March 19, 2010
March 19, 2010
Our recent trip through Baltimore BWI Airport was a disturbing example of the authoritative behavior of TSA agents.
A TSA thug explains to a slave that while the government assumes the authority to look at your naked body, that you have no right to film them doing so.
The airport, like many others in the U.S., had begun implementing now-notorious Body Scanners months before the Christmas Day Underwear Bomber episode that the powers-that-be have seized upon as a justification for implementing the invasive technology (though it has come out that the alleged terrorist Abdulmutallab never went through security and was allowed onto the plane via intelligence connections without even a passport).
Fellow cameraman Rob Dew and I have already refused to go through TSA scanners at Baltimore back in the fall and were prepared to do so again. However, we were not “randomly” selected to go through them this time. The suspects du jour were middle-aged women with make-up in their purses and well-dressed, but frumpy looking businessmen.
We decided to film people going through the scanners, as well as being wanded and frisked at great inconvenience—with no basis for suspicion and no real justification for their actions.
That’s when a very large and very tall TSA agent came over to intimidate us to tell us we couldn’t film. He began confronting Rob Dew before noticing that I too was filming. I knew they couldn’t violate both of our rights at the same time without losing control. NOTE—TSA & co. take full reign in scanning the genitals and naked bodies of our families and children, patting them down and looking through every item on their person or luggage—but we’re not supposed to film this going on.
It seemed to me like a gaggle of criminals who didn’t want their despicable actions to be under scrutiny. Though the TSA parade as a legitimate government agency, their actions are transparently unconstitutional and they apparently thrive on the element of intimidation. TSA’s unwarranted examination of every passenger would not stand long if The People stood up for themselves, yet the fearful atmosphere keeps heads low and objections under muttered breath.
|A randomly-selected "potential terrorist" selected by TSA for secondary screening– a wanding followed by a complimentary rub down.|
This is precisely why I felt morally compelled to object to their behavior and resist the easy supplication to their arbitrary power. When the TSA stooge commanded me to stop filming, I reminded him that he was violating the Fourth Amendment and the Constitution—that we have a right to be secure in our persons and possessions, and that searches were unconstitutional when they had no basis for probable cause and where no warrant has been issued.
He didn’t want to hear it, uttering a sarcastic “Uh huh” to my lecturing. I told him to his face that it was wrong to scan children’s genitals and wrong to single out middle-aged women with nothing more than too much make-up or, in one case I have witnessed in the past, a knitting needle and yarn.
His response to this was to close into my personal space, trying to intimidate me with his towering figure and large beer-belly. He told me that if I kept filming, he would “turn me over to police” and that I “wouldn’t be allowed to fly.” How would I like to have my trip cancelled and be barred from travel, he posed to me, both in words and body language. I’m sure it wasn’t a bluff—more than a million Americans and other travelers have already been put on no fly lists—many for simply having a common name, or even a name similar to a common or suspicious name.
“I have a right to travel,” I told him plainly. He reiterated his threat. I told him he was hurting America. I meant it. He huffed and puffed and walked away, leaving me filming.
The TSA agent gets in my face when I tell him how wrong it is to violate the Fourth Amendment, single out ordinary Americans and scan the genitals of our children and families. In turn, he threatens to bar me from flying.
It was entirely clear that few, if any individuals, had ever stood up to the “power” of his uniform which he so plainly flaunted and hid behind. But, as Thomas Paine made clear in the Rights of Man so long ago, that power resides in the uniform, and not in the hollow, petty and largely illiterate body of the willing enforcer.
Like the Nazis and other worst offenders in history, the rights of The People have been stripped away when checkpoints and unauthorized searches were allowed to flourish. When minority groups and eccentric individuals were targeted, and the whole of the people did not stand up against it, that undue power has almost always spread like a contagion and taken over the population at large.
Today, if we’re not already at that point, we’re dangerously close to it. TSA checkpoints are a prime example of it, where nearly everyone fails to stand up to tyranny, silently condoning the unconstitutional behavior, and thus, letting it run wild. The end to that scenario is clear, unless people will reclaim their dignity and refuse to submit to this system.
Already, the check points and body scanners have extended to courthouses and may soon be implemented on subways, trains and other travel points if nothing is done to stand up to the invasion of our basic rights.
If you think things won’t continue to deteriorate, then check out this video: