Former TSA security director: No one likes Fourth Amendment violations, but we’re going to have to do it

posted at 7:41 pm on November 16, 2010 by Allahpundit

Via Left Coast Rebel, skip ahead to 2:30 for the money line. I’ll say this for the guy: He’s not one for sugar-coating. If he has to break a few constitutional eggs to make a security omelette, not only is he going to do it, he’s going to tell you that he’s doing it. Bend over — this Fourth Amendment violation won’t hurt a bit. I wonder what that’ll do to the poll numbers: As of yesterday, fully 81 percent of the public supports the use of full-body scanners at the airport, but as Nate Silver notes, that may be because relatively few people have had to endure them yet. Poll it again in a month, after “don’t touch my junk” fee-vah has had term to percolate culturally, and who knows where it’ll be.

Speaking of which, Gizmodo’s touting the fact that it’s obtained 100 images from a full-body scanner used at a courthouse in Florida showing photos of people side-by-side with their (fuzzy) X-rayed selves. Which isn’t supposed to happen, of course, per the endless assurances from the feds that the machines don’t save images they record. Two things, though. One: We already knew about this incident. That doesn’t diminish the privacy breach, but strictly from the standpoint of public awareness, everyone should already know that these things are indeed capable of exporting images. (Which makes sense: They’d want that as evidence afterwards if a suspect is apprehended.) As for the side-by-side real-life/X-ray comparisons, if you believe Napolitano — a very big if, I know — that wouldn’t happen at the airport. She’s sworn up and down that images from the full-body scanner are viewed at a remote location in the airport so that the screener observing them doesn’t see the actual passenger. In theory, at least in airports, side-by-side comparisons that identify people shouldn’t be possible. But then, in theory, the machines aren’t saving images either. Go figure.

Update: Elsewhere, Greenroomer Howard Portnoy explores the claims about dangerous radiation. Are these things really firing off damaging rays? Well … maybe, yeah.


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Meathead,
It’s a tool of the current admin…
don’t let it fool you…
After the repudiation on the second you’d think they’d have gotten the message…
Talk about a tipping point…are these people insane….don’t answer that…I know. ;(

jerrytbg on November 16, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Yeah, “…our rights are out dated in this day and age. No one can expect the government to continue to abide by our constitution when there are threats in the world. Freedom, liberty, individual rights were all nice in the day, but this is 2010. Lets face it, we have a determined enemy and our government has to do what it has to do to protect us.”

See, this argument can always be made. The government can always for eternity make justifications for denying individual rights for our safety.
Do you not think government officials could have come up with justifications for random strip searches and other things during WWII? Or justification for laws mandating every American always carry identity papers?
Some people act as though this was the first time America was ever confronted with an enemy.

The best way to ensure our survival as a nation is not to turn us into cattle while consolidating all power over us into the hands of a few in Washington, but to reaffirm our support of individual liberty and freedom. A nation filled with a free and independent people will not be easily overthrown or destroyed. The American ideal of freedom would burn in the hearts of every home and town. Protected by a free, strong and liberty minded people, not just some government security force or a TSA!
Sometimes what I see going on is more about protecting “the government” than it is about protecting our way of life. In a truly free and liberty healthy society, the “government” can never really be destroyed because the government really is the people!

JellyToast on November 16, 2010 at 8:31 PM

OldNuc on November 16, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Ok I gotta ask. What’s the story behind your screen name?

Oldnuke on November 16, 2010 at 8:32 PM

The TSA is REACTIONARY and NOT PROACTIVE in attempting to dress up security.
Each and every event has caused the TSA to change security screening AFTER THE EVENT OCCURRED.

Shoe bomber – remove shoes
Liquid bombers – no shampoo, water, liquids
Crotch bomber – Trouser trashing, feely meelys, neked picks

If you though big boobed muslim terrorists wasnt’ possible, think again

Kini on November 16, 2010 at 8:33 PM

In your view, how would “first principles” guide us here?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:27 PM

They wouldn’t have gotten us here.

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 8:33 PM

canopfor,
============
So how is airport screening done in Canada?

Electrongod on November 16, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Electrongod:I haven’t flown,for a long time,so I looked up
our Canadian TSA on that!:)
====================================================

Canadian TSA

The screening process

Getting you through security and on your way faster!

http://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/Page.aspx?ID=7&pname=Screening_Controle&lang=en
**************************************
What can I expect during a physical search?

A physical search may involve a Screening Officer using a wanding technique with a device that detects metal objects. During a physical search, a Screening Officer performs a visual search and a search through touch to ensure that a traveller is not concealing anything under his or her clothing.

Physical searches are conducted in the most professional and respectful manner possible. If you must undergo a physical search, you may request a private search out of public view. In such cases, it is mandatory for two Screening Officers of the same gender as you to be present during the physical search. One Screening Officer will carry out the search, while the other will serve as a witness.

http://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/Page.aspx?ID=85&pname=physicalsearch_fouillemanuelle&lang=en

canopfor on November 16, 2010 at 8:33 PM

This might have been said already but it seems another obvious way to hurt an industry, the airlines. The environmental left hates them and the other hard left just hates that we can travel at will. Also seems like another nudge to see what loss of rights we will accept. I could be crazy though and will take my conspiratorial foil hat off now.

bluemarlin on November 16, 2010 at 8:34 PM

So, what do tea partiers say?

“Don’t touch my tea bags!”

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 8:35 PM

So, what do tea partiers say?

“Don’t touch my tea bags!”

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Only by the hotties.

OmahaConservative on November 16, 2010 at 8:37 PM

In your view, how would “first principles” guide us here?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:27 PM

They wouldn’t have gotten us here.

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Well I think the search is unconstitutional, don’t get me wrong. But the entire issue seems to be one which the Founders never really envisioned anyway so the whole “first principles’ thing is kind of empty here. We need to look at the case law we’ve developed over the years.

