Senator Rand Paul Held by the TSA

Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution reads (emphasis mine):

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. 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; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

Government Proposes “Reforms” to What Should Be Abolished

by Becky Akers (reprinted from LewRockwell.com with permission)

Quick: what first pops into your mind when someone says, “TSA”?

Sexual assault at airport checkpoints? Irradiation and deformed babies in utero? Theft? Bullies in brown-sorry, blue shirts screaming at the weak and defenseless, stripping diapers from dying grandmothers and teddy bears from toddlers?

Now imagine you’re writing a 24-page report on the TSA, timed to coincide with its tenth anniversary. How far are you into your first sentence before the words “pedophiles” and “unconstitutional,” “gate-rapists,” “prison” and “hanging offenses” befoul your computer’s screen?

I bet we have a bigger chance of finding the Constitution in Obama’s hip pocket than we do of your ignoring the TSA’s atrocities. I will further wager that you wouldn’t merely prescribe reforms for the agency, almost all of them bureaucratic (“TSA must act with greater independence from the DHS [Department of Homeland Security] … The TSA Administrator must be a priority appointment for the President, along with other agency heads and Cabinet-level Secretaries, and the length of the term of the TSA Administrator‘s appointment and compensation should be reexamined”). Instead, you would demand the agency’s immediate, total abolition – and at top volume, in ALL CAPS.

This is why you and I are serfs rather than Congresscriminals. These sociopaths can actually issue what the Washington Post risibly called a “harshly critical” “Joint Majority Staff Report” on the TSA without ever mentioning even one of its crimes against humanity.

Instead, the “Majority” surveys a few examples of the TSA’s many nauseating boondoggles ($97 million of our taxes wasted on “650 state-of-the-art AT-2 carry-on baggage screening machines” that sit twiddling their gears in a warehouse; another 39 million of our hard-earned dollars squandered on 106 “Explosive Trace Detection Portals, … [which] could not consistently detect explosives in an operational environment” because the TSA’s dimwits bought them without testing them in situ); discusses its failure to apprehend any terrorists despite their documented passage through American airports; and scolds it for its defiance time and again of Congress as well as its outright lawbreaking (don’t get too excited: the Majority waxes indignant over the TSA’s violating the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946, not its egregious trampling of the Constitution).

And yet, after all this astounding profligacy and illegality, the Majority is as chary of the word “abolish” as it is of acknowledging the TSA’s assaults on us. Instead, incredibly, it recommends 11 “reforms” that may trim the TSA’s bureaucracy a bit while shuffling its deviants from one office to another even as they hand its “Administrator” – currently John “The Pervert” Pistole – more money and power. The Majority proposes absolutely nothing substantive – but then, it wouldn’t be Congress if it stuck in a sensible suggestion or two.

None of us needs more proof that the bozos on the Potomac are utter nincompoops, stupid, venal, corrupt, and shockingly deaf to their constituents’ concerns. But for family and friends who do, or for a good but horribly bitter laugh, read this silly Report.

From it you’ll glean further infuriating tidbits on the TSA. For instance:

  • “With more than 65,000 employees, TSA is larger than the Departments of Labor, Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development, and State, combined. TSA is a top-heavy bureaucracy with 3,986 headquarters personnel and 9,656 administrative staff in the field.
  • “Since 2001, TSA staff has grown from 16,500 to over 65,000, a near-400% increase. In the same amount of time, total passenger enplanements in the U.S. have increased less than 12%.
  • “Since 2002, TSA procured six contracts to hire and train more than 137,000 staff, for a total of more than $2.4 billion, at a rate of more than $17,500 per hire. More employees have left TSA than are currently employed at the agency.” The Report later adds, “At San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the cost to train a private screener to TSA standards is $6,222, more than $11,000 less, per screener, than their federal counterparts.” …
  • “Over the past ten years, TSA has spent nearly $57 billion to secure the U.S. transportation network, and TSA’s classified performance results do not reflect a good return on this taxpayer investment. [Oh, such coy masters of the understatement!]
  • “On average, there are 30 TSA administrative personnel – 21 administrative field staff and nine headquarters staff – for each of the 457 airports where TSA operates. …
  • “The Nation‘s [catch the Nazified capitalization] 35 largest airports account for nearly 75% of passenger traffic [so an efficient, effective organization might concentrate its efforts there rather than on all 457 commercial airports] …
  • “TSA warehouses are nearly at capacity, containing almost 2,800 pieces of screening equipment. … TSA’s failure to deploy this cutting-edge technology in a timely manner is yet another example of the agency‘s flawed procurement and deployment program.” Ya think?

