Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"I was just following orders"

That's what the guards at the Nazi death camps said. They didn't have anything against Jews, they said. They just had to do it or they'd be put into the death camps themselves.

So cry me a river about TSA screeners whining that they shouldn't be targeted for abuse because "we're just following orders". If they don't follow orders, all that happens is that they have to get a job reciting "will there be fries with that order?", they don't get shot like the guards at the Nazi death camps would have been -- guards who, remember, were hung for following illegal orders.

So color me unsympathetic about the poor, poor employees of the Department of Vaterland Security. They chose to serve a heartless bureaucracy and choose every day to obey orders that their very own superiors admit are probably illegal, and have nobody to blame but themselves if people get pissed about being subjected to illegal procedures.

-- Badtux the Sympathyless Penguin


  1. No doubt you have already heard about these full-body scanner images that have supposedly been deleted have already made their way onto the internet via Gizmodo.


    Of course they are going to go ahead with this anyway no matter how many people protest against full-body scanning because after all...they know best.

    Yet no matter how idiotic security at airports becomes, it will not do a damn thing to make anybody safer. People are fooling themselves if they think that this is really going to stop somebody that is determined to fuck shit up at an airport. The irony is that this might even increase the chances of an incident happening because these stupid security measures might just push somebody too far someday and convince them to create a shitstorm out of sheer anger and frustration.

  2. I've also got no sympathy for the pilots who don't want to have to go thru the scanner or pat down, but DO want their passengers to do so.

  3. I think you'll find that evidence of Germans being punished for refusing to participate in the slaughter of Jews, commies, etc. on the eastern front is hard to come by on the ground.

    Many of the ones who did participate had to be plied with drink just so they could continue, but that's another matter.

    I can't speak to the issue of camp guards being punished for refusing, so I'm not trying to argue, just saying that the whole "if I didn't do it I'd have been killed" thing has often been overstated.

    As for the fries reference -- just as if you have a problem with killing people, then you shouldn't join an organization whose primary purpose is to kill people (army, etc.,) then if you don't like violating the civil rights of your fellow citizens then you don't work for TSA. A person's gotta have some principles.

    Is being unemployed better than killing people? I think it is. Is being unemployed better than violating someone's civil rights? Well...

  4. I'm an American and have fucking rights so if I'm going to get a pat down I have the right to insist it has to be a female security officer that does it.

    And if she does a really good job there's 20 dollar tip in it for her.

  5. Hey, I'd pay money to see that, BBC :).

    Dope, yes, I know. But it's the argument made by many of the participants, and my point is that even that argument doesn't apply to the TSA goons.

    Regarding being paid to violate someone's civil rights, well. Many of the policemen who beat black civil rights workers during the 50's and 60's were quick to say they didn't have anything against blacks, they were just doing what they were told to do. Hmm....

    -- Badtux the Merciless Penguin

  6. Looking back on recent world history, it's obvious that the punishment meted out at Nürnberg for "just following orders" was the exception, rather than the rule, for that particular offense. And we're all the poorer for it, etc.

  7. You're not merciless, just observant.


Ground rules: Comments that consist solely of insults, fact-free talking points, are off-topic, or simply spam the same argument over and over will be deleted. The penguin is the only one allowed to be an ass here. All viewpoints, however, are welcomed, even if I disagree vehemently with you.

WARNING: You are entitled to create your own arguments, but you are NOT entitled to create your own facts. If you spew scientific denialism, or insist that the sky is purple, or otherwise insist that your made-up universe of pink unicorns and cotton candy trees is "real", well -- expect the banhammer.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.