Gate-Rape vs the Fourth Amendment

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

We were “lucky” enough to have taken a vacation around the first of the month.  Thus we left before the new pat downs but flew back with them.  I had no problem, but an elderly woman with us who is phobic about touching to begin with (think of the TV detective Monk) had a hip replacement and pins in some of her fingers because of arthritis.  She is still having nightmares several weeks later and will probably never fly again.  What kind of country do we live in where the government can do this to a person, simply because they wanted to take a vacation?

Some think the aggressive and invasive pat-downs are just to break down people’s resistance to what have come to be called the naked scanners. If they are then that is in and of itself a pretty scary thought – that the government would subject its citizens to such searches in order to break down their resistance to something they oppose.   Others say that they have no problem with scanners and that they should just drop the pat downs and use the scanners. 

But I do have a problem with the naked scanners, and not because I am modest, or think the TSA controls are weak.  Remember these are just version 1. Think very early Black and White TV. Like all technology, if used they will be improved in years to come.  If these scanner are allowed here, in a few decades we will have the full color HDTV versions which will also be much cheaper and thus will spread to more places.

After all, terrorists have already begun to target less hardened locations than airports.  Thus it is not at all hard to imagine a few years from now that you will need to subject yourself to a virtual strip search to go to a ball game, travel a subway, or even to shop at a mall. What does the 4th amendment mean in such a world?  Becoming a police state in order to avoid the imposition of Sharia law is not a good trade off.

And they still will not be 100% effective.  Terrorists have already placed bombs in body cavities. So what is next?  Beep and you get a full cavity search?  What about surgically implanted bombs? The bottom line is that terrorists can always be better at hiding weapons than we are at finding them. This is because we are always looking for the last hiding place, not the next one.  

Perhaps one of the most despicable statements has been that if you do not want to submit to the new pat downs or virtual strip searches, then don’t fly. This is basically if you want to keep your 4th amendment rights, then you can’t exercise your freedom to travel.  Whatever happened to living in a free country?

And what happens when these scanners are installed in government buildings as they certainly will be.  What happens when they are in a court house, and you are summoned for jury duty? Can you just not go?  Then there is the issue of safety. It is far safer to fly than to drive, so as more people choose to drive more people will be killed in auto accidents.  Thus it is very likely that the new security measures, rather than saving lives, will result in more deaths.

Dec 3rd, 2010

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