These facts alone offer a compelling, incontrovertible, and unanswerable argument for dissolving this dysfunctional bureaucracy. So the last thing even a moron would urge is that the TSA undertake more tasks, let alone complex ones.

Yep: that is precisely what the Majority advises. It chides leeches who neglect to “deploy” their expensive gadgets for not “Utiliz[ing] Biometrics”; it reproves nitwits who can’t “quickly analyze and take advantage of available intelligence” for not infesting airports overseas as copiously as they do American ones. Add to Congress’ other staggering sins a lunacy that makes the Mad Hatter’s Wonderland seem a model of rationality.

Amazingly, the Majority devotes much of its Report to a hobby-horse that once again proves government’s complete irrelevance and, worse, harmfulness: it advocates returning to the system that produced 9/11, the one the TSA replaced, as if Congress had never passed the legislation spawning the agency. How to undo the last decade? With a bit of fascism euphemized as “the Screening Partnership Program (SPP).” Translating from the Jargon, Our Rulers see TSA as an overseer, mandating aviation’s security and minutely controlling it, though employees of “private” personnel agencies would actually man the checkpoints. The only difference between this arrangement and the one that prevailed from the 1970’s until 2001 is that bureaucrats at the notoriously incompetent FAA played the supervisory role for which Congress now casts bureaucrats at the notoriously incompetent TSA.

Who cares? No one but said pencil-pushers, unions, and the Congresscritters campaigning on the bribes-sorry, contributions from those personnel agencies. Whether the creep groping victims “works” directly for the TSA or for a so-called private company under the TSA’s totalitarian thumb matters not a whit. Miss USA will still sob after the attack; survivors of cancer will still wind up drenched in their own urine.

Indeed, I have yet to hear any passenger sigh, “You know, ‘TSA still refuses to allow new airports to participate in [SPP] and continues to refuse to provide an explanation of the criteria used to judge the merits of program applications.’” Rather, they shriek that they don’t want their daughter’s “crotch grabbed” and promise, “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.

Deliciously, the Joint Majority is too imbecilic to realize its own implication, that Congress ought never to have foisted the barbaric TSA on us. It obliviously argues for reinstating the process that murdered 3000 people on 9/11, the unconstitutional arrangement Congress devised 40 years ago and just as unconstitutionally replaced on November 19, 2001. Except now it adds sexual molestation, thievery, and brutality.

Prompting the question of why we tolerate the TSA, Congress, or any rulers. Abolish government in toto before it abolishes us.

 

Groping to Keep America Safe: TSA expanding to the highways

The TSA has garnered much deserved criticism in recent days, particularly for their despicable treatment of American citizens at airports – especially the usage of full-body or “naked scanners” which do exactly what you think, before the eyes of TSA agents.

A couple of passengers have been subjected to particularly shameful tactics.  In Florida, a 95-year-old cancer patient trying to get home to spend her final days with family in Michigan, was made to remove her adult diaper for agents to search.  To make matters worse, some in the media referred to the treatment at “appropriate.”

More recently, Lori Dorn, a breast cancer patient went public with her TSA ordeal.  Zachary Roth of The Lookout reported:

“I explained to the agent that I was a breast cancer patient and had a bilateral mastectomy in April and had tissue expanders put in to make way for reconstruction at a later date,” Dorn wrote. She said she explained that because of this, she was not comfortable having her breasts touched.

Dorn asked the agent if she could retrieve a medical card from her pocket which described the expanders and included contact information for her doctor. But the agent called over a supervisor who denied the request, and said the breast exam had to take place.

According to Dorn, the supervisor added, loudly enough for other passengers to hear: “And if we don’t clear you, you don’t fly.”

In the end, Dorn wrote, “I had no choice but to allow an agent to touch my breasts in front of other passengers.”

In other words, while the TSA claims to protect American travelers from “potential” terrorists, they also guarantee that every traveler will be a victim of intentional molestation and groping.  They have not stopped a single terrorist or terrorist attack, but they have been hugely successful in violating thousands and thousands of people.

