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article imageOp-Ed: TSA search abuse: When terrorism and Security Theater collide

By Bill Lindner     Nov 19, 2010 in Politics
The TSA's invasive security policies for air travelers -- going through potentially unhealthy, humiliating body scanners or sexual abuse to coerce and intimidate you to go through the scanners -- are terrorism as defined by the PATRIOT Act
The backlash over invasive "security" procedures -- being told to stand inside a machine that takes virtually nude pictures of you while dosing you in unsafe amounts of radiation, or being subject to genital groping tantamount to sexual assault by power hungry, poorly trained security guards instead to coerce and intimidate the public - which is terrorism as defined by the PATRIOT Act - into going through the airport body scanners to allegedly keep us safe -- is growing.
Since its inception, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been a bad example of Security Theater, ineffective, a waste of taxpayer money, and violators of our personal rights. Groping genitals and taking virtually nude pictures of you does not make us safe, despite the lies from the government. The invasive procedures enacted by the TSA are proving to be a bigger threat to America's aviation industry than the terrorists they allegedly protect us from.
As noted by Art Carden from Forbes, the odds of dying from a terrorist attack are much lower than the odds of dying from any of a number of incredibly mundane things we do every day. The TSA's security theater won't stop terrorists. Anyone who is serious about getting contraband on an airplane will find a way to do it. Invasive, unhealthy scanners won't stop them. Abolishing the TSA would save a lot of taxpayer money.
It's important to remember why the government decided to implement the airport body scanners -- aside from enriching former government officials and lobbyists who are well aware of just how ridiculous the Transportation Safety Administration's security theater has become. The invasive erosion of rights and privacy traces back to the alleged Christmas day 2009 underwear bomber.
It has become obvious why the U.S. Government systematically covered up the fabricated terrorism of the Flight 253 fiasco: On Christmas day 2009, a "terrorist" was asked to be allowed to board a plane from Yemen to the U.S. by a U.S. government agent, despite the fact that said "terrorist" had no identification, no money, no passport, etc. Said "terrorist" tried detonating an underwear bomb but failed. Aside from proving yet again that the Government fraudulently investigates itself, the Congressional committee "investigating" it covered it up so the government could enrich the lobbyists pushing for the use of body scanners and invasive search procedures at airports.
TSA strip search coercion is terrorism as defined by PATRIOT Act
Most airport body scanners emit radiation that can be harmful to the people being scanned, and, aside from giving TSA screeners cheap thrills and power trips, do not catch everything either. As one lobbyist behind the useless "naked body scanners" says, "this is government we're talking about. A program or product doesn't need to be effective, it only needs to have a good lobby," offering yet another reason to reign in the lobbying that has gotten entirely out of hand. The TSA's security theater is ineffective.
Once again, instead of testing these products or seeing if they're even necessary, the Government -- at the urging of former "Homeland Security" Secretary Michael Chertoff, who profits greatly from the useless security theater and the scanners -- has decided that instead of being proactive in fighting terrorism has opted instead to be reactive, spending billions of dollars on useless equipment and treating U.S. citizens as second class terrorists. As with the vast majority of other government crimes, to see the reason for them, all you need to do is follow the money. Chertoff is only one of President Obama's buddies who is pushing the use of invasive body scanners while getting rich off taxpayer dollars. Actually, Chertoff ordered the machines while he was still in charge of Homeland Security, and now he's profiting off them, offering yet one more reason to investigate him for fraud and corruption.
In fact, as noted by the ACLU, since 9/11, TSA agents (led by "Homeland Security") have been using heightened security measures as an excuse to exceed their search authority and engage in unlawful searches that violate the privacy rights of passengers. These unlawful searches need to be stopped.
Can the TSA's behavior be defined as terrorism? Technically, air travelers have two choices: Either go through a machine that can be hazardous to your health and invasive, or be subject to having your genitals fondled and sexual abuse while being searched. One TSA agent admitted to the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg that genital groping is being used as a means of coercion to make people go through the hazardous, invasive machines. Section 802 of the U.S. "PATRIOT" Act includes "activities that appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population" in its definition of domestic terrorism. In fact, the government has terrorizing the American public with intimidation and coercion for years, especially since 9/11.
Janet Napolitano, head of "Homeland Security," who has never had to partake in the TSA's security procedures, was once again caught lying in order to justify them. How much more proof does the public need until they realize what a fraud "Homeland Security" is? Napolitano was caught lying about the images from the scanners not being stored, when in fact, many of them are. Napolitano penned a less-than-forthright propaganda piece in which she lied again that was published by USA Today. The only thing Homeland Security excels at is lying to the public, not protecting it.
Government not subject to the same procedures as the rest of us
At least one TSA agent who has fondled children while searching them has been charged with child rape. There will probably be a lot more before all is said and done. Even TSA security "experts" will tell you that the genital groping is ineffective, so why is the TSA using it? Unless, as mentioned above, the TSA is actually committing acts of terrorism as defined by the "PATRIOT" Act, in which case, more arrests need to start being made.
One word of caution for those planning to fly on November 24, 2010: A "we won't fly" protest is gaining strength and there is a national movement underway to opt out of the scanning for the more intrusive strip searches, which will greatly enhance the time it takes fliers to get to their planes. TSA agents could be busy searching a lot of people that day, so if you're flying that day, you may want to allow extra time for that.
If a terrorist gets past the CIA or the FBI and makes it to the airport, it's already too late. Illegally implementing a quasi Police State is more of a threat to Americans than terrorists created by "Intelligence" agencies. Having your rights trounced in the name of keeping you safe defeats the purpose. Where does it end? New Jersey is the first state to take on the TSA for violating the Constitution and its residents rights. Hopefully more will follow. The lawsuits are beginning to pile up too, and the San Mateo County DA has vowed to prosecute TSA agents that get too touchy. Airports do have the option of opting out of the TSA and hiring their own security...
How many in Congress and other high levels in the U.S. government get to go through the Security Theater procedures? None that I could find, and none that would admit to it. Make the President, his family, including his children, everyone in Congress, Homeland Security, etc. go through the same procedures and see how long the useless Security Theater lasts. Unsurprisingly, it appears that our Government is not subject to the same procedures the rest of us are. President Obama has the power to stop the illegal procedures with the stroke of his pen if he wanted to. It's time to change that. Using terrorism under the guise of Security Theater is ineffective and illegal and needs to be stopped.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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