by Jamie Davis, Jacksonville Tenth Amendment Center
If US media coverage is any indication, the public interest in the unconstitutional Â TSA screening processes is waning seriously just when we need it to spike to support the state legislation that has recently been introduced.
Consider this recent article in the UK Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/mar/10/transport-usdomesticpolicy
The TSA (actual motivational motto: “Dominate. Intimidate. Control.”) decided “ritualised humiliation of travelers” made an acceptable substitute for “transportation security.” Last year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) started pushing nude scanners on the American flying public. These require travellers to adopt surrender-criminal body positions â€“ feet apart, hands in the air, don’t move â€“ while potentially carcenogenic radiation generates nude images graphic enough to permit TSA agents to see travellers’ genitalia (though not, apparently, clear enough to show guns smuggled in travellers’ undies).
Last week, however, state legislators in Texas and New Hampshire introduced legislation identifying TSA behaviour as the criminal activity it is. (Similar bills have already been proposed in New Jersey, but are currently stalled in committee.) The Texas bill, co-written by a Republican and a Democrat with support from 20 other legislators spanning the political spectrum, would ban the scanners in state airports, and add TSA-style grope-downs to the list of “sexual assault” offences in the penal code. The New Hampshire bill would make “the touching or viewing with a technological device of a person’s breasts or genitals by a government security agent without probable cause a sexual assault.” The TSA has completely ignored those two words â€“ probable cause â€“ since its inception.”
Consider the track record of Isreal as summarized in this article
In Israel you can carry liquids on to the plane, they don’t do electronic strip searches, they don’t perform sexual assault (the unwanted touch of any individual against any other person’s genitals) on their travelers, and they have a perfect security record for several decades now. All of this while being the number one target for terrorist activity in the world.Â
The absurdity of the TSA policiesÂ is clear when reviewing the behavior from a safe distance as pointed out by this blogger.
The GAO released a report that said at least 16 individuals later accused of involvement in terrorist plots flew 23 different times through U.S. airports since 2004. Yet none were stopped by TSA behavior detection officers working at those airports. None.
The bottom line is, the TSA spends $6.3 BILLION per year, has 60,000 employees, and has does not seem to have made us safer. Their argument might be that TSA run programs prevent people from even tryingâ€¦ but security existed in the airports for decades prior to the TSA and the results were no different.
So what can WE THE PEOPLE do to raise awareness and to flex our inalienable rights?
Well some people have already been paving the way and testing the response of the TSA.
Medical doctors have sent letters to DC expressing their concern over the radiation and the risk of spreading disease through the pat downs. See this and this. Their comments have brought light to the accuracy of the safety tests regarding the radiation and the TSA has admitted at leasts some of the tests were flawed.
â€œIt would appear that the emissions are 10 times higher. We understand it as a calculation error,â€ TSA spokesman Sarah Horowitz said in a telephone interview.
One man wroteÂ an abbreviated version of the 4th amendment on his chest and stripped downÂ to reveal it while refusing the pat down.Â Â
“Tobey was unduly seized by government agents in violation of the Fourth Amendment, despite the fact that he did nothing to disrupt airport routine,” says John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute in a statement.
There are several ethical issues involved in the dilemma over submitting to the radiation and pat down screenings. Some, like Tenth Amendment Center founder Mike Boldin, have opted not to fly so that they do not embolden the TSA toÂ sexually molest citizens with government sanction but without probable cause.
Many would prefer to drive or stay home than to unwittingly give theirÂ silent approval (by sumbitting to the process) toÂ TSA agentsÂ who sometimes fondleÂ women with prosthetic breasts, leaves a bladder cancer patient covered in urine, anger and humiliate random citizens, and leaveÂ 3 year children crying and screamingÂ stop touching me. Â
What would Jesus, Ghandi,Â or Martin Luther King doÂ about this ethical dilemma?
Martin Luther King and Ghandi were champions of non-violent visible mass resistance.Â
Jesus, in dealing with a government official that would forceÂ a citizen to walk one mile, suggested thatÂ they go two (Matthew 5:41). He advised that citizens should exceed what is required. In doing so, the citizen is not cowering as he is being dominated, intimidated,Â or controled.Â Â Instead the citizen is making an empoweringÂ choice.
I wonder if that is what the maker of this tshirt had in mind with his catchy slogan:
Expedite Air Travel, Fly Naked.
It seems to me that wearing the tshirt or complying with its mesage, would both be effective ways to exercise dissent andÂ increase the visibility of theÂ continuedÂ violation of the rights of US citizensÂ in clear violation of the 4th amendment.Â
I should not be subjected to what is government-sanctioned sexual assault in order to board a plane.” Sharon Kiss, 66
Jamie Davis is the chapter coordinator for the Jacksonville/First Coast Tenth Amendment Center and the Communications director for the Florida Tenth Amendment Center