Friday, November 19, 2010

New TSA Invasive Security Procedures: Is this still the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE??

People today are worried about their "information" falling into the wrong hands. Specifically: name, age, date of birth, credit card numbers and the sacred social security number. You'd never share your most private health information with your casual acquaintances, employers, even extended family in some cases. And fingerprints ... those are sacred too, are they not? Yet the federal government now wants to you to submit to a full detailed body scan ... a print of your entire body. And some people are willing to submit to this scan? It just boggles my mind?! Truly?! Many people say that they are willing to submit to these scans because they don't want to undergo the alternative: the invasive "full body pat-down" which has aptly been described as "sexual assault under any other guise than government."  While the detailed body scan images --which are essentially an image of you without clothing ...nude-- have been referred to as pornographic?

I say that the government has no right to ask for either a body scan or a "full body pat-down" as condition of my flying unless they have reasonable and justifiable grounds that I specifically pose a threat to the safety of the passenger airliner that I am about to board. In this country, what used to be the land of the FREE and the home of the brave, one is assumed innocent until proven guilty. It is totally absurd to me that we would allow the presumption that ALL potential airline passengers are guilty as a rationale for subjecting citizens who choose to fly via passenger airlines to these new TSA security procedures ... especially when these new procedures fail to make any significant improvements to overall airline safety.  There are still too many shortfalls in the TSA security protocols, chief among these shortfalls being that the body scanners and "full body pat-downs" fail to detect liquid and plastic explosives.

I also find it absurd: 1) that people are willing to trust that the dose of radiation given by these machines is "safe" for repeat flyers or those already on the high side of "safe" (due to pre-existing medical or other work related exposure) on a cumulative basis; 2) that people trust that this body print image will not be stored and used for some ulterior purpose (e.g., body parts and healthy organs inventory (conspiracy theory), health fingerprint database for the government). I wonder how this "body scan" image compares to the "Life scan" body images being pushed by the health industry as a snapshot of your current health status, able to detect tumors, cancer, and heart disease among other things ? Is it all relevant that we see these new body scan machines roll out just after the passing of "Obama Care" ... Healthcare Reform law?  Especially in light of the fact that there have been no new incidents here in the U.S. and no specific security intelligence on new credible threats?

If this still is the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE, then let us unite and fight this latest infringement of government upon our essential liberties. Let us call them on it ... Let us refuse to submit to these gross violations of our persons and DEMAND that the government instead take steps to ensure our REAL safety when choosing to fly on U.S. passenger airlines. Namely: 1) that cargo be more thoroughly and intensely screened for explosives; 2) that trained canines be used to scan cargo, passengers and carryon luggage in an effort to detect liquid and plastic explosives which the new body scans and "full body pat-downs" cannot do; 3) that profiling by expertly trained personnel* be employed to identify persons of interest who do warrant a more thorough interview and screening process before being allowed aboarad a passenger airliner; *4) that the money being spent on these ridiculous body scanning machines be spent instead on hiring and properly training expert security personnel (i.e., former military or security personnel) to implement the latter security provisions, with their main focus being the ability to properly identity potential threats to safety, thereby focusing resources where they are most needed ... instead of straining the current system of TSA's poorly trained, poorly paid, and under-qualified staff to its very limits with the currently required screening and violating every man, woman, and child over the age of twelve.

I am sending these thoughts of mine, written here, to every elected official that I can think of. I have also made the decision NOT TO FLY ...period, without exception, until our essential liberties (not to mention basic dignity) when choosing to fly at U.S. airports has been resotred.

These days, I find myself wondering, not what planet am I living on, but rather what the **** country am I now living in??!!??

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