Every day, we hear more and more incidents of people being groped, fondled and abused while passing through the airports. Since November 1st, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) modified their manual “pat down” procedures and now reportedly use open-hand techniques which involve touching breasts, genitals, inner thighs and other private areas. Further, TSA has now installed 500 of 1,000 new machines that can see right through a person’s clothing.
Why are we allowing this to continue? If you feel as I do, please take a minute to copy the letter below that I sent to my Representative and two U.S. Senators tonight, modify it, and send it to your respresentatives. Unless they hear from us, they will take no real action. In fact, certain Congressmen, airline pilots and others have been “exempted” from these new procedures over the past weekend. Why cannot common citizens be treated likewise?
Here is how to find congressional contact info: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
I am one of those Americans that must travel as part of my job. However, I don’t feel that anyone in America should have to go through what we are currently experiencing at U. S. airports. That is, we have Transportation Security Agency (TSA) agents performing either a “full body scan” allowing a government official to can see through my clothing, or otherwise performing an invasive “pat down” involving the touching of genitals and probing of private areas. This is just not what America should be – – there must be a better way. Our Constitution, in the 4th amendment says, in part:
“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.”
I’m writing to ask that you sponsor legislation to stop these practices unless there is probable cause that a crime may occur to justify such a search.
A lot of people may feel that the so-called “underwear bomber” incident is sufficient justification for this invasive searching of all airline passengers. But in fact, there were many “probable cause” type indicators that should have led prudent officials to search the bomber, including his own father telling the U.S. State Department that he was a danger; the fact that he bought a one-way ticket to Detroit and had no luggage coming from overseas; the fact that he paid cash for his ticket; the fact that he was in a certain age group that tends to perpetuate these kinds of incidents; and other factors. So this badly handled incident last December now justifies requiring every American that wants to fly to Phoenix or Washington D.C. to have these invasive procedures performed on them? Focusing on risk indicators such as those the bomber exhibited would be considered good cause and not “racial profiling”.
America has done quite well since 9/11 keeping terrorists out of the country without the need for electronic strip-searches. Also, there are apparently other ways to detect bombers that we have not yet tried. News stories about other governments interviewing travelers and using other techniques to identify suspicious individuals should be tried at U.S. airports before we ask people to give up one of their most basic liberties – – to be secure in their personal space without government intruding.
Until these other practices are tried here, we should discontinue the invasive TSA practices. I can’t speak for you, but I don’t want my family members to have to be subjected to this unwanted touching. Being seen naked by a government representative for no good reason is the height of intrusive government.
As they say, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution and I expect you as my Representative to stand up and ensure that my rights and those of my family are protected. I ask that you uphold your oath of office and preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States. Thank you.