” My pained relationship with government security had started three years earlier. I had just returned to Chicago to finish my bachelor’s degree after a two-year stint in Florida. I needed a job to help pay my way through school, and the TSA’s call-back was the first one I received. It was just a temporary thing, I told myself—side income for a year or two as I worked toward a degree in creative writing. It wasn’t like a recession would come along and lock me into the job or anything.
It was May 2007. I was living with a bohemian set on Chicago’s north side, a crowd ranging from Foucault-fixated college kids to middle-aged Bukowski-bred alcoholics. We drank and talked politics on the balcony in the evenings, pausing only to sneer at hipsters strumming back-porch Beatles sing-a-longs. By night, I took part in barbed criticism of U.S foreign policy; by day, I spent eight hours at O’Hare in a federal uniform, solemnly carrying out orders passed down from headquarters.
I hated it from the beginning. It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part of the post-9/11 airport security show. I confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security. I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots—the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying.”
In the interests of fairness we should point out that the TSA has offered a rebuttal of ex-agent Harrington’s claims reported on by the Daily Caller , an excerpt of which can be found below .
” “Every passenger deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policy upholds this standard. TSA does not tolerate any form of unethical or unlawful behavior by its employees and takes swift disciplinary action if discovered,” he added.”
Ah yes , “dignity and respect” , is that what this is called ?
” In his article Harrington details how TSA agents gawked at the nude images of passengers in the recently eliminated “nude” body-scanners, how agents were instructed to profile people from Middle Eastern countries (excluding Pakistan and Saudi Arabia), that agents would use pat downs as retaliation for rudeness, and the fact that even TSA employees lacked confidence in the system.”
As with all things State once they are caught , the mea culpa is acknowledged along with the predictable promise that “things are different now ” …. Sure