Henry Kissinger Likes Getting Groped and Other Thoughts

By | May 21, 2012
Henry Kissinger.

We’ve been contemplating this for a few days now. It is hard to go through TSA stories. Our opinion on the matter has been expressed before.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that 88-year old Henry Kissenger, former Secretary of State, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and man who wears a brace and thus cannot remove his shoes gets patted down nearly every time he flies.

Then the Wall Street Journal got involved, pointing out that while the reporters who started this story recognized Kissenger, the TSA Agents may not have. The state of our education system aside,  the WSJ uses this to claim that all the TSA horror stories are myth. Their conclusion, “One imagines that someone as prominent as Henry Kissinger could likewise have gotten the TSA administrator on the phone to complain, had he been so inclined. It speaks well of Kissinger that he wasn’t.

And on that point, we have to agree. He didn’t ask for special treatment and acted like any other passenger, which is admirable of him, whatever you might say about him otherwise. Kissinger praised agents of the federal Transportation Security Administration for their “professionalism” and “courtesy” while performing what he calls “an important job.”

Christopher Elliott, whom we have referenced often, asked the question What Gives Them the Right to Frisk Henry Kissenger? And the truth is, it isn’t because he is Henry Kissenger that they shouldn’t frisk him. It is the fact that it highlights how the TSA operates.

Let’s go back to Blogger Bob for a minute. He posted another Week in Review. More guns, knives…some flares, a smoke grenade, and a potentially dangerous tube of toothpaste.

The Transportation Security Administration does not exist to equally harass everyone. It is there to provide security. To some degree, for the privilege of security, we give up our rights. But the TSA is not above the Fourth Amendment, even if it skirts the edge. Searches must be reasonable.

To give credence to the other point of view, if the TSA’s function is necessary, and the current methodology is just a blip as new technology is implemented to make things more efficient, where is the TSA model checkpoint of the future? Show the public what a checkpoint is supposed to be like.

Part of us pictures that like one of those World’s Fair or Disney type rides. “The Transportation Secure Administration presents…Checkpoint of the FUTURE!” Wonder what sort of jingle the Sherman Brothers(who wrote many of the classic Disney songs) could have made for that.

But in all seriousness, what is the vision of what security should be like? We complain a lot about how the TSA handles things, but how should it be? What do you think?

According to reports, the TSA has 5000 pieces of equipment, valued at over $180 million, in a Texas warehouse. Eighty-five percent of it had been there more than six month, thirty five more than a year. It costs $3.5 million a year to store the equipment. If that isn’t evidence of some mismanagement and poor decision making, what is?