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Debra J. Saunders
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Not TSA Pat-Downs, but Freedom Fondles

Comment

The latest controversy over Transportation Security Administration body scans and enhanced body pat-downs leaves no doubt: America truly is a nation of whiners.

A CBS News poll found that 81 percent of Americans support full-body airport scanning. That reasonable view is being drowned out by elements on the left and the right who love nothing better than to proclaim that they are victims.

First exhibit: Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who introduced the "American Traveler Dignity Act" to "protect Americans from physical and emotional abuse." Abuse? Have Americans become such babies that a pat-down designed to prevent another 9/11 causes adults to melt down?

Yes, I've been through body scans. Yes, I've been patted down, not just at airports, but also covering political events. Yes, I've had to contend with the rare overbearing TSA worker who let the power go to his head. Are these searches intrusive? Sure, but they beat crossing the country in a covered wagon.

I won't say that the TSA agents have handled every passenger deftly. A Michigan cancer survivor was humiliated after his urostomy bag leaked during a search. As the 15-seconds.com blog noted, the TSA's most lamentable error was failing to do the simplest thing: "apologize."

Blogger Brian Sodergren has called on airline passengers to participate in a "National Opt Out Day" on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. "We have a right to privacy and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we're guilty until proven innocent," Sodergren wrote.

In protest, he suggests that passengers who are asked to go through a body scanner instead "opt out" — which means they submit to a body-pat.

That's right, the body-pat Paul describes as "abuse." Sodergren even advises passengers to have their privacy-violating pat-down in public.

Sodergren contends "there is no intent or desire to delay passengers," but he must know that if more passengers opt for longer security checks during one of the year's heaviest travel days, delays are inevitable.

Some on the right argue that if the TSA engaged in profiling, agents would not have to bother granny and the kids. Now, I support directing security personnel to consider profiling information — such as countries visited — when screening passengers. But I disagree with Ann Coulter, who wrote, "In a lucky stroke, all the terrorists are swarthy, foreign-born Muslim males."

In 1986, a pregnant young Irish woman named Anne Marie Murphy was planning on flying to Israel to meet her fiance's parents. Little did she know the fiance had hidden plastic explosives in her suitcase. Israeli security stopped what would have been a horrific terrorist attack because they did not rely on the profile alone. Female suicide bombers have struck in the Middle East and Moscow. The Taliban have bought children to train them as suicide bombers. Then there's Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

The conservative RedState blog likened TSA searches to "sexual assault, humiliation, and pedophilia." In the wake of the whining, the Obama administration has said it is looking at changing airport security.

Even to prevent another attack like the thwarted Christmas day bombing, nobody wants to appear to be insensitive. Cable TV is ruining this country.

E-mail Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@sfchronicle.com. To find out more about Debra J. Saunders, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

20 Comments | Post Comment
Don't be silly. Americans know this garbage isn't working and realize the next step is strip and body cavity searches. "Don't tell me no lies and keep your hands to yourself"

Comment: #1
Posted by: Tom
Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:37 AM
Debbie has earned the title of new Queen of Political Correctness by sinking the the level of absurdity that sexual assault at the security checkpoint is preferable to actually paying attention to the facts:

1) In 1968 Robert Kennedy was shot and killed by:
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. A Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

2) During the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:
a. Olga Corbett
b. The Hardy Boys
c. Nancy Drew
d. Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40

3) In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. the Swiss family Robinson
b. the Keebler elves
c. a tour bus full of elderly Rotarians
d. Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40

