Op-Ed: The TSA agent and the 3-year-old boy in a wheelchair

Posted Mar 19, 2012 by Alexander Baron
A monitoring group has just released a video of a 3-year-old boy in a wheelchair being frisked by a TSA agent at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. So what's new?
Screenshot of video clip showing a boy in a wheelchair being searched by a TSA agent
Screenshot of video clip showing a boy in a wheelchair being searched by a TSA agent
YouTube screenshot
The latest video can be found here. Although the boy is not visibly distressed, as some children of that age have been, it is clear that he is both confused and vexed as his father attempts to make light of the groping his son receives. The same monitoring group publishes some excellent TSA related material, like this blog.
This video is from November 2010; this is a young mother who didn't want to be screened because she is breast feeding, and didn't want her milk to be irradiated. This may sound like an off-beat request but it is both a reasonable and a rational one. Look at the way she is treated. There are still videos like this being uploaded to YouTube.
Okay, there is a real terrorist threat out there, and people carrying bombs are not all wide-eyed fanatics wearing a certain type of clothing and with skin a certain colour; let's not forget the crime of Nezar Hindawi. But just in case you forgot, there is a revolution happening in Syria at the moment, or call it a civil war if you like. It is clear that many people of not only Syria but of other countries of that region have had enough of dictatorship and edicts handed down from on high, now they are clamouring for freedom. If they were to take a long hard look at the United States, a country where the gaols are filled with people whose only crime is to use drugs for recreational purposes, where the government is currently recruiting an army of spies, and where the elderly, the disabled and even very young kids are groped routinely by strange men in uniform before boarding planes, they might think the sort of freedom Americans have is something that is not worth fighting, much less dying, for.