. Doesn't human dignity require that we treat travellers as people and not the same way that we treat convicts?
Of course. But use of hyberbole doesn't help. Convicts are treated very, very differently than people going through airport security. There are any number of prison documentaries you can view if you don't believe me.
2. Don't these security measures do more harm than good by forcing people to accept a microcosm of "police state" for no discernable benefit?
"Microcosm" is more like it. Yes, a cost-benefit analysis taking into account both monetary and social cost would be valuable. But not easy. The security procedures are a deterrent against rare, catastrophic events, and it's very difficult to prove the effectiveness of a deterrent. Through some combination of intelligence, security, and incompetence, we haven't seen another 9/11, which is good. Where do we draw the line that indicates the reasonable combination of security vs. risk is? I'm not sure. I'm ambivalent on whether these scanners are "overreach." But, then again, I'm a technocrat. I wouldn't mind getting rid of 90% of TSA personnel altogether and having a fully automated line you could just walk through at normal speed, with no waiting (unless you trigger something, in which case a glass cylinder descends around you, and you're whisked off to Stage 2.