Glenn Greenwald rightly takes The Nation to task for publishing a a shoddy, fact-free, and reckless hit piece by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine attacking John Tyner and other critics of the Transportation Security Administration’s new airport security protocols as nothing more than fringe libertarian, Koch-funded astroturf. Tyner is the fellow who became an internet sensation for warning a TSA screener not to touch his “junk” during a pat down. Writes Greenwald:
It may be that several vocal opponents of the new TSA process are Koch-funded — that wouldn’t surprise me — but that has absolutely nothing to do with Tyner, and The Nation, for which I have high regard, owes him an apology and retraction for the innuendo it smeared on him without a shred of evidence. It’s difficult enough for ordinary citizens to take a principled stand like this against the Government; knowing that they’re going to be subjected to this sort of baseless hit job makes it less likely that other citizens will be willing to do so.
If The Nation plans on standing up for the TSA’s new security procedures, it better get ready. As Robert Poole points out, the new body scanners (and pat-downs for those who refuse) are in use at less than 20 percent of the airport security lanes in the country. Most air travelers have yet to be subjected to the new procedures. As a consequence, the recent groundswell of TSA criticism is likely only the beginning. Writes Poole: “as more scanners are installed and people are forced to choose between body scans and pat-downs, the public is likely to become more infuriated with the TSA.”
UPDATE: The Nation‘s editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, apologizes to John Tyner here.