Let’s face it.
Considering the shape of the current economy, if you can still afford to buy a plane ticket, you’ve got a lot to be thankful for.
In a year when many working class Americans are trying to figure out how to make an extra meal out of the neck and giblets, there’s not a lot of complaints because of extra security at the airports.
But there are still plenty of Americans who make enough money to fly, who are having to deal with the intrusive new regulations, and that includes federal officials who deign to travel with the common folk.’
The good news for those who are not important enough to have access to private aviation but are still pretty important is they can avoid the pat downs.
According to the Associated Press, “aviation security officials would not name those who can skip the controversial screening, but other officials said those VIPs range from top officials like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and FBI Director Robert Mueller to congressional leaders like incoming House Speaker John Boehner, who avoided security before a recent flight from Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
“The heightened new security procedures by the Transportation Security Administration, which involve either a scan by a full-body detector or an intimate personal pat-down, have spurred passenger outrage in the lead-up to the Thanksgiving holiday airport crush.”
The TSA told AP: “Government officials traveling with approved federal law enforcement security details are not required to undergo security screening. TSA follows a specialized screening protocol for federal law enforcement officers and those under their control, which includes identity verification.”
So, it may be commendable for these regulators to travel with the commoners, but it would be even more commendable if they would refuse the special treatment and insist on being checked, just like everyone else.
Of course, there are a lot of regulators who don’t have to worry about the whole thing, according to the AP. “Some members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, travel almost exclusively on government or military planes and are therefore not subject to airport security.”
The rest of us, if we are able to afford the gas to the airport, the luggage to be searched, the garments to be ransacked, and the ticket to get us on the jam-packed plane, should be truly thankful in the current economy.
Pat down or no pat down.
— Chuck Smith