Pat-downs are not torture

Updated
The story that wasn’t a story at all: the fuss over the TSA pat downs. Let’s compare a couple of things: How do you compare the GI who loses an arm overseas – or more – to the embarrassment someone might feel during an airport scan or even a pat down? How do you compare those two? How do you say that one is worth the fight against terror and the other is not? How do you compare the denial that waterboarding is torture, not that it may not be necessary (that’s another argument) but that it’s not torture? That’s what the people on the right have been swearing to on a stack of Bibles. And then, hear from this same howling crowd that they just can’t stand the pain and human hurt of a pat down at the airport. One is not torture, the obvious torture, and one is. I guess it depends on what your definition of “is” is. I’ve been thinking of all this over Thanksgiving weekend, and thinking about what the Theodore Roosevelt historian Edmund Morris said on “Face the Nation” Sunday. He was asked what Teddy Roosevelt would say about people today and instead he offered a view from an immigrant to this country: that Americans are “lazy, obese, and complacent.” Forget the obese and complacent part. Make your own judgments on that. But the lazy part, the lazy way of thinking… where people never stop to think “Oh, that would be hard!” when they complain about body scans. T o think of what other Americans are giving up in this same battle to fight terror. Or they never think about simple facts: What is the enduring pain or discomfort or anything that affects you a nano-second after you’ve been scanned or patted down at the airport. What is that enduring cost to you, that pain, that supposed horror? I think that Teddy Roosevelt guy is onto something.

Pat-downs are not torture

Updated