Re: TSA's Virtual Strip-Search Program
NOTE, by Student: I find in this piece a mild rebuke only, about the new airport virtual strip-search program now in place. Maybe a right-wing writer would say it more forcefully. Note that this issue cuts across all false paradigm boundaries -- right/left, Repub/Demo, and so on.
President Obama: Stop the Searches or I’m Voting Against You
From Progressive Nation, by David Fenton
It’s time for Americans, regardless of political affiliation or philosophy, to stand up for themselves and demand that the overly intrusive — likely unconstitutional — enhanced “pat down” searches at airport security checkpoints stop.
The stories of outrageous searches of young boys, the humiliation of cancer victims and constant mistreatment of law-abiding American citizens by uncaring TSA employees mindlessly administering policies dictated by Washington DC bureaucrats are piling up. Every day millions of Americans who are exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to travel are forced to choose between submitting to an x-ray machine which displays their sexual organs and exposes them to radiation of unknown health consequences, or having a stranger search them as if they were a common criminal–a search involving having hands put on their “junk”, put down their pants or up their skirts or under their blouses. Some choice.
I recognize that many people believe this is necessary to assure safe flying and are willing to put up with it. But I believe it is wrong. I do not want to debate intricacies of whether the Fourth Amendment allows government bureaucrats to impose these kinds of searches daily on millions of Americans who are demonstrably honest, law-abiding people who pose no threat to anyone. I’m pretty sure it does prohibit this, but even if it doesn’t I am offended at a government that does this to its people. If conservatives and Tea Party types object to centralized power in Washington they should certainly hate this situation. If liberals treasure in our constitutional guarantees of freedom of movement and protection from unreasonable searches they should certainly hate this situation.
Everybody ought to be concerned with what is being done to us by a government that is seizing more power and stripping away more of our individual freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism. Face it — the terrorists have already won. Look what they have turned this country into. That bin Laden must be doubled over in laughter in some cave over in Pakistan when he contemplates how he has disrupted the life of the people in this country. There has to be a better way — a way that is less offensive to our notions of privacy and individual liberty — to keep bombers off airplanes.
I wish I had the option of refusing to fly and avoid the “Hobson’s choice” the government has imposed upon me. But unlike President Obama I don’t have a private jet to fly me where I need to go — and I’m not taking the bus. Even Secretary of State Clinton says she would not put up with an enhanced “pat-down” — but since she has her own jet also she doesn’t have to. If Obama, Clinton and the other elites were forced to stand in long airport security lines, be X-rayed and randomly selected to have someone put their hands down their pants this obnoxious situation never would have developed in the first place. But the ruling elites are not going to give up their privileges and the TSA has made pretty clear that it is not going to change. What are we to do?
Well I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to vote against Obama for reelection in 2012 unless he gets the head of the TSA in his office and tells him to issue an order to stop these types of searches. That’s what a leader who really cared about the American people would do. There is no excuse here for him not taking executive action. He doesn’t need Congress or some bipartisan consensus. All he needs to do is act. If he doesn’t act I will by voting against him in 2012.
Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact and tell President Obama–”Stop the enhanced TSA searches or I’m voting against you for reelection”.