Yesterday was the 10th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack on America.
I have already done a few posts on 9/11 which can be found here and here, but for today I would like to write about the Federal TSA Stormtroopers, my experiences in refusing to use the body scanners, how the TSA violates your 4th Amendment freedoms, anal bombs, scanner radiation, using “positive profiling” in security lines, Israeli Security, and Michael Chertoff – a former government official making a fortune off of our support of body scanners.
I’ve been traveling all summer for work so I’ve been through dozens of U.S. airports. Many of them have the full-body scanners but I am not always shuffled towards them but through the standard metal detectors instead. On the occasions that I have been selected for the full-body scanner I have simply exercised my “opt-out” option and was subjected to a thorough pat-down instead which as many of you have heard involves some rather sensitive groping of my genitalia. Such is life in a country where apathetic Americans continue to surrender the Constitutional rights that so many before us have died to protect. Died in vain, it would seem.
On both occasions the TSA Stormtrooper asked if I would like a private area. I guess in case I minded being felt-up in public. My response was, “No, I want to do it out here in front of everyone so they can all see it.” In his speech he also stated that the reason I was receiving additional scrutiny was because I had triggered the machine, so I cut him off mid-sentence and corrected him, “No…I did not trigger the machine, I opted-out.”
On one of the occasions, the TSA Stormtrooper asked me if I, “…had any questions about the scanner.” And I said no. They think the only reason someone would opt-out is due to the risk of radiation the machine uses or the privacy issue about what can be seen on the view screen. Of course, I do care about the radiation but that is not the reason, and I care not at all what shows up on the screen, but I do care quite a bit about the trampling of my Constitutional rights.
They are just government robots. They don’t understand that what they are doing is illegal, so they always think the only reason someone would opt-out is due to modesty or a misunderstanding of the radiation exposure…any other reason is just…crazy, in their view. But that is what makes up good Stormtroopers. Did you ever see a Stormtrooper in Star Wars make a decision?
The TSA rules at the airport violate your 4th Amendment rights against an unreasonable search (and seizure in the case of anything they don’t approve of and throw out for you). A search requires a warrant, and a warrant requires probable cause. Without probable cause your Constitutional rights are being violated. The only probable cause available to a TSA agent in searching you and your belongings is that you are “probably” a terrorist. That would have to be the premise for the probable cause. So currently, the TSA Stormtoopers search every American under the probable cause assumption that we are all terrorists. And how did they determine we are all terrorists? Because we want to fly, of course. Obviously, that makes no sense, but that is the only probable cause available to them.
Consider that the 4th Amendment is why police can not just enter your home or stop your car at random and search it. If an officer stops your car for speeding and he smells marijuana, he believes you “probably” have marijuana in your car and now he can search it. He could not search it otherwise. That is why they have to ask your permission to search your car or come into your home…because they do not have probable cause. Yet the TSA has to assume that we are “probably” all terrorists because we are at the airport trying to get on a plane and so that is their probable cause to justify searching you, scanning you and groping your private parts. Do you see how stupid this is? How illegal?
Yet when it comes to air travel, Americans stupidly surrendered this right with a big middle-finger to the Founding Fathers that fought a Revolution and bled and died to give it to us.
Many will argue that this is what it takes to secure air travel. Well…why stop at air travel? Don’t we want security everywhere? If we just give up the 4th Amendment entirely then police can randomly enter homes and cars without probable cause and find bomb making materials, plans, laptops and the terrorists that own them. In fact I guarantee you that if we all agree to surrender this right, the police will find terrorists they would not otherwise have found.
If we know for a fact that eliminating the 4th Amendment will allow the police to stop the next horrific attack that would cause thousands of innocent men, women and children to die…why do we continue to entertain the silly notion that giving up our 4th Amendment protection is okay “here” but not “there?” It’s okay “this time” but not “that time?” Why don’t we just give it up entirely?
If you are okay with ignoring the 4th Amendment at airports, but not in homes or cars then what are you really saying?
What you are saying is that you are okay with protecting terrorists in their own homes and cars while they plan their attack and make their bombs that will kill thousands of Americans, but you are also okay with stripping that same protection from every American at an airport and subjecting them to scans and gropings and the seizure of their personal items? How can you believe in both simultaneously?
Either we have this freedom, this protection of our rights all of the time…or we don’t have it at all. It’s apathetic Americans that are constantly kept afraid by the government and the media that would eventually turn in their own family members if it secured them some more safety from the evils under their bed that support giving up our protections for a little safety.
The Founders did not create the 4th Amendment with a caveat that said, “Unless it’s for your own good.” They knew the dangers of Big Government encroaching on this freedom.
Then consider that there is more than enough evidence to believe full-body scanners will not be effective in preventing a terrorist in the future from executing a successful attack. The body scanners do not scan the cavities of the body and one suicide bomber has already used an anal bomb in an attempted assassination.
There has been much talk about repeated exposure to the radiation levels from these machines but there is evidence on both sides that support both its immateriality and its danger. So, if the jury is still out on this one, why do we want to trust the government to tell us the radiation level is okay. I will never just “take the word” of a government official. That’s just dumb.
We are also very concerned about profiling and discrimination but we never discuss the option of “positive discrimination” where certain types of passengers are allowed to pass through security without any additional security measures and instead focus our resources on those who remain. So instead of profiling specific passengers and removing them for additional scrutiny, we profile specific passengers and remove them to bypass security instead, thus “positive discrimination.” Passengers such as the elderly, couples with children, kids under 12, etc… could go right through and those who remained would be the only ones who receive any additional scrutiny.
What about the fact that Israel that is surrounded by enemies does not use body scanners at all and yet manages to secure its airports effectively. And why did the U.S. turn down an offer by the head of Israeli Security to consult with American Security when it’s obvious whatever they are doing works?
Then there’s Michael Chertoff, the former head of Homeland Security who then became the co-founder of the Chertoff Group which now acts as a consulting group for Homeland Security. A client of the Chertoff Group is a company called Rapiscan that manufactures full body scanners. So which company do you think got the contract to provide the full-body scanners in our airports all over the country? That’s right, Chertoff’s Rapiscan got it.
So what do you think is more likely? That full-body scanners are really the answer to protecting Americans or that a former government political crony formed his own consulting group that represents a company that makes full body scanners and then just happened to promote full body scanners as the only solution to our security problems, oh and which then coincidentally and quite accidentally makes that political crony a fortune in the process.
I encourage all Americans to exercise one of their last remaining legal options and choose the “opt-out” option every time they encounter a full-body scanner at the airport. If enough Americans do it, it will bring the TSA security measures to a grinding halt and they will be forced to get rid of them. It would just take too much time to massage everyone’s genitalia if every American opted-out from the scanners.
If you want to bring an end to Big Government at our airports, and bring an end to useless invasive body scanners that make former Homeland Security heads rich, and bring an end to the trampling of your 4th Amendment Constitutional rights to illegal search and seizure protection, then be one of the few remaining true American Patriots and choose the opt-out option at every body scanner every time.
Lastly, if you are comfortable with it, don’t let them bring you to a private screening room. Make sure every American, young and old, girl and boy, watches you get patted, rubbed and groped, especially so the children can learn how the “new” America operates and that nobody has rights where Big Government is in charge.