Need I continue?
Comment: #2
Posted by:
Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:16 AM
Let's remember that the Gestapo was founded in 1935 as a special securtiy force operating outside of normal checks and balances that the regular police & regular military had to follow. It was founded in response to terrorist threats for the protection of the people, and anyone who questioned it was denouced as anti-safety or a terrorist sympathizer and told they better get on board and stop whining. If we continue down the same road, we will get to the same destination.
Comment: #3
Posted by: ankat
Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:15 AM
Israel has the most secure air transportation system in the world. How do the Israelis counter terrorism without resorting to either scanners or patdowns? Perhaps the TSA should investigate how to do what Israel does-- the costs are not going to be more than the millions we will be spending on scanners. And by the way, how about employing TSA pat downers who can a) speak English, b) possess good manners; c) make sure they are responsive to people with special medical problems
Comment: #4
Posted by: DIANE
Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:17 AM
Re: marcus Interesting that, isn't it? So instead of profiling Muslims between 17-40 we must give up our 4th Amendment rights to get home to Grandma safely for Turkey Day. Then it will be give up your 2nd Amendment rights for safety. Then it will be 1st Amendment rights...
Comment: #5
Posted by: Locks Mith
Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:20 AM
I agree...we whine and snivel too much. What we should be doing is actually hauling our members of Congress out of their offices and tar and feathering them and riding them out of town on a stand of barbed wire. It's high time we stop letting political correctness, spineless wimps, and bloated authoritarians run our lives.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Stan
Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:28 AM
Debra Saunders is right on about searches of any kind that might help prevent another terrorist attack or a plane with me on it blowing up in the sky. But government should not be involved in this. The airline industry is a private organization, and flying is a privilege, not a right. If an airline wants to stay in business, it is in their best interests to try to prevent terrorism on their planes. And should their methods of prevention be too intrusive, then do as Saunders suggests -- take a covered wagion to your destination. Or walk. Ron Paul who is usually right on economic issues is all wet on airline safety. He, Ann Coulter, and many other conservatives are whiners who want limited government but also want government to protect them from themselves. Get government out of the private sector altogether and we will have all the safety we need due to free enterprise competition.
Comment: #7
Posted by: reeves
Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:58 AM
Debra Saunders is a big fat bitch
she's the biggest bitch in the whole wide world;
she's a Nazi bitch, she's a fascist bitch
she's a bitch to all the boys and girls!

On Monday she's a bitch,
on Tuesdays she's a bitch,
on thursdays and Saturdays she's a bitch';
then on Sundays, just to be different,
she's a super kinka-maya MAYA BEE-OTCH!

Ok, here's the facts: this is how it begins: you government an inch by taking your soes off, and they take a mile by sticking their hand up your crotch. Next, someon terrorist will use a butt-plug bomb and it will be "Deliverance."

Can you squeal like a pig? "Miss Piggy" Saunders looks like she can.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Brad Anderson
Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:20 PM
Re Reeves: I practice law, and I assure you that flying is INDEED a right, as part of the 5th Amendment right to liberty and the general social-contract to partake in basic necessary activities without infringement of other basic rights. Air-travel is not the same as attending a sporting-event or going to a bar, it's a basic necessity which everyone must be able to engage in equally, so it makes no difference whether it's on Delta Airlines or a private Lear jet, if we're all equa then we should all be no more subject to personal invasion than Britney Spears, Paris Hilton or any other rich and powerful person with their own personal "sky-limo."
But then if you're a fat stupid cow like Debra Saunders, then it's only natural you'd expect to be treated like cattle.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Brad Anderson
Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:31 PM
P.S. "Freedom Fondles" is an oxymoron-- but Deb should know that, being quite the litte moron hersel.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Brad Anderson
Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:40 PM
I'm an Army vet. I've been trained as an EOD tech and I spent three years in Iraq. I know first hand just how much damage a small amount of explosives can do to the human body. Add to that the effect of explosive decompression on a plane.
I agree with the scanners and searches. If you disagree with me, then feel free to drive or take a train.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Michelle Keane
Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:04 PM
Michelle, how about we reverse your logic. Let the airlines supply their own security. You can choose to fly on the super secure cavity search airline where you can pay twice as much money. I will fly on the less secure cheaper flight. If you don't like that why don't YOU DRIVE.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Scott Munro
Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:12 AM
Re: Tom And what may I ask is wrong with body cavity searches? I think that anyone who is unemployed should be offered a job by the TSA, and then we could have the man power do perform the critically necessary body cavity searches. I don't think we should stop at airports or even trains. I think we should have a body cavity search every time we enter a stadium or any public place for that matter.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Sbt
Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:17 PM
Sieg Heil!!
Comment: #14
Posted by: zj
Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:05 PM
Christmas Day bomber? You're kidding, right? That was 11 months ago. Were there any similar attacks, that nudo-scanners or gropes would have prevented in January? No? How about February? March? Suddenly in November, the check cleared to Michael Chertoff's corporation, and now we have nudo-scanners and crotch gropes. How did we survive the first 10 months of 2010 without them?

