A US Army staff sergeant, now serving in Afghanistan, writes about the new enhanced pat-down procedure from the TSA. Summary of his very powerful message: to avoid giving gross offense to the Afghan public, and to prevent the appearance of an uncontrolled security state, the US military forbids use on Afghan civilians of the very practices the TSA is now making routine for civilian travelers at US airports...Further details and discussion at The Atlantic.
At no time were we permitted or even encouraged to search children or women. In fact, this would have been considered an extreme violation of acceptable cultural practice and given the way word travels here, been a propaganda victory for the Taliban.
Yet somehow the TSA is engaged in this at home while my unit and I spent our tour unable to safeguard ourselves equally in an environment where the Taliban have often disguised themselves in burkas and used children as both spies and fighters...
15 November 2010
Is it acceptable to "pat down" women and children ??
In his blog for The Atlantic, James Fallows makes note of a curious conflict of ethics and pragmatism raised by a letter from and Army sergeant serving in Afghanistan: