Monday, March 01, 2010

Notice of Baggage Inspection

ViolationLast Tuesday my wife flew via Southwest down to Ft. Lauderdale to visit a long-time friend and education associate. Both times her one piece of luggage was inspected, and this little white slip of paper was left in her luggage letting her know of this personal violation inspection.

Here's part of what the Notice of Baggage Inspection says:
To protect you and your fellow passengers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is required by law* to inspect all checked baggage. As part of this process, some bags are opened and physically inspected. Your bag was among those selected for physical inspection... (emphasis mine)

* Section 110(b) of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001, 49 U.S.C 44901(c)-(e)
This is minor to what others have experienced at the hands of the TSA, but it's chilling reminder of what others have experienced, far worse than what my wife experienced. This crude security has been with us since 2001, a product of the Bush Administration's government by paranoia. Having been a 'loyal' Democrat, I had high hopes that then-President-elect Obama would either revamp the TSA into something more logical and effective, or remove the TSA entirely. But nothing has happened, like so much else that hasn't happened.

We have reached a point in our nation's history where we've lost so much we once took for granted, such as a reasonable expectation that our personal possessions will not be rifled through (an example of unreasonable search that used to be covered by the forth amendment).

I used to be able to walk all the way to the gate to say goodbye or to say hello. Before the TSA and its rules I would have pushed my wife in her wheelchair all the way to the gate and made sure she got on, and greeted her when she came back. Now I turn her over to others to wheel her to her gate, and live in fear that something might go wrong because someone in the TSA is having a bad day.

We have gone so far down the slippery slope.

When I told my wife about the Chicago investigation into complaints about the TSA, she told me about here own experiences. She has an artificial left knee, and after three back operations, plenty of surgical titanium to set the alarms off. She was, of course, physically searched both times. Her observation is that if you're in a wheel chair you're 'treated' to a lot more attention and searches. So much for the ADA.

The TSA Blog

1 comment:

  1. we lived through the golden age, where respect existed. However as we have given up our liberty for some sort of security we have lost both


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