Photo courtesy AP
Associated Press, 11/21/2010:
The head of the Transportation Security Administration on Sunday acknowledged that new full-body scanners and thorough pat-downs can be invasive and uncomfortable, but he said that the need to stay a step ahead of terrorists rules out changes in airport screening procedures.
Associated Press, again, 11/20/2010:
Obama says that security officials have told him that the current procedures are the only ones considered effective enough right now to guard against terrorist threats.
Let me be clear about this:
Sorry: HELL no.
Let me throw another quote at y'all:
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
Now look, I know that the somewhat stilted, 18th Century English of the Constitution can sometimes be confusing or even misleading, but how much clearer can you get? "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects . . . shall not be violated." There are no exceptions there made for terrorism, or for an increase in the security state, or for anything. It's my fucking right, thank you very much, to not have some government bureaucrat fondling my nuts. Sorry, but NO.
I listened to the John Tyner video, where one of the TSA puppets insisted that Mr. Tyner had forfeited his fourth amendments rights by buying a ticket. This is, of course, hogwash. I have bought hundreds of plane tickets since 9/11. Literally hundreds. And not once did a travel agent, airline rep, or computer program interrupt the sale and say, "Oh, hey, by the way: by buying this ticket, you're forefeiting your constitutional rights! Have a nice day!"
The government in general--and I'm sorry to say the Obama administration has been 100% behind this incredible nonsense--has decided that little nit-picky things like our civil rights have no place when we're Fighting Terrorism™. You want your phone calls to be private? You want a warrant issued before some government yo-yo can search your house? You want the right to habeas corpus before they clap your ass in jail? You want to get on an airplane without someone squeezing your nuts or goosing your tits? "Well I'm sorry," says the government; "The War on Terror™ takes precedence!"
So I'll say it again: No. HELL no.
If we forfeit our constitutional rights just to fly; just to make private phone calls that can't be listened to without a warrant; to demand what the accusation is when we get put in jail; then the terrorists really have already won.
Now, I know that I'm unusual, but I would rather die in an explosion at 35,000 feet if that's the price I have to pay so that I don't live in a police state. Because that's what you're living in when the government, just by invoking "terrorism!", can search your house and listen to your phone calls and put you in jail and feel your naughty bits without stating good cause. Any government agent, at any time, just by invoking "terrorism!"
I don't give a rip how many government "constitutional scholars" insist that all this is perfectly fine. You go ahead and scroll up and re-read the text of the 4th Amendment, and you tell me if you agree. Those "scholars"--including the President, thank you very much--can go take a leap.
One final quote, from Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls:
I sat down and shut up. I felt that I now understood the new regime: absolute freedom . . . except that any official from dogcatcher to supreme potentate could give any orders whatever to any private citizen at any time. So it was "freedom" as defined by Orwell and Kafka . . . "freedom" to pace back and forth in your cage.
I don't want to live in a place like that. How about you?