Or to a hooker, really, if you can contort your thinking properly. Maybe Ruth Marcus could work that into her next column chastizing Americans for wanting their privacy protected when they travel.
“Don’t touch my junk” may be the cri de coeur – cri de crotch? – of the post-9/11 world, but it’s an awfully childish one. We let people touch our junk all the time in medical settings. Yes, the technician who performs my mammogram has more professional training than your average TSA agent, but she is also a lot more up close and personal than a quick once-over with a gloved hand. I undergo the mammogram for my personal benefit; I don’t know if there is a suspicious mass, whereas I know there are no explosives sewn into my underwear. I undergo the pat-down, if I must, for the greater public benefit. It is an unfortunate part of the modern social contract.
All of this would make a tiny bit more sense – and perhaps be even a tiny bit less abhorrent – if there were any evidence that these security measures did us any good. Glenn Greenwald, in an extraordinary takedown of this abysmal article at The Nation, quotes a representative of the ACLU saying:
[t]he new ‘enhanced’ security methods are far more intrusive than other methods but have not been shown to be any more effective. Nobody should be forced to choose between ‘naked scans’ and intrusive groping by strangers to keep our airplanes safe.
The ACLU is documenting TSA-related complaints here. And no, there is no evidence whatsoever that all this security vaudeville is doing us any good at all.
As far as I know, nobody is yet documenting complaints over the ‘bland, shallow, pro-establishment tripe‘ of the Washington Post’s Op-Ed columnists. Though a few of them have made the Top 30 Hacks list over at Salon other posters here have been linking to today.