No, I’m not talking about the economy. I’m talking about the peeling away of our individual right to privacy and freedom. The TSA has heightened alerts after the failed Christmas Day bombing of an airplane. This heightened alert means that millions upon millions of travelers will be treated as criminals as they travel for business or pleasure:
The current directive requires airlines to pat down all passengers boarding planes bound for the United States and inspect their carry-on bags.
It also gives airlines the discretion to take other measures to prevent people from secretly assembling or igniting bombs on aircraft. Those measures include prohibiting people from keeping pillows or blankets on their laps during the final hour of flight.
I can’t decide what is worse, the virtual strip search or the humiliation of a forced pat down of otherwise law abiding citizens to travel the country.
What is truly bothersome is that this expansion of an overreaching police state is absolutely unnecessary. This bomber could have been stopped from ever boarding the plane.
“A systemic failure has occurred, and I consider that totally unacceptable,” Obama told reporters Tuesday during his vacation in Hawaii, referring to what authorities allege was Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab’s failed attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane preparing to land in Detroit, Michigan.
The president said information on AbdulMutallab should have sufficed to alert authorities to prevent him from getting on the flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands.
So, despite massive amounts of Homeland Security spending and the further erosion of freedoms, we still have the same problems today that we had in the pre-9/11 world. Namely, a failure to communicate in the intelligence community.
Now, I know there are people out there who feel it okay to give up our rights to ensure our safety – although, I have yet to meet them in my circle. But, when does it stop? If terrorist gunmen were to unload in a shopping mall, would we then be okay with being patted down and virtually strip-searched every time we went to the mall? Would we tolerate it going to work, or church, or ours kids sporting events? Where does it stop?
I’ve remarked before that it troubling how quickly we have adapted to this government intrusion. It is not so far fetched to believe that it will continue to the extremes mentioned above in a very short time. As one year comes to an end and another begins, I sincerely hope this trend reverses itself. If it does not, by the time our kids grow up, this country will no longer resemble the free nation we all loved.