At what point does the need for security eclipse human dignity and compassion?
Yesterday I went through the imaging scanner at JFK Terminal 4 for my Virgin America flight to San Francisco. Evidently they found something, because after the scan, I was asked to step aside to have my breast area examined. I explained to the agent that I was a breast cancer patient and had a bilateral mastectomy in April and had tissue expanders put in to make way for reconstruction at a later date.
I told her that I was not comfortable with having my breasts touched and that I had a card in my wallet that explains the type of expanders, serial numbers and my doctor’s information (pictured) and asked to retrieve it. This request was denied. Instead, she called over a female supervisor who told me the exam had to take place. I was again told that I could not retrieve the card and needed to submit to a physical exam in order to be cleared. She then said, “And if we don’t clear you, you don’t fly” loud enough for other passengers to hear. And they did. And they stared at the bald woman being yelled at by a TSA Supervisor.
To my further dismay, my belongings, including my computer, were completely out of sight. I had no choice but to allow an agent to touch my breasts in front of other passengers.
I just didn’t understand why these agents were so insensitive to the situation. I would have been happy to show her which bag was mine and have her retrieve the card, but she did not allow even that. I have been through emotional and physical hell this past year due to breast cancer. The way I was treated by these TSA agents added a shitload of insult to injury and caused me a great deal of humiliation.
I understand the need for safety when flying, but there is also a need for those responsible to be compassionate and sensitive to each situation. These agents were neither.
I can only comfort myself with the fact that Karma is always circular.
Those are all false confessions. Undoubtedly coerced by police investigators.
UPDATE: this paper suggests that a particular 9-step interrogation technique convinced innocent people to confess to crimes they didn’t commit at a rate of 43%.
8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than from a terrorist attack.
If that’s not an indictment of the post-9/11 security state, I don’t know what is.
don’t worry, it’s just a five minute inconvenience. It’s entirely reasonable for the American Public to be split over whether this is morally acceptable.
incase your wednesday morning was too pleasant, read this.
Tyler Cabot tells Noor Uthman Muhammed’s story:
It is a strange population, the 171 men still left at Guantánamo. There is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and another two dozen hardened militants, who will never be released. This class of prisoner represents a small minority of the population. Then there are the others — about a hundred men, mostly Yemeni, who have been cleared to leave but have no place to go, as no country will take them. And there are another thirty-five or so like Noor. They are nameless, low-level operatives, or hapless men who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are the detritus of a decade-long war.
They can’t simply be released. That would be admitting that they aren’t as bad as the government once said they were. And most can’t be tried, either, because much of the evidence against them — if there is any — is too fraught, as it was gotten by torture, and would never have even been considered to be evidence in any American judicial proceeding before September 11, 2001. And no serious person would have ever argued for it as such.
The majority of the prisoners currently in Guantanamo are not being held on charges or serving any sentence.
i was just listening to a this american life episode about that: #331: habeas schmabeas.