On Monday, November 9, 2015—in other words, well before the attacks in Paris—the TSA, combined with the paramilitary forces of its parent agency DHS (Department of Homeland Security) did again what it does best: overreact, in an almost certifiably insane way, to a security “breach” at an airport, and then terrorize scores of ordinary passengers just trying to go about their business.
On Monday evening, an American Airlines flight from Miami, Florida to Barbados was boarded by a paramilitary police unit wielding assault rifles, who demanded that passengers put their hands on their heads as they were forced off the flight.
Large sectors of the airport were effectively placed under lockdown during the operation. The gates of terminal cafes and restaurants were closed, leaving patrons locked inside by iron bars as police SWAT teams decked out in body armor and toting assault rifles swept through the terminal.
Photos and videos posted to social media documented the egregious violation of passengers’ constitutional right to be free of unwarranted searches and seizures. “There were very large machine guns, body armor, all of that,” one passenger told a local CNN affiliate. “Very, very frightening.”
Some 70 flights were delayed and nine were diverted as a result of the lockdown, which shut down two concourses for almost three hours.
And what was the cause of all this mishegas?
That’s right, dental tools.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation later admitted that the passenger was a dentist, and that the “suspicious” bag he had been carrying contained nothing more than fillings and other dental supplies.
TSA spokesman Mike England said that the lockdown was conducted “out of an abundance of caution” as federal officials “worked with airport operators to direct gate operations to cease while the passenger was located.”
Oh, evil tooth implements! Fie, fie on you, I say!
Oh, well. Get used to it, people. This is the new normal. And after the attacks in Paris, it will only get worse.
Taking out my old-fashioned phonograph once more, people have shown, again and again and again, that they’re willing to put up with anything—and I do mean anything—for the illusion of “security.”
We’ve crossed the Rubicon. There’s no going back. There’s only spiraling downward.
Lisa Simeone is a writer, editor, political activist, Glamour Girl, and radio host. She publishes ABombazine.