Get a Clue, TSA: Profile

TSA employees aren't robots, Jonah Goldberg argues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2011 1:59 PM CDT
In this Nov. 24, 2010 file photo, a TSA officer pats down a traveler as he works his way through security at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Bloomington, Minn.   (AP Photo/Craig Lassig, File)
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(Newser) – When Jonah Goldberg heard the story of Lena Reppert, the 95-year-old forced to remove her adult diaper by the TSA, he thought of the man-vs-machine war in the Dune novels. Why? Because “it seems the first commandment of the TSA is that every mind must be trained in the likeness of a machine,” he writes in the Los Angeles Times. These people are taught to apply the rules unilaterally, without even the most reasonable exceptions.

The reason? “We've institutionalized an irrational phobia against anything smacking of racial or religious profiling,” Goldberg complains. Opponents of profiling say it won’t work, or that if we do it, terrorists will start planting IEDs in adult diapers. These people must assume that TSA workers are “automatons, mindlessly acting on bureaucratic programming.” That’s certainly what they’re being trained to be now. The people searching Reppert probably didn’t think she posed a risk. “More likely they were, machine-like, just doing what their programming dictated.”

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