Could there be two John Pistoles?
Could John Pistole have an identical twin who helps him run the Transportation Security Administration — a John Pistole and a John Pistole, maybe?
John Pistole appeared over the weekend on CNN’s State of the Union to say that TSA’s highly invasive airport security screening procedures are here to stay. Those would be the ones that give travelers the choice of having their physical accouterments inspected either by sight or by hand — but always by complete strangers.
“No, we’re not changing the policies,” he told CNN.
“What I’m doing is going back and looking at: Are there less invasive ways of doing the same type of screening?” he said.
But at the same time, John Pistole was in front of the cameras again, this time on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where he defended full-body scans as safe and patdowns as effective at preventing people from boarding airliners with bombs.
“In the final analysis,” John Pistole said, “reasonable people can disagree … as to privacy and security. But everybody wants to make sure that everybody else on that flight you’re on has been properly screened, just as they want to make sure you and I have been properly screened.”
Confused? You shouldn’t be. The explanation is simple.
John Pistole is under intense pressure from the public, members of Congress and others to modify modes of security screening that violate the American sense of personal modesty.
Meanwhile, John Pistole is trying to protect those same rudely awakened Americans from knuckleheads who would gladly undergo personal mortification in exchange for the chance to blow themselves limb from limb, along with as many other people as possible.
In other words, italics aside, there’s only one John Pistole and he’s trying to find a way to satisfy America’s need for unadulterated personal space while protecting America’s personal safety from people who might be disposed to hide explosives in their underwear.
He might wish he were two people. That can be no enviable task for one guy.
Photo Credits: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (John Pistole); Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (John Pistole); Reuters/Tim Shaffer (TSA Body Scanner); Reuters/Handout (Accused Underwear Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab)
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