The controversy surrounding electronic strip search body scanners and enhanced pat downs has started to victimize a new group of people-the TSA security personnel who have been called upon to carry out the new procedures.
Apparently, the reaction of the flying public, ingrates that they are, has started to take a psychological toll.
According to MSNBC:
“Aviation and security blogger Steven Frischling said he has received comments from TSA front-line screeners complaining of verbal abuse.
“‘Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me. …These comments are painful and demoralizing,’ one unnamed TSO posted on Frischling’s website.
“Another said: ‘Being a TSO means often being verbally abused. You let the comments roll off and check the next person; however, when a woman refuses the scanner then comes to me and tells me that she feels like I am molesting her; that is beyond verbal abuse.'”
The union representing TSA security officials is demanding something be done. An idea of a mental health professional to help TSA employees cope being assigned to each airport has been suggested.
The complaints of the poor, put-upon bureaucrats getting abused for feeling up passengers are not likely to garner much sympathy from those very same passengers. This is especially true when the reaction of TSA officials to complaints about the intrusive security procedures seems to be, “If you don’t like it, don’t fly.”
The response, so far, seems to be, “If you don’t like the complaints, don’t work for the TSA.”
The lack of empathy being displayed by the officials toward the flying public is, putting it mildly, breathtaking. It is as if they are incapable of understanding why someone might find having their privates handled by a stranger wearing latex gloves objectionable. Don’t those ingrates know this is being done to them for their own good?
The mulish attitude by the federal government toward the scanners and pat-downs, combined with a rising anger among the general public, are combining to create an explosive situation just in time for the holiday travel season. Threats of a protest on Wednesday in which airline passengers would refuse the scanners en masse, slowing the security progress to a crawl, are very real and credible. The entire system of passenger air travel could break down completely with gridlock, flaring tempers, and the potential for violence.
Somewhere, in some Pakistani cave, Osama bin Laden must be having a great giggle over this situation over his morning tea. What he was unable to do to us, we have done to ourselves through bureaucratic foolery and political cluelessness.
Source: TSA workers face verbal abuse from travelers, Harriet Baskas, MSNBC, November 22nd,. 2010