By Neo Vida 2010 November 13
Although there’s ample evidence to be very concerned about the health risks of full-body xray scanners, not to mention the morals involved, this issue has to take a back seat to the violations of constitutional rights being committed at airports by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The rights in question are enumerated by the 4th Amendment to the Constitution: “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”.
If we opt out of the full-body scan (which we can do), we are then subjected to an invasive strip search, an even more sinister and oppressive intrusion on individual rights. One might wonder how the TSA gets away with it if it’s illegal, i.e. unconstitutional. The answer is obvious: we give our consent simply by choosing to travel by commercial airline. Which makes the best method of opposing it obvious: boycott the airlines; stop flying. Are the airlines responsible for airport security measures? No, but they’re complicit by doing nothing to defend our rights. Yes there’s been some complaining by some pilots, but they’re only opposing the TSA’s methods as they apply to pilots, not to passengers.
The airlines are struggling to survive as it is. If their ticket sales declined significantly due to efforts by passengers to oppose the TSA they’d be much more motivated to lobby for airport security reform. And yes they would be doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, but what do we care as long as it results in upholding our individual rights.
Airport security has become increasingly oppressive since 9/11 with each so called “terrorist” incident as detailed by the following chronology. It has done little or nothing to prevent terrorist threats, but much to inconvenience and oppress innocent citizens. As Benjamin Franklin said “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”.
Chronology of Air Travel Security Incidents and Resulting Airport Security Escalation
The September 11 attacks (often referred to as September 11th or 9/11) were a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States on September 11, 2001. The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror, invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaeda terrorists, and enacting the USA PATRIOT Act. The motives for the attacks include the presence of the U.S. in Saudi Arabia, the support of Israel by the U.S., and the sanctions against Iraq. These motives were explicitly stated by Al-Qaeda in proclamations before the attacks, including the fatwa of August 1996, and a shorter fatwa published in February 1998.1
The 2001 shoe bomb plot was a failed bombing attempt that occurred on American Airlines Flight 63 flying from Charles De Gaulle International Airport in Paris, France, to Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, on December 22, 2001. Security procedures at US airports have since asked persons to remove their shoes before proceeding through scanners, in response to this incident.2
In June of 2005 the Transportation Security Administration announced it would soon be installing explosive detection devices at major airports after completing the pilot phase of the passenger screening program, conducted at 14 airports. Read more…
The 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot was a terrorist plot to detonate liquid explosives carried on board at least 10 airliners travelling from the United Kingdom to the United States and Canada. The plot was discovered and foiled by British police before it could be carried out and, as a result, unprecedented security measures were immediately put in place. Following the operation, United States Homeland Security banned all liquids and gels except baby formula and prescription medications in the name of the ticket holder in carry-on luggage on all flights.3
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (also referred to as Umar Abdul Mutallab and Omar Farooq al-Nigeri; born December 22, 1986, in Lagos, Nigeria) is a Muslim Nigerian citizen who attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25, 2009. New restrictions were imposed on U.S travelers, but the government was vague about many of them because it “wanted the security experience to be ‘unpredictable'”. One day after she said that the system had “worked”, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano acknowledged that the aviation security system had indeed failed.4 It is as a result of this incident that full-body scanners are being installed in airports.
Airport security measures are not designed to protect us, but to train us to become accustomed to being oppressed so that we will eventually accept further oppression without question. And what of the TSA? This is yet another massive government bureaucracy which removes massive quantities of money from our pockets and uses it against us. In effect, we are financing our own oppression.
Personally, I’ve made a commitment to boycott travel by commercial airlines until such time as airport security measures return to pre-9/11/2001 levels, and the TSA is abolished. I urge my fellow American citizens to join me in refusing to comply.
WeWontFly.com is encouraging people to avoid flying over the Thanksgiving holiday, or to opt out of full-body scans if they must fly.
A constitutional attorney preparing to legally challenge the Transportation Security Administration’s enhanced screening procedures – which reveal a virtually nude image of passengers – says airline passengers have Barack Obama to thank for the process. “Legislation has been proposed to mandate full-body scanners and make them the primary screening method in all U.S. airports by 2013, but Congress has yet to act on it,” John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, wrote in a new commentary.5