For example, if you had straight up asked Jefferson “hey, would the government scanning an image of someone’s naked body without probable cause violate the 4th amendment” I’m sure he’d say yes. He probably could barely imagine such a thing when the 4th amendment was written. But I’m also sure he could barely imagine airports. And 9/11, for that matter. And both of those things are central to the issue. So how useful is his opinion?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM

In your view, how would “first principles” guide us here?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Oh please…too little too late pal.
I cannot believe you’re taking that tact…
this is one of many times I wished for being able to type more than a …never mind …

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance …baffle them with bullshit…
crr6

jerrytbg on November 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM

In order to digitally construct the images, and in order to “view the images remotely,” the images MUST be “stored”!!!

And in order to flag someone for failing to pass the scan, the image MUST be associated with a specific individual!!!

Napalitano is either abysmally ignorant or lying…or both.

(…and it wouldn’t be the first time…)

landlines on November 16, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Oh please…too little too late pal.
I cannot believe you’re taking that tact…
this is one of many times I wished for being able to type more than a …never mind …

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance …baffle them with bullshit…
crr6

jerrytbg on November 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM

I’m not sure why you’re so p*ssed at me considering we agree that the body scans violate the 4th amendment. If you’d rather imagine that we disagree so that I can be your strawman well, have at it. That seems to be what you’re doing.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:40 PM

canopfor on November 16, 2010 at 8:07 PM
=======
Hey, I thought you were going for Slip-n-Slide… yeah, TSA needs one of those for their lunch break.

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 8:09 PM

MeatHeadinCA:Hehe,ahem:)
===========================================================

Simon & Garfunkel – Slip Slidin’ Away
*************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRkvSBMoGh0

canopfor on November 16, 2010 at 8:42 PM

So, what do tea partiers say?

“Don’t touch my tea bags!”

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Um, how about: Mind the Earl Gray`s please!

bluemarlin on November 16, 2010 at 8:42 PM

But I’m also sure he could barely imagine airports. And 9/11, for that matter. And both of those things are central to the issue. So how useful is his opinion?

Perhaps not, but he could conceive of being stripped naked before being allowed to travel, and I’m positive he would not support such measures.

Vera on November 16, 2010 at 8:44 PM

So, what do tea partiers say?

“Don’t touch my tea bags!”

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 8:35 PM

MeatHeadinCA: And H*LL NO,you can’t touch my Tea Kettle
Spout either:)*Snicker*

canopfor on November 16, 2010 at 8:44 PM

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 8:35 PM
========
Um, how about: Mind the Earl Gray`s please!

bluemarlin on November 16, 2010 at 8:42 PM

bluemarlin: Only in Canada eh? What a bloody shames I tells
ya,haha!!:)

canopfor on November 16, 2010 at 8:46 PM

k…damn…

jerrytbg on November 16, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Perhaps not, but he could conceive of being stripped naked before being allowed to travel, and I’m positive he would not support such measures.

Vera on November 16, 2010 at 8:44 PM

No but the whole purpose for the measures is to prevent horrific attacks like 9/11, which I don’t think he could imagine. I myself couldn’t imagine it before 9/11.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Some thoughts:
If the gropes are non-sexual in nature why do the gropers need to be the same sex as the gropee?
-
If a passenger declines both the scan or grope and does not fly, normally luggage will be removed from “his” aircraft.
If several people on each flight do the same and luggage must be removed, how many flights will be delayed? Can this not cascade into a national air travel meltdown?

diogenes on November 16, 2010 at 8:47 PM

bluemarlin: Only in Canada eh? What a bloody shames I tells
ya,haha!!:)

canopfor on November 16, 2010 at 8:46 PM

:)

bluemarlin on November 16, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Doing a full body scan of Rosie O’donnell will put an immediate and permanent end to the practice and will send the TSA agent who does it into years of powerful Adlerian therapy.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on November 16, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Standby crr6…i’m a four finger typist…two on each hand…;) I’m going to read your previous posts on this thread.

jerrytbg on November 16, 2010 at 8:50 PM

and also that less intrusive methods are unavailable or insufficient.
novaculus on November 16, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Less intrusive, like perhaps profiling for actual terrorist types.
On passing judicial scrutiny, I guess how often the Justices fly, and to what foreign locations might make a difference in how they view these intrusions.

txmomof6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:51 PM

For example, if you had straight up asked Jefferson “hey, would the government scanning an image of someone’s naked body without probable cause violate the 4th amendment” I’m sure he’d say yes. He probably could barely imagine such a thing when the 4th amendment was written. But I’m also sure he could barely imagine airports. And 9/11, for that matter. And both of those things are central to the issue. So how useful is his opinion?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Well, I’ve seen, imagined, and experienced airlines. And 9/11.

And my answer to your question would be: “Yes.”

Anyway, by your logic, nothing in the Constitution should be applied today, as life and life’s accouterments today is different in millions of ways besides just having airplanes.

What you’re saying is, the “opinions” of the authors of the Constitution are not useful, because the concepts in the Constitution are outdated.

Alana on November 16, 2010 at 8:54 PM

I myself couldn’t imagine it before 9/11.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:47 PM

You never saw pictures like this before 9/11. Same sort of thing. Sneak attack on US from a foreign power. One difference is that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by an enemy that had not only stated their intent to attack us but had actually attacked us directly several times. Each time all abut ignored.

Oldnuke on November 16, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Do you think that US intelligence has picked up on some intel that has them freaked out?

This seems awful evasive, even for the Government.

portlandon on November 16, 2010 at 7:52 PM

More likely Napolitano is feeling challenged, so she is pushing back. Time to teach the masses who is boss.

Yoop on November 16, 2010 at 8:56 PM

No but the whole purpose for the measures is to prevent horrific attacks like 9/11, which I don’t think he could imagine. I myself couldn’t imagine it before 9/11.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:47 PM

You seem to be basing your argument in part on the notion that these men were sheltered and naive.

