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An excerpt from Follow the Money Weekly Radio with Jerry Robinson – 11/20/10
To hear the entire program, click here.
Stop the TSA!
Ladies and Gentlemen, what’s happening in our nation’s airports right now is quite simply mind-boggling. Through the power invested into them by a bloated and power hungry Federal Government and the Homeland Security department, the Transportation Security Administration (also known as the TSA) is now able to treat law-abiding American citizens who want to travel by airplane as criminals and terrorists without probable cause. Beginning this year, in a “supposed” effort to capture more terrorists and to deter others, the TSA began implementing new security measures that replace standard metal detectors with advanced imaging machines. These machines are in essence naked body scanners which create vivid nude images of travelers in an effort to reveal explosive devices to airport screeners. The U.S. has nearly 400 of these virtual strip search machines deployed at 70 airports, and they plan to have 1,000 machines installed by the end of next year. And what if you decide that you don’t want to be subjected to a virtual strip search? Well, the Feds will allow you to opt-out. But by opting out, you are then forced to an intrusive pat-down search of your entire body. And this isn’t just a routine pat down. These body searches by the TSA are done with the screeners’ hands sliding over a passenger’s body. And the TSA has even been given the authority to touch passengers’ breasts and genitals. There are numerous videos that can be seen of terrified children being grabbed and probed by airport screeners. These invasive searches are a clear violation of each American’s right to privacy. And as we head into the busiest travel season of the year with holiday air travel, some passengers are seeking revenge against the overreach of the Federal government. This Wednesday, November 24, 2010 is National Opt-Out Day. Read about it here.
Obviously, Americans are fed-up and yet despite a deluge of complaints, the Federal government is not bending. They are insisting that every passenger that buys an airline ticket is a terrorist until he/she can prove otherwise. The absurdity of this is clear. And any reasonable person should be able to see that the Federal government has gone too far. But it should come as no surprise that the Federal government has allowed things to get so out of hand. They have stealthily been stripping Americans of their rights since 9/11 under the crafty guise of “Homeland Security.”
Much of the current controversy all began in Dec. 2001, when Richard Reed, also known as the shoe bomber, failed in his attempt to explode a bomb planted in his shoe on an airplane. This failed attempt led to you having to take off your shoes at airport security checkpoints.
Then in 2006, the British government uncovered a terrorist plot to use liquids to explode bombs on U.S. bound airplanes. Thus, now you only carry on 3 OZS OF liquid onto a plane and if it is not in a Ziploc bag, it gets tossed.
But our current tightened level of airport security is predominantly in response the 2009 underwear bomber, who got past a metal detector with explosive powder in his underwear.
But the irony is that according to most experts, the new naked body scanners would not have even detected the explosive powder used by the underwear bomber. In fact, Israeli security experts have refused to install these scanners at Ben Gurion International Airport, which is widely hailed as the safest airport in the world. I have travelled through Ben Gurion International Airport several times on my trips to the Middle East. I can tell you that they run a tight ship. Rafi Sela, the former Chief Security Officer of the Israel Airport Authority, explained he would install the naked body scanners because he could “overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to take down a Boeing 747.”
So what is all of this coming to? If a terrorist blows up a shopping mall, will Americans have to have their genitals fondled to go clothes shopping? If a terrorist blows up a school, will American children be forced into a strip search to go to class?
When will we learn that it is okay to profile. Extremists Muslims have been bringing terror on our nation. Why should non-Muslims be subjected to illegal search and seizures? What right and by what precedent does the Federal government have to subject law-abiding American citizens to virtual strip searches and instrusive body pat-downs?
At the root of this TSA problem is the Department of Homeland Security. This department, which was foisted upon the American people after the events of 9/11, has been a sham designed to take away our liberties.
The government was involved in airport security before the dreadful events of 9/11. They failed in their quest to keep the airlines safe. Now, as a reward, they have been given more power. They should have less power. All the TSA is just another unaccountable government entity.
The security of airline passengers should be taken away from the inept and failed Federal government and instead entrusted to the airlines themselves.
Our Federal government was not designed to deliver us perfect safety. It was designed to protect our freedom and liberties from tyranny.
I have just learned that Rep. Ron Paul has introduced H.R. Bill 6416: The American Traveler Dignity Act. This bill seeks to stop the overreach of the Federal government.
I urge you to write your Congressman and demand that the Federal government stop these unreasonable searches on good law-abiding American citizens.
Otherwise, get ready to tell your children: “Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it’s a government employee, then it’s OK.”
This is an excerpt from Follow the Money Weekly Radio with Jerry Robinson – 11/20/10
To hear the entire program, click here.
About Jerry Robinson
Jerry Robinson is an economist, published author, columnist, international conference speaker, and the editor of the financial website, Followthemoney.com. In addition, Robinson hosts a weekly radio program entitled Follow the Money Weekly, an hour-long radio show dedicated to educating, equipping, and empowering individuals to better understand money and finance.