TSA backlash

The Madison County Record Nov. 28, 2010, 8:58am

To the Editor:

There is a growing backlash about the recent airport scanning measures that were put in place by the TSA just before the peek flying period between Thanksgiving and the New Year.

The "enhanced" airport screening procedures include invasive and humiliating full-body scans which result in the display of a graphic image of each passenger's naked body, and, for those who elect not to undergo the indignity of the full-body scan, a new open-hand, pat-down procedures on men, women and children that makes manual contact with private body parts.

It is not surprising that the American people remain conflicted over the new scanning methods. Some say that we are spoiled brats; that we have forgotten about 9/11; that we don't understand the threats we face from terrorists; and that the government is entitled to check under our clothing after the "underwear" bomber threat.

There is also the issue of radiation. Despite government assurances that radiation received from body scans is safe, Arizona State University physics professor Peter Rex had this to say:

"The thing what worries me the most is what happens if the thing fails in some way and emits too much radiation. The risk for failure is higher than in a medical setting because the machines are operated much more often and by TSA workers without medical training."

Those Americans who honor our Constitution as a document which has imparted truth and wisdom down through the ages are drawn to 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..."

It seems obvious that the Fourth Amendment doesn't cede to government the right to search for any reason in our country unless there is probable cause that the person has committed a crime and there is a warrant.

Former governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, had this to say:

"I wish no ill will on my country. I am a patriot to my country. And yet I am subjected and greeted like I might hijack a plane or I might blow up and murder people. And I take offense to that."

As an added insult to the American people, the TSA is warning that anyone refusing airport body and pat downs faces fines up to $11,000 and possible arrest.

It is past time for common sense.

Recently, a former security director for Israel's national airlines called airline security in America an "illusion" and that the U.S. should profile passengers to ensure safety.

Civil rights proponents immediately said that would violate passengers' civil rights to allow some individuals to be more intensely scrutinized than others.

In an effort to be politically correct, are not the rights of ordinary citizens being violated under the Fourth Amendment?

Might even George Orwell, if living today, author of "Animal Farm" published in 1946, be dismayed by how our government is attempting in 2010 to normalize the populace to ever-increasing police state tactics for the sake of security, all in the name of political correctness?

It is not the terrorists, stupid, but the objects of the terrorists!

Nancy Thorner
Lake Bluff

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