11.30.2010 0

The TSA Grinch Gropers

  • On: 12/20/2010 09:42:28
  • In: Uncategorized
  • By Rebekah Rast

    You’ve heard the horror stories: pat-downs that err on the side of groping, body scanners that allow another to see you — all of you, even of children and babies being searched and scanned.

    But remember, as the government assures us, as you prepare to fly to your holiday destination this season, this screening is for the sake of national security.

    After all, who knows what someone could hide in a baby diaper?

    As the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) continues its invasive breach of privacy on travelers, Americans can do nothing but make a choice, pat-down or body scanner.

    Never mind the fact that if a serious threat to national security gets this far into its journey then it will probably have no trouble finding its way onto a plane, or possibly better yet, to a crowd of people waiting to get groped or X-rayed. And never mind that a more common-sense approach to airport security is to learn the background and identity of each passenger, and to read body language and ask the right questions.

    Maybe America will catch up to the airport screening techniques of countries that deal with terrorist threats every day like Israel and other parts of the Middle East after a quota of lawsuits is met against the TSA.

    But in the meantime, there are some fun tricks you could do to make you feel more comfortable during the screening process.

    For example, San Diego’s Examiner ran a story in November highlighting an item called Pasties: “If you are like many Americans and are uncomfortable with going through the airport body-scanner or wish there was some way you could protest, then you might be interested in this product called ‘Flying Pasties,’ whose catch phrase is ‘giving you back your right to privacy.’”

    Flying Pasties claims on its website that these small pads, meant to cover your private parts, will protect you from radiation as well as keep those covered parts invisible during the body scan. They are designed for men and women and are even available with funny sayings like, “Private” or the text of the Fourth Amendment:

    “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.”

    If Pasties aren’t your style, nor the body scanners, you could still opt in for a pat-down, but as Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic pointed out in his story of air travel, TSA officials are trying to steer people away from pat-downs and corral them to the machines by making pat-downs more aggressive, embarrassing and even more personal.

    So as another branch of government gets busy this holiday season invading your life in a very personal way, make sure you walk through the scanner with a big smile and have on your best pair of holiday underwear.

    Happy holidays.

    Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to the Americans for Limited Government (ALG) News Bureau.


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