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Archive for December 26th, 2010

Its nice to know that the TSA is continuing its assault on the Constitutional rights of citizens unabated.  Other government agencies might be more lax, or even going dark for the holidays, but not the TSA.  If they stopped violating the rights of American citizens without cause, then someone might start to think that these “civil servants” had limitations on their behavior.

Never fear.  Excess and overkill that are the hallmark of federal agencies are not in short supply with the TSA.  Just ask Clare Herschkind, a rape victim, who will not be taking any trips that she cannot make by car or train in the near future.

Clare had the misfortune to be flying out of Austin, Texas on December 22, 2010, when the security checkpoint was shut down for a few hours.  She told the TSA personnel that she had a pacemaker-like device in her chest, and was led to a TSA Agent and three Austin Police Officers [Why are the cops doing the searches? Where did they get the authority?]  for the alternate grab-and-grope process. 

“I turned to the police officer and said, ‘I have given no due cause to give up my constitutional rights.  You can wand me,'” and they said, ‘No, you have to do this,'” she said.

Hirschkind agreed to the pat down, but on one condition.

“I told them, ‘No, I’m not going to have my breasts felt,’ and she said, ‘Yes, you are,'” said Hirschkind.

When Hirschkind refused, she says that “the police actually pushed me to the floor, (and) handcuffed me.  I was crying by then.  They drug me 25 yards across the floor in front of the whole security.”

Some other sheeple at the checkpoint bleated about how the whole episode made them feel safer, apparently unaware of exceptions to the searches which will make no one safer, and fact that no probable cause exists to vitiate the Fourth Amendment unless ALL travelers are suspect, in which case the very unequal application of searches is also a serious and actionable violation of the groped traveller’s rights.

The growing acquiescence to the usurpation of power by federal agencies should be a source of shame for all Americans.  But the real kicker came from the TSA’s designated liar on this subject:

“Our officers are trained to treat all passengers with dignity and respect. Security is not optional.” 

Mheh.  “Dignity and Respect.”

“the police actually pushed me to the floor, (and) handcuffed me.  I was crying by then.  They drug me 25 yards across the floor in front of the whole security.”

“Dignity and Respect.”

This leaves me with three distinct thoughts;

1.  WTF? were Austin cops doing there as part of the search process?  Were they federally deputized, or were they merely exceeding their lawful authority?  I think a Section 1983 Civil Rights suit will help bring these questions (and answers) into focus for everyone.

2.  The selected bleats of some sheeple witnesses aside, excesses like this will be the undoing of these insecure security protocols.

3.  If we are going to allow the terrorists to have deference and exemptions so as to not offend the gods of political correctness, but personally see to it that the rights of citizens who have not broken the law, nor given cause for an invasive search, are violated with impunity, then government has failed a primary duty, and should be relieved of its authority in such matters.

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