Saturday, November 13, 2010

Land of the un-free, and home of the sheeple . . .

I remember thinking how awful it was that people (you know, "people"--people-in-general) allowed the Nazis to take power in Germany or the Bolsheviks to take power in Russia.

Well, who or what is taking power in the United States right now?

I have already paid for airline tickets going out over a year into the future. And I am going to be subjected to TSA Groping?

Watch beginning at 3:57 to hear an account of the experience of a woman and her 8-year-old and 20-month-old daughters in the Denver airport about three weeks ago.

Are you ready for this kind of "treatment"? How can ordinary citizens effectively protest this kind of indignity sexual molestation?

"Oh," say some. "Don't worry. Just go through the naked body scanner."

--Except, I have been told (several personal stories on the Sonlight Curriculum forums), the body scanning "isn't enough" for many TSA personnel. They run you through the scanner and then also feel you up.

We just had friends come back from a trip. They are both FURIOUS!
They both went through the full body scan, although they really didn't like the idea. Then, they were both pulled aside and given a THOROUGH patdown.

They were NOT told that this was going to happen - that there would be a 'patdown'. My friend B kept asking the guy, "What are you doing" and he wouldn't even talk to her or look at her as her touched her. He was not just gently patting down. This was a groping. They are to touch to the point of resistance, all over the body. This was also a MAN who was "inspecting" her!

Her husband also got the patdown, and say that there was a firm cupping around certain parts of his body.

They were never told that there was anything that looked suspicious which prompted the additional screening. They are both white and in their high 40s or low 50s. He is a military officer, and not usually easily rattled. Of course you can't profile, so everyone is just as likely to get this done.
And does this make anyone safer? Really?

As the same poster went on:

Really, if someone wanted to circumvent this (scanner and patdown), body cavities would be used and the machines/groper wouldn't see into those places! People have passed objects this way many times in history. I can see that although it sounds disgusting, those who are intending to commit a terroristic act wouldn't have any problem using that method.

More stories--just to give you a good sense of what we're talking about, here:

I took a flight out of San Diego last week with my mom, and we were both subjected to the full body scan and the patdown. As far as I can tell, so was everyone.

I got through the patdown OK, but my mom has rather large hips, and they kept patting her hips and asking "Are these a part of your anatomy?" We weren't even pulled aside. This was in front of everyone.

Basically we went through the scanner while our carryons were being scanned. After going through the scanner, we had to stop for the patdown before we could get our luggage. Awful.
Someone asked whether the TSA person who pursued this examination was male or female.

I was patted down by a female, but I think everyone in our line was, even the guys. Had we been in a line with a male "patter downer", I'm sure I would have been patted down by a male.
And as for the scanners themselves:

The body scanners were vigorously promoted by people like former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff and others who stood to reap a financial windfall from their implementation, despite the fact that scientists at Columbia University and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, along with other scientific bodies, have all warned that the devices increase the risk of developing cancer.

Stories about TSA officials abusing the use of the scanners have become commonplace.

44-year-old Rolando Negrin beat his supervisor with a police baton after he had cracked jokes about Negrin’s small manhood when he walked through a naked scanner as part of a training exercise at Miami International Airport. The story underscored the fact that authorities had been lying all along about the claim that the scanners did not show sensitive details of genitalia.

The aggressive campaign on behalf of governments and the media to sell the public on invasive body scanners has been accompanied by the reassurance that the devices do not show details of genitals, an obvious attempt to counter the fact that the machines represent a virtual strip search as well as violating laws against child pornography.

Despite assurances from the TSA that the scanners do not show the shape of genitalia, sample images from their own website clearly display the outline of the penis. In addition, after nearly a year of authorities lying in claiming that the technology used in airports did not allow the naked images to be saved or transmitted, it emerged that police agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service, who were using the same systems, were storing naked body scanner images. The TSA’s own documents also confirmed that the machines must “allow exporting of image data in real time” and provide a mechanism for “high-speed transfer of image data over the network.”

Indian film star Shahrukh Khan told a BBC talk show that naked images of his body from the scanner were printed out and circulated by airport staff at Heathrow in London. Heathrow denied the claim but Khan himself never retracted the story, and had no apparent motive for making it up.

Heathrow authorities were unable to deny a later example of the scanners being abused, when it emerged that a Heathrow worker had perved over a naked image of a female colleague after she passed through one of the devices. . . . TSA Groping article

For some actual footage of people who are being abused by TSA, check this out:

But back to my original question: How would you suggest we fight this?
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