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I do understand that from a security point of view, you do want use measures [that] are designed to be unpredictable to thwart plots. I get that. And it isn’t altogether Secretary Napolitano’s fault, but…

Look, the Transportation Safety Authority are known, really, for three things. One, wasting people’s time. Two, stealing stuff. And three, making shit up and claiming that it’s federal law. A statement that we are going to have new security measures and we are not going to tell people what they are is going to give assholes in TSA employ (and I have no doubt that they are the minority, but they are a big enough minority that a lot of people have met one) latitude to be bigger assholes yet.

And again, I know that for practical reasons of security, you don’t want to publicize every time that a TSA employee thwarts somebody would otherwise have done real harm. And I’m sure there have been some of those, right? But what we know about, the story that has become The Story in our culture at the moment, is of people getting through TSA with bombs in their earholes and being thwarted only by the aggressive suspicions and prompt violence of untrained civilian passengers. And that’s a Bad Thing—not the actual thwarting, well done there, yes, but the idea that I think a lot of us are getting that buying an airplane ticket is a kind of special posse come-and-git-us warrant, and that the actual people who do the real work (and the thieving, yes) are just a useless hassle.

So, Secretary Napolitano, I’m not really with you on this one. Sorry.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,