The TSA has announced it will no longer use nude body scanners. HOORAY! VICTORY! Now these government agents will ONLY infringe on your 4th Amendment rights by performing searches that clearly fall far outside the purview of reasonable suspicion. And they’ll ONLY sexually violate you by groping your crotch under threat of arrest. MMMMM. You smell that? That’s the aroma of freedom, my friends.
Let’s not make the mistake of believing the cause of liberty has emerged victorious simply because the mall cops at the TSA won’t be using their softcore porno scanners anymore. We’ve still go a long way to go. And we should ALL be united in opposition to the arbitrary and unconstitutional militarization of airports. We should all be outraged at the notion that we are treated as suspected terrorists simply for committing the crime of boarding a flight. “BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE TERRORISTS TRYING TO GET ON AIRPLANES!” Yeah. About them. How many airplane attacks have there actually been in this country? How many potential attacks have been thwarted by “enhanced screening”? You’ve got the 9-11 hijackers, the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber. So that’s, what, 20 incidents or potential incidents, if you count all of the 9-11 terrorists individually? You could bump it up to 30 if you want. Hell, let’s pretend there’s been 40 successful or unsuccessful attacks. Now let’s put it all in perspective. There are 2 million non-terrorists boarding airplanes every day in this country. That’s 730 million non-terrorists on airplanes each year. That means there have been 9 BILLION non-terrorists flying through the air since the turn of the century. So, statistically, what’s the mathematical chance that any given person sitting in an airport terminal is a terrorist? Oh, about .000000001 percent. And that’s a conservative estimate. Conservative in the numerical sense of the word, mind you. Now the NEO-conservative ideological estimate would peg any individual at about an 86 percent likelihood of being an Al-Qaeda operative. I guess we have different calculators (I’m still rolling with the T-9 over here).
There’s likely better than a .00000001 percent chance that any given individual is a drug dealer, a serial killer, a pedophile or a central African warlord. If you can be groped at the airport based on those odds, why should you be free from probing and harassment anywhere else? Why hold onto that whole “reasonable suspicion” schtick at all? There’s far better than a .0000001 percent chance that any given driver on the road is intoxicated. What’s next? Are we going to see police randomly stopping every car on a particular street just to see if they’re sober? That would be ridic- Oh. Wait.
Yes, I know the arguments. “WELL ARE YOU SAYING THERE SHOULD BE NO SECURITY?” No. I’m not saying that. Actually it may surprise you to know that just because I oppose the government doing something, doesn’t mean I oppose it being done in general. This is a basic premise that so many struggle to grasp. The government is supposed to be constrained by the constitution. The government doesn’t have any RIGHT or LEGAL AUTHORITY to take over the security for a private company. Terrorists could more easily attack a bus or train station, a shopping mall, a restaurant, an amusement park, a night club, a city street, etc. If we tolerate government agents patrolling airports, we have absolutely NO REASON to oppose them ANYWHERE else.
Besides, airlines have a vested interest in making sure their planes don’t blow up. If the TSA disbanded tomorrow I doubt very much that United Airlines would start running ads that say “TERRORISTS, COME ABOARD!” But, I imagine, they wouldn’t grope and fondle their customers if given the option. And if they made the choice to utilize that form of invasive, offensive, and unnecessary security procedure, I’d happily take my business to another airline that doesn’t want to be that intimate with me. Right now, with Uncle Sam on the case, I don’t have that choice.
Benjamin Franklin famously said that anyone who would sacrifice their liberty for a little bit of safety, deserves neither liberty nor safety. I doubt even he imagined an American populace that would gladly sacrifice not only its liberty for safety, but also its pants and its pride.