Yes, I suppose you're right - everyone, regardless of race, sex, creed, sexual preference or religion is equally required to submit to an intrusive search in the name of "security." Also, Patriot Act. I think that's all that really needs to be said in terms of the current state of CivLib in the US.
I see where you are coming from (and we are in agreement regarding the Patriot Act). Balancing individual liberties against national security is, and will continue to be, a difficult undertaking. I do, however, have confidence that we will get it right eventually.
Regarding airport security, how are things in France? My recollection from various trips to Western Europe is that things are quite a bit more strict over there, and it is not uncommon to see security personnel armed with some pretty serious looking firearms.
Regarding Europe (France in particular) yup, we've got army guys here, but we have them in the train stations and everything else as well. But as far as taking the plane, let's just say when I was coming back from my first visit, my uncle-in-law had given me a beautiful cigarette lighter, made in the trenches during WWI by an American soldier out of an army-issue watch. I showed it to the security people, and they thought it was super interesting, and thanked me for sharing it with them. That was it. Imagine that happening in the US? I don't think so.
Burqa ban is within the norms of the French idea of laïety. You are not allowed to wear religious symbols in public. This includes crosses, so it's not just a muslim thing.
Back to the US, If you wanna have an agency in charge of doing security, then for CHRISSAKES don't hire people who are looking for a job with you as a last resort
. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of nice people in the blue uniform, but when you have a starting salary of something like $25k and a HS diploma requirement, well, it's pretty obvious to me that it's not about security as much as it is about 'visibility.' You want to get me to think you're being serious about security with those guys, then you give them a starting salary of 40k a year, make them go through a year of training and put a clear appeals system in place for people who feel their rights are being violated.
Also, when you fly first class, I'm pretty sure you don't have to ever go through advanced screening. Not 100% sure if that's for real or not, but if it is, wow.