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FF Sparks (Casual)

Airport Security Harasses Edwards

This story (CNN via Netscape News branding) makes me a little uneasy. Additional airport security scrutiny given to a Democratic presidential hopeful, causing enough delay for him to be late to his speech. Yeah, it's minor, but...

The Bush administration wouldn't really use the stricter airport security to try and trip up Democratic candidates, would they?

Comments

Traced all the way back to the White House, I'd consider it highly doubtful as a matter of administrative policy. However, odds are good that someone working security was a staunch Republican -- or maybe just supporting another of the Democrats -- and took the opportunity to give a hard time.
Oh, hellyeah... that would be just like him.

If Edwards is smart he'll charter his own damn aircraft and tell the Bushies to go stick it.
I don't usually feel the need to comment on this sort of thing
in other people's journals - one's craziness is one's own - but
for hell's sake, man.

You hate Bush? Great, wonderful, whatever. But drop the
conspiracy theory crap. Bush is not responsable for global
warming. Bush is not responsable for your cat running away
when you opened the door. Bush is not responsable for your
aunt's gout. Bush does not send secret MiBs out in the middle
of the night to hide your car keys, because you're a registered
democrat. And you can be damn sure Bush does not sit in the
white house at night, giggling with Karl Rove and going, 'We
made him an hour late! We made him an hour late!'

The most responsability the guy has for this, is letting
those stupid, incompetent morons flood the screening posts
after the supposed upgrade and improvement.

I mean, christ. x.x

Re:

Hey, everyone's entitled to reply to a publicly-aired opinion; they just may get a reply in return. ;)

First of all, I don't think Bush personally is behind some sort of conspiracy, as unsettling as I find the erosion of personal liberties that have happened over the past four years. I don't even think the Bush administration is behind some sort of vast conspiracy, though I think they've definitely lied and misled the American people in several key areas. (Show me the WMDs!) And even if there /was/ some sort of vast conspiracy, I really doubt they'd spend time and effort to fuck with Edwards for an hour at an airport. I should, perhaps, have phrased the last line better.

What unsettles me, however, is something which I would think would cross party lines. This is far from the first time that security measures have been (ab)used to harass travelers who really have no reason to be. Green party members travelling to rallies, environmental group folks traveling to conferences, etc. Now, I doubt this is the personal handiwork of the Bush Administration.

But these security measures, which were a good and necessary precaution after 9/11, seem to be being misused. Rather than actually doing what they should, since it is possible to declare anyone a 'risk' and haul them out for extended search, it seems to me that sometimes the airport security checks are being used as petty harassment. I don't see Bush being behind this, but I can see someone at the airport who wasn't an Edwards supporter going, "Y'know, I'm bored, and I think I'm gonna fuck with Edwards and his retinue for an hour."

And that seems to me to be a problem, because it undermines the actual integrity of the security procedures which have been put in place.

And I think the atmosphere of fear, distrust and pettiness which seems far too common these days -- people sniping at each other, populations becoming polarized, and rules and regulations intended for the common good being abused by both sides -- can be blamed on the Bush administration's tactics.

To each their own opinion.

Re:

Well, see, if you'd said that in the first place, I wouldn't have
felt any desire to say anything at all. ^_-

It's not even the first time a major politician's been harrassed.
Congressmen on both sides of the aisle've been majorly inconvienced
by it now and again, for whatever reason. And it's for damn sure
the people doing it are not creme de la creme - I wouldn't be
surprised if half of them were convicted felons, illegal aliens,
or both. Most of the misuse isn't *political* though - just
malicious dumbassery.

I got no trouble with that kind of opinion at all. I just get
angry when I see the 'Bush is such a jerk, of COURSE he'd bring
the illuminati out of hiding to win the election!' kind of thing
being slammed around, becuase it's just so damned IDIOTIC, no
matter what your politics are. >.<

Re:

Oh, I am absolutely certain it's far from the first time people have abused what power's been given to them. And absolutely no administration is perfect in all areas.

The "might makes right" philosophy has its place; for purposes of settling disputes or knowing who has the authority to set priorities and whatnot, someone needs to have the might and therefore the 'right' in the end. But it can be carried too far, and I /do/ feel like the Bush administration has, in general, followed a 'might makes right' philosophy, wherein they seem to believe "we /can/ do something, so it's okay."

What unsettles me about this is that it seems to have encouraged other people that this is an okay method of handling things, whether they consciously realize it or not. If you have power, you can use it however you want! The airport security regulations being used to tweak people is just an example of this.

My "The Bush administration wouldn't do that, would they?" was a very ill-phrased way of trying to get my readers to think down at the lower level -- the administration wouldn't really stoop to something so petty, since it's on a different scale than them... but are others taking that same 'might makes right' approach? -- without me laying it all out.

Failure to communicate on my part, I expect. :)

That said, I /do/ expect to see folks play dirty during this election, Bush included (albeit on not this petty a level). But I fully expect to see the Democrats play dirty in return; the 2000 election really changed the landscape of how people think an election works, and it was never exactly all sunshine and roses to begin with.

Re:

Yeah, I can understand your point, put that way. =) But I wouldn't
really be as quick to attribute it to trickle-down scummery.

Human nature is such that you just can't *trust* the majority
of people with any kind of power at all. That's why our constructs
have so many weird checks and balances and oversights built in(not
that they WORK half the time, but that's another argument).

Everything I've seen on the matter tells me that whether it's the
fault of the administration, or the fault of the people doing the
hiring, or the fault of Phil the Groundhog, there are *way too many
bad people* manning the checkpoints, so of course those already bad
people, are going to abuse the power they have for various ends,
and that's that. Guys humiliating women in strip-searches doesn't
mean they're making a conscious act against women's rights - it just
means they're dirty little creeps. ;)

The adminstration SHOULD do something about it, but I'm sure they
won't. One of the problems *I* have with it is this weird lassiez-faire
attitude they seem to have about problems - they *mean* well, and they
put things in place to *solve* problems, but then they just leave
them alone after they put them in place, like it's someone else's
problem after that. I don't honestly know if I can expect them to
clean any of them up or not(But I don't trust any of the dem candidates
I've seen to do so either, except possibly Lieberman who won't get
elected, so lose-lose).

And of course you can't trust the agency to police *itself*, because
then they'd have to admit they're not perfect and the answer to all
the world's problems, and no government agency will do that, whether
it's run by repubs, dems, or sheepherders. So we get...this, and just
have to hope for an ugly scandal that *forces* the neccesary steps to
be taken.

Re:

I'll agree with you on the gout and the cat, but I'm pretty positive he is up at night with Karl Rove giggling while setting copies of the Bill of Rights on fire. Afterwards, Ashcroft comes and makes them kneel and receive the sacrament.

More seriously, I think someone was seriously giving Edwards a hard time for no good reason--who it was and why is up to speculation. The chances of a presidential candidate whipping out a pen knife and hijacking a plane are pretty much close to none.
Well, it's my airport, so....

Albuquerque's TSA workers are just plain jerks. I doubt it was really anything personal (it was SuperBowl Sunday, after all, and security was high all over.) Probably someone wanted some fame, and Edwards gets press, so he got harassed, but it probably was more celebrity-based than political.

These are the people that took away the pocket-knife that fit on my keychain (inch-long blade, tops) after it'd already been through security once. They probably think they're just doing their job.