First of all, let’s keep in mind that we always need to be aware of what the other hand(s) is (are) doing. That this whole mess is flaring up right before the busiest travel season ought to be enough to make you immediately ask: “What’s happening that they don’t want seen?”
Paranoia much? Yeah, welcome to Slytherin. . .
So, that said, let’s return to the issue at hand for the moment: The atrocious sexual assaults of American Citizens by it’s government. Let us not be coy– both the scanners and the “pat-downs” are, anywhere else, considered flagrant sexual harassment, at best, if not outright assault. The scanners are official porn and the “pat-downs” sanctioned molestation, all of innocent citizens just wanting to go to gramma’s house for some turkey and pumpkin pie.
There are two main reasons that this behavior by our government is unacceptable. The first is that this is an affront to Common Decency, one might even call it Natural Law. Men and women are generally loath to have these pictures of themselves taken, or to be touched in such a manner, because these are extremely sensitive and intimate areas of one’s body. To prove this point, go up to a man– a stranger, or one you know, but one who is not your lover– and randomly pinch his nipple.
Go ahead. Do it. I’ll be here in the corner with the beer, popcorn, and mini-cam. How did he react? I’d lay odds that, at best, you got a WTF? moment. It may have quickly morphed into a joke of some nature, but that first, initial response, was alarm and confusion. Or you’ve been arrested for assault. Point is the same– touching a person in that manner is not acceptable. And men’s breasts are not considered as “private” as his genitalia, or the breasts or genitals of a woman.
Humans have this natural modesty several reasons, starting with the biological (these are very tender areas and some are relatively prone to infection) to the social (only mates are allowed that close–or breastfeeding children) . Violating this modesty has psychological effects even if the person thinks they’re fine. The more these barriers are broken, the less a sense of “self” a person is able to maintain. If my breasts may be fondled by any man or woman wearing a certain shirt, if my inner thighs are available to any person with a badge, then I no longer have any right to my body at all where the government is concerned. If the TSA can touch me in the name of security, then so can any cop, any agent with the DOJ, anyone with a badge or uniform. This lessened sense of self, then, translates into being less likely to protest other, less obviously invasive government decisions. Once the government, in the form of a TSA agent, has molested me, why would I protest someone searching my car, my house, my computer? Why would I have any personal property at all, if it is only mine until someone with a badge comes along.
[I suspect that those who protest most loudly are those who still have a very strong sense of self, of who and what they are, of what is theirs by law and right, and thus are those most offended by this violation. Those who simply go along with it and have no problem probably haven’t given as much thought to who they are. They likely define themselves by things or various groups, but rarely as themselves. “Oh,” they say “If it’s for the Greater Good, then it must be done, I suppose. . .” never realizing that they’re merrily Greater-Gooding themselves into slavery. Yes, slavery. When the owner can do with your most private parts what he will, when he can take all you work for, all you earn, and then turn around and “take care of you,” this is slavery.]
Moreover, when you consider the great mass of humanity, you are naturally going to have a certain number of perverts and lust-ridden creeps with no self-control get into the system. The larger the group of people, the higher the number of pervs. So, given that they’ve been given official government sanction to be pervs in public (to a degree that would make Jiraiya-sama blush in shame!), is it any wonder that we have things like this happening?
This brings us to the second reason: It is a violation of the 4th Amendment. For those who don’t recall, this is the one prohibiting unwarranted search and seizure. It’s why cops need a warrant to search a house. It’s why they need to proclaim “probable cause” when going to get that warrant from the judge. Law enforcement is prohibited by the Constitution from searching a person or place without “probable cause”, which is recorded by way of the judge’s warrant.
Neither the scans nor the pat-downs are allowable under this Amendment. The “random” way in which they are conducted are deliberate violations of “probable cause.” Let me be clear on this: Both the scan and pat-down are, in my view, flagrantly unconstitutional and therefore illegal. The orders for the agents of the TSA to do these things are illegal. The compliance of those agents with these orders is illegal.
For this reason, those who would defend the TSA agents by saying “They’re just following orders” are wrong. Nuremberg, to cite the most extreme and memorable example, was a case study in “Just-following-orders-is-not-a-defence.” No, I’m not meaning to violate Godwin’s Law– I’m trying to use a historical illustration that most people should be familiar with. Illegal orders are illegal, and not only are you not legally required to follow them, it is your legal duty to reject such orders.
Therefore, the TSA agents are, to my understanding, bound by law to object to these orders that would have them sexually harassing men, women, young and old. By complying with these orders, these agents and their superiors are violating not only natural law but also constitutional law, and it must be made clear that all will be held responsible, just like any member of the military who is given an illegal order.
I understand we need security in our travel. There are Bad People out there, who want to do Bad Things. This is why we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights– this is exactly what they were made for. Follow them. Look at who’s been most successful (Israel). Follow their example.
And, for the love of all that’s Holy, stop molesting kids, grannies, and nuns. Criminy, you people have no shame, do you?!
FYI, the text of Amendment IV is as follows:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The scans are pat-downs are both in clear violation of the above foundational law of our nation.