But apparently airports, bus and train stations are not enough.  The TSA wants to get their hands on the highways – literally – and the great state of Tennessee is happy to oblige.

Earlier this year, a federal court ruled that the TSA’s methods, including the “naked” scanners, were completely constitutional.

Constitutional?  These judges are all old enough to know that you should not use words unless you are certain of their meaning.

Here’s what the Constitution says:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – 4th Amendment

Where is the probable cause for the TSA?  Is driving through Tennessee enough?  Where is the warrant?  What are they looking for?  Where is the “security” for the American citizens?  None of these things are taken into consideration because, apparently, “national security” covers a multitude of sins (at least as far as the courts are concerned).

So, with carte blanche given by the federal courts, what methods will they use when the start searching people at Tennessee rest stops and weigh stations?  They can molest and humiliate at airports using their blue-gloved hands and scanners; so what will happen without the technology?  To what lengths will they go to ensure they are being “thorough” when you are standing beside your car?  Strip searches?  Cavity searches?

The TSA tramples the civil liberties of every American who passes through an airport, bus station, train station or, coming soon, a highway.  And, sitting idly by is the Congress.  You remember them, right?  They are the ones who take office by the votes of the people and swear to uphold the Constitution when they take office.  That’s right, they allow this.

In fact, some of them want more of it.  Last year, John McCain and Joe Lieberman proposed the Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act that would have allowed the U.S. government and military to indefinitely detain anyone (American citizens included) deemed valuable for information in the “War on Terror.”  Fortunately, the act did not pass, but the fact that it was proposed in addition to the PATRIOT Act and the TSA is troubling enough.

There is, of course, the objection that the TSA is helping to keep us safe, you know, from terrorists and airplane bombers.  Keep us safe?  Again, the TSA has not caught any terrorist or stopped any attack in their 10 year existence.  However, they have groped, molested, and undressed thousands of American citizens in violation of the 4th Amendment and all sense of decency.  

So, who are they protecting us from?  We have been taught to think that the terrorists are just Muslims; but how would you describe a complete stranger who forces you to submit to being stroked with his or her hands until they say you can move on – with the only alternative being that they get to see you naked?  Oh, and they have already robbed you because your tax dollars pay them.

James Madison warned, “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”  What could be more blatantly tyrannical than have your own body violated, in disregard of your rights, in the name of keeping you “safe”?  And now the way-too-friendly skies are hitting the highways.

 

Welcome to the “New” America

Government Assassinates 16-Year-Old Boy…the People Cheer

“Ummmm, guess you ought to be more careful when associated with and visiting known terrorists. I love them drones!!”

“Terrorists are selfish too. Your kid was the one who decided that he would start killing people. He sealed his own fate and we took him out. Maybe we should all start looking at his family with a cocked eye also since they were the one who bred it and let it loose on the world.”

“I beleieve the term is “collateral damage.” The family knew the dangers of being in the vicinity of Anwar al Awlaki or anyone known or suspected of involvement with al Qaeda. It is no secret that the US is agressivly pursuing the terrorists, yes, their son/brother/father was indeed a terrorist. Anyone who associates or supports terrorists is also a terrorist. I have no sympathy/guilt regarding the deaths of the al Awlakis in Yemen. The chose to be our enemy. We did not chose to be thier enemy. This should serve as a warning to anyone that we will pursue and kill terrorists wherever they are. If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, you may become collateral damage.”

“I hope it gives the next bomb tossing fanatic good reason to reconsider choosing to participate in terrorism.”

All of the above are actual user comments from ABC News and Washington Post articles on the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son.  Anwar was killed in an U.S. drone attack in Yemen on September 30.  His son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, was killed in a similar attack in Yemen on October 14.  Both were American citizens.

Abdulrahman was killed while having dinner outside with some of his friends and, though he was never suspected or charged with terrorist activity, became the third American citizen killed by a U.S. drone in the last three weeks (North Carolinian Samir Khan was killed alongside Anwar).  None of the three were charged, arrested, or tried – only sentenced and executed.  Anwar al-Awlaki was killed for suspected terrorism, Samir Khan for being with him, and Abdulrahman for eating dinner near suspected terrorists.

The drone attacks have drawn great praise from many media sources and politicians, as well as the majority of Americans who know of the attacks.  In an “Open Channel” poll by MSNBC, Americans were asked “Should the U.S. kill citizens overseas without affording them due process?”  The results?

