Google “TSA stupidity” and you will find that almost one-and-a-half million websites have something to say about the subject. If the United States is to avoid another major terrorist attack on its air transportation system without placing greater restrictions on the civil liberties of air travelers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had better get smart.
My plane was taxiing into the gate at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport when the end-of-flight announcements came on. Seatbacks in upright position, trays closed and locked, baggage under the seats, you know the drill. On an in-bound international flight, I was headed for my second trip through TSA security in 3 hours.
What is a terrorist organization if it’s not an organization that uses terror to intimidate people into altering their behavior and political beliefs until they are brought into alignment with the terrorist organization? I accuse the TSA of being this because I know that the TSA does not protect citizens from terrorists but rather induces fear and causes people to give up their sense of security, making them willing to surrender and abdicate their basic rights, freedoms, sense of well-being, and happiness. I can prove this by just pointing out a few obvious facts:
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790), American inventor, journalist, printer, diplomat, and statesman (1775)
“Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security.” – Norman Vincent Peale (1898 –1993), American Christianpreacher and author
“A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone he can never be sure that he is alone. …At the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother. Big Brother is infallible and all-powerful. Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from his leadership and inspiration.” – George Orwell (1903-1950) (Eric Arthur Blair), (book: 1984)
“Since information gives power, access to personal files can lead to unreasonable pressures, even blackmail, especially against those with the least resources, people who depend upon public programs, for example. Big Brother isn’t a camera. Big Brother is a computer.” – C.J. Howard, political novel “Cybercash”
James Babb recounts the creation of the grassroots effort We Won’t Fly, and how he and cofounder George Donnelly, two regular dads, founded the group to oppose the full-body airport “porno”-scanners on grounds of privacy, ineffectiveness and health, and demand that the airlines make their maximum lobbying effort in support of customers’ rights and liberties. He discusses the ineffective and dangerous aspects of the TSA Security Theater as a top-down and lumbering bureaucracy, and the intimidation and humiliation of passengers for this false sense of security. Mr. Babb talks about the goal of his group, alternatives to flying, their next Opt Out project, and more!
As a very frequent flyer, I have wanted to write about the abuses of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) for years now. To tell the truth, since I am such a frequent flyer and often recognized by individual TSA employees, I was a little timid about this because I did not want flying to become an even bigger hassle and more invasive than it already is. But the recent brouhaha over the Chertoff-O-Scanners has given me the courage in numbers to be able to write about my experiences.
If the house where Julian Assange of Wikileaks is staying is destroyed by a Predator drone, and the United States denies any involvement … Well, I’ll believe them.
One of the most common threads running through the Wikileaks papers is Washington’s manic obsession with Iran. In country after country the United States exerts unceasing pressure on the government to tighten the noose around Iran’s neck, to make the American sanctions as extensive and as painful as can be, to inflate the alleged Iranian nuclear threat, to discourage normal contact as if Iran were a leper.
Resilient Founding Fathers with Propensity for Resistance among One Million+ Terror Watch List Suspects!
In May 2009 the Inspector General of the Justice Department found that 35% of the nominations to the Department of Homeland Security’s Terror Watch Lists were outdated, many people were not removed in a timely manner, and tens of thousands of names were placed on the list without predicate. A September 2009 report by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security found that the process for clearing innocent travelers from the list is a complete mess. Although significant, both reports failed to mention their findings on the number of names of already-dead US citizens who seem to be stuck there permanently. Even more significantly, it’s been reported that the TSA Terror Watch List includes the names of Long-Dead but well-known and well-respected US citizens, including several members of a group collectively known as the Founding Fathers of the United States. So far, based on our former and current TSA sources, we have been able to confirm the inclusion of two such long-dead persons on at least one DHS-TSA joint Terror Watch List: Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
If you want to fly these days, there’s a high probability that you will be given two choices. The choices are: subject yourself to potentially harmful x-rays as you allow a stranger to view your naked body or, be patted down by someone you don’t know in a manner that others have described as humiliating, demeaning, and emotionally debilitating. To touch someone the way a TSA official touches people (http://www.ourlittlechatterboxes.com/2010/11/tsa-sexual-assault.html) would be a crime in any other setting, but no longer is classified as such when a TSA employee does it. How America is being protected by having a TSA agent touch your penis, vagina or breasts is not explained.
…And Corrupt System of No-Checks & Many-Imbalances
I go on line and check out the major newspaper headlines, and to my delight there is a TSA related headline or two in every one. In the last few days two in every three e-mails I’ve received (and I receive hundreds a day) carry TSA related heads up or action items in their subject lines. The blogosphere has been simmering with the same outrageous issue. Yet the entire thing gives me pause. A long one. The pattern, the order, the intensity, the lingo, the reaction…all remind me of something or some things. It is a bit, maybe more than a bit, like a sense of déjà vu. The feeling that we’ve been here; more than once, actually many times. Make that too many times. I keep thinking of a yoyo. In fact, I can’t get the image of a yoyo out of my head. I am asking myself, and you, the following question: Are we Americans exhibiting yoyo-like and short-lived reactions? In short-lived jerky motions?
The Obama administration is getting ready to unveil a new innovative healthcare initiative geared to bridge TSA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Tourism Industry to provide airline travelers with several major physical examinations at No Cost. Based on the proposed plan US travelers will be offered thorough colon, prostate and breast exams, and will be given health certificates as part of their routine and mandatory TSA security checks at airports.
The White House has already begun its unofficial rounds to garner support from key congressional offices. According to several congressional sources the administration has coined the initiative ‘Triple Win’, a new policy based on the following premises:
The movement against TSA’s systematic degradation of our nation seems to be gaining a bit of momentum; long overdue. A few lawmakers are making some noise. Let’s hope it is not for show only. Pilots and related organizations have been making a little headway. And we have more than a few citizens coming up with and organizing actionable plans and ideas. I hope none of this ends up settling for ‘little bones.’ By that I mean quasi cosmetic changes like: giving our CNN’s Fitzpatrick what she is asking for – a heads up and notice signs for coming violations at check points, or installing separate screening detectors for the pilots and flight attendants, or having the screener police touch and violate you using three fingers instead of their entire palm. We seem to have momentum. I believe with solidarity and persistence, refusing to give up or give in to a few ‘bones’ we will succeed. Continue reading →
Every single day millions of us are being subjected to the shameful processes of being searched, screened and viewed naked, patted, groped, fondled, poked and stroked by badge-wearing strangers- police under a different name. Every single day. Millions of us, Americans. Being violated. Being degraded. You know exactly what I am talking about. I am taking about me, you, your mother, her brother, his brother’s wife and toddler son, their grandmothers. I am talking about the systematic degradation of our people. I am talking about being raped of our dignity, privacy, and decency. I am talking about a daily systematic rape we actually pay to be subjected to. I am talking about severe violations we elect people to bring upon us. Yes, I am talking about traveling, TSA police, and being reduced to naked and helpless subjects of government police practices.
Members of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
We are writing to urge you and your colleagues on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to convene a public hearing to review the government’s deployment of whole-body scanners at passenger security checkpoints in US airports.