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TSA’s ‘Chat-Down’ tactics and ‘The Hunt for Red October’

October 3, 2012

If you’ve read Tom Clancy’s novel ‘The Hunt for Red October’ or seen the movie, you may recall a scene late in the story where Cpt. Ramius and his First Officer are talking about like in America.  The First Officer asks if it’s really true that one can travel from state to state with no papers.  ‘No papers,’ Ramius responds.  That was true when the novel came out back in the 1980s, and was still so when the movie, starring Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin and James Earl Jones hit the cinemas a decade later.  Is it true now?

TSA’s ‘chat-down‘ procedure isn’t going over well with some people.  A fellow Michigander, minding his own business, is engaged by a TSA agent (not a sworn officer; remember, they don’t have to graduate from a police academy) who tries to elicit information from him via a seemingly-innocent conversation.  Reading this reminded me of ‘The Hunt for Red October’ almost immediately.  Are we traveling in the direction that the Russians abandoned after 70 years of failure?  ‘Chat-downs’ in airports, which can lead to evidence (of what, if no crime is alleged?), ‘VIPER Teams‘ setting up random roadblocks on our highways and electronic surveillance of our communications are all hallmarks of an embryonic police state taking shape in our midst, without much notice in what passes for mainstream journalism, without a national debate, without consideration as to its’ Constitutionality, without it even being a topic for most civics/government class syllabi.  How can this be?

The answer is simple:  Ignorance and apathy.  Ignorance can be cured, and it is the duty of every social studies teacher, lawyer, journalist, activist, government official, parent and citizen-patriot to effect that cure, one soul at a time, if need be.  Apathy is the tougher nut to crack; perhaps an appreciation of what is being lost, and of what the future will be like without it, will awaken those capable of taking the ‘Red Pill‘ and seeing the truth, to action.  If there is any doubt about the alternative, one need only ask Marko Ramius what kind of society he was trying to escape from.

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