Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The faces have changed, but the game remains the same

Despite what the defenders of the Obama administration want to tell you, dear readers, the chilling post 9.11 security climate is still in effect. It is more than that Homeland Security is checking nutsacks at airport terminals this holiday season. Our quarrel is not only with the balance between safety and privacy, but with the attitude and atmosphere of the state. The mentality of the state's security apparatus has not noticeably changed under the ostensibly liberal Obama.

What the Clarion Content's small "c" conservative editorial board believes this reflects is that President Obama and his policy team do not come at the world from a less regulation where ever possible framework. Obviously. From their point of view, more is more. This means that, although the current administration does not believe in the invading one's privacy for the same draconian reasons as Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo, their p.c. based paternalism yields essentially the same result. Guantanamo is still open. Black prison sites are still likely maintained. Alliances with strong men across Central Asia, irrespective of national and individual citizen's sovereignty, continue. The state makes unwarranted, and frequently undisclosed, compromises of individual American citizen's civil liberties.

Ultimately there is a government mindset, led by the security apparatus, that believes proper enforcement and public safety trump individual rights and the protect and serve mantra of policing. We ran across another story today that underlined this message recently.

A fifty year-old airline pilot has come under fire from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, after posting a behind the scenes tour of security flaws at San Francisco International Airport on YouTube. The pilot, who taped the clips with his cell phone, has been flying for the airlines for more than a decade. He alerted Sacramento's KXTV when he posted the videos saying he wanted the information to be made public.

According ABC7 in San Francisco, the video posting resulted in federal air marshals and sheriff's deputies showing up, menacingly unannounced at the pilot's house. This appearance that the pilot, a deputized federal air marshal, also recorded, was made to personally and aggressively confiscate his federally issued handgun. Rather than handle this paperwork detail administratively in an office environment, security descended on the pilot in his own home, to make a show of force and displeasure.

His attorney, Don Werno, says he believes the TSA was sending a message that "you've angered us by telling the truth and by showing America that there are major security problems despite the fact that we've spent billions of dollars allegedly to improve airline safety."

Once again, enforcement attacks the whistleblower. Obviously, this sort of individual incident is far below the Presidential radar, unless it involves Henry Louis Gates Jr. or another member of the elite with access.

Change? Only who is sitting at the table has changed, the game remains the same.

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