One of the biggest post-9/11 policy blunders was the Sovietization of airport security.
Some TSA screeners try to be civil even as they grab your almost-empty tube of toothpaste, as if there were a security risk there. A few seem to be in a permanent bad mood, ready to snarl if you give the least evidence of expecting civility.
You can actually be arrested just for “distracting” a TSA officer. What counts as an actionable distraction? Who knows? Let’s just say that despite all the new and mysterious “security” precautions, passengers with inquisitive minds are hardly secure from the security personnel themselves.
Alas, excuses for surliness are about to multiply. The TSA wizards are promising to install some 600 “behavior detection officers” in airports by the end of the year. Their job will be to interpret your facial twitches to see if you have bad intentions. I’m not kidding. Let’s say you manifest disgust with how the screeners are treating you. Hmm. Very suspicious.
Rampant rudeness is unavoidable in such a system. The TSA screeners do monotonous work all day long, and any “mistake” or comment that someone makes may have been perpetrated 200 times already that day. And these irritated bureaucrats have the power to make life very tough for you. And me.
Let’s face it: A cattle-car-like security regime is going to treat people like cattle.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.