Apparently, with the blessing of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, the TSA has a policy of
groping screening accredited foreign diplomats. Apparently the TSA and the DHS have never heard of the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations or even heard of the concept of diplomatic immunity:
As it turns out, the new security protocols from TSA don’t just make American travelers unhappy. India has lodged a formal protest after an incident in a Mississipi airport in which their ambassador to the US, Meera Shankar, got a TSA patdown because she wore a sari while traveling. The State Department now says they’re “concerned” about the treatment given the diplomat despite repeatedly telling the TSA agents that Shankar had diplomatic immunity.
I seem to recall a great many Democrats and members of the political left here parsing the Geneva Conventions to allege that our soldiers had violated the law of war in various and sundry ways. But unlike the Geneva Conventions, the Vienna Conventions generally do hold sway in the world community and really do protect our diplomats and their families overseas. If we start chipping away at protections for guests in our nation, you can be assured that our people overseas will be subjected to worse.
And let’s not forget how politically stupid this is. This isn’t some minor clerk out of a consular office. This is the accredited ambassador from the largest democracy on earth. India is a nation our country has spent a lot of time and money wooing toward alignment with us as a matter of general principal, and as a buffer against both China and Pakistan.
How hard is it to grasp that the person and property of an ambassador is absolutely inviolate? It’s bad enough that the TSA exists primarily to serve as security kabuki, but the least they could do is try not to sabotage our international relations while they are at it.