Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Another namby-pamby Congressional response to TSA abuse

As we've been reporting here for years, many of us have used all sorts of methods to fight TSA abuse. 

There's not just one way to resist. There are several. That's true for all kinds of protest, about all kinds of things. There's never just one way. The point is to stand up against injustice when you see it, whether or not you're successful. Fighting the TSA is a longterm battle, not a short one.
One of the methods we've used, repeatedly -- and which TSA supporters and apologists constantly harp on -- is writing to our Congressional representatives. On the one hand it's a pointless exercise -- Senators and Reps don't give a flying fig unless you're a lobbyist with money, and not enough of them have been personally abused yet, which would be the best lesson of all. On the other hand, writing to them establishes a paper trail, and proves, now and in the future, that not everyone just stood by dumbly, accepting without protest the evisceration of their rights and the violation of their bodies.
So allow me to show you the latest response from one of my so-called representatives, only one in a string of worthless responses full of mewling bromides and lethargy, and signifying nothing. From Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, via email, dated May 19, 2014:
Dear Ms. Simeone:
Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airline security.  I appreciate hearing from you about these issues.
The Transportation Security Administration continues to review its screening procedures.  I believe that we need to keep a watchful eye on air safety by strengthening screening procedures and reviewing current technology to make sure that it is achieving its purpose.  This must be done in a way that protects our constitutional rights.
You may be interested in knowing that the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014(P.L. 113-76) included provisions requiring the TSA, no later than April 15, 2014, to certify that one in four members of the traveling public is eligible for expedited screening, and to submit a strategy for increasing eligibility to 50 percent by the end of 2014.  The accompanying explanatory statement also requires TSA to provide specialized customer service training to all Transportation Security Officers.
If you would like to file a complaint regarding a particular situation you had with the TSA, please visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website at
Again, thanks for writing.  I want you to know that I will continue to do what I can to balance the need for privacy and quick screenings with policies that make air travel safe.  Please let me know if I can be of any help to you in the future.
Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator
Please do not respond directly to this e-mail. The originating e-mail account is not monitored.
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Oh, yeah, I'll follow you. Can't think of anything more thrilling.
Tell ya what, Babs: here's hoping you and yours get the grope of a lifetime, that your belongings are pawed through, damaged, and stolen, that you're all forced to swallow the medicine you've shoved down the throats of the rest of us. It's already happened to a few of your colleagues, but not enough; not nearly enough.
Though even then, you'll probably slink back to your cocoon of manufactured fear and dire warnings about The Terrorists! . As we know, fear is profitable. Fear is an industry. And there are many people in this country who are only too happy to buy into it.

(Cross-posted at TSA News)