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Sour 16 birthday wishes to the ‘War on Terror’

by Becky Akers

The War on Terror celebrates its 16th birthday this week. If our rulers follow their usual playbook, they’ll exploit the anniversary to insist yet again that only government can protect us — that is, when it isn’t murdering us by flying jets into skyscrapers.

Yet, we need no reminders of the police-state’s triumph on September 11, 2001. Proof of its victory impinges everywhere. Whether it’s the increase in bureaucratic surveillance as we innocently live our lives or Americans’ out-sized fear of so remote a threat as terrorism (and government’s even more out-sized response), the blow 9/11 dealt liberty is by far its most devastating casualty.

Nowhere are the chains that the catastrophe forged more obnoxious or intrusive than at airports. Perverts in blue shirts pretend that sexually assaulting passengers safeguards them while sponging off our taxes. And though we’re closing in on two decades now without another attack on aviation, the Transportation Security Administration seems here to stay.

Reasons abound for the TSA’s persistence beyond a bureaucracy’s usual immortality. First — and most tragically — Americans have grown accustomed to aviation’s gulag.

The generation born in 2001 has never boarded a flight without running the TSA’s gauntlet. They also attend schools that abuse students almost as badly as airlines do passengers: cops regularly invade classrooms to frisk kids. Younger Americans know the country only as a police-state and consider such a dystopia normal.

Unfortunately, even without the excuse of post-9/11 birthdays, their parents deem the police-state normal too. Some of that is merely human nature: We become inured to any condition, however bizarre, uncomfortable or even dangerous, if it endures long enough.

And some of the acquiescence arises from government’s ceaseless propaganda. Most articles on the TSA regurgitate the Feds’ disinformation on molesting passengers: “The Transportation Security Administration was formed two months after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, to screen passengers and their luggage and keep people safe.  … TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz says most travelers know and appreciate that the …TSA employees at the…airport and [sic for ‘are’] there for their protection. ‘Safety and security have to come first,’ she said …”

Like all the TSA’s spokesliars, ol’ Sari specializes in whoppers — which the corporate media obligingly published. But headlines regularly disprove her assertion that the Thieves and Sexual Assailants “keep us safe” while polls show that far from “appreciating” the TSA, “most travelers” despise it.

Then, too, “safety and security” are features of any product or service just as are convenience or price; none of these necessarily “come first.” Only the consumer can decide which quality matters most to him. Some of us opt for cheap goods no matter what; others are more concerned with ease of use than with saving money. In a market free from government’s interference, each preference will find an entrepreneur eager to comply. Ergo, sans the TSA, some airlines would provide inexpensive, no-frills flights while others would offer pricier ones with full menus, reclining seats and guards riding shotgun. Thus does everyone pay for and receive exactly what he wants.

But the TSA has robbed us of such options, as it has of our laptops and iPhones. Bureaucrats decreed that passengers must relinquish what they value most — courteous service, a timely departure and arrival or welcoming, comfortable airports — in favor of the TSA’s faux “safety and security.” Some travelers may indeed value safety above all, but most don’t — especially when it’s a bureaucratic perversion of “security.”

Obviously, passengers’ resigned submission alone couldn’t prolong the TSA’s sorry life. Also invigorating it are cronies’ pocketbooks.

All bureaucracies buy equipment from suppliers who then demand that the agency not only survive but flourish. And of course the congress-criminal in whose district the crony’s factory or warehouse sits bemoans any risk to those jobs. This vicious and corrupt cycle operates throughout government.

The bloated TSA boasts about 60,000 leeches. Meanwhile, there are 503 commercial airports nationwide, many with multiple anti-Constitutional “checkpoints.” All those checkpoints require porno-scanners at $141,000 a pop (compared to $4,000 for the old metal-detectors. Infuriating as this squandering of our taxes is, the gizmos’ hazard to our health may be worse: though “there is a chance these machines can damage human DNA,” “no long term independent tests have been made” to determine their effects on human flesh). Scads of other items outfit these stations, too, everything from bins for shoes — with paid advertising — to the conveyor belts subjecting bags to warrantless searches.

No wonder the TSA’s budget stole $7.6 billion from us in 2017. That gives its employees and cronies 7.6 billion reasons to prolong its reign over passengers. Do you see this lucrative arrangement ending any time soon? Neither do I.

A third player enormously invested in the TSA’s thriving guarantees that the agency will live forever: the federal government. Congress loves the TSA because its cronies kick back — sorry, donate some of their take to members’ re-election campaigns. And the government as a whole cherishes the TSA; how vivid would its amorphous War on Terror be without this token of 9/11?

The TSA serves other functions, too. Its frequent scandals allow Congress to blast it in hearing after hearing; hypocritical members beat up on an agency they know their constituents hate, thereby scoring points with the gullible electorate. But nothing ever changes. In fact, politicians could easily kill the TSA by refusing to re-authorize its budget each year. Yet despite their bluster in press releases, congress-criminals annually vote billions of our dollars into the TSA’s clutches.

And so, short of outright revolution, only a passengers’ boycott of the airlines will abolish the TSA. But a boycott is as unlikely as a Congressional refusal of funding: most folks who strenuously object to aviation’s gulag have already quit flying; those still in the air either have no choice (they’re “road warriors,” they need medical treatment, etc.) or they shrug that manhandling is now the price of travel in Amerika.

They hardly even notice 9/11’s fetters anymore.

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