TSA and Its Brethren

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TSA and Its Brethren

Going in a Bad Direction Without Wanting To
By Fred Reed ( http://www.fredoneverything.net/TSA.shtml )

After hearing acount after account from friends and acquaintances of rude and sometimes abusive behavior by federal officials in Immigrations, TSA, and others, I spoke by telephone to a fellow at TSA in Washington. He was agreeable and helpful, which is not a response one always gets in the capital. Anyway, I subseqquently wrote him a letter, reproduced below, which addresses matters that in the past have been of interest to readers.

Dear Mr. ,

After our conversation of last week (and I appreciated your taking the time) I thought carefully about the problem of “TSA”—which, as I mentioned, has become a catch-all world for everything people don’t like about governmental intrusion on traveling. It is true that in airports the emigrations officers are much more obnoxious than the genuine TSA personnel.

I discussed the matter with a group of friends who, like me, are roughly in their mid-sixties—that is, who remember the United States as it was years ago. We agreed that we are seeing an anger in the United States, chiefly directed at government, that is new to us. There was widespread anger during the war in Vietnam, but it was directed at the war, not the government in general. Today we have something different.

There is a sense that the government now is not only hostile to the public, which it never was before, but out of control. The degree of intrusiveness has grown from almost none to almost unrestrained—or so people feel.

A few examples:

It is widely assumed by sane and educated people that NSA monitors all email; whether this is true I am not sure, but it is believed. Habeas corpus seems to have gone away. The Fourth Amendment no longer seems to exist, “random” searches on the street being legal. Finances are tracked. You can’t buy a commuter train ticket without a governmental ID, information from which goes into a computer (my experience on MARC).

Read the rest at : http://www.fredoneverything.net/TSA.shtml

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