Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Denver Post Editors: "We Simply Can't Overlook Ham-Handed Treatment by the TSA."

Here's a rather unexpected item, one that shows how even liberal nabobs are getting fed up with the arrogance and inefficiency of the Obama administration's TSA. Check out these excerpts from the editors of the Denver Post.

Much as we hesitate to dwell on the drawbacks of air travel on this Independence Day weekend, we simply can't overlook yet more incidents of ham-handed treatment of travelers by the TSA.

In the most stunning of the recent incidents, a sick 95-year-old woman in a wheelchair had to remove her adult diaper to get through airport screening. It is but the latest shameful example of the Transportation Security Administration's wrong-headed approach to safety.

The TSA's lame response to the incident boiled down to an assessment that officials acted within protocol. After all, who knows how many frail, elderly people could be packing explosives in their Depends?

And officials contend she didn't have to remove the undergarment, neglecting to add that if she hadn't she would not have gotten on the plane. That's some choice.

A fundamental policy question that needs to be answered is whether it is truly most efficacious to have airport screening conducted by a battalion of by-the-book automatons unable to use discretion or common sense...

In defending the actions of screeners who wanted to inspect Lena Reppert's adult diaper, TSA officials were non-apologetic.

TSA officers "acted professionally," and "according to proper procedure," the agency said in a prepared statement.

So, that is supposed to be that. We stand in line. We throw away our water bottles. And if we're 95 and incontinent, we have to disrobe.

But are we safer? Of course we need airport security, but whether we need it in its present, inflexible form is more to the point. Any system that humiliates or unnerves small children and aged adults when it's working as intended, as the TSA maintains, clearly needs a serious makeover.