TSA: Sir, I'll need to take a pornographic video of you or cop a cheap feel because nearly 10 years ago some easily profiled terrorists managed to take control of a couple aircraft using box cutters. How would you prefer to be degraded?
ME: Can I ask what you were doing on Sept 11, 2001 when the attacks happened?
TSA: I'll humor you. I was sleeping soundly in my bed.
ME: When you found out about them, how was your life directly affected?
TSA: It wasn't really. I was upset and scared, but I went to work that day as usual and life went on aside from hearing about a few friends who knew someone affected. Mind explaining your question now?
ME: One more question then I'll explain if you don't mind. How would you describe my ethnicity or nationality?
TSA: Well sir, you appear to be about as "Caucasian" as is possible. Pale, freckled skin, reddish hair; what you have left anyway. I'd guess you're of German/Irish decent.
ME: VERY well done. So would you say it's pretty safe to assume based on flight-related terrorist attack history that I have nothing to do with the al qaeda? I mean, it's not that someone of my appearance couldn't be involved since it is a religious issue, but have you ever seen such a thing, let alone know of such a combination related to any attacks here in the US?
TSA: Well, no. I haven't. Come to think of it, it does seem a little odd that I'm being paid by OUR government to harass and embarrass you this way. Why did you ask me what I was doing on 9/11 though and how about you; what were you doing?
ME: I agree, that is rather strange. Essentially, I'm paying the government to hire you and harass me. Not that I had any say about such a thing. I asked about your experience that day because I wanted to know what it might be like for someone that wasn't in my shoes. I was awake and already at work, when the news spread. I was immediately told to go back to my barracks and prepare for a gear inspection. We didn't get much more news than most people, but being conditioned as we were, such a command in light of the news told us that there was a real chance that were about to get combat orders to go protect the citizens of the United States from one of the only real attacks on US soil in history. As a US Marine, I take that idea very seriously and though I was upset, I was more infuriated. I'm here today because during my service in the USMC I was injured beyond repair and as a result, was given an honorable discharge under medical circumstances. If you put me through that x-ray machine over there, you'll see quite a collection of hardware that wouldn't set off your typical medal detector, that I could easily hide inside any number of common devices that you would let me put on a plane.
TSA: (agent gets a very startled look on their face)
ME: So basically, I've paid my debt to this country for my freedom and yours, suffered significant personal loss and injury in the process, paid taxes to see that our government can continue to function, and now you're presenting me with two humiliating options despite both my constitutional right to travel and privacy and the fact that another such terrorist attack is statistically virtually guaranteed not to happen based on history.
TSA: (should have a look of embarrassment now, but instead is radioing for help so that I can be restrained for causing a scene)
ME: Do I have a grasp on the situation?
Sadly, that conversation is completely feasible. Check out the articles below to see why this came to mind and why I'm hoping it will soon change. I think that the world is getting tired of governments misbehavior, abuse, and lack of transparency while at the same time taking our privacy and forcing our transparency.