Thursday, March 31, 2011

America: Land of the wha?

I had one of the most violative, unAmerican experiences while flying through Chicago on my way from London to California the other day.  Although back on home turf, I felt like I had re-entered a country I didn't recognize by its lack of respect for basic rights.

I followed the bruhaha surrounding the introduction of the full body scanners, often called "naked body scanners" last Thanksgiving with interest, but the interest quickly turned to horror during my own interaction with the invasive TSA procedures.

Believing that it violated my Fourth Amendment right against illegal search and seizure, I opted out of the body scanners, which take pornographic, fully-naked images which are then viewed by TSA personnel and stored for who knows how long.

This subjected me to a pat-down, which I requested be done in private.  Relaying the details of this experience would make me blush, but I'll simply say that had the TSA officer been a man or a lesbian woman, I or they would not have passed a temple recommend interview.

I was more than irate, claiming that not only my Fourth Amendment Rights, but also my First Amendment religious rights were being violated.  After telling me to calm down, the officer added insult to injury in saying that I signed away those rights in flying in America.  I told her that she could not feel good about what she was doing.

I felt very lost in my own country, and longed to be back in the inefficient yet more respectful security system of the British transportation system.

4 comments:

  1. DHS/TSA has plans to expand their "security" measures to ALL forms of public transit, ALL types of mass gatherings, ALL sporting events, malls and even our schools. We soon won't be able to leave our homes without being scanned or groped by some government goon.

    Over at Boycott Flying we have been investigating and recording all of this for several months. Anyone who is opposed to these measure is invited to join us ...
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Flying/126801010710392

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't flown since they put in the body scanners and I am not looking forward to it when I do have to fly. Thankfully we have been able to just have long car trips around. But so Sorry you had to go through all that.
    I am not sure how I feel about all of the extra measures.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a truly awful experience. I hope its shadow isn't cast too long on your trip back Stateside. I agree the TSA's policies are quickly turning our founding ideals on their heads. Did you hear about the father and son going through security at Salt Internatl, and the boy was having trouble with the walk-through scanner. Security pulled him aside with his father and wanted to do a pat-down on the boy. Naturally the boy was afraid and shy and the agent was getting frustrated. The dad finally just pulled boy's whole shirt off so the agent could see there wasn't anything concealed on the child. It's just wrong on so many levels that the traveling public is being subjected to this. Airfare is going through the roof, and then to have to put up with humiliation like this? No thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am very alarmed at what the TSA, what it represents and what it is doing with our silent consent. How did we allow ourselves to get here? It is a true victory for the terrorists.

    ReplyDelete