the conclusion that one foolish man is a disgrace, two become a law firm, and three or more are called a Congress. And by God, I have had this Congress…” My representative is #1….

        • Daisiemae

          I saw that at Roundabout Theatre on Broadway and Brent Spiner played John Adams. He was incredible! I can clearly picture him making that declaration.

          I was on the front row right in front of his little desk. He was very different from Mr. Data.

    • Susan Richart

      Oy vey! I hope you didn’t vote for this person. 🙂

      • Kitten

        Gracious, no! The person I voted for was probably too smart to be a Congressman.

  • Susan J. Barretta


    I don’t care how “liberty” oriented a rep or senator is. If I have to submit to a groping to step on a plane, I don’t vote for any incumbent at the next election. If the people running against the incumbent don’t have a verifiable history of defending civil liberties, I don’t vote for them either. And if anybody who might interest me at all sends me mail looking for money, I’ll happily write NO MONEY on the contribution form with an explanation, and I’ll even send it back with a stamp if necessary. I wrote NONE on the ballot in several slots in the 2012 election, and I’ll do it again.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the only real way there is going to be TSA reform is to get the airlines interested. And the only way to get the airlines interested is to guarantee they won’t be sued in the event of a terrorist attack and come up with another way to give them legal immunity. That is a major reason why this idiocy persists. The second part of reform is to put replace TSA with something real in terms of security. People will not accept NO airport security.

  • RonBonner

    One other step you can take. Be an active citizen and do not elect, reelectd, or support in any way candidates who are soft on TSA. I would be willing to go outside of my typical party beliefs in order to do this.

    • They’re all soft on the TSA. They speak out of both sides of their mouths.

      • RonBonner

        True but I will still try to make sure that no TSA supporter goes to congress from my acts. Might do no good but I will sleep better at night.

  • So, so true about the Fear Industrial Complex.

    As John Adams also said, ““When legislature is corrupted, the people are undone.”

    And as we all know, a not-small number of them don’t fly commercial and never will. Sometimes I wish I believed in Hell, you know?