Alana on November 16, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Only by the hotties.

OmahaConservative on November 16, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Heh

Hot Tea Bags!

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 8:59 PM

Who the hell are these people to tell us what rights they are going to allow us? I get the feeling they will not go peacefully.

ronsfi on November 16, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Anyway, by your logic, nothing in the Constitution should be applied today, as life and life’s accouterments today is different in millions of ways besides just having airplanes.

No that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m saying we should apply those principles as they’ve been developed and refined through case law, rather than acting as if the Constitution is just a directive to play the game of: “Let’s Imagine what a Founder would Say!”

What you’re saying is, the “opinions” of the authors of the Constitution are not useful, because the concepts in the Constitution are outdated.

Alana on November 16, 2010 at 8:54 PM

The concepts of the Constitution are never outdated. But no, if we had a time machine I don’t think the personal opinions of the Founders would be particularly useful when deciding whether digital body-scanners are a violation of the 4th amendment when used for purposes of warrantless searches of airline travelers. The reasons why should be obvious.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 9:00 PM

The argument that these searches are 4th amendment violations, would seem to be that the privacy intrusion is vastly disproportionate to the government’s need to advance its interest in preventing hijackings. That is, they don’t need to do a freaky-deaky virtual strip-search of you to ensure you’re not a terrorist.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Damn…wrong thread to engage …I stand corrected and a p o l o g I z e …
Glad to see you’re on the right side of this…
And I reserve the right to challenge on another thread…
Is that acceptable?

jerrytbg on November 16, 2010 at 9:02 PM

So how useful is his opinion?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Given that the 4th was written as protection from a tyrannical government, his opinion is as “useful” (valid) as it was when he first had it. That’s the thing. You’re all about something being useful. Useful for what purpose? If you don’t like the 4th, repeal it. Modify it. But ignoring it because it’s not “useful” is just wrong.

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Um, how about: Mind the Earl Gray`s please!

bluemarlin on November 16, 2010 at 8:42 PM

bluemarlin: Only in Canada eh? What a bloody shames I tells
ya,haha!!:)

canopfor on November 16, 2010 at 8:46 PM

ehhhhhh – mind bleach needed.

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Damn…wrong thread to engage …I stand corrected and a p o l o g I z e …
Glad to see you’re on the right side of this…
And I reserve the right to challenge on another thread…
Is that acceptable?

jerrytbg on November 16, 2010 at 9:02 PM

I also flat out said I think it’s unconstitutional here, in response to your post…

Yeah, I agree. I think the body-scans violate the 4th amendment. Relax.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Anyway, yeah apology accepted. You may find we agree on more than you think.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 9:03 PM

So, let me get this straight: it is LEGAL to grope my package at an airport, but it is ILLEGAL to ask for identification in arizona?

oh, okay.

knob on November 16, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Given that the 4th was written as protection from a tyrannical government, his opinion is as “useful” (valid) as it was when he first had it. That’s the thing. You’re all about something being useful. Useful for what purpose? If you don’t like the 4th, repeal it. Modify it. But ignoring it because it’s not “useful” is just wrong.

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Well now we could get into a whole other debate. But I’ll just say that you seem to be equating Jefferson’s imagined personal views on the subject of airport searches with the actual text of the 4th amendment. The former is something you just made up, the latter is Constitutional law.

Even if we knew Jefferson’s exact views on the subject, those views were never written specifically in the text of the Constitution and ratified by the states into law. So why do we care about them?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Well now we could get into a whole other debate. But I’ll just say that you seem to be equating Jefferson’s imagined personal views on the subject of airport searches with the actual text of the 4th amendment. The former is something you just made up, the latter is Constitutional law.

Look, I didn’t bring Jefferson up. You were the one that brought him up. First Principles (in my opinion) are not the thoughts and views of those that write them. Sure, opinion may motivate, but it isn’t a First Principle.

Even if we knew Jefferson’s exact views on the subject, those views were never written specifically in the text of the Constitution and ratified by the states into law. So why do we care about them?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 9:07 PM

You’re the one that brought him up. Like I said above, his views may motivate his words, but they don’t make them more or less true.

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Look, I didn’t bring Jefferson up. You were the one that brought him up. First Principles (in my opinion) are not the thoughts and views of those that write them. Sure, opinion may motivate, but it isn’t a First Principle.

Ok, so what are “first principles?” And why do you think I don’t care about them?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 9:14 PM

No that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m saying we should apply those principles as they’ve been developed and refined through case law, rather than acting as if the Constitution is just a directive to play the game of: “Let’s Imagine what a Founder would Say!”

Take your case law and refinement and everything else, at the core is still the basic principle. An argument can be (and has been made) that the TSA is denying us 4th amendment rights. And that is taking into consideration all that business about special industries, and so forth.

In other words, while, say, 22% may lean in favor of “special industries” is stacked up against, 78% may lean in favor of the judgment that that “special industry” and that “special circumstance” just isn’t sufficiently “special” to overcome the 4th amendment, even when case law precedent is considered.

(Moreover, there’s a difference between special industries and an entire sector of transportation which represent freedom of movement.)

The idea of a legal system is not to whittle away at rights, and then always pointing to the last whittling as the reason to whittle more. Each case should be weighed against the fundamental right, and if found lacking, should be scuttled.

What you’re saying is, the “opinions” of the authors of the Constitution are not useful, because the concepts in the Constitution are outdated.

Alana on November 16, 2010 at 8:54 PM

The concepts of the Constitution are never outdated. But no, if we had a time machine I don’t think the personal opinions of the Founders would be particularly useful when deciding whether digital body-scanners are a violation of the 4th amendment when used for purposes of warrantless searches of airline travelers. The reasons why should be obvious.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 9:00 PM

And I’m saying we don’t need a time machine. You think a principle depends on its vehicle. (I.e., if you don’t know what a scanner is, then you can’t judge whether it is a violation of privacy.)

