Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Ron Paul wants to kill the TSA, which could end the careers of 500 puppies

July 6, 2011 |  4:51 pm


Ron Paul has had a long and successful political career of being an outlier. A hero to those who rally behind his Libertarian beliefs of small government and personal freedoms; Paul has proposed decimating the IRS, ending the drug war, and reversing Roe vs. Wade.

But will he survive putting hundreds of puppies out of work?

That's what he's doing when he gets on his soapbox, as he did Sunday, suggesting that the 10-year old Transportation Security Administration be dismantled. Yes, the very same TSA that pats down 95-year-old women in diapers at the airport also trains hundreds of adorable puppies to sniff for bombs.

Paul seems to care not. He wants the government out of the groping business and give those duties to private companies. Puppies and all!

"Ninety-five year-old women humiliated; children molested; disabled people abused; men and women subjected to unwarranted groping and touching of their most private areas; involuntary radiation exposure," Paul said Sunday in his weekly "Straight Talk" telephone address.

"If the perpetrators were a gang of criminals, their headquarters would be raided by SWAT teams and armed federal agents. Unfortunately, in this case the perpetrators are armed federal agents. This is the sorry situation 10 years after the creation of the Transportation Security Administration."

According to our friends at Politics Now, Paul said he would introduce a bill prohibiting unlawful touching of the body by screeners and make invasive picture-taking illegal.

Oddly, the conservative Texas congressman failed to mention the Puppy Program (aka TSA's Canine Breeding and Development Center) housed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where the TSA transforms hundreds of puppies into explosives detection dogs within the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program. Dogs who cut the mustard are sent to airports and mass transit stations around the nation.

Conor Friedersdorf of the Atlantic, who first reported on Paul's anti-puppy stance, seemed to agree with the GOP presidential hopeful that the TSA program hasn't been great and noted that "passengers, not screening personnel, stopped the shoe bomber and that guy who lit his underwear on fire", and would probably volunteer to help keep domestic travel safer.

"Instead we've created a clunky bureaucracy that has mostly succeeded in making a subset of the traveling public feel embarrassed, violated, harassed, or otherwise upset. On the other hand, they've got 500 cute puppies," Friedersdorf wrote.


TSA warns of possible airline threat involving implanted bombs

Marijuana bill officially introduced to Congress by Ron Paul, Barney Frank

Ron Paul, yes, Ron Paul wins another straw poll; grass-roots surge for the Republican?

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Puppy Program Manager Scott Thomas holds puppies Hoey (L) and Hatton as he talks to members of the press during a media day at the Pentagon June 28, 2011, in Arlington, Va. The puppy program breeds and prepares puppies to be future explosives detection dogs at airports and mass transit systems nationwide. Each puppy is named in honor of a victim of 9/11 or after a military member who died during the war on terror. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001,  terrorist attacks, in which 184 people were killed at the Pentagon. Photo: Alex Wong Credit: Getty Images.

Andrew Malcolm is on assignment.