“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin
The current situation with the TSA is a perfect example of what happens when we trade liberty for supposed security. Toss in some bizarre notion of political correctness that prevents us from targeting suspicious passengers and we end up with a government agency that supervises taking (and storing) naked pictures and groping would-be fliers.
Perhaps we’ve been losing individual liberties since the adoption of the US Constitution 200-plus years ago. James Madison proclaimed in 1788: “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” Bit by bit, we have lost our freedoms because we we are complacent, apathetic – or – shudder – we actually give up our liberties voluntarily.
A bit over 9 years ago, some people bent on the destruction of America, flew some planes into some buildings. We were shocked! Horrified! Outraged! And the majority of us rushed to give away our liberties for a chance at what we thought was more safety, more security under the guise of the Patriot Act. We have lost oh-so-much under that act. We can be spied on in our own homes. We can have tracking devices placed on our cars without warrants. The Washington Post reported earlier this year that the FBI has illegally collected thousands of U.S. telephone call records. We’ve also lost the right to “habeus corpus” – the right to be protected from unlawful search and seizure, as guaranteed in our 4th amendment.
Today, the TSA takes the violation of the 4th amendment to a whole new level. In fact, a former assistant TSA administrator admits “Nobody likes having their 4th Amendment violated going through a security line, but the truth of the matter is, we’re gonna have to.”
John Tyner headed to the airport earlier this month. He opted out of the TSA porn machine and was led to the “pat down” area. He describes his experience:
After setting my things on a table, he turned to me and began to explain that he was going to do a “standard” pat down. (I thought to myself, “great, not one of those gropings like I’ve been reading about”.) After he described, the pat down, I realized that he intended to touch my groin. After he finished his description but before he started the pat down, I looked him straight in the eye and said, “if you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.”
Charles Krauthammer wrote recently in the Washington Post about Tyner’s quip:
Not quite the 18th-century elegance of “Don’t Tread on Me,” but the age of Twitter has a different cadence from the age of the musket. What the modern battle cry lacks in archaic charm, it makes up for in full-body syllabic punch.
Don’t touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter.
Tyner’s not the only one whose junk is getting touched. We have 8 year-olds being strip-searched in line, a 5 year-old disabled child forced to remove his leg braces, a breast cancer survivor forced to remove her prosthetic, and a bladder cancer patient who had his urostomy bag knocked off during the TSA groping, soaking him in urine. We have a pilot traveling with his 18 year-old daughter who overheard a TSA agent on his headset saying “heads up, got a cutie for you,” and 2 other pilots suing Homeland Security for wanting to “touch their junk.” In fact, one of those pilots, Michael Roberts, has described the scanners as machines who can “see whether a man is circumcised or a woman is menstruating. They can see everything.” Oh, and TSA workers know it. Just ask Rolando Negrin. He’s the TSA worker who went ballistic after his co-workers started mocking him for – well – the size of his junk.