Surprise! Canadian travellers to the United States are now subject to having high school dropouts touch their breasts, penises and vaginas as part of â€œairline security.â€ Sorry, do the words penis and vagina make you uncomfortable?
They certainly make the U.S. Transportation Security Administration uncomfortable.
The TSA canâ€™t even bring themselves to use those words when describing their new â€œenhanced pat-downâ€ procedure.
You will find them nowhere on their website, including their section on advice for travellers.
They have pages about how to pack your toothpaste.
But they donâ€™t tell you that you will stand in line while a stranger touches you in places that, if done by anyone else, would lead to sexual assault charges.
Oh, by the way: Their touching of penises and vaginas isnâ€™t limited to adults.
They grope children, too. In the past two weeks, the Internet has been flooded by videos taken by passengers on their cellphone cameras, filming their own screaming children being fondled by uniformed officials.
So whatâ€™s the new rule for parents to teach our children?
Donâ€™t let strangers touch your privatesâ€”unless they say theyâ€™re allowed to?
Unless they are in a position of authority? Unless Barack Obama says itâ€™s OK?
Speaking of which, where is the American Civil Liberties Union? They love suing the TSA when they think that agency is too strict on Muslim or Arab passengers. But they donâ€™t have a word to say about the new policy of sexual harassment.
Right now, North Americaâ€™s official civil libertarians are too busy campaigning for the rights of terrorists to care about the fact millions of Americans â€” and Canadian tourists â€” are being sexually assaulted.
Without a trace of irony, the TSA says its officers are â€œrigorously trained to maintain the highest levels of professionalism.â€
A perusal of the TSAâ€™s help wanted ads shows just how rigorously trained they are: Their â€œofficersâ€ need to be 18 years old and speak English.
Thatâ€™s about it.
A high school diploma is recommended, but isnâ€™t necessary if they have worked for a year as a security guard â€” say, at a local mall or as a bouncer in a bar.
And all that power, and touching children in their privates to check for â€œbombs,â€ comes with a starting salary of $29,000.
In some airports, the alternative to these assaults is strip-search scanners that use low-dose radiation to peer underneath your clothes. Both the TSA and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority claim those scanners donâ€™t store or print images. But a CNN investigation shows those scanners have hard drives, USB ports, Ethernet ports and changeable privacy settings.
A pilot from Skywest was going through security in Denver with his 18-year-old daughter and overheard a TSA officer saying into his headset, â€œheads up, got a cutie for you.â€
So what would you rather do? Have a bouncer touch your privates, and your childrenâ€™s privates through your clothes? Or have a bouncer see you naked on a TV screen?
Forget our civil liberties.
Who is a greater threat to the airline industry: Terrorists, or the fools in charge of this sham security?
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