Thursday, February 19, 2009

TSSA in the news

I know, it's been a while since I last went on a rant about the TSSA (no misspelling: you can't get the full effect of the American version of the Schutzstaffel without the second 's'). But you have to admit that they've kept a lower profile of late, with stories of TSSA abuses trickling down to practically zero. I'm not naive. I understand that this is mostly a product of last year's election and to the endless stream of news about the cratering economy.

But you just KNEW it couldn't last. Totalitarians never operate in total obscurity.

And now, like a poltergeist, they're baaaaaaaaaaaack.

For the first time, some airline passengers will skip metal detectors and instead be screened by body scanning machines that look through clothing for hidden weapons, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.

An experimental program that begins today at Tulsa International Airport will test whether the $170,000 body scanners could replace $10,000 metal detectors that have screened airline passengers since 1973. Airports in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Albuquerque and Salt Lake City will join the test in the next two months, TSA spokesman Christopher White said.

The scanners aim to close a loophole by finding non-metallic weapons such as plastic and liquid explosives, which the TSA considers a major threat. The machines raise privacy concerns because their images reveal outlines of private body parts.
The machines raise privacy concerns? Why JUST the machines? Why doesn't the very existence of an agency that can pretty much make you strip naked on command not raise privacy concerns? We're talking about an agency that is exempt from illegal search-and-seizure laws. We're talking about an agency that wipes its collective ass with the 4th amendment. But, in the minds of most Americans, that's okay. It's the thought of someone seeing an outline of your body that's a "privacy concern".

At what point did I cross over into this parallel universe where all of this can happen in broad daylight with nary a peep from the sheeple?