Wednesday, November 24, 2010

McCarthy: TSA is Terrible


Andrew McCarthy has some interesting thoughts on why TSA is Terrible. The gist of which is this bit:
Imagine, though, if the marshals had said: “Let’s just cavity-search everyone — after all, you never know.”

In essence, that is exactly what the Transportation Safety Administration is doing with its perverse — in every sense of the word — security procedures. At a number of the nation’s most heavily trafficked airports, in the midst of the Thanksgiving holiday, when people routinely fly in order to be with faraway loved ones, the TSA is saying: Let’s suspect everyone of being a terrorist, no matter how groundless the suspicion, and move immediately to the most intrusive search procedures in our toolkit.

This is a rank violation of the Fourth Amendment. In my long-ago trial, it would have been thought obscene to make violent drug traffickers the measure of every person’s privacy rights. There would have to be something more — some concrete basis for suspicion, particular to the person. Yet, the TSA is making the savage jihadist its lodestar for navigating the threat it audaciously presumes to be posed by every American.
Some people might be inclined to think that since I support the warrantless wiretaps from the Bush days, that I might be a-okay with this too. WRONG. And here is why: Under the FISA warrantless wiretaps, at least one side of the conversation had to be a foreign national. TSA is assuming that citizens are guilty until proven innocent which is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. Furthermore, there had to be some reason of suspicion for the wiretap and there was some court oversight which is not the case here. My beef with TSA is that they have gone too far with absolutely no due process whatsoever.

McCarthy is right. TSA is doing us absolutely no good at the mission they were tasked with and are trampling the Constitution in order to do it.

HT: Jason of That Hero

UPDATE: I just saw this bit which is worth talking about too...
At its website, the TSA cheerily informs us that its unnerving electro-strip searches, and the alternative you get to choose — having TSA officials grope the breasts, buttocks, and genitalia of yourself, your spouse, your children, your elderly parents, etc. — pass constitutional muster as “administrative searches.” Under this line of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, the agency insists, a warrantless search “is valid . . . if it is ‘no more intrusive or intensive than necessary, in light of current technology, to detect weapons or explosives’” — a proposition for which it quotes a Ninth Circuit case from 37 years ago (United States v. Davis). If you don’t like it, the TSA concludes, you “may avoid the search by electing not to fly.” How very reasonable!
No...that's not right either. TSA doesn't give you the option to not fly. You have to choose to not fly LONG BEFORE TSA gets involved. In order to choose not to fly, you have to not purchase a ticket and show up at the airport. If you do buy a ticket, show up at the airport, and enter security the only way you get to choose not to fly is to be kicked out of the airport and possibly fined $11,000. This is a similar kind of "choice" we are presented with when we're told to choose the Porno-Scanner or the Sexual Assault. These aren't choices at all.

Where is the Freedom?