Our government continues to infringe on our Fourth Amendment Right that protects us from unwarranted searches and seizures. What started in response to the 9/11 attacks with the Patriot Act has expanded into wide-scale illegal surveillance of law abiding American citizens.
The Patriot Act empowered law enforcement officials with the right to conduct a search without a court order. They can detain American citizens indefinitely without access to legal counsel. They can prevent us from disclosing that we were interviewed or investigated. We can't even tell our attorney that we were interviewed.
Like sheep being lead to the slaughter, we accepted it. Now they have installed cameras throughout our cities so they can watch our every move. We were told that this is required to protect our nation. After all, it is necessary to bear a few injustices such as these minor intrusions on our freedoms to make the United States a safer place. In my opinion, we should never give a politician an inch or they will take a mile, then the entire country.
The TSA has overstepped their authority in a massive power grab. They implemented new search procedures that may be dangerous to your health and very intrusive to your privacy. The new full body scanners expose airline passengers to doses of radiation. The scanners see through the passengers clothing to create nude pictures of their bodies. Any weapons or illegal chemicals will be visible if they are hidden under clothing.
We were told that the nude images are not stored but are discarded after the passenger scan is complete. Now we find out that thousands of images are stored on a daily basis. (http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/11/16/leaked-images-body-scanners-hi...). We were told that the images were not transmitted but today we discovered that they do have the ability to transmit images. In fact, it is a normal procedure to transmit images as part of the scanner installation and testing process.
The government is lying to us! Did they think that we would not discover the truth about storing and transmitting images? If so, they do not understand how Americans react when the government invades their personal freedoms.
These scans are nothing but pornographic pictures that provide little if any additional security. How would you feel if your 12-year-old daughter was forced to have her body photographed, with all of her private parts clearly displayed, as part of the boarding process? How would you feel if these nude pictures were stored and viewed by others? Is this security or child pornography? I say it is child pornography.
Further, we have no assurance that the government will not use these images for other purposes. Nor do we know if they will be shared with other governments or agencies. If you or I took the same pictures, we would be arrested and spend several years in jail. We would be branded a sex offender for the rest of our lives.
That said, the new scanners cannot detect items that are concealed in body cavities. Does this mean that next year, TSA will perform body cavity searches just so passengers can board a plane to see grandma for Thanksgiving?
The alternative to the body scan is a full body pat down. The pat downs consist of a complete back and front examination from the top of your head to the tip of your toe. They insert their hands inside undergarments in their search for weapons and harmful chemicals.
Refusing to take the pat down or the full body scan means the passenger cannot fly and may be subject to a $10,000 fine. (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/transportation/s_709...). Recently a nun was subjected to a full body search. I found this to be disgusting.
Meanwhile the Muslim community is upset about the searches of Muslim women. Women who are wearing a hijab are instructed to decline the full body scan and restrict the pat down to the head and neck area. Muslim groups have provided women with instructions on how to manipulate the security checks. (http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/muslim-group-advises-women-wearing-h...).
Now I ask you, how many airplanes have Muslims crashed into buildings? How many car bombs have Muslims set off? How many roadside bombs have been planted by Muslims intent on killing Americans? How many American soldiers did a Muslim shoot at Fort Hood? Should Muslim women be given special treatment? If so, could they be working with terrorists intent on blowing up airplanes?
Not only should the rules for searches be the same, but we should permit profiling as the Israelis and other nations do. Recent history proves that modern terrorists tend to be Muslims. Yes there have been Irish terrorists, German terrorists and Italian terrorists in the past. Timothy McVeigh was an American terrorist bomber. In today's world, it is the Muslim who is more likely to attempt a terrorist act so let our security forces use profiling to prevent future attacks.
I believe the new invasive airport searches are unconstitutional. I was listening to Judge Napolitano comment on this the other day. The searches violate the Fourth Amendment which states: "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."
The constitution explicitly states that there must be probable cause before a warrant is issued for a search or seizure. What probable cause exists when passengers are attempting to board up an airplane? The passengers have not broken any laws.
Passengers quietly wait in line, and open their bags for security checks. How can these people be viewed as probable terrorists and subjected to an invasive search of their bodies?
I believe that the government has gone too far and needs to step back a bit. It is time for a reality check. Americans are peace-loving people. We understand the need to cooperate with police and the authorities if required.
We also know when these authorities are exceeding their power and the government is infringing upon our rights. It is time to let our elected representatives know how we feel on this issue and what actions they should take to correct this injustice.
We the people must stop the government when it infringes on our freedoms that are guaranteed in the Constitution. We can no longer permit unelected bureaucrats to dictate how we will be treated as we board planes or in peaceful assemblies. The Constitution documents our rights and our freedoms, not the TSA or other government agencies or departments.
© 2010 Gordon Smith All Rights Reserved