Friday, November 26, 2010

The National Opt Out Day that Wasn't

I was mildly surprised when the National Opt Out Day campaign appeared to fizzle the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  I had thought that most people understood that these nude scans and intrusive gropes were unwarranted intrusions upon peoples rights to be secure in their persons.  Perhaps I was wrong, or I was wrong about how much liberty people were willing to give up for the illusion of safety.

Then today, I found Newark airport controversial scanners barely used on busiest travel day over at So, if I am reading between the lines here, TSA chose not to use its ham handed techniques to blunt the effects of National Opt Out Day. Hmmmm. And nothing happened. No planes were hijacked. Hmmmm.

Apparently others have the same suspicion, based on this site. So if most people experienced only the normal metal detectors (bad enough) I suppose that would have indeed blunted the effects of a National Opt Out Day. In so doing, TSA has avoided, for today, a confrontation with the American people, but it has not backed down one little bit. That's a problem.

The 4th Amendment to the Constitution says:

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.
I would also remind you that we are all supposed to be assumed innocent until proven guilty, and under the 5th Amendment, we can not be forced to incriminate ourselves.  These nude scanners and gropes grossly violate these provisions and strip people of their dignity and modesty.  They are made to feel like slaves.  They are treated as terrorists until they prove they are not.  That is standing the Constitution on its head.  But maybe you're one of those who say "I haven't anything to hide, therefore let them search me if it makes us safer."  But does it?  Note that nothing happened on the day before Thanksgiving, despite the TSA backing off from scanning and groping every passenger.  Of course, Homeland Security officials say that there are hundreds of terrorist plots foiled, but what evidence do they provide?  Somehow, their methods are always so secret that they can not be revealed, but trust them.  Stalin would be so proud.

If the American people are willing to accept being groped and scanned at airports, I guarantee that eventually TSA will show up at football games, malls, trains and bus stations.  If we accept that, they will eventually show up at check points on the highway.  There is nothing that will satisfy these insatiable bureaucrats.  At each intrusion upon peoples rights will be the claim of necessity, and you will never be able to prove them wrong.  It's time we realize that the fear of terrorists, real as it may be, should be far less than our fear of letting Government abrogate our civil rights to relieve it.  "Those who would trade essential liberty to achieve purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

Hat tip to The Blaze.

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