We didn’t have the scanner machines, what, ten years ago, either. Or twenty,r whatever it was. Does that mean that the opinions of those who are older than 10 or 20 do not count?

If I lived most of my life without the machines (and had never even been in one), then my opinion on whether they go against the fourth amendment can’t count? That doesn’t even make sense.

The founders could have examined this situation just as we can. The principle is always there, regardless of the device, vehicle, or implementation.

To me, that is what seems obvious.

Alana on November 16, 2010 at 9:14 PM

How long until one of these scanners images of a 12 year old girl hits the Net, and people start getting charged with child porn for downloading the image?

This whole pilot scanning thing completely puzzles me. How can we entrust someone to fly the plane, yet require physical searches?

Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas any more.

GnuBreed on November 16, 2010 at 9:16 PM

Apologies for verbs not agreeing with subjects, and in one case being missing altogether. :D

Alana on November 16, 2010 at 9:16 PM

Anyway, yeah apology accepted. You may find we agree on more than you think.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 9:03 PM

after this thread…ahhh…maybe…
Make no mistake I did understand where you were going with “First Principle”.
Having said that…I do believe you are underestimating the wisdom and vision of the Founders.
Maybe just a bit…but your venture there is reasonable…
But don’t get too cocky …;)

jerrytbg on November 16, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Ok, so what are “first principles?” And why do you think I don’t care about them?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 9:14 PM

From wiki

In philosophy, a first principle is a basic, foundational proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption. In mathematics, first principles are referred to as axioms or postulates. Godel’s incompletenes theorems have been taken to prove, among other things, that no system of axioms can prove its own validity – nor perhaps can it prove every truth about the set it describes.

They’re the axioms, if you will, of our legal system. They are the Constitution.

You can argue that the Constitution was derived from other first principles; but at the end of the day whether you take the other principles or the Constitution, you should have an equivalent legal system.

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 9:20 PM

The TSA is not going to do sex to me: http://www.youtube.com/v/ko8uwkmMQ9E&rel=0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3

onlineanalyst on November 16, 2010 at 9:20 PM

For example, if you had straight up asked Jefferson “hey, would the government scanning an image of someone’s naked body without probable cause violate the 4th amendment” I’m sure he’d say yes. He probably could barely imagine such a thing when the 4th amendment was written. But I’m also sure he could barely imagine airports. And 9/11, for that matter. And both of those things are central to the issue. So how useful is his opinion?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Is the First Amendment outdated as well, considering that the founders couldn’t envision internet and multi-media?

fossten on November 16, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Is the First Amendment outdated as well, considering that the founders couldn’t envision internet and multi-media?

fossten on November 16, 2010 at 9:26 PM

I’m not saying the Amendment themselves are outdated with respect to modern issues, I’m just saying it’s pointless and unhelpful to guess as to what the Founders’ opinions would be as to those modern issues.

Anyway, I need to get this Evidence reading done otherwise I’ll be up all night. Thanks to MeatHead and Alana for the interesting debate, I should be able to respond later…

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Is the First Amendment outdated as well, considering that the founders couldn’t envision internet and multi-media?

fossten on November 16, 2010 at 9:26 PM

The wonderful collection of essays in the First Amendment Center’s online symposium on Justice Clarence Thomas and the First Amendment leads to a stark conclusion: Justice Thomas is the most radical member of the current Supreme Court and likely one of the most radical justices in history in his desire to overrule precedent and dramatically change the law. Virtually every essay describes an area where Justice Thomas, in concurring or dissenting opinions, has urged major departures from prior decisions and doctrines.


Bypass the idiot and go straight to the source. Erwin Chemerinsky.

Inanemergencydial on November 16, 2010 at 9:31 PM

If it’s a living document, then it can be killed.

ronsfi on November 16, 2010 at 9:32 PM

I’m not saying the Amendment themselves are outdated with respect to modern issues, I’m just saying it’s pointless and unhelpful to guess as to what the Founders’ opinions would be as to those modern issues.

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 9:30 PM

And many conservatives on the Supreme Court (such as Scalia) might agree with you. They would argue that we can’t assume the Constitution changes its meaning because time changes – perhaps based on an argument that somehow the Founders would have written it different if only they had foresight. They’d argue that they must go by the words that are written.

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 9:35 PM

jerrytbg on November 16, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Mandatory groping by TSA employees for all members of Congress and the Executive branch…..

And while you’re at it……The Courts and all family members……AND I MEAN THE FULL HAND ON THE CROTCH patdown/grope!!

PappyD61 on November 16, 2010 at 9:51 PM

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.

Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Sounds to me like we need to begin defining reasonable.

john1schn on November 16, 2010 at 9:55 PM

Abolish the TSA.

MadisonConservative on November 16, 2010 at 9:59 PM

This is a wardrobe problem. Show up in a speedo and trench coat. Sure, the wardrobe folks might come up with options — new jobs on the horizon…

drfredc on November 16, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Go ahead and bend on the 4th Amendment. No big deal. It’s for your own good … and the children, of course.

Go ahead and bend on the 3rd Amendment. No big deal. It’s for your own good … and the children, of course.

Go ahead and bend on the 2nd Amendment. No big deal. It’s for your own good … and the children, of course.

Go ahead and bend on the 1st Amendment. No big deal. It’s for your own good … and the children, of course.

