According to a CBS poll out last week, 81% of Americans support full-body X-ray scanner with only 15% not supporting the measure. This hasn't stopped calls for a boycott of TSA on Wednesday (the busiest travel day of the year) by some. TSA Administrator John S. Pistole has a statement out which correctly reminds people "we cannot forget less then a year ago a suicide bomber...tried to bring down a plane over Detroit." He has also urged people just this morning to not cause slowdowns at security checkpoints so people can get home to see loved ones.
As someone who will be flying Wednesday, I'm really hoping people heed his request. Of course, bigger happenings are afoot in the halls of Congress. Ron Paul has introduced legislation that would open up TSA employees to prosecution if they engage in enhanced pat downs. Rep. John Mica of Florida has said TSA should be ditched for private contractors. Of course the TSA, when asked for comment simply stated private contractors wouldn't be a cure all since "TSA sets the security standards that must be followed." Perhaps Rep. Mica will be more comfortable having a private contractor copping a feel as opposed to a federal employee?
I spend a fair bit of time in airports. I have been patted down just so I could board a plane in Columbia. I have been interrogated by a Federale in Mexico. I have suffered long lines, forgotten belts, and I tend to look for men in suits when figuring out which security line I'm going to go through, but I take this as all part of the process. The security procedures could be overblown, but clearly (based on the CBS poll) most American are fine with whats being done.
My issue is this: How can you be up in arms about security procedures at airports designed to protect American lives when you voted to send American troops to Iraq? As someone who voted to send troops to Iraq, Rep. Mica should have to answer that question. How is it tolerable to put U.S. troops in harms way but not to go through a full body scanner? (Ron Paul doesn't have to answer the same question. He is consistent in his convictions.)
As for me, I hope people go with the flow through airport security on Wednesday. It won't be enjoyable and special preparations may be needed (fluffer?), but we're in it together. This is the world we live in and while we debate that balance between civil liberty and security I just want to make it to the airplane on time. Overhead space will be at a premium.