When Barack Obama kind of clumsily waded into the TSA debate from Lisbon on Saturday he gave a mumbling nebulous, non-committal answer to those concerned by the hyper-intense forced genital pat downs taking place in security areas of our nation's airports.
His agency for transportation security (TSA) took a far more harsh tone.
News reports on Saturday reporting that the TSA was announcing warnings to would-be travelers that any "would-be commercial airline passenger who enters an airport checkpoint but refuses to undergo the method of inspection as prescribed by the TSA workers on duty would not be allowed to fly, (but far more importantly)--would not be permitted to leave the airport."
Sounds like false imprisonment to me.
But that wasn't all. The TSA also included in it's announcement for the first time the new fine of $11,000 and possible arrest for anyone who refused.
TSA worker Sari Koshetz was quoted in one report, "Once a person submits to the screening process, they can not just decide to leave that process."
Like heck they can't.
Even common sense tells us that such harsh policies are worthy of ridicule. But for the benefit of those in the office of Janet Napolitano let's explain it with small words.
The purpose of airport security screening is to see to it that no danger comes to those who are confined (voluntarily) on airplane flights. The purpose is to see to it that a barrier is sufficient to keep out those who attempt to destroy lives by the hi-jacking of airplanes. So mandatory submission to that screening process is something that is understandable, and as speaking as someone who lives in metro New York City, completely appreciated.
But where the Obama administration has gone wrong is in understanding where that barrier begins.
TSA should detain people who openly fail security screenings. And if additional screening is necessary because of explainable reasons the people requiring such should be allowed to explain and then provide proof. (artificial knees, hips, prosthetics, baby formula, whatever...)
But the attempt to wrongfully and unlawfully detain people who attempt to exit the screening process should not be tolerated. If a person plans on flying, is standing in line, and sees the rough way in which TSA has been instructed by the administration to fondle genitals, or to gaze at all-too-descriptive x-rays and they wish to quietly eat the cost of their ticket and remove themselves from the humiliation that hundreds of travelers are now on record experiencing, they are constitutionally allowed to do so.