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).
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.
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.
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.