November 5, 2013 12:03 am -

rachel-burgerJust when I thought I’d run out of “Stay classys”!

Are Transportation Security Administration agents like Nazis? Blogger Rachel Burger seems to think so.

Here’s what Burger wrote on a libertarian website in a piece about last week’s shooting at Los Angeles International Airport that left TSA agent Gerardo I. Hernandez dead:

As a Jew, I am consistently reminded of the Nuremberg Trials when it comes to the TSA. Those who slaughtered the Jews in the Holocaust were “just following orders,” but that did not mean that they were any less accountable. Just following orders, just doing the job that they signed up for, did not excuse their actions. Of course, the Nuremberg Trials specifically addressed war crimes, but I think that the idea of just following orders extends beyond that. Being an ethical person requires critical thinking about everyday actions, whether commanded or not.

Hernandez signed up to the TSA, an organization devoted to “protect” travelers from terrorists. He could have had very good reasons to do so: he could have believed in the mission and needed to support his family (and on not very much, I might add). He was not a decision maker — he was an everyday guy doing his job. Hernandez, when infringing on Fourth Amendment rights, was “only following orders.” He might have been a good guy at home, but he was not entirely innocent in this situation. Doing without introspection does not absolve evil deeds.

If unarmed airport agents don’t immediately strike you as being a lot like Nazis, you may be surprised to learn that Burger is hardly alone in making this comparison. Ann Coulter called TSA airport screenings “Hitler’s last revenge.” “We Are All German Jews Now” is the title of a piece on the TSA by Murray Sabrin, a former New Jersey Libertarian Party candidate for governor and the child of Holocaust survivors.

There are so many instances of the TSA being compared to Nazis that in 2010 writer Christopher Elliott, who’s long written about the TSA, took stock of them, noting that some seemed sort of facile, while others, like Sabrin’s, were more thorough.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.