Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The terrorists are winning

I got a kick out of this cartoon by Mike Keefe on the Cagle Political Cartoon blog. I thought it was pretty close to right, but amusing.

Then I read about Thomas Sawyer, a survivor of bladder cancer who was humiliated by thoughtless TSA employees. He was chosen for an enhanced pat down after going through the full body scanner. He tried to warn them about his urostomy bag, but they ignored him and broke the seal, leaving him wet and smelling of urine. The TSA employees acted as though nothing had happened despite the wet spot on his clothes. And I realized that the changes we're enduring because of terrorism are no laughing matter.

Next I read a headline, "Qaeda Branch Aimed for Broad Damage at Low Cost," referring to the failed (or not) parcel bomb last month. The terrorists claim the operation may not have blown up a plane, but it had the desired effect of causing the U.S. to revamp security again, a time consuming and expensive prospect. In fact they've shifted emphasis from flashy attacks to simple, low grade attacks that cause maximum return in things like expanded security procedures.

The terrorists have won. They control our airport security. We need to turn things around and come up with reasonable procedures for airport security that respect human dignity and treat airline passengers like customers, not suspects.