It has taken a long time, but we may have finally reached the tipping point on the erosion of our individual rights. Clearly people will put up with an awful lot, especially when it's mostly happening to others, but apparently they aren't so fond of having their children viewed naked or their own genitalia fondled by government agents while on their ways to Christmas at Grandma's house.
It seems to just be starting to get the attention of the government-allied media, but popular reaction to new policies set by the Transportation Security Agency for screening passengers at airports is so negative that it may be the spark it takes to ignite an overdue rebellion against all of the excesses of the security state since 9/11.
The new TSA procedures include offering randomly selected passengers a choice between a full body, backscatter x-ray scan and an intrusive, hands-on body search. The image produced by the new scanners involves a higher level of radiation exposure and produces an image which effectively reveals the naked contours of the subject's body. The new pat-down procedures include manipulation of the subject's genitals. Refusal to submit to either the scan or the search will at least result in missing your flight, lengthy questioning and removal from the airport. It may also result in being put on a "do not fly" list and a possible civil suit and penalty of up to $10,000. Or at least this is what TSA employees told John Tyner, a recent traveller who recorded the events surrounding his refusal to let TSA employees "touch his junk."
More and more individuals are refusing to cooperate with the new TSA procedures and it's not just regular passengers who are outraged. Both the pilots union and flight attendants union have advised their members not to submit to scans and to insist that pat-downs be done in private, but they also raise the further objection that all of these crewmembers have already gone through security background checks, so why do they need to be subjected to this level of scrutiny?
For that matter, why does anyone have to undergo this indignity within the United States? There has not been a notable increase in terrorist attacks since 9/11. Statistically we had substantially more acts of terrorism in the 1960s and 1970s than we have in the last decade. Almost no identifiable acts of terror have been stopped by heightened scrutiny of passengers, and no potential terrorists slipped through past, more reasonable levels of screening on domestic flights. There's no legitimate need for these additional security measures which will humiliate and inconvenience millions while doing nothing significant to improve passenger safety.