SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Since the infamous 2010 groping incident involving Southern California resident John Tyner and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), travelers have debated whether to continue moving about the Land of the Free by plane. Several civil liberties organizations at that time urged fliers to forgo air transit on the busiest travel days. Parents continue to bemoan the invasive imaging systems that display likenesses of their children nude, as well as TSA screeners who freely grope young boys and girls in line as part of enhanced “pat down” policies. To help stem the ongoing criticism and improve operations affecting travelers, U.S. security officials announced the creation of six positions to be filled by corporate executives who will advise the TSA on more efficient methods for groping, harassing and otherwise violating the personal space of others, with minimal repercussions.
While officials from the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) remind Americans that increased safety risks have led to these spartan tactics, researchers from the Government Accountability Office repeatedly describe the processes as ineffective.
John Pistole, head of the TSA, has continued to defend his agents as trustworthy and highly trained individuals who are executing necessary policies: “Leaving your child alone in a closed room with an officer while he conducts a thorough cavity search should raise no more alarm than your child visiting a priest’s chambers.” Interestingly, the number of former priests and retired congresspeople hiring on at the TSA has risen over the last four years.
Yet, Pistole also acknowledged public dissatisfaction with TSA screenings and the need for his agency to seek out fresh perspectives on change.
“The TSA has been plagued by complaints about intrusive screening, employee misconduct and long lines at security checkpoints,” Pistole said. “The most recent GAO report shows a 26-percent jump in customer complaints over the previous three years. Although I firmly believe our protocols are imperative and proper, I also understand the public image issues they have engendered. We are therefore implementing our ‘loaned executive’ program to remedy some of these perceived problems.”
Pistole astutely noted that sexual harassment runs rampant, and largely unchecked, through the halls of many corporations and public offices in the United States. Powerful politicians and business leaders such as Bob Filner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Herman Cain, Suzanne Barr, Samuel Kent and Mark Hurd have all had their careers blemished by allegations that they sexually harassed others.
“And yet even after the harshest punishments these individuals received, they walked away relatively unscathed,” Pistole observed. “Not one of these perverts ended up unemployed or impoverished or vocationally damaged in any measurable way. That’s what we’re hoping to achieve for the TSA.”
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career in politics may have come to an end, but he continues to reap fortunes from his film work. Herman Cain dropped out of the 2012 race for the White House over accusations of illicit sexual behavior, but his business ventures still net him millions. Mark Hurd, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, who was credited with reinvigorating the struggling technology giant, abruptly resigned his post in 2010 amid sexual misconduct claims. But his golden parachute left him with a severance agreement worth $12.2 million and an additional $35 million in stock and bonus payouts.
“These are brilliant business minds. They know how to grope, prod, poke and get away with it,” Pistole exclaimed. “When a TSA agent pats down a lady who’s raised some red flags at the airport, that employee ends up penniless on the streets with only a high school diploma and a mediocre minimum-wage job to show for protecting the lives of American travelers. We need people like Mark Hurd as consultants to show us how to do our jobs without getting the shaft for it. The gropings aren’t going to stop and neither are the complaints of whiny passengers. But we can stop our agents from losing their livelihoods over a harmless ass-grab, inner thigh tickle, cupping of the breast or, when absolutely necessary, three-second nipple squeeze.”
2014. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See disclaimers.