Generally, when one hears the phrase "Papers, please," he thinks of a Nazi soldier at a checkpoint in the early 1940s. Secret surveillance and unwarranted searches are some of the content of the most sensationalist movies depicting the terror of East Germany's Stasi or the Soviet Union's KGB.
Unfortunately, while Americans were sleeping, it washed up on our shores, too.
In reality, it's probably not accurate to give America credit for being asleep while this happened. In fact, only 31% of Americans in 2011 felt that the so-called "Patriot Act" gave the government too much power. This act, effectively a repeal of the 4th Amendment strictures against searches without warrants and surveillance, was enacted shortly after the attacks of 9/11, and was based largely on legislation prepared by then-Senator Joe Biden during the '90s.
Now, after the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and its Transportation Security Administration organ, the roll-out of "Security Theater," or activities done to enhance the appearance of safety while not contributing to security at all, has gone mainstream.
The latest horrific overreach of government authority occurred in Dallas, at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
While traveling to Florida for treatment, Shelbi Walser, a 12 year-old young lady who suffers from a genetic bone disorder, was forcibly detained by the TSA in DFW Airport's Terminal A for over an hour while the government's crack security agents called in a team of explosives experts to shake Shelbi down.
Shelbi's mother, Tammy Daniels, was forced to leave her daughter with the oh-so-considerateTSA agents while Shelbi wept from fear and humiliation. Of course, who wouldn't be a bit concerned with costumed deviants who have the unilateral power to perform cavity searches and expose your teenager's breasts to the gawking public?
Tammy Daniels stood where she was told and did the only thing she could: Record the entire occurrence. It's generally assumed that the "Thieves and Sexual Assailants" (TSA) behave a bit more congenially if their activities are being recorded.
In a perfect demonstration of the complete idiocy of these tactics, Shelbi's parents pointed out in the video that while the "explosives experts" performed all sorts of humiliation upon their daughter's person, they didn't inspect the wheelchair, the most obvious place for a bomb to be hidden.
It's time for America to decide whether they want secure tyranny, or insecure liberty. Liberty has its own price: eternal vigilance. Unfortunately, especially after the events of 9/11, America has turned over its responsibility for that vigilance to a government agency that humiliates them at every turn.