As you head to the airport after this holiday season, brace yourself for even more indignities of TSA.
|Arms in the air, like a prisoner. A body scanning machine has never caught a terrorist.
Things We Are Not Thankful For
During the Christmas chaos of last week, in an apparent attempt to ensure it would get as little attention as possible, the Department of Homeland Security quietly changed their policy on permitting travelers to opt out of the full-body screeners, apparently capitalizing on the heightened concerns over terror.
This policy now orders that all passengers go through the naked body scanners, at the discretion of TSA agents. So you can ask to opt-out, but your request might be denied.
FlyersRights was an early opponent of TSA’s body scanner program, calling for an end to invasive searches at airports.
TSA should also not be able to adopt rules, such as this one, without a formal rulemaking process, which would allow the public the opportunity to comment.
Back in May 2009, FlyersRights along with more than 30 organizations, sent a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security, objecting to the use of scanners as a primary means of screening.
Under pressure, the Senate held hearings in November 2010 to examine the TSA scanner program’s lawfulness, invasiveness and effectiveness.
|The “hands up” pose passengers are required to assume is the same posture police force upon people during a confrontation.
Kate Hanni, former Executive Director of Flyersrights, testified and called for “a robust debate by aviation security experts and a full presentation to an expanded Aviation Security Advisory Committee with opportunity for critics to be heard before these new procedures are implemented.” The new security measures, Hanni stated, “should require an extreme justification.”
FlyersRights then organized a National Opt Out day protest for Thanksgiving day 2010 against TSA security procedures at airport checkpoints.
Bullies At The Airport
The opt out option, which allowed 100% of the flying public the choice of a pat-down in lieu of body scanning screening, used to be required
as a condition of the program’s constitutionality.
But this new policy gives the DHS and TSA powerful legal freedom to perform searches without fear of violating the Fourth Amendment.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
The fact is, the scanners have caught nobody.
This latest protocol change is further proof that TSA’s decision to deny passengers the ability to opt out of the body scanners was made unilaterally by an unelected, unconstitutional agency, without debate or public comment.