BowHuntingTexas on November 16, 2010 at 11:27 PM

To some extent this guy is right. But this can not be the only way. This has to be the last approach. Profiling is the only real tool that these idiots don’t realize will work. I am clueless as to how national security is less important than PC BS.

antisocial on November 16, 2010 at 11:30 PM

Doing a full body scan of Rosie O’donnell will put an immediate and permanent end to the practice and will send the TSA agent who does it into years of powerful Adlerian therapy.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on November 16, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Nevermind hiding contraband in crotches, with someone like Rosie you would have to separate folds of fat, -in effect lift them up to look underneath. There’s the job with a whole new classification.

slickwillie2001 on November 16, 2010 at 11:31 PM

canopfor on November 16, 2010 at 8:46 PM
===========================

ehhhhhh – mind bleach needed.

MeatHeadinCA on November 16, 2010 at 9:03 PM

MeatHeadinCA: Oh sh*t,now that I think about it….ICK!:)

canopfor on November 16, 2010 at 11:32 PM

Um, how about: Mind the Earl Gray`s please!

bluemarlin on November 16, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Is that you going out for a stroll?

Shy Guy on November 16, 2010 at 11:54 PM

“As of yesterday, fully 81 percent of the public supports the use of full-body scanners at the airport, but as Nate Silver notes, that may be because relatively few people have had to endure them yet. ”

And this just in: people who make less than $80,000 a year have no objections to raising taxes on those who make more than that!
Over to you Colleen.

Amendment X on November 16, 2010 at 11:55 PM

Doing a full body scan of Rosie O’donnell

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on November 16, 2010 at 8:49 PM

To paraphrase the line from Jaws:

“Gotta getta bigger scanner.”

Shy Guy on November 16, 2010 at 11:55 PM

The question is whether these are “reasonable searches” under the Fourth Amendment. X-raying our luggage is reasonable. Using metal detectors is reasonable. But subjecting the flying public to a choice of photographing them through their clothing or being manipulated in a way that most courts would find unconstitutional for criminals, is highly unreasonable, especially since the only basis for the search is that the person wants to board an airplane.

Remember how we used to say that if we stopped traveling, the terrorists would have won? Now, it seems, if we continue traveling by air, the government will have beaten us and the Constitutional protections we’re supposed to have.

flataffect on November 17, 2010 at 12:06 AM

Perhaps there’s a way to combine these TSA searches with Obamacare and make lemonade out of lemons. Think of the billions we’d save if these TSA screenings could count as checkups, complete with x-rays, breast and prostate exams.

Cara C on November 17, 2010 at 12:18 AM

Lets see:

1. Terrorists take over planes and/or attempt to blow them up, and the government responds by cancelling 4th Amendment rights for everybody except terrorists!!!

2. Illegal Aliens pour across border and take jobs, commit crimes including murder and rape, cause hospitals to go broke, ….and the government responds by prohibiting CITIZENS from noticing that certain people look like Illegal Aliens and/or asking them for papers, and suing states for enforcing our borders.

CONCLUSION: The government which is supposed to be “OF the people BY the people and FOR the people” has gone completely mad and is now “OF our enemies, BY our enemies, and FOR our enemies”!!!

It is time to IMPEACH the true enemies of the USA who have infiltrated our government!!! We must derail the constant assaults on Liberty, Freedom, and common sense and restore our government to its rightful mission to protect and serve its citizens!!!

landlines on November 17, 2010 at 1:04 AM

So what happens when these people start swallowing their explosives? What will we be subject to then? Forced puking to make sure there aren’t any incendiary objects in our digestive tracts?

This nonsense needs to STOP. I flew this weekend and my bag made it through the xray machine with a 12 ounce can of mousse in it, but b/c the metal detector was broken, we were all subject to the groping method, and I am here to tell you from personal experience, it is invasive and over the line. Sorry, Big Sis, but the system clearly does NOT work, and I will not be flying until we get a freaking grip and start behaving proactively instead of always reacting to the last incident. These terrorists are not stupid. Limit them to three ounce bottles of liquid? No problem! They’ll just divide up their explosive material into six three ounce bottles and mix it up in the bathroom at 30,000 feet. Whatever rule you put in place they will find a way to circumvent it.

I had a debate about this with a friend this weekend. She says she’s willing to do whatever to ensure her safety while flying. I guarantee she changes her mind after the first body scan or groping session. I am in favor of profiling because it WORKS. Sorry if that means people of a certain complexion or style of dress or with a particular last name get singled out, but you don’t go shopping for oranges in a hardware store. When Jews and Christians start hijacking planes, I’ll be all in favor of profiling them too. Also, we can take a page from the Israelis and not look just for certain types of people or objects and instead be on the lookout for behavioral cues.

And put air marshals on EVERY FLIGHT.

In the meantime, I am going to drive instead of flying.

NoLeftTurn on November 17, 2010 at 1:10 AM

For example, if you had straight up asked Jefferson “hey, would the government scanning an image of someone’s naked body without probable cause violate the 4th amendment” I’m sure he’d say yes. He probably could barely imagine such a thing when the 4th amendment was written. But I’m also sure he could barely imagine airports. And 9/11, for that matter. And both of those things are central to the issue. So how useful is his opinion?

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Brilliant, but we need to modify the Constitution… not break it. That’s why we have a process to change it after all…

Get together a Constitutional Congress to propose an Amendment to remove 4th Amendment rights and allow searches of anyone anytime you want for “security reasons”.

I’m sure the voting public will love this plan and will willingly tell 2/3rds of the states to give up their rights and privacy.

I mean who doesn’t love giving up rights to give the government more power over their lives?

But when you violate the Constitution in a clear and outright manner the SCOTUS isn’t going to defend you… so you need to change the Constitution first.

Get your liberal buddies together and tell the country you’re going to Amend the Constitution to remove individual rights and give the government more power… you’ll win the next election in a landslide I’m sure.

gekkobear on November 17, 2010 at 1:10 AM

crr6 on November 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM

You look at some quotes from the Founders – from Franklin about people who eschew liberty for security and Jefferson foreseeing an entitlement state, and I’d say that even if they couldn’t predict the exact circumstances we are in – and who could have 10 years ago except perhaps for some lone wonk – they were pretty prescient with regard to potential generic circumstances.

