PALM HARBOR, FLORIDA – In a strongly-worded email sent today to all of Florida’s 67 county sheriffs, the Libertarian Party of Florida demanded the arrest of TSA agents for violations of the U.S. and Florida Constitutions, and accused TSA agents of committing sexual battery. The letter reads as follows:
July 4, 2011
On this day in 1776, our forebears founded this Nation by declaring their independence from an oppressive government. This beautiful and timeless document expressed the self-evident truth that all people have certain inalienable rights, upon which no government can infringe. They asserted that governments are formed among men to secure these rights, not to impede or restrict them.
The Libertarian Party of Florida is reaching out to you, and to all of Florida’s 67 Constitutional Sheriffs. We, The People of the State of Florida must turn to you as our last line of defense against a federal government that is usurping authority and ignoring the rule of law.
I am referring specifically to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and their egregious violations of the United States Constitution, as well as the Florida Constitution and state law.
Every single day, TSA employees conduct electronic and bodily searches upon tens of thousands of Florida citizens and visitors at airports, and more recently at bus terminals, rail stations, and highways. They are searching the persons and seizing the effects of travelers without warrant or probable cause. Specifically, they are in blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads as follows:
“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.”
These TSA agents are also in clear violation of Article One, Section 12 of the Florida Constitution, which reads as follows:
“Searches and seizures.— The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and against the unreasonable interception of private communications by any means, shall not be violated. No warrant shall be issued except upon probable cause, supported by affidavit, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, the person or persons, thing or things to be seized, the communication to be intercepted, and the nature of evidence to be obtained.”
In addition, one of the methods by which the TSA agents conduct these searches, referred to as the “Enhanced Pat Down,” is clearly within the definition of felony sexual battery, as codified in Florida Statute 794.011.
I would like to point out that this statute clearly defines that it is a first degree felony when sexual battery is committed by a law enforcement agent in paragraph 4(g), which reads:
“When the offender is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer as defined by s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9), who is certified under the provisions of s. 943.1395 or is an elected official exempt from such certification by virtue of s. 943.253, or any other person in a position of control or authority in a probation, community control, controlled release, detention, custodial, or similar setting, and such officer, official, or person is acting in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the offender is in a position of control or authority as an agent or employee of government.”
As Sheriff, you have the absolute duty to enforce the law uniformly and without prejudice. You are, at best, engaged in selective enforcement by choosing to further ignore these flagrant violations of federal and state law. At worst, you are complicit.
If you have TSA agents within your county that are violating the law, then you must act. Warn the TSA agents that they are subject to arrest if they continue to violate the law. Should they continue, then you must begin making arrests.
We urge you to remember the oath you took to support, protect and defend the Constitution of both the State of Florida and the United States of America. On behalf of all Floridians, the Libertarian Party of Florida calls on you to do exactly that.
We turn to you, our Constitutional Sheriffs, to enforce the law in accordance with your sworn duty.
Adrian Wyllie, Chairman
Libertarian Party of Florida
1334 Tampa Road, Suite 2
Palm Harbor, Florida 34683
Toll Free: 1-855-FLA-FREE (1-855-372-3733)
@22 the article is correct. The thing everyone needs to know is Jonesy had this info weeks ago.
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@26 Exactly. Sometimes the LP forgets to include the “positive private solution” to whatever it is they are opposing. We must give the people a reasonable alternative to the gov’t FORCE !
Internal Security and Individual Rights – The defense of the country requires that we have adequate intelligence to detect and to counter threats to domestic security. This requirement must not take priority over maintaining the civil liberties of our citizens. The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during time of war. Intelligence agencies that legitimately seek to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to oversight and transparency. We (the members of the Libertarian Party) oppose the government’s use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have, especially that which shows that the government has violated the law. – http://www.lp.org/
Personal Privacy = Libertarians support the rights recognized by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, and property. Protection from unreasonable search and seizure should include records held by third parties, such as email, medical, and library records. Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes. We favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes. – http://www.lp.org/
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No problem just let me dig thru your hair. I know there is a weapon in there.
I wonder if citizen’s arrest is an option…;-)
The Florida LP’s next release should be to offer libertarian alternatives that show voters that we are as concerned with the public’s safety as we are with protecting their rights. Most people think that if the gov does not provide security screening that no one will.
regarding the link Tom Blanton posted I’m not sure whether or not the name VIPR works for or against them since it is pronounced viper, but it is interesting that this was rolled out in Florida and Georgia, both southern states that would be more acceptable to government intrusion given the history. I wonder how this would have gone over in Vermont?
Years ago one of the Airport movies had a scene where there was a shot of a foreign airport and a military officer was holding up a news paper and the headlines read, Better Government through intimidation.
Thanks for the link Tom. I’m passing it around.
Wow, Great article, Tom!
Welcome to Amerika…
If you’ve enjoyed the TSA operations at the airports, you’ll love the TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Teams.
The most recent article I’ve read about it is by John Whithead, a constitutional lawyer at the Rutherford Institute here in Virginia:
Kudos to the Florida libertarians for having some balls to speak up. The TSA has plans to take their sideshow to malls, schools, bus stations, train stations, and other “soft targets” – pretty soon it may be too late to speak up.
18 jp: I think civil disobedience is inevitable at this point…
me: You may be right. Do your CD well, persuasively.
Here is something similar from D.C. via Reason tv.
