Are you flying this week? Know someone else who is? Download our “Know Your Rights at TSA” flier and make sure you and your fellow passengers know the risks and rights while dealing with TSA.
By Jane Hamsher, Firedoglake.com
It’s the busiest week for air travel – and the biggest week yet for TSA to abuse our rights. More than 25,000 people have already signed our petition to Congress to investigate the TSA.
Here’s how else the TSA has abused its power since then:
- Made a breast cancer survivor flight attendant remove her prosthetic breast1
- Dislodged a urostomy bag of a bladder cancer survivor, spilling urine all over himself2
- TSA screeners themselves have come out against the aggressive patdowns3
This is insane – and it’s all just security theater to protect the TSA’s corrupt, ineffective porno scanners.
Thanks for standing up for dignity in our airports.
P.S. Are you flying this week? Know someone else who is? Download our “Know Your Rights at TSA” flier and make sure you and your fellow passengers know the risks and rights while dealing with TSA.
E-Mail from Jane Hamsher
Subject: FWD: Welcome to the police state
Porno Scanners, Groping and Prosecution
John Tyner had two options when he got to the airport:
- Go through TSA’s expensive new “porno scanners” unprotected, which the Airline Pilots Association tells pilots to refuse.1
- Get an aggressive groping by a TSA agent that one woman described as being “sexually assaulted by a government official.”2
Tyner chose the latter option. But when he objected to the TSA’s plan to fondle his genitals, the agents refused to let him board his flight. Tyner recorded the incident in a now-famous video in which he told the TSA to “don’t touch my junk.”3
Now the TSA says they are “investigating” Tyner, threatening him with prosecution and $11,000 in civil penalties.4 It should be obvious why the TSA is investigating Tyner: to intimidate the rest of us.
These new aggressive “pat downs” started on November 1, to punish people like Tyner who refuse to go through the scanners. Neither the scanners nor the aggressive pat-downs make us any safer.
Experts call it “security theater,” to insure the market for this new, expensive boondoggle doesn’t dry up when the public refuses to participate.
The House of Representatives voted against funding the scanners because they are incredibly invasive and don’t keep us safe.5 So the Department of Homeland Security flipped them the middle finger and used $25 million in stimulus funds to buy machines anyway – creating just one job in the process.6
Now the TSA is further abusing its power, threatening a citizen’s most basic rights to intimidate the rest of us.
There should be no question: the only thing the TSA’s new “groping” policy is meant to impact is people’s willingness to go through these machines, which render images of people’s naked bodies so graphic one mother called it “child pornography.”7
And the TSA’s decision to prosecute Tyner is nothing but an attempt to intimidate the public from following his lead and resisting this outrageous invasion of their personal freedoms. They want us to give up our rights for their latest abuses of power.
This has nothing to do with keeping us “safe.” It’s the product of outrageous government corruption and an invasion of our most basic ideas of privacy.
Thanks for taking action on this important issue.
References (part 1)
1. “TSA Makes Cancer Victim Remove Prosthetic Breast.” CBS News, 11/19/2010
2. “TSA pat-down leaves bladder cancer survivor covered in urine.” The Political Carnival, 11/20/2010
3. “TSA Enhanced Pat Downs : The Screeners Point Of View.” Boarding Area, 11/18/2010
References (part 2)
1. “President’s Message.” US Airline Pilot Association (USAPA), 11/8/10
2. “TSA – Sexual Assault.” Our Little Chatterboxes, 11/12/10
3. “TSA Encounter at SAN.” Johnny Edge, 11/13/10
4. “TSA May Prosecute ‘Don’t Touch My Junk’ Guy.” Firedoglake, 11/16/10
5. “TSA to the White House on Whole-Body Scanners: Shove It.” Consumer Traveler, 10/2/09
6. “Project Summary: Rapiscan Systems, INC.” Recovery.gov.
7. “TSA Child Porn or Protection?” WMAR ABC2 News, 7/22/10
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