The same people who like to natter on about how water boarding is not torture have been busy screaming “rape!” over the TSA scanners and gropers, because you know, when it’s them that’s being touched, it’s…well…different. But in case you were confused about their agenda, it’s not just the profiling, honey, it’s the privatization! Win win.
Yes, as we all suspected, the right had a stake in echoing the TSA outrage and now they’ve come out with it on Fox. Their solution? Private security corporations should take over for the TSA and also, too, aggressive profiling is necessary (but only of the Muslims, not of the blond whites- FYI).
Here you go via Media Matters:
Interesting that the Foxians mock the liberal idea that the TSA agents might need to be paid more, because it was just months ago that high bonuses for Wall Street executives were being justified as the cost of attracting good talent. Hmmm.
And never mind that private security corporations will be subjected to the same rules as the TSA, which by the way was created on November 19, 2001. You know, back when Americans were happy to subject themselves to random search and seizure of their home and property just in case they might be a terrorist. Yes, the TSA was Bush’s way to create standards for airport security in an attempt to avoid another 9/11.
The TSA was moved to the Department of Homeland Security in March of 2003, and then in 2005 we got the scanner push, courtesy of Chertoff.
“Michael Chertoff’s advocacy for the technology dates to his time in the Bush administration. In 2005, Homeland Security ordered the government’s first batch of the scanners – five from California-based Rapiscan Systems. Rapiscan is one of only two companies that make full-body scanners in accordance with current contract specifications required by the federal government.” Of course, by now you’ve guessed who owns Rapiscan.
Now, after the Christmas bomber (and remember, we still didn’t have a TSA chief then thanks to the GOP’s secret holds on Obama’s two nominees), the TSA decided to order 300 more machines from the Bush administration hold-over Chertoff. Too bad we didn’t have a TSA chief in place, but the Republicans were more concerned that Obama’s picks might push for a union (decent pay for the unwashed simply can’t tolerated) than they were about national security. And so we languished with no one at the helm, even after the Christmas underwear bomber until just months ago, when the current chief took over, and he clearly suffers from a lack of public relations management skills.
Conveniently, with cries for privatization, Republicans like Representative John Mica (R-FL) are in the cat bird’s seat:
“This month, Republican Rep. John Mica of Florida wrote letters to 100 of the nation’s busiest airports asking that they request private security guards instead.
“I think we could use half the personnel and streamline the system,” Mica said Wednesday, calling the TSA a bloated bureaucracy.
Mica, who is the ranking Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (and, once the new Republican majority takes control in January, its expected chair), counts among his campaign contributors some of the companies who might take the TSA’s place….. Mica spokesman Justin Harclerode said the contributions never improperly influenced the congressman, who said he was unaware Raytheon or Lockheed were in the screening business.” Yes, we are all clueless about what Lockheed does.
You might be interested to note that Mica was an author of the original TSA law. Yes, that bloated big government agency that currently employs over 60,000 people, he now thinks should be taken over by the private sector. Apparently Republicans are embarrassed by the mushroom of big government they created with the TSA and would like very much, thank you, if you would forget how this all started.
Picture Blackwater frisking you down (remember, contractors must follow all TSA-mandated security procedures, including hand pat-downs when necessary). See? I knew you’d like that more than an untrained TSA worker. Mica claims they will be better at customer service….because nothing says accountable like a private contractor working for the Department of Homeland Security. Yes, this is so much better than training the TSA agents and attracting better talent through union benefits.
On the positive side, if the Right is successful with this rather clever scheme, we can kiss more of our civil liberties good-bye but the federal employment levels will lessen and the Right won’t like that idea one bit, if Obama’s going to take credit for it.
It remains unclear how private contractors will dish out the nasty any nicer than the TSA, but what is clear is that when there’s money to be made and political hay to be had, Republicans will put the media-regressive Democrats to shame with their ability to craft a narrative and sell us their baloney before we know what hit us.
Have fun, patriots. Personally I was OK with the gropings I’ve gotten by the federal government, it’s Blackwater (Xe) I worry about. I hear those boys are rather aggressive sexually.