- 79.3% (31,941 votes) said, “Yes, if they are involved in plotting terror attacks against the U.S.”

- 19.1% (7,686 votes) said, “No, U.S. citizens have the right to be tried in a court of law regardless of what they are accused of doing.”

- 1.7% (667 votes) were not sure.

Government Humiliates 95-Year-Old Woman…the People Feel Safe

In June, a 95-year-old cancer patient in a wheelchair was given a pat-down search by agents of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in Florida.  The woman was also made to remove her adult diaper for inspection by the agents.  A Baltimore Sun article covering the incident reported these details, but went on to point out that the TSA’s actions were “appropriate.”

In July, a federal court ruled that the TSA’s full-body “naked” scans were constitutional despite revealing the genitals and “privates” of passengers.  Those who refuse the scans are subjected to more “hands on” searches by agents.  Yet, a poll conducted by CBS News found that over 80% of Americans support the use of the full-body scanners.

The PATRIOT Act became law in 2001 and was extended by President Obama in May of this year.  The act was proposed as a counter-terrorism bill and allows government agents to conduct “roving surveillance” of suspects, American and foreign.  The surveillance includes wiretaps, access to bank records, e-mail and other online communication, phone calls, library records, credit card usage, and even the searching of one’s home with or without a warrant.  Agents may conduct such searches and surveillance without the knowledge of the suspect.

Additionally, bank employees, internet providers, and anyone else asked to hand over a suspect’s records must do so with or without a warrant and are forbidden by the act to speak of it to anyone.

Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center found that the American public had actually warmed up to the PATRIOT Act since its inception.  In February, only 34% of Americans saw it as a threat to civil liberties, compared with 39% two years ago.  Republican support for it has remained high, at nearly 60% in favor and Democrats were shown to increase in support as well, though not as high as their GOP counterparts.

Government Robs Citizens of Liberty…the People Sleep

When the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, it is said that a woman approached Benjamin Franklin and asked what form of government had been decided upon.  Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

It has not been kept.

The American Republic was established upon the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law established therein.  It is founded upon the idea that the people elect representatives who actually represent them and their rights as defined by those laws; who will seek to protect the people from the abuses of government that can creep into any nation.

The American Republic was established with a judicial branch that swears to do the same, using the bench to enforce the rule of law rather than politicizing it.

The American Republic was established with an executive officer, the President, who though elected by the people, may not even begin office until he swears an oath before God to uphold the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

That America Republic is no more.

Representatives and Senators have authorized unconscionable laws like the PATRIOT Act, depriving Americans of basic civil liberties in name of “national security.”

Judges have upheld the molestation of citizens in airports and dared call it “constitutional” while media outlets praise how “appropriate” it is to degrade in the name of “safety,” though the TSA has not apprehended one single “terrorist” since its inception in 2001.  What’s more, the agents are paid by American tax dollars.

Meanwhile, America’s President (and many more before him) starts one undeclared, unconstitutional war after another with nations who pose no real threat.  In the name of “protecting America,” he has ordered the assassinations of her citizens through drone attacks – without charge, without arrest, and without trial.

Yet the disappearance of the Republic cannot be blamed merely upon the Congress, the judges, or the President.  Yes, it is true that they have played their part; and no small part at that.  But America has been dismantled by her citizens.

The great Dutch statesman Abraham Kuyper once said, “In any successful attack on freedom the state can only be an accomplice. The chief culprit is the citizen who forgets his duty…and so loses the power of his own initiative.”

Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

American citizens have remained willfully ignorant of their rights and their Constitution and ignorance, when it is willful, is criminal.  Sacrificing duty for comfort and safety for liberty, Americans find themselves with none of the above.

The assassinations, indignities, and illegal actions described above are tragic, but far more tragic are the endorsement they received from the American people.

If the American Republic will be saved, it will come through the awakening of the citizens – awakening to a true knowledge of their rights granted by Creator and Constitution, awakening to a love of true liberty not false promises of “safety.”

While such an awakening may seem a mere pipe dream to some, remember more sage counsel from the Founding Fathers.  Samuel Adams said, “It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

This is more than mental awareness, it is determined revolution; something the Founding Fathers understood.  As Thomas Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

If Americans refuse to wake up, then the tyranny that now controls them is earned.  In the words of Alexander Hamilton: “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.”