Also, they wouldn't have detected the bomb that the Christmas Day bomber was trying to use. Check it out.

You mention the Irish pregnant woman with the plastic explosives in her luggage. HOW DID THE ISRAELIS DETECT HER? You "forgot" to mention that. Not with nudo-scanners, Israel says they will never use those because they don't work. Maybe we should try to figure out how THEY do security, and emulate that! Even if Chertoff doesn't agree.
Comment: #15
Posted by: perlstar
Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:56 PM
What a nasty piece of Statist filth.
Someone should read it the fourth amendment at some point.
Comment: #16
Posted by: bill jones
Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:10 PM
I copied and pasted this:


November 28, 2010
The TSA Is Only Subjecting You to ‘Freedom Fondles'
Posted by Karen De Coster on November 28, 2010 06:38 PM

This column by Debra Saunders is revealing as to her level of flag-foisting, plastic-patriotism cluelessness. Her column is titled, “Not TSA Pat-Down, But Freedom Fondles.” You see, the TSA is fondling — sexually assaulting — you in the name of freedom. Always, for these folks, we measure our level of freedom by the lack of freedom handed down by the elites who make the rules. Make sense? And she says the resisters, like Ron Paul, are “whiners.” What's the matter Debra? Don't want any critical thinking to get in the way of your need to get from here to there, unencumbered by time-consuming protest and dissent? Submitting is the easy route, isn't it?

For these state-worshipping, conservative-right, pro-totalitarian tools, the massive and aggressive security state is a sign of freedom — the state is protecting folks from all the various bogeyman who could potentially “harm” us all. She says:

Even to prevent another attack like the thwarted Christmas day bombing, nobody wants to appear to be insensitive. Cable TV is ruining this country.

“Thwarted Christmas Day bombing?” Oh, you mean the dangerous, maniacal, and really scary little kid with powder in his underwear?

Saunders is far worse than any two-party advocate. She is a whore for the fascist-oppressive regime, whether it be right or left.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Ron
Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:09 AM
What a lapdog!
There should be profiling, based on one thing only: the passenger's willingness to sign a statement opposing the US invasion and occupation of all countries. Those who sign, get to go on gate-rape free flights. Those who don't, have to get their body cavities checked, and fly only on flights with similar sheeplike advocates of international murder and violence. There, that should make everybody happy - except for the totalitarians in our midst, who want to control us all.
Comment: #18
Posted by: PaulX
Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:06 AM
Debra J. Saunders is a yellow journalist and right wing whore, along with her clueless husband, Wesley J. (I speak for Jesus) Smith.
If you're brain dead and in diapers and your name is Terry Schiavo, you can count on these two to harass your family in the name of "Christian ethics". Otherwise, they seem to spend most of their polluting the atmosphere with misinformed opinions, distortions, slander and smears for such bastions of truth and liberty as the National Review and the Weekly Standard. You can hardly read a op-ed from either one without it being shot full of holes by posters many times more intelligent and informed, yet the San Francisco Chronicle has printed her vomit since 1992, in the interest of a "fair and balanced" opinion (from another species) I suppose . No insult to animals intended.
The venomous bitch doesn't deserve breathing space, let alone a syndicated column.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Tristan
Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:03 PM
Tuscon Arizona -- American people shot by...... an AMERICAN not a terrorist.

Americans kill more Americans each day with knives , & guns not to mention everyday road kill.

TSA are the Terrorist . They are doing nothing for SAFETY.....Nothing.

Sexualy abuse by any other name is still SEXUAL abuse not Safety.

Wake up.
Comment: #20
Posted by: BRIAN
Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:21 PM
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