That also doesn’t change that as Americans, we should accept the Constitution as pretty much inviolate, and if it needs tuning there’s a mechanism for that, instead of saying, ’200+ years ago they couldn’t foresee 9/11 so it’s moot’, and thinking that’s an excuse for illegal search, particularly when there are less invasive and more accurate methods of detection.

This move is largely political, with Soros and Chertoff ties to Rapiscan playing no small part, I daresay.

linlithgow on November 17, 2010 at 3:01 AM

Former TSA security director Obama: No one likes Fourth Amendment constitutional violations, but we’re going to have to do it

FIFY

NoFanofLibs on November 17, 2010 at 7:04 AM

How would the Founders view terrorism?

It is Piracy. Piracy is not just upon the waves of the sea and this was recognized by the Law of Nations, which most if not all of the Founders were familiar with and Jefferson had a man in his own Cabinet that had it as his specialty. Washington referred to it when declaring Neutrality and other Presidents have invoked it, plus it is given a capitalized reference in the US Constitution on the Art. I, Section 8 powers for Congress. Our own laws recognize the Law of Nations in 18 USC 1651:

Sec. 1651. Piracy under law of nations

Whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life.

Abraham Lincoln signed into place the Lieber Code for the forces of the Union and those General Orders lasted up to 1895 and the Lieber Code was still utilized when nothing else covered certain topics. Thus when dealing with Partisans and other hostile forces we come to this:

Art. 82.
Men, or squads of men, who commit hostilities, whether by fighting, or inroads for destruction or plunder, or by raids of any kind, without commission, without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, and without sharing continuously in the war, but who do so with intermitting returns to their homes and avocations, or with the occasional assumption of the semblance of peaceful pursuits, divesting themselves of the character or appearance of soldiers – such men, or squads of men, are not public enemies, and, therefore, if captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated summarily as highway robbers or pirates.

Thus it can be well said that the Founders, with Jefferson going after the Barbary Pirates, and multiple Presidents ordering the Militia and Union forces to go after non-Nation State natives who waged war, that there was an understanding of what the people were who waged such war.

The Judiciary Act of 1789 made it perfectly allowable to go after Pirates on land as depredation extended beyond mere ships as was demonstrated by Black Bart and his land based attacks on Caribbean Islands. Captain Morgan, of spiced rum visage, was charged by the Spanish with Piracy for an attack that took place competely on land after Morgan had to march his forces over the Isthmus of Panama: he was able to demonstrate that he had no idea the war was over and was not only obsolved of the crime but Knighted for his efforts and returning home to stand trial.

Our Founders understood Grotius on this, and that these people who wage such war are not acting under a sovereign state and, thusly, put themselves outside of treaties and protections of civilized man. Here On the Laws of War and Peace:

I. THE first and most necessary divisions of war are into one kind called private, another public, and another mixed. Now public war is carried on by the person holding the sovereign power. Private war is that which is carried on by private persons without authority from the state. A mixed war is that which is carried on, on one side by public authority, and on the other by private persons. But private war, from its greater antiquity, is the first subject for inquiry.

The proofs that have been already produced, to shew that to repel violence is not repugnant to natural law, afford a satisfactory reason to justify private war, as far as the law of nature is concerned. But perhaps it may be thought that since public tribunals have been erected, private redress of wrongs is not allowable. An objection which is very just. Yet although public trials and courts of Justice are not institutions of nature, but erected by the invention of men, yet as it is much more conducive to the peace of society for a matter in dispute to be decided by a disinterested person, than by the partiality and prejudice of the party aggrieved, natural justice and reason will dictate the necessity and advantage of every one’s submitting to the equitable decisions of public judges. Paulus, the Lawyer, observes that “what can be done by a magistrate with the authority of the state should never be intrusted to individuals; as private redress would give rise to greater disturbance. And “the reason, says King Theodoric, why laws were invented, was to prevent any one from using personal violence, for wherein would peace differ from all the confusion of war, if private disputes were terminated by force?” And the law calls it force for any man to seize what he thinks his due, without seeking a legal remedy.

Grotius, Vattel and Blackstone, as well as many others, were brought up by both Federalists and Anti-Federalists during the discussion of the Constitution and how our Constitution must fit in with the framework of the Law of Nations that goes back to the dawn of history. Blackstone brought this up as one of the Offenses against the law of nations and he worked with Vattel on Law of Nations, so it should not be surprising that it is addressed in the English Common Law in Book 4, Ch. 5 of his commentaries:

LASTLY, the crime of piracy, or robbery and depredation upon the high seas, is an offense against the universal law of society; a pirate being, according to Sir Edward Coke,10 hostis humani generis [enemy to mankind]. As therefore he has renounced all the benefits of society and government, and has reduced himself afresh to the savage state of nature, by declaring war against all mankind, all mankind must declare war against him: so that every community has a right, by the rule of self-defense, to inflict that punishment upon him, which every individual would in a state of nature have been otherwise entitled to do, any invasion of his person or personal property.

BY the ancient common law, piracy, if committed by a subject, was held to be a species of treason, being contrary to his natural allegiance; and by an alien to be felony only: but now, since the statute of treasons, 25 Edw. III. c. 2. it is held to be only felony in a subject.11 Formerly it was only cognizable by the admiralty courts, which proceed by the rule of the civil law.12 But, it being inconsistent with the liberties of the nation, that any man’s life should be taken away, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the common law of the land, the statute 28 Hen. VIII. c. 15. established a new jurisdiction for this purpose; which proceeds according to the course of the common law, and of which we shall say more hereafter.

In 2005 Douglas R. Burgess suggested that the Piracy Code framework was more suitable to addressing terrorism as it had a number of powers available to it to go after confederates of Pirates that were hard to duplicate under standard Nation law but were fully available to the Nation State for protecting its citizens and sovereignty.

