More often than not, Andy McCarthy and I simply don’t see eye to eye. For instance, his whole-hearted support of the War on Terror, his refusal to call torture for what it is, and so forth. But I must say, his piece on the TSA is spot-on. I’m on board with the much less intrusive, though far more ‘prejudiced’ profiling used by Israeli airport security. Alas, political correctness will not protect us from being groped, but it will protect us from being profiled.
But McCarthy would do better to acknowledge the role hawkish conservatives and the previous administration have played in all of this. It’s true that the worst abuses of the TSA have come about during the Obama administration, but if it weren’t for the power grabs made under the Bush administration (think the advent of the DHS, for instance) I sincerely doubt we’d be seeing these things today. That doesn’t let Obama or Napolitano off the hook. Far from it. But Bush and Cheney drove us most of the way here. It was almost inevitable we’d keep driving this direction.
Here’s a video Megan McArdle posted that should add to the TSA outrage a bit:
Yes, we should abolish the TSA and replace it with private airport security companies. These companies should be strictly bound by the rule of law. There should be a transparent and streamlined complaint and abuse process available to airline passengers. Security firms should be kept on their toes. Unlike huge government bureaucracies, private companies would be held more accountable to the public. Then again, the skeptic in me says that no matter what happens our political desire to keep the American public safe will trump time and again the American public’s desire to be kept free. And so we will be neither.