Dying To Fly (Becky Akers)
Friday October 12th, 2012
In addition to death and taxes, we can add several more certainties to Benjamin Franklin’s list. First, the TSA will savage passengers, particularly those who are sick, elderly or otherwise vulnerable, in ways that would have done the Nazis proud. And second, the agency will defend such savagery as "proper procedure" no matter how horrifying or barbaric.
Meet Michelle Dunaj, a 34-year-old woman with leukemia who will repair to a hospice on October 17 for her last few months on earth. Before surrendering to the inevitable, however, Ms. Dunaj decided to take one final flight, "…what I call an 'end-of-life trip' because you want to see your family and friends, …" she explained. She also planned to visit the Aloha State: "Hawaii was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen … Number One on my bucket list."
And so Ms. Dunaj "call[ed] the airline ahead of time, asking for a wheelchair, carrying documentation for her feeding tubes and making sure she had prescriptions for all her medications, including five bags of saline solution." Grapple with that, if you will, and measure our enslavement thereby, that a dying serf must grovel to Our Rulers, corporate and otherwise, before she may travel.
Eventually, this plucky passenger flew from her home in Michigan to Seattle enroute for Hawaii; she reports "no problems" on the initial leg of her journey. From this we deduce that Ms. Dunaj is exceptionally easygoing since the TSA’s gate-rape consists of nothing but problems – egregious, enormous, you-go-to-prison-for-years-if-you-prey-on-people-elsewhere-than-the-checkpoint-and-in-any-clothes-but-the-TSA’s-polyester-uniforms problems. We can also infer that the medical tubes protruding from her body, and the bandages covering them, earned her the standard abuse all passengers endure.
But tyranny’s arbitrariness kicked in on her flight from Seattle to Hawaii, when the tubes and bandages that had previously passed unnoticed suddenly snapped the Gestapo to brutal attention: "she received a full pat-down [sic for ‘sexual assault’] in the security line … and had to lift her shirt" – ponder that for a moment: the federal government ordering a taxpayer to expose herself. Does despotism come any more debauched? – "and pull back bandages so agents could get a good look. … Dunaj said a female agent performed the pat-down [sic for ‘sexual assault’] and asked her to lift up her shirt after feeling the tubes going into Dunaj's chest and abdomen."
Yet this blatantly dictatorial, criminally callous atrocity isn’t what agitated the long-suffering Ms. Dunaj. Rather, "she said everyone else in line got a look, too. ‘My issue is: It was in front of everyone, and everyone was looking at me like I was a criminal or like I was doing something wrong,’ Dunaj [said]…’It shouldn't have been in front of everyone.’" No, it shouldn’t have been at all.
Recall that after annihilating liberty, the TSA substitutes a few measly "rights"; one of them is its version of "privacy": "All passengers have important rights during a pat-down [sic for ‘sexual assault’]. You have the right to request the pat-down [sic for ‘sexual assault’] be conducted in a private room … "
And what happened when our terminally ill passenger "requested" just that? Our Masters refused. After all, what "rights" they grant, they can also revoke – precisely why the State hypes "civil rights" while liberty knows only "inalienable" ones. Ms. Dunaj "said her suggestion for a more private pat-down was dismissed. ‘I asked them if they thought [the checkpoint] was an appropriate location, and they told me that everything was fine,’ she said."
Remember those bags of saline? Yep: they formed as irresistible a target for the TSA’s psychopaths as Ms. Dunaj herself. "She said another agent punctured one of the saline bags she was carrying, ruining it." Perhaps her imminent death has exhausted Ms. Dunaj’s outrage, because rather than berating the ruffian responsible, she simply tolerated the malfeasance. "I didn't want to start getting upset" – "Start"? Heck, I’d have been screaming and throwing things by now – "and swearing and causing more of a scene or issue … But it definitely wasn't handled properly." That receives my vote for Understatement of the Year.
And what was Our Rulers’ reaction to this unconscionable molestation of a dying woman? The usual: "‘TSA security officers are trained to work with each traveler to ensure a respectful screening process,’ the TSA said in a statement" – despite the clear and convincing evidence that they insult, mortify and endanger every passenger. "…a physical pat down is still necessary in some cases to resolve an alarm at the walk through metal detector or an anomaly detected by advanced imaging technology. TSA officers are trained to perform pat downs in a dignified manner" – just as the IRS’s thieves are trained to steal our money "fairly" – "and, at any point, passengers can request a private screening with a witness present. We are sensitive to passengers [sic] concerns about their screening experience and take every passenger’s complaint seriously. … We work to make our screening procedures as minimally invasive as possible" – go ahead and punch a hole in the wall at such contemptuously flagrant lies: I did, and aside from a broken hand, I feel better – "while still providing the level of security that the American people want" – yo, Goebbels: the American people have shrieked over and over that they want the TSA abolished – "and deserve." OK, we’ll give him that: the sheeple do indeed deserve the TSA.
But this infuriating propaganda wasn’t enough: a day later, the agency that lies about everything all the time libeled its victim as a liar: "TSA said in a statement, ‘At no point did a TSA officer open the passenger’s medically necessary liquids and the passenger was never asked to remove or pull off any bandages.’" And yes, indeedy, out came the boilerplate on "procedures": "‘We have determined that our screening procedures were followed,’ [TSA Northwest Region spokeswoman Lorie Dankers] said late Tuesday."
Ms. Dunaj has publicized her ordeal because she "hopes" it "might change the way the Transportation Security Administration treats travelers with medical conditions." Alas, tragically similar stories from thousands of "travelers with medical conditions" – everyone from a state legislator to a man wearing a urostomy-bag – haven’t diminished such persecution yet.
And even as the TSA’s deviants were mortifying Ms. Dunaj in Seattle, their cohorts at Kansas City International Airport were torturing a "cancer survivor [who] had bilateral mastectomies in 2007." Though Marcia Deitrick "is no longer shy about her experience, she is protective of her body. ‘I do not want somebody touching me,’ Deitrick said." Well, who does?
"Deitrick said she has always opted for the body scanner to avoid a pat down, but this time, that machine was not enough. Deitrick said the TSA agent asked if she was wearing something on her chest. She soon realized it was her scars the TSA screener took issue with." Let us pause once more and muse: Amerika’s police-state has criminalized scars, for pity’s sake. "The employee radioed in ‘an anomaly,’ … and told Deitrick she need [sic] to check her manually. ‘Then she ran the backs of her hands around my breasts in full view of everybody," Deitrick said. ‘She was nice, she was polite. But she didn't ask me if I wanted a private screening. … I'm not an anomaly. I'm the reality of breast cancer just like … 2.9 million women are, and I think that we deserve better … . We deserve to have TSA screeners who know what they're looking at."
What is it with this tame acquiescence to utterly degrading dictatorship? Lady, you "deserve" to get on a plane without a pervert’s pawing or ogling you. Demanding that the TSA commit either crime "better" is like demanding that a rapist in the alley woo you with wine first.
Chardonnay, anyone? Or does grass suit just as well? Baaaa, baaaaaa.
Becky Akers [send her mail] is a free-lance writer and historian. Her novel, Halestorm, is available in paperback or for Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony, or for your computer.