Some apologists are now attempting to defend the lewd, obscene behavior of TSA agents by claiming “they’re just doing their jobs.” This is the exact same quote that was used by Nazi war criminals to justify their treatment of Jewish concentration camp prisoners; or by Japanese soldiers who raped and pillaged Chinese villages in World War II; or even by government hit men throughout history who have killed innocents because their bosses told them to.
“I’m just doing my job” is the excuse of the weak-minded. It is a desperate attempt to shift responsibility for one’s actions to someone else and therefore take on the actions of a mindless, immoral automaton who is incapable of independent thought. Throughout history, countless atrocities and war crimes have been conducted under the excuse of “I’m just doing my job.” To hear it now cited in the United States of America is a worrisome red flag that we are headed into an era where rational thought is being overrun by fear mongering idiots.
Individual human beings have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect their fellow countrymen (and women)
In the real world, the excuse of “just doing my job” doesn’t cut it. U.S. government workers have a personal and patriotic responsibility to ensure that their actions do not deprive American citizens of their Constitutional rights. A U.S. government employee who engages in behavior that violates the rights of American citizens — even if ordered to do so — is himself guilty of those violations under civil law (and perhaps criminal law, depending on the violation).
Rep Ron Paul attempted to make this simple point obvious to everyone by proposing a law that would end the immunity of TSA agents who violate the rights of private citizens. As he reasoned in his now-famous “Enough is Enough!” speech (http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=29ADB…), Ron Paul explained that if it is illegal for a private citizen to sexually molest you, it should also be illegal for a government official to molest you, too.
And yet, astonishingly, some members of the blogger community — as well as a few members of the popular press — are excusing these actions based on the pathetic explanation that these TSA agents “are just doing their jobs.”
Would they be equally supportive if those TSA agents were ordered to conduct body cavity searches on all passengers as part of “just doing their jobs?” How about if they decided to go house to house, rounding up people they didn’t like and throwing them in “reeducation camps” are part of doing their jobs? Is that acceptable, too?
Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it
Anyone who excuses these actions as “just doing their jobs” is, quite frankly, hopelessly ignorant about world history and the atrocities that have been committed against innocent people under precisely this treacherous phrase. Every Nazi soldier who gassed a Jewish prisoner was “just doing his job” too. That doesn’t make it right.
The fact that a crime is committed by an employee of a government does not grant that employee de facto immunity against such crimes. Might does not make right, in other words.
If we are to live in a world of freedom, justice and compassion for our fellow human beings, we must exist under a system of law that applies equally to all men and women. No particular group of workers can be allowed to commit obscene crimes against the American people merely because they receive a paycheck from the government itself. To allow this behavior is to tolerate tyranny and grant the government permission to further expand its Constitutional violations against the American people.
To really drive this point home, consider the following: If “Bob” hires “John” to molest the wife and children of some U.S. Senator, for example, is that okay merely because John is “doing his job?”
Of course not. The fact that a paycheck is involved does not nullify the need for human beings to act with personal ethics and common sense.
Now, how about if the U.S. government hires John to molest the wife and children of air travelers? Is that okay because John is “just doing his job?”
Of course not. The identity of the employer does not change the ethics of the situation. One human being engaging in lewd, sexual touching of another human being without their invitation and consent is a criminal act, regardless of who signs the paychecks. And to require people to submit to such molestation under the threat of gunpoint arrest at the airports is even worse because it is a coerced crime against innocents. Who’s going to say no when they’re afraid of being arrested at gunpoint, handcuffed to a chair and interrogated for several hours?
This whole point seems so obvious to me (and to most people who have ethics) that it’s bewildering we even have to bother explaining it to the apologists who try to defend this highly inappropriate (and criminal) behavior on the part of the TSA.
Maybe we should take these people back in a time machine and show them the horrors of Nazi Germany, or the Vietnam War, or the atrocities committed by the soldiers of Stalin or Mao — and then see if they still think the phrase “I’m just doing my job” is a valid excuse for committing crimes against innocent people.
Because I don’t know about you, but I’m never “just doing my job.” I’m always thinking about what’s right. I’m constantly making choices about ethics and morality. I’m questioning everything I’m told and measuring things against an internal moral standard that I’m always working to improve each day. Now, I’m not perfect, and I’ve made mistakes in my life, but I’ve never been so stupid as to think that I could hide behind the pathetic excuse of saying “I’m just doing my job.”
That phrase is the proclamation of the pitiful. It is the surrender-cry of the mentally deficient. And it is a blatant admission of one’s own moral ineptitude in a world where right and wrong are often pretty simple to figure out. Reaching down the pants and feeling up some little kid in the context of “anti-terrorism” is morally wrong. This isn’t a complicated realization. It’s just basic common sense. Any TSA agent that had any sense at all would simply refuse to engage in such behaviors. If fired from his job, he could sue the TSA for requiring him to commit crimes in the line of duty.
Of course, all this assumes anybody has common sense left at all. And I’m no longer sure that’s the case. In fact, I was thinking the TSA might better serve the country by reconfiguring their naked body scanners to be common sense detectors. And the next time we hold an election for President, we should require everybody to show they carry some common sense before they’re allowed to start punching chads.