Blue: TSA should be held accountable for actions

Brandon Blue

So here we are. It’s 2011. We were supposed to have flying cars and sexbots by now. Instead we have the unintentional comedians at the Transportation Security Administration who prowl the airports of this fine country with all the self-important air and effectiveness of the Dramatic Chipmunk.

As the Inspector Clouseau of government agencies, the TSA’s history has heretofore been restricted to touching people’s junk and detaining nursing mothers for basically no reason. Their legacy of unnecessary failure at everything they try doing is best realized by the recently-settled case of 24-year-old Lynsie Murley, to whose story I can only do justice from a suit of white armor.

Murley was proceeding through the security May 29, 2008, at Corpus Christi International Airport when she was singled out for “extended search procedures.” The TSA evidently defined that term as “pull down Murley’s blouse and expose her breasts to everybody nearby.” Understandably, Murley fled the boarding area in tears.

Unbelievably, when she returned, the TSA agents were still making jokes about the incident. Her lawsuit also alleges that “[one] male TSA employee expressed to [Murley] that he wished that he would have been there when she came through the first time, and that he ‘would just have to watch the video.'”

Murley’s lawsuit was settled out of court Jan. 5, and she received a “nominal settlement.” When The Smoking Gun released the court documents last Thursday, I had a couple of questions about the agent.

Did he really think Murley had something in her blouse besides the expected contents and at most sensational, a navel ring?

Also, since the TSA clearly thwarted the May 29, 2008, bomb threat at Corpus Christi, why don’t they publicly humiliate terrorists like Murley more often?

Alright, I’ll admit I’m not being fair to the TSA. After all, they helped foil Richard Reid’s 2001 shoe bomb plot — oh, wait, I’m sorry, two flight attendants, Cristina Jones and Hermis Moutardier stopped Reid. But they halted Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s 2009 underwear bombing plot — oh, sorry, that was passenger Jasper Schuringa that subdued Umar. My bad.

But surely the TSA has caught one terrorist, right? I mean, they operate all over this great country; all these procedures must’ve paid off at least once.

Nope. Not one time.

Granted, the numbers from the Government Accountability Office don’t track how many terrorists stay home and the TSA cites “national security concerns” as the reason they can’t say whether they’ve stopped a terrorist since 9/11 or not. If you could save face, wouldn’t you?

But their bumbling idiocy isn’t even the biggest issue I’ve got with the TSA. It’s not even their unnecessary crotch-focused procedures beyond Orwell’s imagining, nor their God-knows-what-kind-of-cancer-I’ll-get-when-I’m-50 back scanner machines, nor their new tactic to appease terrorists by herding Americans into big groups around security checkpoints so somebody can set a bomb off in the middle of them.

It’s the fact that in 2011, the year of the flying car and the sexbot, a civilized country with abundant freedoms even has to address that it ever believed stripping shirts from the shoulders of its citizens would stop terrorists. I honestly cannot plumb the depths of immaturity that must swell around the Corpus Christi branch of the TSA like a raging maelstrom of negligence and disregard for not only its duty, but for the most basic of human dignities.

So thank you, Corpus Christi TSA, for reminding me that when I thought touching my junk with the back of your hand was the worst you could do, you were already tearing people’s clothes off in Texas.