WASHINGTON -- I blame Drudge! Yes, I blame the Drudge Report for this insane controversy about the use of high-tech body scanners and "pat-downs" at airport security zones.
A minor altercation can take place at Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, and it is headlines on the Drudge Report. The millions of American travelers who are utterly insouciant to a high-tech scan or even a pat-down are ignored. The other day, a CBS News poll found that 81 percent of Americans approve of the use of the high-tech machines at airports, but that means nothing to Drudge. How many more Americans would welcome a soothing pat-down midst the hurly-burly of travel at our nation's stress-filled airports I do not know, but count me in -- especially if the patter-downer is a cute little number on the order of, say, Sarah Palin.
Now some of Drudge's troublemakers are organizing a boycott of the scanners for the day before Thanksgiving. That happens to be one of the busiest travel days of the year. One George Donnelly, a self-appointed civil libertarian, says, "We are absolutely committed to getting the scanners and the groping rolled back." Rolled back? What is he talking about, something on a production line? "Groping" is apparently what Donnelly calls a "pat-down." Get your mind out of the gutter, George. Donnelly seems to think that if his followers opt for time-consuming pat-downs rather than quick scans on this busy day, they will foul up airports for hours. Well, if I were traveling on the day before Thanksgiving, I would breeze through the scanner, get on my airplane and insist that it leave on time. Donnelly can confer with his lawyers.
Another like-minded soi-disant civil libertarian, John Tyner, missed his flight completely owing to his protest. He greeted the Transportation Security Administration staff, camera in hand, in San Diego. He had opted for the pat-down in place of the scanner, but he warned, "If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." Yes, he referred to his genitalia as "junk." Well, speak for yourself, Mr. Tyner. Now he is threatened by the TSA with an $11,000 fine. That is a bit stiff. He missed his plane. That is enough, but Tyner might keep things in perspective. America is at war.