The other day, after slogging through a check-in line at one of the nation’s busiest airports, dutifully removing my shoes and belt and checking my bag and pockets for other potentially dangerous items (water and loose change), I was pulled aside by a crack Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent so he could further investigate the contents of my carry-on. While waiting, I took this picture of what looked to be a ten-year-old boy being molested by a 250-pound man.
Now, normally I would have reported this incident to the proper authorities. Inappropriate contact with a child, inside or outside his clothing, is a criminal act. But, in this case, the proper authorities were the ones feeling up the kid and the father had already protested the frisking—although, like all of us, he probably understood that no matter how vociferously he objected to this bit of state-sanctioned criminality it wasn’t going to change anything.
Who knows? Maybe the kid had earned the attention of TSA by sporting that Minecraft hoodie? Or maybe his laptop had set off the explosive trace detection machine? Or maybe he was randomly picked. The boy looked innocent enough to me—which might be exactly what the little would-be villain had in mind. When the father inquired, the agent told him, right before touching his son’s crotch, that this sort of thing had become necessary due to drug mules using children.
If you don’t think the terrorists have won, you probably haven’t visited an airport in a while. Not only do these places needlessly gobble up hours of our day and billions of our dollars, but here that we collectively lose all dignity and act like a bunch of automatons just so they’ll let us out of the place. Though sometimes it seems like we might never escape. If we really wanted to slow the caravan from Central American down, we would make them enter through a TSA checkpoint.
It is at those checkpoints that we suspend our disbelief and pretend that (often) disheveled and (very often) rotund government agents who separate us from our water bottles possess the expertise to ferret out terrorist plots. (By the way, is there not a single physical requirement needed to hold this allegedly vital security job? There are many good reasons I’m not a pro-basketball player or a male model. If you’re not in relatively good physical shape, maybe law enforcement isn’t the profession for you. The only way these agents are the “the last line of defense against terrorism” is if the terrorists are unable to squeeze by them to get on the airplanes.) (Read more from “Dear TSA, Please Stop Molesting Kids at the Airport” HERE)