Stories of mothers forced to drink the breast milk out of their babies’ bottles are not new. Neither are stories of the elderly persons subjected to humiliating strip searches. Stories like those solidified my belief that the TSA was an inefficient agency, but this month, my fourteen year old daughter was “randomly” selected for an additional security search- on each leg of our ski trip. Thankfully, the little SSSS marking on the ticket gave us a big flashing clue, so we checked the skis under her name to avoid being detained to watch TSA sift through smelly ski socks and underwear. It saved us some time, but I found out when we arrived home, that they had sifted though that stuff anyway.
My family talked about the futility of the searches that day. The boarding card alerts you with that SSSS mark well before you clear security. Does that make the search “voluntary” and akin to the NYC subway searches? If you are carrying a prohibited item, what would stop you from just walking out of the terminal? I guess that TSA supporters would say that they stopped a crime and inconvenience be damned. After all, it doesn’t matter if you are searched like a criminal- if you are not a criminal, it should not bother you. It is the price of security. But after being detained for additional search on four occasions (during 5 flights), my daughter and I wondered how far our fellow Americans would let our government go in the name of security. (We try to do our part here at home.) How much would people allow this administration take from them? And then, something of a biblical nature happened. David loaded his sling, and focused on Goliath.
People started fighting back. At Georgetown, there was the most effective protest that America has seen of late. Librarian, , thwarted the FBI and her local police in their attempt to gain information without a warrant. And, one of our country’s financial institutions has pledged to act in a manner consistent with American freedom with regard to property rights.
They said, in the aftermath of 9/11, that Al Qaeda had awakened the sleeping giant. I think that they were right. But the sleeping giant was our very own government- and we can choose to be David or dinner.