Within a year I may not be able to fly anymore.
A dramatic statement, I realize. And not one that I take lightly. I've always hated the ham-fisted, Keystone Cops
tactics of the TSA, but their actions in recent weeks have upped the
ante for travelers to a simple choice: a strip search or a sexual
assault. Hyperbole? Read on and be the judge.
I assume by now we all know about TSA's new scanners that show your detailed, naked image to a pervert in a booth
screener. I'll get into details of why I hate these things later, but
suffice it to say that I think a strip search without cause is
completely unconstitutional, to the point that it's basically the TSA
taking a piss on the fourth amendment. Travelers do have the right to
decline to be scanned if they are selected, but must undergo a secondary
search with a patdown instead. Until now this has been an unpleasant
but generally acceptable trade off. When these scanners first appeared I
made the decision that I would never subject myself to one. At least
not without some singles being tucked in my belt on the way through.
Thanks to some great investigative reporting
by the Boston Herald, it came to light over the weekend that TSA is
field testing a new patdown method to use on those of us who exercise
our right to decline their strip search. The standard procedure now is
for the screener to use the back of his hand and avoid contact with
sensitive areas. This revised patdown, currently being tested
at the Boston and Las Vegas airports, has screeners performing a
complete body grope using the front of their hands, including detailed
touching of the genitals.
The obvious rationale is that TSA
wants to make the alternative to the scanners so unpleasant that no one
will opt-out. Despite numerous public statements to the contrary, their
endgame is to make a strip search the primary method of screening for
all travelers. This new policy and the purchase of hundreds of new
scanners make that a fairly obvious conclusion.
Needless to say
this is a bridge too far. Since 9/11 the American traveling public has
shown a frightening propensity to accept restrictions that do very
little to promote security. We have suffered the indignities of
loudmouthed, condescending TSA employees, trekked shoeless on filthy
floors and quietly accepted ludicrous limits on our liquids. You really
only have to ask one question: how many terrorists has the TSA
intercepted? The answer is none. Not a single terrorist after eight
years and nearly a hundred billion dollars. And yet this arrogant,
unaccountable organization continues to impose liberty-eroding dictates
on us. And we continue to accept them, put our heads down, and
acquiesce to their demands. No more. The line must be drawn somewhere,
and right here looks pretty damn good to me.
Aren't you tired of
being treated like a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay every time you board an
airplane? It's time to start telling these power-hungry authoritarians
NO and time to fight to bring back sanity to our airports. Write your
congressman, complain every time TSA crosses the line, and most
importantly tell them NO on the naked scanners and sexual assaults.
will continue to decline the scanner, and will decline this new patdown
procedure if it is rolled out nationwide. I encourage you to do the
same, even if it means being grounded until this repulsive policy is
repealed. And if you're okay with the scans, you might want to work on