Monday, November 22, 2010

If You Touch My Junk, I'll Have You Arrested!

I wish that I had posted my prediction from a week or so ago here so there would be proof that I called the event that transpired today.  After considering that fliers have a choice of having naked pictures taken of them, viewed by complete strangers, and then stored on government computers OR be molested by the aforementioned strangers, I came to the conclusion that it was only a matter of time before someone stripped right on the spot to prove a point.  Well, today, I became correct.  What's more is that he was arrested, and in my mind, all he did was try to facilitate the goals of the TSA and our lovely protectress (you may know her as Big Sis).

Anyone who knows me knows that I am completely of the school that the Constitution is an outdated document of the past, but humor me as I play Devil's Advocate.  I present to you the highly non-contemporary 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.

While it's fairly clear that the likes of Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and a few other short-sighted geezers could not envision the challenges of aviation safety (or aviation, for that matter), let's try this little thought experiment anyway.  My main question is, "Is this Constitutional?"

To tackle this, let's start by asking whether this qualifies as a "search or seizure" and if so, whether the "search or seizure" involves "persons, houses, papers, and effects."  It's pretty clear that they're looking for something, so I'm going to say that it is a "search."  They're looking at and feeling dangly bits, hoo hoos, and ta tas, so I'm also going to claim that the "search" involves "persons."

The next question is, "is it unreasonable?"  Well, I can't say I've ever thought that molestation or forced porn was "reasonable."  Maybe I'm in the minority here; perhaps such humiliating, dehumanizing things are totally appropriate.  However, let's not forget the fact that it wasn't too long ago we were considering loud music in Gitmo as "torture" and calling for an end to it (and those detainees aren't even entitled to Constitutional rights).  The only way that "torture" could be even remotely comparable is if the "music" they were subjected to was this particular rendition of "The Final Countdown."

So I've argued that we have an unreasonable search of persons here.  It seems there's just one more thing to consider before we can claim that there is an egregious violation here (recall the "shall not be violated" phrase in the italicized text above).  Is there probable cause?  In some cases, certainly, yes.  However, I challenge anyone to explain where the probable cause was here or here or here.  If there is no probable cause in these cases, what is the mechanism by which it is determined?  The short answer is that probable cause does not exist.  Big Sis and her TSA minions are fairly explicitly saying that they believe we are all terrorists.  As such, we are all guilty until we have our most basic, fundamental properties violated to exonerate ourselves.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not ignorant of the threat to our security that can result from air travel.  However, we should focus our defense on people, not objects.  We have never been attacked by objects.  Before 9/11, we allowed small knives on planes.  After, we banned basically anything metal and somewhat sharp (including nail clippers).  After the attempted shoe bomber, we forced everyone to take their shoes off to go through security.  After the underwear bomber (aka The Ball Buster), we have to get naked or groped.  It's clear that if a terrorist wants to attack, he will find a new way to get an object around security; that is the nature of reactive defense.  God help us if someone tries to sneak a rectal bomb (not talking about air biscuits here) onto a plane.  The point is that while we should not allow just any objects (guns, knives, explosives, etc. that present very imminent and obvious dangers) on planes, we should focus on STOPPING THE TERRORIST, not his weapon.

What does TSA stand for?
Terrific Security Agents
Treacherous Sexual Assaulters
Other (Please Post in Comments) free polls



  1. Total Asinine "Security"

  2. TAS agent...Is that you masquerading as a TSA agent again?

  3. No, no...

    Total Asinine Security - TSA.

    Come one now, can't you spell?

  4. I don't like it when acronym challenged authority figures touch me in the bad place. You stay away!