The new rules DHS/TSA recently imposed on foreign countries for flights coming into the United States are now being imposed on U.S. domestic flights. If you thought this latest inanity was going to remain overseas, you’re dreaming.
Now, in addition to getting undressed, being scanned, and getting bullied, harassed, and groped, you also have to face the prospect of having your phone and other electronics confiscated (if, that is, theyr’e not simply stolen). That’s because the TSA thinks you’re a potential terrorist and your phone could be a bomb. If your phone/iPad/computer/whatever doesn’t power on — if you’re forgetful like me and have let the battery run down — the blue-shirted wonders won’t let you take it on the plane. That’s right, mes amis, you’ll lose your electronics.
But hey, it’s not all bad — the TSA is doing this only on “some domestic flights,” not all. In other words — at whim. It’s like a lottery — you never know if you’ll be the lucky person!
“During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cellphones,” a Department of Homeland Security official said. “Devices selected for this screening that are unable to power up will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening.”
“Additional screening” means extra groping, hassling, phony swabbing for phony explosives, and/or the dismantling of your carry-on luggage.
Never mind that if you actually were a terrorist, you could just detonate yourself in the security line itself, or anywhere else in the airport, as we’ve pointed out hundreds of times. Never mind that a cell phone that works could detonate a bomb elsewhere, in the hold of the plane, say, or at an airport cafe. No, never mind these points of logic. Logic isn’t wanted. Obedience is. And you, my friend, will be made to obey.
I don’t know how many times we have to say it: every time a civil liberty is taken away, that just makes it easier for the next one, and the next one, and the next one to be taken away. Step by incremental step, that’s how a police state develops. And that’s what the United States is.
To quote a statement I cribbed from I-know-not-where in the blabbosphere: “A police state doesn’t exist when the government arrests everyone. A police state exists when the government can arrest everyone.”
But after all, If You Haven’t Done Anything Wrong, You Have Nothing To Worry About™.
Government officials stress that the new security measure won’t be imposed on every traveler but will primarily target passengers on a federal terrorism “watch list.”
(Graphic courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation)