Funny how art imitates life. isn’t it? Being a Trekkie of at least the second order, I remember a quote from an episode of “Star Trek: TNG” from 1990 where the Enterprise evaluates a planet seeking admission to the Federation. Superficially they appear to be evolved, enlightented folk; perfect candidates. But they have a dark side. A cadre of former soldiers, lauded for their ability during wartime, is brutally oppressed now that peace has been achieved. Very Blade Runner made for TV. When pushed by Captain Picard about the matter, the planet’s Prime Minister defends their actions as necessary and responds he will not discuss the matter further as it is “a matter of internal security”. Picard observes quietly to himself the words I remember, “Matter of internal security – the age-old cry of the oppressor.”
Governments sure do love them some “necessary measures for the sake of security”, don’t they? Kinda reminds you of our current, non-Hollywood TSA situation, no?
20 years ago I recall being uneasy over Picard’s comment. Surely there was room for a government to speak of “security” and “necessity” in the same sentence without raising red flags. I lived in the US of A after all. Our government would never persecute its citizens in the name of security. Well, the times they are a changin’ …
When it comes to air travel in the US today, the ONLY argument for the abuse of citizens that is TSA being made is that the measures are necessary for security. If you ask the TSA agents themselves, they admit their own distaste with what they are asked to do. If you ask the Secretary of State to submit to the Secretary of Homeland Security’s plans, she would opt out. Even necessary security is an insufficient reason for Secretary Clinton to endure savaging at the hands of TSA (pun intended). If you ask a former TSA Security Director, he won’t even bother to hide the unconstitutionality of TSA procedures, he just lets fly with the “necessary security” argument. Clearly, government cannot be trusted when using the words “necessary” and “security” in the same sentence!
Or can it?
Because there is one sentence I also remember wherein those two words were used by government and which does not produce fear of government in me. They are from a lot longer ago than 1990. Oddly, given the need for real security and real adherence to American ideals and principles, I am convinced this sentence is the absolute last one any current governmental bureaucrat would recommend to deal with threats to America. But I’ll just toss it out there anyway … purely for discussion purposes, you understand. The one use of “necessary” and “security” in the same sentence by government that I am not afraid of is this one:
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”
Let the flaming begin …