I've been to a number of airports since 9/11 and every one has a different policy about weather I need ID, weather I need to remove my shoes, weather I need to remove my jacket, etc. It's quite frustrating and it shows me that there is a problem with the process they have set up. If all these checkpoints are run by a federal agency and are following federal rules, why are they all different? My only guesses is that the rules are vague and left to interpretation, or that the employees are badly managed.
In either case, I refer you to this story where a man was almost arrested for simply asking a non-TSA, non-Airline employee who he worked for before he showed ID. While he was being a bit of a dick, I can totally see his argument and I can totally see (though not agree with) how the Gestapo/ss officers escalated the incident to the point of almost arrest. I would probably at that point refused to show ID and took the chance to be arrested since the people involved would have eventually gotten fired. The man in this case has been trying unsuccessfully to pursue this matter and I think that had he been arrested, he'd have had a better opportunity..
That is just one story, I've heard (and you have too) of dozens of other cases where there were problems at the TSA checkpoint. Another story that I find interesting is the one of John Gilmore (co-founder of the EFF and a really serious guy when it comes to all this terrorist stuff). Now, his story is a bit different. He was trying to prove a point and trying to get some cause for a legal challenge so he was being difficult for a reason. His case lost on appeal and the opinion is a good read because it teaches you that you don't in fact need to show ID at the TSA checkpoint if you are ok with them doing a more invasive search.
This was proven just recently when he challened some DHS higher ups to travel with no ID. He got one taker.
I'm no fan of just showing ID whenever it's asked of me. I don't like the government sticking their noses into my business every 2 seconds. Though I understand that showing ID is a good idea since it (in theory) allows the govt. to check you against terrorist databases, etc. I think that if you search my bags and my person thouroughly, you will achieve the same thing while actually preserving my reasonable right to travel anonymously.
I for one intend to travel and not show ID more often. We need to exercise our rights more. We need to stand up against these Stalinist tactics "Show us your Papers!!". Fuck that shit. This is America you fuckers.