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TSA-Focused Rants Take Over the Entire Blawgosphere and Internet

Tsa As far as I can tell, the blawgosphere and the Internet in general are now almost exclusively reserved for complaining about and discussing the new security efforts being rolled out by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

It started with accounts and opinions of the new "back-scatter body imaging device," which allows the TSA to essentially X-ray and see under your clothing. The discussion then moved on to the new, highly-intrusive pat-down option available to people who opt-out of the back-scatter device, which is said to involve a search of one's "crotchal area" that does not end until the TSA officer "meets resistance" (wink wink) in that area.

But that was last week. Now the blawgosphere and anyone else who knows how to tap on a keyboard is taking the issue to DEFCON 2. A group called We Won't Fly has labeled the back-scatter machines "porno scanners" and organized a National Opt Out Day for Nov. 24, 2010 (but be prepared for "screaming, intimidation and groping" when you opt out, they warn). Gizmodo is taking issue with TSA's claim that the images captured by the back-scatter machine are never saved by publishing 100 such images taken from a machine in Orlando, Fla. (By the way, if the other back-scatter machines out there are producing images as ridiculously blurry as those on the Orlando machine, then the fear of TSA "seeing under your clothes" may be quite overblown).

Some of the most recent TSA-focused rants from the blawgosphere include:

  • Popehat asking yesterday whether the U.S. would give in to a "Pervert Jihad" that demanded that our citizens give complete strangers working for the government a brief look at a blurry naked picture of themselves. If the U.S. did not meet this demand, the hypothetical Pervert Jihad would threaten to kill about 450 Americans every year -- the capacity of a jumbo jet. 
  • Crime and Federalism arguing that all of the "white folks furious that TSA has decided to 'grope' them" should realize that "[t]his is the same sh*t that black men deal with every f***ing day of their lives."

Finally, after the nation was assured by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that the TSA pat-downs are "same-gender" (i.e., male TSA employees do not perform searches on women travelers), the "Americans For Truth About Homosexuality" issued a press release "question[ing] the propriety of 'same-gender' TSA 'pat-downs' -- if the TSA agents doing the 'patting down" are homosexual, lesbian or bisexual."

"But what about homosexual TSA agents?" AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera asked:

"Isn't it just as inappropriate for a 'gay' male TSA agent to pat down male travelers as it is for a normal, heterosexual male TSA agent to pat down female travelers?

"The reality is, most traveling men would not want Barney Frank to pat them down at the airport security checkpoint," LaBarbera said. "Neither would it be fair to assign Ellen DeGeneres to pat down female travelers.

Stay tuned next week, when we take this issue to DEFCON 1.

Posted by Bruce Carton on November 17, 2010 at 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

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