Apparently the big “opt out” protest turned out to be much ado about nothing. Which is too bad, since this is clearly a case of government power run amok: A gross violation of our 4th amendment rights for an ineffective security procedure. The Inky’s Daniel Rubin talked to an anonymous TSA employee about the impending protest:
My pal at the TSA has three words for the protest:
“Bring it on.”
Screeners get paid (not much) by the hour, he reminded me. They are in no hurry, as opposed to passengers. Screeners will win this contest. Every time. It’s a stupid protest.
Nothing makes me feel safer than an adversarial low-paid hourly employee with absolutely no incentive to do a good job and unlimited bureaucratic power. And wait till the Obama Administration unionizes them! Nope, this is not a system open to abuses at all.
Rubin eventually gets to the point of his article a couple of paragraphs later, which is that we should submit to the unconstitutional search of our bodies in the name of keeping us safe, but oh, by the way, were you aware that only 80% of cargo is being screened? That’s what we should be protesting. I beg to differ. 20% of packages is one big giant gaping hole to drive a bomb through, especially given the scare last month. When TSA can get that right, then they can start making the case for pornographic searches.
Politico notes that the outrage and negative attention to the TSA procedures is being noticed in Washington:
“The question is, which kind of privacy do you want to have?” said Stewart Baker, a top Department of Homeland Security official during the Bush administration. “This has been a pretty searing experience for DHS. Obviously, we’re not going to do more in this area [of physical checks] and it would be welcome if we could do less….The alternative is to look for terrorists in advance.”
Yes, please. The kind of privacy I’d like to have is the kind where it is not wantonly sacrificed to appease the those with the most delicate of all sensibilities. Offending them makes them want to blow things up; but not offending them seems to have the same exact effect, doesn’t it?
By far, the most succinct and eloquent explanation of the unconstitutionality of these searches comes from NR’s Andy McCarthy:
At a number of the nation’s most heavily trafficked airports, in the midst of the Thanksgiving holiday, when people routinely fly in order to be with faraway loved ones, the TSA is saying: Let’s suspect everyone of being a terrorist, no matter how groundless the suspicion, and move immediately to the most intrusive search procedures in our toolkit.
This is a rank violation of the Fourth Amendment. In my long-ago trial, it would have been thought obscene to make violent drug traffickers the measure of every person’s privacy rights. There would have to be something more — some concrete basis for suspicion, particular to the person. Yet, the TSA is making the savage jihadist its lodestar for navigating the threat it audaciously presumes to be posed by every American.
Must read it all.
And, hey, if you are still worried that an opt out protest of the TSA is going to delay you or make you miss your flight?
Well, you can always take the bus.