Pat-Downs and Government Officials: This Turkey Won’t Fly

Well, that controversy is behind us. Bristol Palin finished third in last night’s Dancing With the Stars finale. And no. I don’t believe that diminishes in any way Sarah’s chances to make a run for the White House in 2012. Or not.

And full disclosure: I’ve never liked the movie Dirty Dancing — even though I’ve been forced to watch it dozens of times over the years. Fix was probably in for Jennifer Grey. Just sayin’.

Anyway, on to other matters, with the grab-ass at our nation’s airports taking center stage today — the busiest travel day of the year. I’m not sure that I agree with those who plan to protest the violation of our Fourth Amendment rights by opting out of the full-body scan in favor of the aggressive and invasive pat-down. (See WaPo article, “Protesters’ body scanner opt-out day could bring nationwide delays at airports.“)

Something tells me that this protest will do nothing more than create further delays and hassles for the thousands (millions?) of travelers who will find it difficult enough to snake their way through security with the hope of getting to their destination. And that kind of protest is not going to make the homeland defenders budge from this “lack-of-common-sense” security policy — even though it is a turkey that won’t fly in the long run. The TSA chief and others have already begun the predictable Inside the Beltway policy waffle.

But here’s something that might work — immediately. Make all of the government officials who are exempt from security checks go through the queue with Mom and Pop Public this holiday weekend.

Here’s from a post on Michelle Malkin’s blog, “The no-grope list: Look who gets a junk-touching exemption“:

You’ve heard of the “no-fly” list.

Now get a load of the no-grope list — a roster of the privileged federal officials and politicians who don’t have to be subjected to TSA’s grabby hands.

Lucky them, huh?

Cabinet secretaries, top congressional leaders and an exclusive group of senior U.S. officials are exempt from toughened new airport screening procedures when they fly commercially with government-approved federal security details.

Aviation security officials would not name those who can skip the controversial screening, but other officials said those VIPs range from top officials like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and FBI Director Robert Mueller to congressional leaders like incoming House Speaker John Boehner, who avoided security before a recent flight from Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

The heightened new security procedures by the Transportation Security Administration, which involve either a scan by a full-body detector or an intimate personal pat-down, have spurred passenger outrage in the lead-up to the Thanksgiving holiday airport crush.

But while passengers have no choice but to submit to either the detector or what some complain is an intrusive pat-down, senior government officials can opt out if they fly accompanied by government security guards approved by the TSA.

Well, we’ll see. Good luck and safe travels to everyone who is traveling this holiday weekend.

And Sarah, don’t let Bristol throw away those dancing shoes. If as I opined previously, “Don’t Touch My Junk”  becomes the equivalent of “Don’t Tread on Me” — you might be leading the quick step to Pennsylvania Avenue.


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