Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Abolish the TSA and DHS

As an airline pilot, I fully appreciate having a reasonable level of security screening at airports. However, the people's 4th Amendment rights must be protected!
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 TSA (Transportation Security Agency) has long deviated from the limits of reasonableness. It treats every traveler and every flight crew member as if he is on the FBI's 10-Most-Wanted list -- without the probable cause demanded by the 4th Amendment. Its ongoing trend indicates it is nothing if not another rogue out-of-control government agency created in the Frankenstein lab we call Congress. And, what is the probable cause that the overwhelming majority of travelers have committed, or are about commit, a crime justifying the level of government-mandated assault -- now including sexual assault -- imposed upon them?

Where in the Constitution did Frankenstein (Congress) find authority to nationalize a government-monitored free-enterprise security system into a full-fledged government bureaucratic monster, anyway?

TSA policies and regulations clearly indicate that the best DHS Secretary Janet “The system worked” Napolitano and TSA Administrator John Pistole can come up with are intrusive techniques intended to stop the last threat to aviation. It is extremely expensive theater designed to give the appearance of security to the citizens and to the threat.

The government seems to have the notion that buying an airline ticket give implied consent to the government for any level of search. The government posts signs indicating that all persons and items are subject to search. Passing such signs give implied consent to any level of search. Unlike Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, we, in the US, have a natural right to travel. But, we have blindly allowed our government to twist that natural right to travel into a government-granted privilege! I am saddened that the people of the United States have willingly submitted to ever increasingly intrusive government searches like a flock of sheep.

A very frightening aspect of this egregious institutionalized violation of Constitutional rights is that every individual TSA employee is apparently fully willingly to violate the God-given rights of another human being. They are only following orders, after all. Or, perhaps each TSA employee is on such a power trip that violating the rights of another person brings him sadistic pleasure. Were a military serviceman to be given an unlawful order (ie one which would have him violate the laws of war or to violate his oath to support and defend the Constitution), we all would expect him to refuse to obey that unlawful order -- and he his trained to do so! Yet, no TSA employee seems willing to refuse (or even intellectually capable of refusing) to violate the human rights of airline travelers. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the TSA's hiring practices are designed to select only people who are effectively mindless automatons.

Way back in the TSA's infancy I expressed my concern that the TSA was rapidly becoming the tail that wags the dog -- that its employees would view the aviation industry as noting more than something to justify TSA's existence. That seems much more evident today. As another observer said, TSA efforts now seem designed to drive away the lifeblood of the aviation industry -- the customers!

For example, the strip-search x-ray machines and the new, more intimate pat-down (groping) searches are effective in only stopping some, not all, things that are carried outside the body. The TSA seems to assume that a dedicated threat (bad person) isn't smart enough to carry weapons, explosives, or biological agents internally -- undetected by anything the TSA does or apparently plans to do. The TSA, under Napolitano's "leadership" is helpless against such a dedicated threat. (I warned Congress, during her confirmation hearing that she was a bad choice.)
The TSA agents never look at you because they're not looking for terrorists; they're looking for things. This is the bureaucratization of the war on terror and we should not allow it to happen. — Mark Steyn, 18 Nov 2010
The TSA must stop focusing its efforts on finding things (which they often miss) and start focusing on genuine threats: bad people and travelers about whom they know nothing. It's easy to know who the good people are -- leave them alone! Tiny little Israel can do it. Why can't Napolitano and her 15,000 gropers? (If they're not gropers, why don't they tell Napolitano that they refuse to grope and view porn -- then follow through with that refusal?)

There is no question in my mind is that sexual harassment is a significant element here. If any TSA employees are getting the slightest pleasure from all this groping and viewing nude images of innocent people, those employees are sexual predators. This raises the big question" Have TSA employees been screened to determine if sexual harassment has been a part of their life -- either as a victim or as an abuser? Either way, they are statistically much more likely to be an abuser than the general population. Napolitano and Pistole have created a perfect place for these people to get away with sexual predation -- and get paid for it! At lease one TSA emplyee is reported to have criminally exploited the trust some passengers have in the goverment.

Now, please consider a certain category of passengers who must endure these "pat-downs" or who are pressured into submitting to having nude images taken of them -- the sexual assault survivors. Has anyone in the DHS and TSA thought about the effect these enhanced screening methods have on passengers who have been subjected to sexual assault in the past? And, how do the innocent TSA employees who are sexual assault survivors feel about being required to do the same thing to others that caused themselves serious psychological harm?

Here's something for Commissar Napolitano to consider: Attacks on air travel have been thwarted by alert passengers, not the TSA! This after the TSA or its foreign counterparts cleared the threats to fly! How about treating the passengers as part of the solution -- not as the threat?

When will Congressmen in general muster the rare courage of Representatives Jason Chaffetz and Ron Paul and reign in the TSA? If Congress fails to draw the line now, what will it take to get Congress to stand up to the monster it created? Several months ago, the US House voted 310-118 in support of an amendment from Chaffetz to prohibit whole-body imaging as a primary screening. The cowards in the Senate, Under Harry Reid's leadership, let the plan die.

Congress and the acting President must immediately implement HR-6416 (The American Traveler Dignity Act). It is a very tiny step toward restoring rights and sanity to the airport screening process. Much more must be done.

Better yet, when will the aristocrats in Congress come to their senses and abolish the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA and return airport security to private enterprise (which met government screening standards, was just as effective, and a whole lot cheaper than the TSA, and substantially less arrogant, stupid, and abusive)?
They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

It is inevitable, that eventually the people will demand absolute security from the state...And absolute security is absolute slavery. — Taylor Caldwell
On 11 September 2001, the terrorists won in that they gave the political elite all the cover needed to destroy our Constitution and the rights it protects. We, the people, must fight this tyranny! It will soon be too late to avoid much bloodshed.

Now, here's my prediction for the next successful attack on air travel: The attack will be outside the secure area of the terminal at the busiest time of the day. While scores of people are lined up waiting to get through the security screening farce, someone will detonate a fragmentary bomb that will kill or severely maim everyone within 25 meters. Similar attacks will happen at a the same time at 5-10 (maybe more) airports across the nation. The terror resulting from this attack will shut down air travel for months, perhaps forever. Consequently, every US airline will go out of business. Because the DHS and the TSA are so focused on fingernail clippers, nude x-ray images, and groping nuns and children, they have no plan to defeat the attack that I predict. Why will such a successful attack cause the total collapse of air travel? Because the people will fully understand that our current process of security theater is only temporary and illusory and that such security measures inevitably fail. Not only will the feeling of insecurity be widespread, but there will also be the total loss of trust in the competence of those responsible for security -- Pistole, Napolitano, and Obama.

None of this is really about airline security. It's about governmental power overruling individual freedom. We might as well be subjects of a feudal English king once again.

The solution? Stop looking for things! Follow Israel's lead and look for bad people! Profile!

Recommended reading:

The Top 10 Insanities of Airport Security

The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land
The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land

Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen
Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen

Lost Rights; The Destruction of American Liberty
Lost Rights; The Destruction of American Liberty

No comments:

Post a Comment