Monday, November 22, 2010

Is the US So PC It Will Accept TSA Liberties Assault?

Both Photos - Credit Flickr CC
The US remains the country people want to immigrate to legally and illegally. America is still viewed as the land of opportunity even with current economic problems and global criticism. Americans still stand as embodiment of “the free and the brave”.

The Bill of Rights continues to represent American liberty. Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech, considered a rally for the American Revolution against a tyrannical ruler, reflects American sacredness of liberty and freedom for its citizens.

Has America become so ruled by political correctness it will dishonor its heritage with mandated selective liberty? Will Americans continue to accept obvious political correctness hypocrisy?

The new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport security screening enhancement mandates passengers to accept being electronically photographed nude or intrusively physically screened (at a level of sexual assault in any other circumstance) or both.

San Diego resident John Tyner recorded his TSA pat-down objection this week. Mr. Tyner was not allowed to board the plane or leave the airport without additional questioning. TSA is officially investigating him. He faces a large fine and prosecution on a charge of leaving the airport’s security area without permission.

Unlike Mr. Tyner, it appears many Americans have taken a passive “well if it keeps us safe, then we have to do it” attitude. Security officials, and most informed citizens, understand these new intrusive measures can not guarantee non-metallic explosives detection. In reality, is TSA promoting a false sense of enhanced security?

Our founding father Ben Franklin said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Public acceptance may be exaggerated however. A Reuter’s ongoing poll asking “Are you less likely to fly because of stepped-up security procedures such as full body scans and patdowns?” reflects a 96% YES response at 74,899 respondents.

Citizens are objecting. Lawsuits have been filed to stop the use of the body scanners. Civil liberties organizations including the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) have filed suits against TSA citing several concerns.

EPIC filed a lawsuit against TSA in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals asking the court to halt the US government's use of naked body scanners altogether in July.

EPIC has brought claims under the Administrative Procedure Act, the Privacy Act, the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the 4th Amendment.

EPIC filed additional lawsuits against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week.

Exemptions have been demanded. Airline pilots have been granted an exemption. A modified pat-down will be allowed for children 12 years and under who require extra screening.

The most controversial request came from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to allow Muslim women be exempt on religious objection. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano responded she would consider it. She was politically correct enough not to see the irony everyone else saw.

TSA Chief Pistole indicated there would be no exemptions for religious practice to the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Less than a week later on November 21, he acquiesced conditions would be adaptable.

Do we have the political courage to stop piling on useless airport security, without genuine suspicion and due process, simply to feel good about our righteousness? Can we end the US’ appeasement of those sworn to kill our people and destroy our country from the inside out?

Should every American citizen be profiled a terrorist carrying a weapon or explosive until screened not to be? We must change course and policy based on political correctness now.

May we all agree security and realism are non-exclusive? We must be capable of acknowledging and saying out loud that security techniques used in Israel as an example have been effective. Israelis are trained properly to identify the known enemy and do not waste time or common sense to feel PC good.

Profiling for effective security is a forbidden concept in the US. Security modifications or exemptions due to oppressive measures weakens security structure. Our enemies are just as reactive to us as we are to them. We know they make adjustments to each new obstacle we insert into their method.

Pilots and children 12 and under are exempt. New terrorist plans will include pilots and children. It can and has become a never ending process. Better metal detection led to non-metal explosives ingenuity. And on it will go.

The US has undisputable intelligence analysis and summary representing distinctive features and characteristics of terrorism attacks and of the terrorist that commit them – a political correct way of describing a profile.

Intelligence gathered by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), DHS, DOJ, and military operations substantiate terrorism identification. The US knows terrorism is coming from radicalized Islam. The US knows terrorists are radicalized Muslim men and the countries most likely to train them

Americans are fair, but they understand what is needed. A 2010 Rasmussen poll reflects 59% believe “factors such as race, ethnicity and overall appearance should be used to determine which boarding passengers to search at airports”. 71% said “such profiling is necessary in today’s environment”.

The poll showed Americans do understand political correctness has had an impact on safety with 63% saying “political correctness prevented the military from responding to warning signs from a Muslim US Army officer, Major Nadal Malik Hasan that could have prevented the Fort Hood massacre from taking place”.

Refusing to use this information effectively, the US is showing itself to be so politically correct it is imposing a TSA assault on civil liberties. We must resist the ridiculousness of putting our manpower and money toward political correct security that only allows us feeling better, not being safer.

President Franklin Roosevelt’s “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” could be applied to political correctness in 2010.

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