I am dismayed at what has happened to my country and the world since the failed terror plot on Christmas Day.
My local airport, Logan Airport, is getting a strip-search machine, although it is unclear whether it will be used as a primary (everyone has to go through it) or secondary (only people who set off the metal detector have to go through it) method of screening. The Amsterdam airport is going to use strip-search machines as a primary screening method, and Nigeria is going to start using them in some capacity as well.
And the sickest part of all is that a disturbing number of people don’t seem to mind this. In this Globe article, one traveler said “If a couple of people want to see me naked, that’s OK with me,” and another said, “If it’s for security, I think it’s OK, as long as they don’t have it for everyone to see.” I pity these people and am sickened that they would have such low self-worth that they would accept the annihilation of their dignity and freedom.
Forcing all people who board an airplane to be virtually strip-searched would be preposterous, degrading, despicable, repugnant, evil, and disgusting. It would also be blatantly unconstitutional (Fourth Amendment, anyone?).
I thought of four things that you can do to try to put a stop to this insanity.
- Sign this letter to the TSA opposing the use of whole body imaging.
- Email, call, or write to your Senators encouraging them to take up a Senate version of H.R.2027, a bill which was passed by the House of Representatives and would ban the use of naked machines as a primary screening method. America needs this bill now more than ever.
- Contact the TSA. Tell them politely but forcefully that what they are doing is unacceptable.
- Do not fly. Do not go to any places where whole body imaging is used, especially not where it is used as a primary method of screening. Take a bus or train instead. The TSA has a list of places where it is currently used here, but it seems like the list is going to grow quickly. Don’t to go any of those places! Maybe airlines will start to oppose the strip-search machines if it hits them in the pocketbooks, and they’ll lobby the government to ban them.
With respect to our pending loss of dignity and freedom, the author of this Boston Globe editorial writes that “those downsides pale in comparison with the need to stay ahead of the resourceful terrorists who seem determined to do what would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid and Abdulmutallab failed to do – use concealed explosives to destroy an airplane in flight.”
The Globe could not be further from the truth. The risk of a terrorist attack pales in comparison to the certainty of our government taking away the dignity, privacy, sexual innocence, and liberty of all Americans. It would be better to have a terrorist attack every day than for strip-search machines to be used as a primary screening method.
Forced strip-searches of all innocent American air travelers would be far worse than high taxes, far worse than deficits, worse than an individual mandate to purchase health insurance, and worse than almost anything that has happened in U.S. history, no, world history.
Please, please fight back by doing one of the four things above. If you do only one political thing in your life, make that be it. We must not allow this to come to pass. We must not allow our rights and freedoms to be extinguished.