The ultimate update: Naked scanners, TSA, National Opt-Out Day, and the third party point-of-view

Lists at top. Expanded excerpts below.

For information on the Wednesday, November 24, 2010 (day before Thanksgiving) National Opt-Out Day: Optoutday website, Wewontfly website, or Fedupfliers website.

What are the latest incidents alarming the public about these new security procedures?:

-A child whose pacifier set off the machines at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport was taken out of sight of his mother to be screened. (Story: here.)

-A young boy was patted down, with his shirt removed, at Salt Lake City International Airport. A concerned observer took the video and published it on youtube. It has over one million and six hundred thousand views. (Video: here.)

Which third party and independent political voices have critiqued the TSA’s new security measures and/or called for demonstrations and boycotts?: Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, Bob Barr, David McReynolds, Mark Hinkle, The New Jersey Libertarian Party, The Libertarian Party of Georgia, The Boston Tea Party, The Green Party of Tennessee, News for Greens (founder Roger Snyder), World Socialist Website, The Constitution Party, and The Pirate Party of Germany. (And, even major party, tendency groups have joined in the critique. Check out the statements at the Republican Liberty Caucus, and at the Progressive Democrats of America.)

Is the US government aware of the outcry against these measures? Which government officials have responded and how? There is an excellent article at The Washington Examiner here. TSA Administrator John Pistole says the boycott will slow down travel and Pistole seems firm that we must endure these procedures. Other government officials who have commented: President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Background and articles:
Links and comparisons of the three, big groups calling for action on November 24th:

Opt Out Day
One of the first groups calling for a boycott. They have mostly suggested that instead of the choice of going through the naked, full body scanner, you opt for the aggressive pat down method. The New Jersey Libertarian Party is specifically joining together with this group’s call to action.

We Won’t Fly
We Won’t Fly has a more comprehensive approach to the actions that travelers should take to register their objection to the new procedures. We Won’t Fly says:

The Plan is Simple
1. If you absolutely, positively must fly, opt out of the scanners. Do it to protect your health and privacy.
2. If you can avoid flying, don’t fly. Hit the airlines in the pocketbook until the scanners and gropers are gone. Make the airlines work for us.
3. Raise holy hell. Register your disapproval of the scanners and gropers to your airline, your hotel and all government officials who claim to work for you. Educate your community.

Fed Up Fliers
Fed Up Fliers has a link to National Opt-Out Day. Though, Fed Up Fliers ads this editor’s note:

FED UP FLYERS’ position is to refuse and reject any unprovoked, unreasonable search and seizure. This includes all strip searching (virtual or otherwise), as well as unwanted, unwarranted physical contact by government security agents without probable cause…

Ralph Nader has run for President of the United States as a Green Party candidate, and more recently as an independent. Below are some links and concerns related to Nader’s position on the new TSA security measures:

Ralph Nader did a piece about “naked insecurity” where he says, “To airline passengers: Get ready for naked insecurity…To the Department of Homeland Security: If you thought this week was bad, brace yourself for a tsunami of protests in the days ahead…”

Also, Ralph Nader wrote a “Letter to Senate Committee on Homeland Security regarding whole-body airport scanners”: here. Nader’s latest piece is “Public Concern Over TSA Screening: here.” Nader has been working on the TSA issue with EPIC, the Electronic Information Privacy Center: here.

Congressman Ron Paul ran for President of the United States in 1988 as the nominee of the Libertarian Party. He is currently a member of the Liberty Caucus of the Republican Party.

Rep. Paul has introduced the American Traveler Dignity Act. There is a youtubevideo of his speech in Congress: here. EPIC says that Rep. Paul’s bill, “would hold TSA agents legally accountable for airline screening procedures. Rep. Paul cited abusive screening procedures as the reason for the legislation, titled the American Traveler Dignity Act.”

Bob Barr was the Libertarian nominee for President of the United States in 2008.

As noted in an IPR post, Bob Barr has called for a pilot who spoke out against TSA procedures to run for President in 2012. Bob Barr writes:

For the past year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and its parent, the Department of Homeland Security, along with Members of Congress from both parties and the Obama Administration, have been demanding Americans give up our basic civil liberties and our fundamental right to privacy, by submitting to a full-body scan — amounting to a virtual strip search – simply because we need to fly on a commercial airliner. At least one American hero – Express Jet pilot Michael Roberts – has said “enough is enough,” and refused to participate any longer in this demeaning security charade.

