An Even Better, Though More Fatalistic, TSA Idea Than Kilts!

I'm writing this at Reagan National, where a very nice woman from the TSA just complimented me on my shirt-and-tie combination (I'd take a picture of it, but I don't know how, but you can see it tonight on the Colbert Report, on which I will make a brief appearance in order to discuss the federal manhandling of America's testicles as part of the War on Terror). These are mainly very nice people who work at TSA checkpoints and I have nothing against them; I just want them to enforce smart policies, rather than stupid ones. I have a feeling they would enjoy their work more if they were allowed to employ non-stupid strategies in the millenial struggle against al Qaeda.

In any case, I've been thinking that in the unlikely event the federal government doesn't listen to the voice of the people and end this naked-picture-taking/ball-groping ridiculousness, we, the American people, might as well gain some benefit from the invasion of our privacy, so here's my suggestion: Perhaps the federal government can take all males over 40 who pass through airport checkpoints and give them that digital prostate exam we dread so much at the same time they're checking us for explosives taped to our scrotums. It would be a very efficient use of time, and this way the government can do what we suspect they already want to do, which is to go all the way and inspect bodily cavities for explosives, while claiming that the assbomb-checking actually has a health benefit. If it is true that the federal government is taking a larger role in health care, why not conduct this prostate exam at a time when we're already being humiliated? Also, mammograms! Let's get it all done at the same time. In fact, the TSA should invite the IRS to set up inspection stations at security checkpoints, so random Americans can be selected for audits, which can be conducted while we're standing with our hands up like mugging victims in the back-scatter machines. Also, we can invite Mayor Bloomberg to visit select checkpoints so that he can conduct searches of our carry-on bags for salty snacks.

Another idea, of course, would be to take the train.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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