The Obama administration is pushing back against the American people who are outraged over the assault on our liberty by the federal government.
The White House and the Department of Homeland Security indicated today that they won’t yield to demands to amend new airline passenger screening rules that have been decried as wildly intrusive.
On the contrary, administration officials are quietly and aggressively defending the policies against what they see as a media frenzy of distorted information. For instance, the administration noted that fewer than one half of one percent of the 34 million passengers who traveled on airplanes in or to the U.S. last week were subjected to crotch-area pat-downs.
They also disputed the very notion of a public backlash, even as those words played ubiquitously on news tickers and as video parodies of the Transportation Safety Administration were being emailed around the globe. Before press coverage of the new rules reached a roar late last week, TSA received only 700 complaints nationwide about its procedures, an administration official said. The official insisted on anonymity because the information was not intended for public release. The issue is sensitive because physical space intrusions are just about the last thing an administration cast by Republicans as prone to governmental overreach needs.
In airports where body screening technology is available, about one in every 100 passengers are given pat-downs, according to another official, Sean Smith, the DHS spokesperson.
Just today I saw another video of a 3 year old getting groped by a TSA agent. But, I suppose since he was only one in a hundred it’s okay. Nothing to see here – “only” 700 people took the time to complain to Big Brother. Plus, they’re only violating and humiliating a small percentage of us, so we should just shut up about it. Right?
Related: Instapundit linked to a story about TSA workers suffering through verbal abuse directed at them by passengers. In a way I feel bad for many of them. I heard from a woman who told me she only works for the TSA to support her family, and once her business takes off she will quit. I’m sure a good number of them are good people just taking orders from above. (Where have we heard that before?)
Insty doesn’t think this is going to die down any time soon. Why would he, with terms like “gate rape” being coined? And since the powers that be refuse to do the one thing that could really keep us safe, expect at least another two years of this.
Something tells me the administration’s push back isn’t going to help. If anything, it could make matters worse, since those pushing back aren’t subjected to the indignities they’re imposing on us little people.
Update: This is what we now call a victory – the TSA assures us they won’t be conducting full cavity searches at airports. I don’t quite know whether I should laugh or cry.
Update 2: Janet Napolitano would like you to be a partner with your groper or something.