Monday, December 12, 2005

The Security State

This photo, courtesy of Newsday, shows the (surviving) passengers deplaning after one of them was treated to a summary execution at the hands of our celebrated federal air marshals ("dominate ... intimidate ... control") in Miami the other day. They are deplaning in good TSA fashion: hands behind heads, don't look around, keep moving -- ready to instantly obey any order that any uniformed thug might see fit to scream at them.

I'll let Patrick Henry provide the commentary:

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!


LP Mike Sylvester said...

The TSA has definately gotten way out of control.

I feel that the government has over-reacted to the terrorist threat.

Bartleby said...

All true. But that's not the worst part of the story. The worst part, in my opinion, is summed up by this picture. All these allegedly free Americans, ordered to assume the perp position and march ... and they just do it.

If these were free people, the only thing they'd have done with their hands would have been to display their middle fingers.

Truly, this is a picture of a nation that festoons the backs of their SUVs with "Bush/Cheney, Strong Leadership" stickers. Truly, a nation of sheep.

Grace said...

It's reminiscent of last summer's photo of the NYC tourists marched at gun point off a double-decker bus because three of the tourists were sort of not white, sort of not black. Happy ending though -- they got a free lunch at Applebee's.

One of the things that galls me the most about airport/airplane security is that the airlines refuse to upgrade to blast-resistant cargo containers. (Yes, because it costs money.)