The Scan is already unconstitutional in itself, so where is the end

The National Opt Out Day scheduled for November 24 is more directed against TSA than the Airlines’ ability to change the security rules. But America is slowly waking up to TSA’s hugely disrespectful choice between “getting an intimate fondling” or “getting processed by the full body scanner”.

I wrote about the infamous full body scanner on May 8 of this year http://www.searchamelia.com/no-wonder-the-tsa-has-no-top-cop and again on the growing number of controversies around it on Sept 3rd. http://www.searchamelia.com/tsa-is-brewing-its-latest-disaster and it seems that finally America is waking up to the threat of losing all of its constitutional freedoms when it comes to “Homeland Security Issues”.

As a matter of fact, there is a growing exodus of affluent and ordinary Americans, who are seeking residence and even citizenship in other areas of the world as a result of the fact that Freedom has become an endangered species. Highly in favor are Australia and New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, the Caribbean Islands, Spain, Mediterranean countries, the list continues. It turns out that History Repeats Itself for many reasons. Americans who once left the countries of origin for the freedom and wide open spaces of America are starting to move on and emigrate to more freedom loving destinations.

The latest TSA scanner has created movements in the US like “we won’t fly” , which organizes the National Opt Out Day, on Wednesday November 24, the day before Thanksgiving, in protest of is called the option between the TSA porno scanner, genital grope security experience or….simply not flying.
Their Plan is Simple says the website:
1. If you absolutely, positively must fly, opt out of the scanners. Do it to protect your health and privacy.
2. If you can avoid flying, don’t fly. Hit the airlines in the pocketbook until the scanners and gropers are gone. Make the airlines work for us.
3. Raise holy hell. Register your disapproval of the scanners and gropers to your airline, your hotel and all government officials who claim to work for you. Educate your community.

Then there was a rape story earlier this year involving a TSA employee charged with pat downs at Boston’s Logan Airport, that is getting renewed attention and now airline pilots and crews are increasingly getting fed up by the practice of Scanning and Groping, even though their dismay is more of a “we should be excluded” nature, or as Hudson River Hero Pilot Sully Sullenberger says: “Airline pilots are already the last line of defense for anyone who poses a threat to the airplane; we are — and would like to be considered — trusted partners in that important security mission.”

Of course this begs the question, what about the rest of the crew, or a terrorist in a Pilot’s uniform or an airline exec or former airline employee with travel benefits? It also brings back the question of biometrics scanners that scan airline employees’ finger prints or iris. The plan was introduced after 911 but airlines and government have been quarreling ever since who will pick up the tab.  Also a small share of the total number of U.S. pilots are enrolled in a program called: the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program, which trains pilots in the use of firearms and defensive tactics. They are permitted to carry weapons on board and pilots enrolled in the program don’t have to go through scanners and pat-downs.

Federal officials of course call the procedures safe and necessary to ward off terror attacks, while Homeland Securities Top Dog Janet Napolitano states that: “It’s all about security, it’s all about everybody recognizing everyone’s role in this.”

If it were only that simple Ms. Napolitano!

One of the problems is that incidents like the one with John Tyner, earlier this week in San Diego will inevitably escalate into violence and domestic terror from people who are just fed up. People who are cranky because of lack of sleep, long travel delays, afraid of flying, you name it. People who would never think of committing an act of terror under normal circumstances, but who’s elastic band snaps because of just another unnecessary harassment or rude individual at a scanner.

Tyner, a San Diego software engineer, made a valid point when his cell phone recorded a TSA supervisor telling him: “This is not considered a sexual assault.” Tyner’s answer: “It would be if you were not the government.”

How far will the pendulum of freedom swing?

The growing objection against TSA’s airport security procedures is not confined to the US alone. In Germany, a country always willing to take an issue to the extreme, people protested last week against the US scanners by completely undressing in the airport and several years ago they already had an airline in business for naked travelers.

It will be interesting to see where the notion of Freedom will be taken to in this country where founding father Benjamin Franklin once said: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” , which squarely opposes San Diego passenger Mark Spritzler who said: “It makes me feel safer flying. “I don’t think they intrude on my privacy, the images are seen behind closed doors and unfortunately this is what has to be done to make things more secure.”

The controversy will become more intense and infinitely more personal as traditional holiday season travel will start peaking next week.