The Transportation Security Administration ( TSA ) has now implemented a much stricter policy for searching persons entering an airport gate terminal to fly. They have allowed passengers to either use the Advanced Imaging Technology body scanners that allow TSA agents to view undernea th your clothes or to get a patting down search.
The Department of Homeland Security and the TSA justify these draconian measures and their gross violation of the 4 th amendment as a justified measure to make flying secure. Below is the result of a ‘Gallup Poll’ TSA uses to justify public support (from www . TSA .gov):
- In our field testing in 2008, more than 98 percent of passengers opted for Advanced Imaging Technology screening instead of the pat down.
- A recent Gallup poll reported 78% of air travelers approve of U.S. airports’ using Advanced Imaging Technology.
I do agree that if I had the option of being felt up by a TSA agent or have a picture taken of me under my clothes, I might also chose the picture. However, was there ever the of option “neither just leave me alone.” I’m sure most Americans would have chosen that. As for the second poll results, I would have like to have seen the survey. I am sure it was built as a leading question such as “In an effort to support increase airline security I would approve of the use of Advanced Imaging Technology.” Of course everyone would agree when the question is worded is such as that.
For reference below is the 4th amendment of the Constitution that they are violating and the American citizen is allowing:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
So here is why I am totally against any form of Advanced Imaging Technology or Body Pat Downs:
1. What is the lawful reason that every US citizen has to be searched when flying? Unlawful search is obviously against the US constitution. If someone enters a metal detector and it displays a positive, than yes you then have the option to either go home or enter an AIT or Pat Down area. If the person is on a ‘no – fly’ list or brings up a reason of suspension, they have the option to either go home, or receive a more intensive search. The same is true wi th luggage. At no time should a TSA search your luggage if there is not suspicion to do so, and then only wi th your permission. You should always have the option to just get up and leave.
2. It really angers me that the same political party that was so strongly against the Patriot Act for violation of the 4 th Amendment is allowing the DHS and TSA to openly violate the 4 th Amendment in this case. It is proof that the democrats and the republicans are part of the same system and will only say they are against the other parties’ initiatives in order to get elected.
3. As a 20 year veteran of the armed forces, I swore to “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic.” It angers me deeply that the Constitution I swore and spent 20 years defending is being trampled on by its own government.
Place yourself in someone else’s shoes for a moment. Here you are a German or British citizen and you want to go on vacation and spend some hard earned Euros. Your choices for vacation are Miami Beach or Havana. You can either fly to Miami after being stripped searched, your bags rummaged through and then patted down by a TSA agent, or fly to Havana.
America will lose a ton of money in vacation travel. While some politicians speak about a world community and open free trade, to the average citizen America has become more of a ‘fortress’ than ever before. Citizens of other countries (some that have terrible terrorist attacks) do not go through this intensive screening just to get on a plane. It seems the best and most secure way to get into America is across the Mexican border and through the Arizona desert.
We have always learned that terrorists win when we live in fear. We also learn that we should not change our lifestyle due to terrorism. However, we are allowing the terrorists to totally change our travel habits, alter our economy and give up our rights to our government. Let’s hold the terrorists accountable for their actions and stop violated the rights and decency of the average citizen.