If you traveled by air this summer vacation season, you probably experienced more than just the usual pre-flying jitters. Sheer anxiety afflicted many as they approached the security lines at airports, shoes in one hand, belts removed and their other hand clutching their clothes as they awaited their fate — metal detector, pat-down line, or full body scanner, or even all three. The abuses committed by TSA agents are well known and would fill volumes — from groping toddlers, the elderly and the terminally ill, to stealing and of course, the routine trashing of Fourth Amendment rights, all the while real terrorists and suspicious characters slip through without a second glance. Everyone from congressmen to movie stars, beauty queens, and common folk are complaining and rightfully so, about the horrors of being “screened” for travel.
Congressman Ron Paul has a solution to the emotional trauma, verbal harassment, and sexual abuse inflicted on the traveling public by government agents — the American Traveler Dignity Act of 2011, H.R. 2438. This little gem would make the TSA agents at every airport follow the law with regard to personal contact and radiation-emitting image taking and sharing. The abuses of civil liberties would stop immediately and the inalienable rights of citizens to be secure in their own persons without the government-agent manhandling we’ve seen of late would be restored.
The purpose of H.R. 2438 is “To ensure that certain Federal employees cannot hide behind immunity.” The entire text reads:
No law of the United States shall be construed to confer any immunity for a Federal employee or agency or any individual or entity that receives Federal funds, who subjects an individual to any physical contact (including contact with any clothing the individual is wearing), x-rays, or millimeter waves, or aids in the creation of or views a representation of any part of an individual's body covered by clothing as a condition for such individual to be in an airport or to fly in an aircraft. The preceding sentence shall apply even if the individual or the individual's parent, guardian, or any other individual gives consent.
Congressman Paul once again has hit the nail on the head. When he re-introduced this piece of legislation in the 112th Congress he stated “Time and time again we see the revolting pictures of federal screeners with their hands down the pants of children while parents watch helplessly in agony. We see elderly or disabled Americans being forced to endure all manner of indignity.” Furthermore, he added, “What we ultimately need is real privatization of security, but not phony privatization with the same TSA screeners in private security firm uniforms still operating under the ‘guidance’ of the federal government. Real security will be achieved when the airlines are once again in charge of protecting their property and their passengers.”
Help support this long overdue legislation by contacting your Representative and Senators and insisting they promote, co-sponsor, and pass this measure.