Queue jumping

James Joyner on the new "Clear Card" program to let frequent travelers pay $128 for expedited security procedures.

The government requires that people give up their 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches in order to fly on commercial airlines on the grounds that they have no idea which of us are potentially terrorists. The government then charges a fee to allow people to prove that they’re not criminals and skip part of the line. There’s something vaguely un-American about this.

This is compounded by the fact that the government doesn’t allow people with military ID or who otherwise have actual security clearances to bypass said lines, which leads me to think that this is about collecting the $128 rather than ensuring security. That view is enhanced by the fact that no security check that could be accomplished for $128 will do anything other than demonstrate that the person in question is not a wanted felon or on a terrorist watch list. That’s a screening that all of the 9/11 hijackers would have passed.



My only disagreement is with his use of the word "vaguely".