from the the-more-you're-told... dept
Just in time for peak holiday travel, the TSA is shifting its marketing strategy in hopes of prepping children for their guest roles in its security theater. Police State USA reports the official YouTube presence of the TSA has just uploaded a cartoon (titled banally enough "TSA Kids Animation") that aims to answer all those questions kids will be asking during their initial trip through security, including, "Do I have to take off my shoes?" and "Why does the TSA need Mom's breast milk?"
What it won't allow them (or their legal guardians) to do is comment on the video or give it a thumbs up/thumbs down rating. The TSA PR staff has helpfully disabled all indicators of displeasure.
This video is just part of rich multimedia experience which continues at the TSA website under the heading "TSA Kids." Additional "fun" can be had here, including such interactive features as "printing out a page full of scanning equipment to color," "printing out a full page knockoff TSA agent badge" and "squinting at a set of TSA K9 'officer' (the dogs, not the humans) collectors cards."
A "Parents Page" offers talking points for parental units to uncritically disseminate to their little traveling companions. The page reassures parents that no part of the process should involve separating them from their children. It then points out that parents will need to be separated from their children.
Children who can walk without assistance should walk through the metal detector separately from their parent or guardian.Should the independent youngster set off the alarm, the TSA will try its hardest not to grope the youth until the offending item(s) is found.
If they alarm, TSA has procedures in place that have reduced, but will not eliminate, the need for pat downs to resolve the alarm, including multiple passes through screening technologies and other procedures.This is Blogger Bob's out. No one can promise your child won't receive a security groping, but the TSA will do everything it can to
The TSA does seem to have improved its procedures for dealing with children with medical issues and disabilities. It appears all the negative press over the past decade has finally provoked a much-needed reassessment of its policies. TSA agents cannot remove children from their mobility devices (that's left to the guardian) and at no time will the child be separated from the parent. Parents with affected children can also request a private screening.
The TSA is trying to alleviate some of the fear these new flyers will experience when confronted with the excesses of airport security for the first time. The ultimate goal, of course, is to normalize its tactics. For kids, the way airport security is now is the ways it has always been. A new generation of travelers will adopt these standards as the new baseline, making it that much easier for the agency to deploy additional intrusions and stipulations in the future. It's not exactly brainwashing, but it's not exactly harmless, either. The smiling animal faces and the beep-boop noises of "Stop-Screen-Go!" sanitize another set of instructions handed down by a government that is mainly interested in the marketing of fear. It's the next generation's "Duck and Cover." Or "See Something Say Something." It's the evisceration of civil liberties under the cover of "safety."