It’s time for TSA to go away
The outrage directed that the Transportation Security Administration over its use of full-body scanners and “pat downs,” which can be more accurately described as sexual harassment, has been palpable. People are angry, they feel like they are being assaulted and harassed. It doesn’t stop at passengers. And at this point, you have to ask if the actions taken by the TSA, which amounts to invasive security theater, is terrorism itself.
Over at Forbes, Art Carden explains that it’s time for the Transportation Security Administration to be abolished:
For fiscal conservatives, it’s hard to come up with a more wasteful agency than the TSA. For privacy advocates, eliminating an organization that requires you to choose between a nude body scan or genital groping in order to board a plane should be a no-brainer.
But won’t that compromise safety? I doubt it. The airlines have enormous sums of money riding on passenger safety, and the notion that a government bureaucracy has better incentives to provide safe travels than airlines with billions of dollars worth of capital and goodwill on the line strains credibility. This might be beside the point: in 2003, William Anderson incisively argued that some of the steps that airlines (and passengers) would have needed to take to prevent the 9/11 disaster probably would have been illegal.
The odds of dying from a terrorist attack are much lower than the odds of dying from doing any of a number of incredibly mundane things we do every day. You are almost certainly more likely to die or be injured driving to the airport than you are to be injured by a terrorist once you’re in the air, even without a TSA. Indeed, once you have successfully made it to the airport, the most dangerous part of your trip is over. Until it’s time to drive home, that is.
Over the next few years, we’re headed for a bitter, partisan clash over legislative priorities. Before the battle starts, let’s reach for that low-hanging, bipartisan fruit. Let’s abolish the TSA.
And if you question the government or refuse to be treated like a criminal (and capture audio of them treating you as such), you are threatened with fines and investigations; like John Tyner, who stood up for his right to privacy:
The transportation Security Administration has opened an investigation targeting John Tyner, the Oceanside man who was ejected from the airport Saturday morning after refusing to undertake a full body scan and, subsequently, an invasive body search.
Tyner recorded the half-hour long encounter on his cell phone and later posted it to his personal blog, along with an extensive account of the incident. That blog and a subsequent story on signonsandiego.com posted Saturday night and gone viral, attracting hundreds of thousands of readers, and thousands of comments.
Michael J. Aguilar, chief of the TSA office in San Diego, called a press conference at the office Monday afternoon to announce the probe. The investigation could lead to prosecution and “civil penalties” of up to $11,000, he said.
If you’re tired of government treating you like you have no rights and you plan to travel on Wednesday, November 24th, then participate in National Opt Out Day by refusing to go through these invasive measures.