Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the last several weeks, you’re probably aware of the new airport security measures being used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States government.
Beginning in November of this year (2010), the TSA requires that each passenger on an aircraft be subjected to either a full-body pat-down by a TSA agent of the passenger’s own gender or that the passenger undergo a full-body backscatter X-ray screening. As you can imagine, either of these two requirements carries with it inherent privacy, safety, and civil rights issues.
While the attempts to keep passengers on airlines safe, it’s incredibly disingenuous of the TSA to give the American public the impression that these new measures will make them safer when they fly.
Far more disconcerting than the privacy or safety issues that result from these new screening measures are the surrendering of Constitutional rights that the TSA and the United States government are requiring in order to board an airplane. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states the following:
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.
Each and every time that an American citizen attempting to board an airline is subjected to a full-body scan or full-body pat down, their Constitutional rights are being violated. The reason that the police are not permitted to enter your house and look through your belongings is because the Founders of our country had been subjected to that treatment by the British government prior to and up until the end of our war for Independence.
The questions that you need to ask yourself are these:
Why am I being suspected of attempting to commit a criminal act against the United States of America?
Have my past and present actions given the United States government a reasonable suspicion that I may be attempting to commit a criminal act?
For the overwhelming majority of Americans, these questions have simple answers. I’ve not personally looked into the statistics for this statement and therefore the evidence is only anecdotal in nature, but fewer than 1% of those who have flown have ever attempted to hijack, commandeer, or purposely crash an airplane. That means that the TSA is screening the over 99% of the population who have never, nor will ever engage in an act of terror on an airline.
If the percentage is so small, how does the TSA’s screening of every single individual who flies on an airplane rise to the level of a reasonable suspicion?
The attacks of September 11, 2001 have changed the world in which we as Americans live in; but should each American be suspected of being a terrorist? Terrorists continue to innovate and will always strive to kill Americans. They hate our free speech. They hate the democratic process. They hate our freedom of religion. They hate our way of life.
Should our way of life be changed so drastically that terrorists win their battle against the free world by default, because of our reluctance to identify and single out only those who wish to hurt us from being able to board an aircraft?
There is what I feel, a better way. For your consideration I submit the following: Former Israeli Airline Security Chief: U.S. Needs to Profile Air Passengers.
In the quest to protect ourselves from terror, shouldn’t tried and true methods of detection be attempted first before we submit ourselves to more intrusive and uncomfortable methods of screening?
I ask you, would you rather be briefly questioned about your travel or scanned by a x-ray machine or patted down underneath your clothes over very private areas of your body by a complete stranger?
That’s what I thought.
–the civil commentator