Because he co-authored the legislation inflicting the TSA on us, Mica always snares headlines when he scolds the agency. His reprimands follow a pattern: He acknowledges a few of the TSA’s peccadilloes and even admits that it’s a “bureaucratic nightmare.” But he ignores its atrocities — or, on particularly horrific days, actually praises them: When the TSA’s air marshals slaughtered Rigoberto Alpizar as he was returning home to Florida from a short-term Christian mission in Ecuador, Mica “thought” the marshals “acted absolutely appropriately." He added, "We've got a small army out there ready to protect and defend the flying public." From missionaries? Yo, Warriors: protect us from Mica instead.
If Mica doesn’t mention his role in the TSA’s formation while ranting, the story’s reporter usually obliges. Neither Mica nor his accomplices in the press consider his creating the TSA a badge of dishonor, let alone a highly traitorous act that sold out the Constitution in furtherance of a police state.
For a guy who so profoundly altered aviation, Mica boasts a pretty skimpy résumé: He’s never worked in the industry, or even one allied to it, a day in his life. However, “Mica is the ranking Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Once the new Congress convenes in January, the lawmaker is expected [to] lead the committee.” Ergo, Mica declares himself “a recognized national transportation leader.”
Yet Mica knows no more about the airline industry than Fred Flintstone did. Fortunately, Fred couldn’t compel its experts to follow his appallingly ignorant commands.
Nor is Mica alone in his delusions; select any member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and you’ll find the same stunning ignorance, arrogance and determination to boss his betters. These sponges understand nothing about aviation but how to plunder it.
No matter: The corporate media eat Mica's criticism up. Quoting his quibbles with the TSA lets them pretend to criticize the government they rabidly support; it perpetuates the myth that they are “fair and balanced” without damaging either the TSA or the State in the least. Mica never suggests, never even thinks about, abolishing the TSA. Heck, no! How would he and the rest of DC's dictators lord it over pilots and CEO’s and baggage handlers? How would they commandeer air-time and editorial pages to congratulate themselves for “protecting” us with carcinogenic porno-scanners and sexual assault?
Mind you, Mica doesn’t like the ogling and groping. “‘Right now TSA has it wrong,’ Mica [said]. ‘I think TSA is overstepping its bounds.... Unless someone has set off some sort of alarm or there's some indication that the individual poses a threat, they should not be subject to that kind of intrusion.”
You might suppose the wonk who’s “expected to lead” the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee would remember this bit of TSA lore: Screeners kick magnetometers to set them off when likely prey approaches the checkpoint. And they enjoy enormous discretion and latitude. They can declare you threatening for any reason they please, perhaps simply because you’ve criticized their leisurely pace as you race to make your plane, and “search” (sic for “sexually assault”) you to their heart’s content.
Mica also votes for the “appropriations” (sic for “legalized theft”) that steal $7 billion from us year after year to fund the TSA. Indeed, he enthusiastically offers “amendments” to these bills. He and the other criminals on the Potomac could end the TSA’s ogling, groping, laughable incompetence, and mind-boggling corruption any time they pleased, and easily too, by refusing to vote it money that year. But they’d rather dispense faux criticism, preside over shams and circuses that “investigate” it, and propose “reforms” that improve nothing but their own power.
And so Mica dredged up Republicans’ favorite ploy: he’s “urg[ing] airports to consider switching to private security to screen passengers.” Statists need not fear that this will change anything because “the TSA would actually hire, oversee and pay for them.”
Savor the irony: The TSA’s godfather is suggesting we return to the arrangement in place before 9/11, the one his sociopathic legislation replaced. We had “private” screeners then, too, but the FAA rather than the TSA “oversaw” them. Indeed, a more accurate term would be “hamstrung” them: Screeners were obeying the FAA’s mandates minutely when terrorists waltzed past them onto four planes that morning. One manager even wanted to publicize surveillance tapes because they showed his employees at Dulles International following the FAA’s instructions to the letter as they “wanded” two of the hijackers. (See Joseph and Susan Trento's Unsafe at any Altitude, page 129.)
This isn’t the first time Mica's suggested we “privatize” the TSA. He opined earlier this year, “TSA serves as the operator, administrator and regulator for the nation’s transportation security. But in fact, the TSA bureaucracy does all it can to thwart any conversion to a system with more private-sector operations and strong federal oversight and standards.” Which “system” is, of course, classic fascism. “This agency cannot, and should not, do it all.”
Why the zeal for fascist “privatization”? Perhaps because Mica collected $81,000 from “private” security companies over the last 13 years. These businesses function like temp agencies: they staff the office — or checkpoint — with employees who obey the office's — or checkpoint’s — owner. The receptionist from the personnel agency answers the phone “Acme Lighting” though technically she works for Superior Temps; likewise, “private” security guards at checkpoints will abuse and irradiate passengers according to the TSA's orders. An added benefit: Government can then blame "private" screeners for its horrors, just as it did on 9/11.
The real solution, the only approach that will succeed, is the one no politician other than Dr. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will countenance: entirely eject government from aviation and its security. That frees professionals who've spent their lives around jets and runways to protect their multi-billion dollar inventory and highly trained personnel; they wouldn't mistake customers for criminals or treat passengers like prisoners. We'd enjoy unobtrusive but highly effective security — the sort that protects our homes, cars, or email accounts.
Instead, John Mica plays passengers desperate for relief from the TSA's molestation for fools with his talk of privatizing. And he’s laughing all the way to the bank.
Becky Akers, an expert on the American Revolution, writes frequently about issues related to security and privacy. Her articles and columns have been published by Lewrockwell.com, The Freeman, Military History Magazine, American History Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Post, and other publications.