The Daily Caller reports that a year has passed since the TSA was ordered by a federal judge to open up public comments on their body scanning procedures and that the TSA has done nothing to comply with the order. The Electronic Privacy Information Center is considering going back to court to have the order enforced.
Yeah, the TSA probably should be held in contempt of court–not to mention contempt of the public–but what do you expect from a lawless administration? The real question before us is “How well has our current President met the requirements of Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution?”
Is it November yet?
Dana Loesch posts about her husband’s experience with the TSA in Providence, RI. It’s a typical horror story.
In many ways the TSA is a uniquely unAmerican institution, a gross violator of our rights. OTOH, it is an equal opportunity harasser. Teddy Kennedy made the no-fly list, Rand Paul was detained in Nashville, …
The TSA has announced a test program to allow travelers over 75 years old to keep their shoes and light jackets on and avoid being groped at airport security.
The TSA’s “
Baghdad Blogger Bob” responds the there is nothing to see here. Move along—after we finish groping you.
UPDATE—(From Slashdot) When anti-TSA activist Jonathan Corbett exposed a severe weakness in TSA’s body scanners, one would expect the story to attract a lot of media attention. Apparently TSA is attempting to stop reporters from covering the story. According to Corbett, at least one reporter has been ‘strongly cautioned’ by TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz not to cover the story. If TSA is worried that this is new information they need to suppress to keep it away from terrorists, that horse may have left the barn years ago. Corbett’s demonstration may just be confirmation of a 2010 paper in the Journal of Transportation Security that concluded that “an object such as a wire or a boxcutter blade, taped to the side of the body, or even a small gun in the same location, will be invisible” to X-ray scanners.
The Daily Mail has a story about an engineer who has demonstrated how to get metal objects past the TSA nude scanners. (H/T, Hot Air) Other folks have shown how to get PETN, the explosive that the underwear bomber used, past the machines.
Let’s see. These things can’t always find the explosives they are supposed to detect. They miss stuff that a cheap magnetometer will catch. There are potential health risks associated with their use. They cost billions.
I must be missing something.
The President’s budget has some strange transportation priorities.
For example, it proposes to increase the subsidy that rich folks get on their Chevy Volts from $7500 to $10k. If the Volt made economic sense, the subsidy would be unnecessary. Considering the number of Volts that will really be sold to private individuals, this shouldn’t cost much, but a gimme for the 1% when the budget is so far out of whack doesn’t look good, does it?
There are “savings” proposed. One involves a severe cutback in the Federal Flight Deck Officer program that arms commercial airline pilots. Those pilots cover many times more flights at much lower cost than the Sky Marshals.
What sense does it make to cripple one of the most cost-effective things the government does while funding a boondoggle for the rich? It may be that we really need to reduce spending for antiterrorist protection. But if that’s really the case, the President should consider Archie Bunker’s suggestion.
The Tennessean reports:
A security video of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul at a Nashville International Airport checkpoint doesn’t show him being “irate,” as police asserted.
An incident report describes the police response as encountering “a passenger being irate.” But videos released by the Metro Airport Authority late Wednesday show Paul entering the security line at 7:57 a.m. and then alternately sitting and standing in a glass cubicle while being watched by authorities. Paul appears to make a few phone calls as well.
UPDATE—Howard Portnoy comments:
So if a would-be airline passenger is “escorted out of the area by local law-enforcement” and misses his flight, he has not—in the eyes of the White House or TSA—been detained.
Senator Paul maintains that he was detained:
If you’re told you can’t leave, does that count as detention? I tried to leave the cubicle to speak to one of the TSA people and I was barked at: “Do not leave the cubicle!” So, that, to me sounds like I’m being asked not to leave the cubicle. It sounds a little bit like I’m being detained.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) was detained Monday by the Transportation Security Administration in Nashville, Tennessee, after refusing a full body pat-down, Politico has confirmed.
UPDATE–I wonder if this bit of the Constitution (from Article I, Section 6) about Senators and Representatives applies?
They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same …
If the senator is traveling to or from Washington, the TSA may have just given one of their worst enemies a very big stick with which to beat them! Or will the TSA insist that refusing a pat down is now treason or a felony or a beach of the peace?
UPDATE 2–PJ Tatler is asking the same question.
UPDATE 3–Thus saith the TSA (H/T, Hot Air):
When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport. Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling.
UPDATE 4–More at PJ Tatler.
UPDATE 5–Alexandra Petri comments at WaPo:
If a stranger is asking me to put my hands above my head, either there’s a robbery going on or I’m going through airport security.
If a stranger is asking me for my wallet, keys and cell phone, either there’s a robbery going on or I’m going through airport security.
If a stranger is asking me to remove my sweater and boots and begins lightly stroking my arm, either I’m on a great date with a socially awkward person or I’m going through airport security.
UPDATE 6–Senator Paul tells his side of the story here.