Opinion » Ted Rall

Don't Touch My Junk

Why TSA molesters are striking a nerve

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NEW YORK--"Don't touch my junk!" Will this be the battle cry of the next revolution?

If you think about it, it's amazing. Why this? "This," of course, is the intrusive new security-screening regimen at 68 major U.S. airports. You can walk through one of the new "backscatter" body-image X-ray scanners, suck up 2.4 microrems of radiation and live with the knowledge that a high-res version of your nude body is being stored on some database so that the Palin administration will be able to kill you for food and use your cyborg doppelganger as a slave laborer.

Or you can choose the pat-down. But think twice. By all accounts, the pat-down procedure is thorough. Extremely thorough.

"I didn't really expect her to touch my vagina through my pants," Kaya McLaren, an elementary schoolteacher from Washington told The New York Times about her experience at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

A visit to the TSA's official blog (blog.tsa.gov) furthers the impression that the Obama administration has jumped the security shark. One citizen asks: "Is touching the genitals a mandatory or discretionary part of the pat-down? Will the screener give notice and ask for consent prior to touching the breasts, vagina, penis or scrotum?" Another asks: "Can they spread the buttocks to feel if something is concealed between them?"

There's something terribly wrong when a federal government website gets too racy for online parental control software.

In Charlotte, N.C., a flight attendant was ordered to remove and display her prosthetic breast. Men wearing baggy pants report TSA personnel sticking their hands down their trousers and ferreting out their naughty bits.

TSA workers at Miami Airport passed around printed scans of a man they thought fell short in the endowment department. A 61-year-old cancer survivor wound up "humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an enhanced pat-down by TSA officers" at the Detroit Airport broke the seal on his urostomy bag.

If Richard Nixon had been accused of listening to every American's phone calls and reading their mail, there would have been riots. But that's exactly what the National Security Agency has been doing since 9/11. They're reading your e-mail, listening to your calls and tracking your bank statements.

Personally, I'd rather have the government touch my junk than rape my brain.

Now that they're feeling our privates at the airport--with considerably more justification than the NSA has for reading your Facebook status updates--the American people are freaking out.

Which should come as little surprise to Obama's pet louts at the TSA. The United States, after all, was founded by Puritans. The folks were religious fanatics, prudes and so far off the charts that they were too uptight to get along with the British. Immigration has helped loosen us up, but that's still our national culture.

I had hoped that when the revolution came, it would be about economic injustice or torture or racism. But, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you don't revolt with the revolutionaries you wish you had. If this is the beginning of the end, so be it.

Say it together: Don't touch my junk!