The Transportation Security Agency, like anything else in government, is widely unpopular. The agency itself doesn’t do anything extra to keep America safe and the tedious processes make traveling slow and aggravating, all in the name of security. In 2015, a poll of frequent fliers found 87% are unhappy with the T.S.A. Only 10.2% of frequent fliers found they did a good job and only 2.6% were willing to describe the controversial agency’s job as excellent. A 2014 poll found that only 50% of Americans felt that the T.S.A. actually made America safer. 43% of those polled felt that there was little impact on travel safety by the agency.
But government is here to keep us safe, right?
Recently, there was an incident in Tennessee involving a disabled woman. Hannah Cohen is a young 19-year-old woman who had been headed home from St. Jude’s hospital after treatment for a brain tumor. For seventeen years, this has been the course Cohen and her mother have taken for her to get treated. Now she was at the end of the treatment and headed home to celebrate.
Until the Transportation Security Agency felt this happy occasion was a threat to national security.
Shirley Cohen, Hannah’s mother, watched as agents gave her daughter a hard time. Hannah had set off the metal detector and agents wanted to screen her more to ensure a young disabled woman wasn’t a terrorist. Hannah was reluctant and apparently nervous, which created tension with government agents who naturally don’t like being hassled.
Shirley attempted to explain to the agents that Hannah was partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed, and easily confused. Security kept her at a safe distance away from her daughter though, who now was becoming involved with a tense moment with the Transportation Security Agency.
What happened next was the truly horrific part.
Given that Hannah was disabled and obviously confused by the situation, the government agents should have conducted themselves in a more professional and productive manner. Instead, they threw her to the ground and hit her head off the ground. According to her mother, who was still being kept at a safe distance away by the police, there was blood everywhere.
Instead of celebrating that night, Shirley was powerless to watch government agents rough up her daughter over a misunderstanding about an airport checkpoint. The result was Hannah being arrested and booked, spending the night in jail after being bloodied by the T.S.A.
This is keeping America safe?
The T.S.A. responded to the situation with a statement, essentially blaming the Cohens for the incident: “Passengers can call ahead of time to learn more about the screening process for their particular needs or medical situation.” We beat your child up, but next time just show up early. It makes it more convenient for us to inconvenience you brutally.
This is largely why so many Americans feel the Transportation Security Agency is an unproductive and useless agency. They’re clearly not keeping America safe and are actually mistreating Americans. Given the poll numbers regarding the perception of the T.S.A., one must wonder how a majority of Americans would feel about how the agency treated the Cohens.