Tuesday, 28 June 2011

TSA "Protects" Us From 95-Year-Old Ladies Dying of Leukemia

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It’s hard to know which is the more infuriating, the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) initial barbarity in picking on Mrs. Lena Reppert,  a 95-year-old lady dying of leukemia, or its defense of this indefensible atrocity: “The [TSA] stood by its security officers Sunday after a Florida woman complained that her cancer-stricken, 95-year-old mother was patted down and forced to remove her adult diaper while going through security.”

And the “Florida woman” should know: the TSA brutalized her as well since she accompanied her mother. Jean Weber reports that Ms. Reppert “entered the airport’s security checkpoint in a wheelchair because she was not stable enough to walk through…” Indeed, she had endured “a blood transfusion the week before, just to bolster up her strength for this travel." Healthy teens need to bolster up their strength when travelling through aviation’s gulag; how much more an ancient invalid? 

Anyone who has cared for a nonagenarian knows the effort required to move such folks from the car to the doctor’s office, let alone from Florida to Michigan, “where [Ms. Reppert] was planning to move in with other relatives prior to moving into an assisted-living facility.” Had you or I encountered this duo on their odyssey, we would admire their pluck and their devotion to one another; we might open a door for Ms. Weber so she could roll her mother through it or offer to keep Ms. Reppert company while her daughter tended to their luggage.

Which are yet more reasons we don’t “work” for the TSA. It sees in such vulnerable people not love and an indomitable spirit but helpless prey, and it attacks accordingly: “At a security checkpoint, a TSA officer ushered the wheelchair-bound woman into a glassed-in area where a pat-down [sic for ‘sexual molestation’] was performed, Weber said. … Soon after, Weber said, a TSA agent told her that her mother's Depend undergarment was ‘wet and it was firm, and they couldn't check it thoroughly.’ But her mother had no clean diapers in her carry-on luggage and the departure time for the plane was approaching, Weber said.” Though her assailants did not insist that Ms. Reppert remove her diaper, they “made it clear that [she] could not board the plane unless they were able to inspect [it]. According to Weber, it was her idea to remove the diaper so it could be inspected and they could make their flight.” By now, Ms. Weber was in tears though her mother, “a nurse for 65 years, ‘was very calm’ despite being bothered by the fact that she went on to complete her journey without underwear.”

Incredibly, chillingly, the TSA defended its abuse of these harmless, pitiable women while quibbling that it did not  “require” Ms. Reppert to disrobe since she could have “chosen” to miss her plane. Both its cruelty and its silly, childish denials are SOP for this demonic agency. The very old, the very young, anyone ill or handicapped — the TSA’s sociopaths at the checkpoints savage the weakest among us while its sociopaths at headquarters pooh-pooh the depredations.

Far from an anomaly, Ms. Reppert and her daughter are the latest in a nauseatingly long line of older victims. There was Phyllis Dintenfass in 2004, a retired teacher who was arrested, tried, and convicted for defending herself when a female screener groped her.  And Thomas Sawyer, 61, who recovered from cancer of the bladder only to board his flight crying and soaked in his own urine after the TSA’s thugs deliberately broke the seal on his stoma bag. And Nadine Hays, who tried to transport her 93-year-old mother cross-country with a cooler of snacks the TSA’s own regulations permit; its goons wrestled the cooler away from her and traumatized her mother — then called the cops on Ms. Hays. She spent a night in jail after a strip-search. And Alaskan legislator Sharon Cissna, 69 and another survivor of cancer, whom the TSA hurt and humiliated. And so many others of a certain age, not to mention the children,  people suffering from mental or emotional problems, the disabled.

Frighteningly, the TSA whitewashed most of these outrages as it did its abuse of Ms. Reppert by insisting its lackeys followed "proper procedure": “While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner.” Call me captious, but I’d say stripping a dying dowager of her Depends is neither respectful nor sensitive. “We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure.” Ah, the defense discredited since Nuremberg. As Ms. Weber put it, “…if you’re just following rules and regulations, then the rules and regulations need to be changed.”

Actually, Ms. Weber, the entire TSA needs to be changed worse than a fetid, 3-day-old diaper: it must be closed, shuttered, abolished. We cannot reform it: its evil is too entrenched, too overwhelming, just as its mentors’ was.

The name of the TSA’s über-bureaucracy, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), pays homage to those mentors. In 2002, neoconservative propagandist Peggy Noonan cheered the formation of DHS while shuddering at the terminology: “The name Homeland Security grates on a lot of people, understandably. Homeland isn't really an American word, it's not something we used to say or say now. It has a vaguely Teutonic ring — Ve must help ze Fuehrer protect ze Homeland! …”

Actually, there’s nothing “vague” about “Homeland’s” “Teutonic ring”: it specifically and terrifyingly tolls “Third Reich.” Not only is it a direct translation of the German Heimatland, but it was also the title of a magazine that extolled the Nazis’ climb to power. Indeed, Heimatland eventually became the party’s official newspaper, though by then it had changed its name to Völkischer Beobachter

Some commentators excuse George W. Bush’s Administration as “clumsy” and opine that “it may be giving too much credit to [his] people to suggest that they deliberately chose ‘homeland.’ " For sure, those cretins made dustballs look intelligent, but come on: it’s more than coincidental that the bureaucracy with the Nazi name mimics Hitler’s wickedness. He, too, persecuted the elderly, children, the ill and disabled. The Nazis considered such innocents “useless eaters” whose feebleness not only justified but invited punishment for threatening the homeland’s security. 

Meanwhile, the TSA’s chief, John “the Perv” Pistole, seeks to implicate all Americans in the agency’s crimes against humanity. "Every traveler is a critical partner in TSA's efforts to keep our skies safe," he decreed last fall while ordering his ruffians to paw us. "And I know and appreciate that the vast majority of Americans recognize and respect the important work we do." 

Yo, Perv: nein. Nein, nein, NEIN.

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