Any libertarians in D.C. getting a case of outrage over this crap?
Jill @ 18,
“I really don’t understand why everyone in this country isn’t screaming about it.”
Lots of people are screaming about it, but that isn’t enough.
There’s been some civil disobedience, but that isn’t enough either.
The TSA is floating a new lie … er, “trail balloon” … about the danger of “implanted” explosives. It’s pretty obvious that what they want is to do away with the physical molestations (“patdowns”) and make everyone go through the porno-scanners (“we can’t feel a bomb on a patdown if it’s in your liver”).
So that may produce a solution, however unsatisfactory, to the instant problem of TSA groping/fondling.
Absent that, it will grind to a halt when handsy TSA inspectors start pulling back stubs instead of hands, and/or when local cops decide to start making arrests when a victim complains, instead of just doffing their caps to the feds and letting the molestations proceed.
Mr, Capozzi, I get your point, but I happen to disagree with it. I think civil disobedience is inevitable at this point–this country is too far gone to reclaim our liberties in some orderly, polite way. The people in charge who are criminals should be treated as such. This TSA thing is so over-the-top to me that I really don’t understand why everyone in this country isn’t screaming about it.
Jill, think of it this way: Say a homeless person marched up and down Pennsylvania Ave. carrying a sign saying: GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN, GO HOME, AND LEAVE US ALONE!
We might like the sentiment, but we might agree that the homeless person’s efforts were less than zero. Not only will the government ignore him, but we can imagine many more way for him to proceed with his life and his cause, yes?
Intimidation, sexual assault and rampant theft…
13 jp: Being nice clearly isn’t working. It’s time to DEMAND our rights back.
me: If demanding works, I’m for it. I’m not liking the odds, though.
I’d love to know if there have been any responses from the Sheriffs?
RC @ 10: Being nice clearly isn’t working. It’s time to DEMAND our rights back.
@10 “Demanding” with a blank check comes off as hysterical to many, I suspect.”
To demand elected Law Enforcers to ENFORCE the (good) LAW is not “hysterical” it is patriotic in my book.
You Sir need to travel some and after your testicles have been squeezed a few times by men you don’t love you might have an attitude adjustment on the matter !
If this gets press coverage then great work, well done. Getting the press to cover it might help stop it.
8 jp, the point is, they are not asking or even suggesting or even insisting. They are DEMANDING.
“Demanding” with a blank check comes off as hysterical to many, I suspect.
RWFFL @ 4: I realize you’re being sarcastic, but does anyone even consider WAR a “Libertarian leader” anymore? I think not. Too much of exactly what you’re describing in your comment.
RC @ 7: In my view, “unreasonable” is too weak. From the videos I’ve seen, and from first-hand descriptions from victims, “despicable” , “outrageous”, ” “completely unecessary”, “police state”, “mind-blowingly disgusting” are some words which seem more appropriate. You ask:” Is there any chance that the FL Attorney General will follow the LPF’s demand here?” I don’t know. Should that keep them from asking? Of course not.
Hmm, the key word here is “unreasonable.” I agree that what TSA is doing is not reasonable, but “demanding” that the FL sheriffs enforce this interpretation seems grandiose to me. Where is the line for what is “reasonable” and what isn’t? Does the LPF really want to trigger a constitutional showdown over a jurisdictional matter? Is there any chance that the FL Attorney General will follow the LPF’s demand here?
Good for the Florida Libertarian Party of which I am proud to be a member.
Great letter and thanks for posting.
It is awesome that Florida has such a specific law outlining the definition of sexual battery by a law enforcement agent. And, so excellent for defenders of liberty to quote and use that law.
I am shocked to hear that the TSA is asserting its authority and conducting these full body searches at “at bus terminals, rail stations, and highways”. Darned! I thought it was just airports. (I guess keeping the true news down, and the focus on one thing, always helps the bad guys in government keep up their shenanigans.)
Wow! I truly thought the bully TSA concern only applied to those people brave and rich enough to fly. Now, I realize we have to step it up, even if we want the freedom to take a bus, train or car trip somewhere. Darn!
…just as soon as he determines what his conservative base wants to hear.
On the one hand, many conservatives hate the TSA when it hassles them…
OTOH, conservatives love police state crackdowns on “Islamo-fascism.”
So if Root addresses the issues, he will…
1. Write with sound and fury, as if he’s taking a “tough, uncompromising, libertarian position,” BUT at the same time his piece will…
2. Signify nothing, because though it will slam the TSA, it will support the TSA’s underlying, “war on terror” premises, and EVEN THEN…
3. Root’s piece will allow him enough “flip flop room” to change his position should the political winds change, BUT what you can be certain of…
4. Root will lay much of the blame on Obama, personally, as though Obama himself founded the TSA.
Now I wait to hear from our Libertarian Leader, WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
I applaud the Florida LP. I’d like to see the rest of the states follow suit.
We simply cannot accept the scanners and/or patdowns. It should be unacceptable to everyone in our country.
Cool idea. They should arrest a lot more government agents, including themselves.
Bravo Florida LP !!! All 50 states and DC needs to do the same thing. The TSA is a major part of this U.S. POLICE STATE created since 9/11/01. The TSA is teaching the masses to submit , You must admit it makes you to submit to some very humiliating degrading actions. You and your loved ones do NOT have to be GROPED just to fly a commercial jet! Yes, BRAVO FL LP you did the correct thing !!!
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