It is those confederates, those that go over to be trained to attack us, who give aid and comfort to our Private Enemy that must be sought: the American people are blameless and yet we are the targets of increasingly invasive searches. We are not addressing the proper targets when we target citizens who have no demonstrated background and behavior for wanting to attack their own Nation. We have had citizens do so, yes, and it would be the best of all things if our policing concentrated on finding them, uprooting their contacts, pulling them in via civil means if they come quietly or military means if they turn Pirate outright. Seize their holdings and put them up for auction. Imprison the confederates for a decade. Throw the Pirates in jail for the rest of their natural lives turning big rocks into small rocks when caught in the civil realm and try them under the Geneva Convention on the Spies and Saboteurs protocols as that is where their actions fit.

It is strange that anyone could think that our Founders did not know about the savage nature of man and that the way to address it is to go after savage man intent on destroying the civil order of Nations and exercising Private War against her citizens. Yet we, the civil population, are the ones to be put under scrutiny because our government cannot get the courage, the bravery, and the inventiveness to go after, hunt down, and empower our citizens via proper Congressional writ to go after these savages to the ends of the Earth and make them friendless, hunted and as wary as they want us to be. Instead we are now seen as the enemy, we are captive to the probings of our own government all in the name of ‘protection’.

Let me protect myself, let airlines decide on how much security they want and will price into the cost of the ticket, perform screening of passengers and luggage, and let the people decide what the risks are, what the benefits are and what the best way to defend themselves actually is. Otherwise we have pirates coming into the harbor and the police are forcing the populace to be searched because, hey!, one of you might be a pirate… don’t mind the folks plotting actively against us willing to lose their lives to kill… no go after the law abiding, civil population that has done no wrong at all! Just treat the civil population like savages and let the savages run free to attack us.

That will end civilization far faster than the barbarians alone ever could.

ajacksonian on November 17, 2010 at 7:20 AM

I seem to remember the Bush Administrtion was the Gestapo for making you have to go thru a metal detector….and that was right after 9/11

now…its needed…but they are considering giving a waiver to Muslim women?

Meet the next breed of terrorists we “dont have to concern ourselves with”

cmarceron on November 17, 2010 at 7:21 AM

This is a load of crap, even if the machines weren’t capable of saving the images…if they are displayed on a screen there is nothing stopping someone from taking a cellphone picture of the screen.

clement on November 17, 2010 at 7:30 AM

Let’s examine the pros and cons of flying commercials within the U.S.:

CONS:
1) bad food
2) cramped spaces
3) bad air
4) good possibility of delays up to and including waiting for hours in a plane on the tarmac
5) long lines at airport
6) expensive tickets
7) connecting flights which if #4 happens somewhere along the line, forget it
8) being bumped from flights
9) lost luggage
10) baggage handlers damaging luggage or stealing items from the luggage
11) uncaring airline employees taking claims concerning #s 9 & 10 not to mention all the hassles involved
12) all sorts of hidden charges

and the newest member of the list:

13) TSA gropings and scanner radiation

PROS:
1) Gets you there quicker over long distances

And the airline industry wonders why their business is suffering.

Carl on November 17, 2010 at 7:59 AM

Where is the ACLU? They attack WWI monuments in deserts in California, but nothing but crickets for the “Living” having their Constitutional rights violated? You think the lawyers would be out in full source smelling money in a class action law suit.

Since when is intent to fly aboard an air plane, probable cause for body searches? An American buying an Air Plane ticket, and boarding a plane is suspicious behavior? I guess that makes us all terrorist now.

This is what the formation of DHS, and the Patriot Act has gotten us – suspension of the U.S. Constitution?

If there was a boycott, a couple of days, and a date picked where everyone refused to fly, what would that do to the Air Line Industry? The Air Line Industry that apparently has no problem aiding and abetting DHS and the TSA.

Dr Evil on November 17, 2010 at 8:13 AM

So we gut civil rights for the sake of not appearing to profile — BECAUSE PROFILING MIGHT VIOLATE SOMEONE’S CIVIL RIGHTS.

Mark30339 on November 17, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Thanks to ajacksonian. I’ve been looking for the proper perspective, the long view in a sense. When we simply attack the symptoms, we don’t cure the disease.

What all the security measures do is distract us from the weakness of our government. We are waiting for them to come to use to attack us. Why don’t we really go after them? Everywhere, anytime, anyplace, how can pirates, barbarians, whether state supported or not get away scott free?

Why don’t we do whatever it takes for our people, in our nation to live free, instead WE are discomfitted, WE lose our liberties, as if somehow by our suffering and ability to absorb that suffering makes us a great people. It makes us both fools and weak.

We all know our military always plays with one hand — heck — sometimes both hands tied behind it’s back. You really think we couldn’t clean out the Somalian pirates in one day, okay a week. How long before every Al_Queada wannabe was dead, do you really think that would piss them off and they would rise up in greater numbers, or they would stop and think hey this might get me killed.

If afterwards the world was a safer place, that women in Afghanistan could go outside, get an education; that my kids could go to school or play outside without fear of bombs, the students in Iran could protest without dying; would they be saying America is evil or would they say “thank you”.

Because we won’t do that, won’t even do something close to that, we suffer the indignities.

odannyboy on November 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Are these things really firing off damaging rays? Well … maybe, yeah.

Well, a bit of schadenfreude here… the people most likely to be made ill from that radiation will be the TSA operators themselves. Most of us will walk through it for a few seconds every year. They are the ones that stand next to the machine 8hrs a day 5 days a week.

