This week, the TSA swarmed over a three year old handicapped child in a wheelchair. The girl and her family successfully cleared inspection at the normal TSA checkpoint. Then they were harassed by an agent who pulled them aside for additional screening because of the child's condition (Spina bifida). The father stated that the TSA agent claimed that: "They are specifically singling out disabled people for this special scrutiny." The heartless TSA agent even took the child's stuffed animal, causing her more distress and likely instilling fear in her that will last her entire life.
The TSA and other government agencies believe that they must have the appearance of impartiality. They believe that they can't target specific groups for additional scrutiny even though those groups are widely known to hate Americans and seek the destruction of our country and the death of our citizens. For some reason, government agencies consider racial and ethnic profiling to be unacceptable. Rather than investigate and prosecute known terrorist groups, our own Gestapo prefers to harass innocent American citizens and their young wheelchair bound children on their way to Disney World. After all, they would not want to force a Muslim female to lift her veil or worse, subject her to a pat down.
I understand the need for security. During my business career, I traveled over four million miles on several airlines. My wife and I traveled extensively for both business and for pleasure. After years of enduring X-rays, metal detectors and ever more invasive pat downs, we decided that air travel and the violation of our bodies by the electronic inspection of our private parts by the TSA was no longer for us. Now, if we want to go somewhere, it must be within driving distance. Yes, I would love to visit my daughter, her husband and my granddaughter in California, but it is too far to drive. I would love to take a river cruise in Europe, but I refuse to go through the humiliation of TSA scrutiny in order to fly to a European cruise destination.
The government violates the Fourth Amendment that protects us from unreasonable search and seizure whenever it suits them. The Border Patrol failed in their job of intercepting the 9/11 terrorists when they illegally entered the United States. The government used their own failure to stop terrorists from flying planes into the Twin Towers as the justification for increased scrutiny of innocent American citizens. These measures have not secured the border. Our government continues to let illegal aliens and potential terrorists into the country. They are preparing to offer illegal aliens amnesty and a pathway to citizenship as a reward for unlawfully invading our country.
As if that was not enough to make our founding fathers quake in their graves, our government now uses drones (small unmanned aircraft equipped with cameras and even weapons) to surveil Americans in violation of the Fourth Amendment (http://www.csoonline.com/article/723780/drones-increasingly-used-for-sur....). Using these drones, they can monitor private citizens without a warrant. The drones are often equipped with infrared technology so that they can see into our houses. If there is a valid warrant or court order issued for this surveillance, subject to the protection offered by the Fourth Amendment, then I believe this surveillance is acceptable. But without a court order, then such actions infringe on our constitutional rights.
One of the biggest issues with Fourth Amendment violations is that they can go on indefinitely without being detected. As it now stands, cameras may be recording us when we walk around town. We are surveilled when we are in an airport or train station. Our Internet usage is monitored and even our telephone conversations can be monitored and recorded. Much of this monitoring can be done without a warrant. The Obama administration expanded President Bush's unconstitutional spying operations against American citizens and created databases that store this illegally obtained information for up to five years. (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/03/surv-m26.html)
I am concerned that the news media has failed to cover this unlawful activity. Could the press be worried about retaliation? And why have the civil liberties groups not taken a stand on this issue? Have they made a deal with the Obama Administration?
Our government has overstepped its authority and continues to do so on a regular basis. As the government stretches a law here and ignores a law there, our individual rights and freedoms are compromised. It is up to each and every citizen to be vigilant. When the government oversteps its authority, we must ensure that the violation is reported and that appropriate action is taken to protect our rights. As Thomas Jefferson said so well: "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty". We must ensure that the government, whether composed of Democrats or Republicans, fears the people and adheres to the Constitution of the United States of America.
© 2013 Gordon Smith - All Rights Reserved