Shame on the TSA, Shame on the DHS
This article includes health and civil rights arguments in opposition to the use of body scanners and "pat-downs" at airports. Most of these arguments have not been given enough attention in the popular media.
Never since the history of its creation has the TSA ever publicly admitted to thwarting a terror plot. The "underpants bomber" of last year was stopped before he even reached the United States - and that is probably because his father called to report him. All terror suspects in recent history have been caught by the CIA, FBI, or some other counter-terrorism agency before any major damage was done. None have been caught by the TSA.
The case against the body scanners:
1.) Radiation. Although the amount of radiation is small, repeated exposure adds up quickly and can lead to cancer. I have been exposed to too much radiation in the military, and should minimize further exposure as much as possible. How does radiation effect pregnant women? Flight crew? Frequent flyers? Children? Cancer patients/cancer survivors? How does TSA personnel know if the level of radiation has not increased over time to dangerous levels?
2.)Privacy concerns. The TSA says they are neither able nor allowed to save the naked images of people. Yet, they have been both saved and transmitted; they are all over the internet and news. The images are graphic and detailed. You are naked, and anyone can look at you.
3.) Profits for Private Contractors. Rapiscan, a conventiently-named company, got a $173 million contract with the TSA. Rapiscan's lobbyists include Susan Carr, a former senior legislative aide to Rep. David Price, D-N.C., chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee. L-3, another body scanner contractor, has a $165 million contract. Each body scanner is worth six digits each. L-3 and Rapiscan, as well as another named AS&E, are truly raping us.
4.) 4th Amendment infringement. Yes, I realize the Patriot Act already killed all of our rights, but this is still a degradation of our right to privacy.
The case against "pat-downs":
1.) It is sexual assault. Any unwanted sexual contact is considered sexual assault. Think of children, and how this is going to traumatize them. Are parents going to say to their kids, "don't let any stranger ever touch you in a wrong way, except a TSA agent"? Think of all the people, men, women, children, elderly, religious teachers, rape victims, virgins, EYERYONE...it is wrong. I myself am a victim of child molestation and to this day, I am uncomfortable with sex. I have a caring partner, but I am traumatized. I am not okay with someone looking for a bomb in my coochie, okay? No. I have PTSD. If I were to fall into a PTSD relapse, I would sue the TSA. My little sister is 17, but still an innocent little kid who has not had sex yet. It makes me sick to think about someone touching her like that. To me, it seems OBVIOUS that it is wrong. Touching my ta-ta's and hoo-ha does not make anyone safer!
2.) It objectifies people. It is humiliating. It shows no concern for medical patients.
The case against safety:
1.) Bomb sniffing dogs are still more accurate than these stupid, dangerous, wasteful, voyeuristic machines.
2.) The TSA never catches anyone anyway.
3.) You have more of a chance of being struck by lightning than being blown up in a plane. Most likely, you will never die of either of these things. But if you were, you would get struck by lightning first.
4.) I am a navy veteran of the Iraq War. I went to the Gulf. I testify that high fructose corn syrup and genetically modified food, melting glaciers, sewage in the Willamette River, and the merger of state and corporate power in our country (fascism) is a bigger threat than some dude with a bomb hiding with Mr. Jiggledaddy.
5.) This new regulation increases fear and decreases our constitutional rights.
The best course of action is to write to your state representative, such as Wyden or Merkley, and let them know you are pissed. Write a letter, not an email. When you write a letter to congress, that letter counts for X-amount of hundreds or thousands of other citizens in your area who never write letters. A secretary or intern will probably read it, and they don't necessarily read them all. But they DO make note of what the person's concern is. That is why you don't need to write a long letter. You can write on a postcard. The secretary will report back to the representative, and say, "okay. This many people are concerned about this. This many about this, and this many about this." So, write a letter, and get your friend to, also! Or, buy a book of stamps and some old postcards from goodwill for a buck. Sit with a couple of friends and fill them out.
Another course of action is to not fly. However, this is not logical for everyone in modern society. This can cause highway and freeway traffic problems. It's still best to write a letter, talk to friends, and discuss your concerns.
We are the people, and we are beautiful, powerful beings. We have all the power in the world. We just have to remember that we have it. Many people are outraged at this subject, which is reasonable. Yet, we must be courageous enough to do something about it. The biggest change comes from small people in small steps, capturing the right moment in time to do it.
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