Maybe the best way to get rid of these scanners is to make TSA employees themselves aware of that.

bitsy on November 17, 2010 at 10:02 AM

PPF Jr. got a Constitutional ed yesterday on the 4th Amendment, several videos of scaterred X-Rays plus body scans, and YouTube vids of the 360 degree pat and junk grope. He’s 9; he knows Mr. PPF disagrees, so he’s sticking with his Grizzly mama bear. I told him to keep it between us, but he couldn’t hold his pipe down. LOL!

Mr. PPF asked about my son calling him out on it, and I replied: “Yep, it’s getting worse! Mr. PPF: “Is it in effect?” Me: “Heck yeah!”

He knows I won’t allow a stranger except for a doctor to touch them both.

ProudPalinFan on November 17, 2010 at 11:50 AM

There is a better way. Do it the way the Israelis do — profile, and then agressively question those who fit the profile using smart people, trained to detect those who should be subjected to increased scrutiny. Search, scan and grope only those who fit the profile and who fail the interrogation. And then put air marshalls on every flight.

El Al has not had a hijacking, in-flight bombing or terror related incident aboard any of their aircraft in decades.

Let’s wake up folks. Get the government out of your groin and into the face of reasonably profiled suspects.

BillyRuffn on November 17, 2010 at 11:55 AM

PS what if I have a gay TSA patter?

This is INSANITY

picklesgap on November 16, 2010 at 7:48 PM

I suggested yesterday that anybody here that has to fly out change their sexual preference or ID as a transgender to accelerate your examination by the same-sex TSA groper/that is, if they are straight, of course.

ProudPalinFan on November 17, 2010 at 11:56 AM

2 questions Allah

1) are Muslim women SERIOUSLY exempt?

2) are they SERIOUSLY going to make you open your underwear now??

(both from Drudge)

picklesgap on November 16, 2010 at 7:53 PM

1-That is being alleged; that Muslim women are basically off-limits, can’t go through like the rest of the cattle-some lawsuit. I don’t have more info.

2-Yep, there’s links all over the place from guys everywhere voicing and giving testimony that yep, zippy-it down bud, I believe they are NOW “touching junks” or the sides.

*I feel really bad about our troops, that after putting all their gear up to defend the rights that WE are losing? Taking their boots off? Those that have oxygen machines, the diabetic, the folks returning home from surgeries, etc.

I am not gonna die of cancer thanks to the TSA. High-risk for cancers must not go through that. My plans for Christmas (if I am allowed to write that), are scrapped.

ProudPalinFan on November 17, 2010 at 12:07 PM

All of these rights negotiators are dastardly liars… How about stepping on the rights of only those people who match the profile of a terrorists and giving them extra scrutiny and multi-layered pat-downs?
Need I say more about the excuse making pigs in charge of this issue.
-
And since I’m adding a scanner at the entrance to my new night club, I want to be able to do pat-downs too… Selectively of course… I mean random… So long as it’s no big deal and all.
-

RalphyBoy on November 17, 2010 at 12:16 PM

We will be selling our new line of Hijab apparel at airport duty free stores. They are promised to get you to the front of the line and no grope and change.

seven on November 17, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Ah I read some of the posts but I’m done.
In a nutshell folks:
The 4th is explicit.
The govt & SCOTUS are not the sole arbitors of what is & what is not Const.

Badger40 on November 17, 2010 at 12:58 PM

But then, in theory, the machines aren’t saving images either.

Of course that’s an obvious lie. So obvious, in fact, that it frightens me to hear highly-placed officials repeat it. I’m not sure whether they’re assuming we’re all stupid enough to believe the lie, or if they themselves are actually stupid enough to think it’s true.

GalosGann on November 17, 2010 at 1:03 PM

GalosGann on November 17, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Kinda like when the FBI says it only keeps those gun registrations for so long & then they toss ‘em.
Yeah right.

Badger40 on November 17, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Simple solution: abolish the TSA, allow the airlines to search as they wish. No 4th Amendment violation.

spmat on November 17, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Sorry, there’s no other way. We hate having to enter your homes in order to search for bombmaking materials, but we must do it.

We don’t want to haul off people who disagree, but public safety demands it.

We don’t want to drag the poor and uneducated to work camps, but it must be done for the good of the nation.

We don’t want to sterilize people with more than 2 kids, but it’s a necessity.

hawksruleva on November 17, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Let’s wake up folks. Get the government out of your groin and into the face of reasonably profiled suspects.

BillyRuffn on November 17, 2010 at 11:55 AM

DailyCaller had an excellent article on this. TSA actually has a program similar to the Israeli system. But they didn’t train the 3,300 people, and didn’t come up with a workable set of warning signs for them. So we spent the money to do it, but didn’t get the results.

Welcome to unions and governments in action.

hawksruleva on November 17, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Sorry, there’s no other way. We hate having to enter your homes in order to search for bombmaking materials, but we must do it.

We don’t want to haul off people who disagree, but public safety demands it.

We don’t want to drag the poor and uneducated to work camps, but it must be done for the good of the nation.

We don’t want to sterilize people with more than 2 kids, but it’s a necessity.

hawksruleva on November 17, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Worth repeating.
But say it isn’t so.
That could never happen here.

Badger40 on November 17, 2010 at 5:41 PM

So if the remote operator does not know which image is of which passenger, how are they going to know which passenger to stop if he notices something prohibited on the image?

I call shenanigans.

Bob Mc on November 18, 2010 at 11:26 AM

I love how these idiots REFUSE to close the border and ENFORCE the laws we have on the books. These are the idiots that allow sanctuary cities…yet, boarding a plane and violating your 4th amendment rights to do so? No prob.

Idiotic.

TheBlueSite on November 18, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Does anyone know the min requirements for these TSA agents? Shouldn’t they all be security experts? In the videos, they all look like min wage dummies. I heard the starting salary is $28000 a yr. In most cities, that might as well be min wage. So, I suspect they require very little training and probably zero expertise?

TheBlueSite on November 18, 2010 at 3:29 PM

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