David McReynolds, former socialist party candidate for President, former Green Party candidate for NY Senate, and long-time socialist thinker circulated a link to the message from a mother whose son was taken out of her sight for screening, when his pacifier clip set off a TSA security machine.

Mark Hinkle is the Chair of the national Libertarian Party. In an IPR post, Hinkle is quoted as saying:

“The TSA should end the strip-search machine program immediately…

“We’ve reached a point where our government has no qualms about humiliating us.

The New Jersey Libertarian Party plans an Opt-Out demo at Newark Airport. Their demonstration is in connection with the wewontfly effort, and will be held at Newark Liberty International Airport, Terminal B, on Wednesday evening. There is a story at IPR: here.

Libertarian Party of Georgia made a statement opposing the new TSA procedures. There is a story at IPR: here.

The Boston Tea Party — which exists in several US states — has come out with a statement opposing the TSA scanners and enhanced pat downs:

November 19, 2010 the Boston Tea Party National Committee passed resolutions; opposing the TSA, naked porno-scanners & enhanced pat-downs and supporting the 2nd & 9th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America 5-0 (with 2 no voting). – from the Boston Tea Party website

The Green Party of Tennessee website has a blog post informing people about National Opt Out Day, the TSA protest on Wednesday, November 24, 2010.

News for Greens, a project of New York Green, Roger Snyder, has been following TSA concerns and protests, and includes this story: “TSA Now Putting Hands Down Fliers’ Pants“.

The World Socialist Website has posted commentary about the new TSA procedures. The article is called, “The stench of the police state at US airports“, and is excerpted below:

As tens of millions of Americans travel during the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend, they will come face to face with the new regime instituted by the federal Transportation Security Administration. More than 70 major airports have installed full-body scanners, where randomly selected passengers are compelled to undergo the electronic equivalent of a strip search. Travelers who decline that scan will be subjected instead to an extremely invasive body search that includes an open-palm patdown of the genital area…

20 thoughts on “The ultimate update: Naked scanners, TSA, National Opt-Out Day, and the third party point-of-view

  1. Darryl W. Perry

    http://bostontea.us/node/957
    On November 19, 2010 the Boston Tea Party National Committee passed two resolutions; one opposing the TSA, naked porno-scanners & enhanced pat-downs; the other in support of the 2nd & 9th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America 5-0 (with 2 no voting).

    Whereas the TSA was created after 9/11; and
    Whereas the TSA has consistently violated the 4th Amendment protection against “unreasonable searches & seizures”; and
    Whereas the TSA has begun using naked porno-scanners; and
    Whereas the TSA has begun using enhanced pat-downs that border on sexual assault and/or molestation;
    Be it resolved the Boston Tea Party National Committee opposes these violations of individual rights and liberty; and
    Be it resolved the Boston Tea Party National Committee calls upon the TSA to immediately cease and desist the use of porno-scanners; and
    Be it resolved the Boston Tea Party National Committee calls upon the TSA to immediately cease and desist the use of enhanced pat-downs that border on sexual assault and/or molestation; and
    Be it resolved the Boston Tea Party National Committee the Congress of the United States of America to abolish the TSA and require airlines to be responsible for their own safety and security.

    And:

    Whereas the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America recognizes the right to bear arm; and
    Whereas the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people;” and
    Whereas federal laws have been passed over the last 3 decades infringing on these Constitutionally protected rights;
    Be it resolved, the Boston Tea Party National Committee calls upon the federal government to repeal all federal laws infringing on the right to bear arms; and
    Be it resolved, the Boston Tea Party National Committee calls upon the federal government to repeal all federal laws infringing upon all “other (rights) retained by the people.”

    BTP member George Donnelly (who co-founded We Won’t Fly with James Babb) writes, “(TSA) deployed untested technology that biochemist Michael Love says ‘statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from.’
    They did not properly educate the flying public about their new intrusive security regimen. Passengers thrust into these new procedures report cases of trauma, including flashbacks for rape victims and feelings of humiliation. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a political appointee, irresponsibly misled the nation saying the scanners were safe and the genital probings were discrete. They are neither.
    Homeland Security has suckered Americans into a false sense of security with scanners of dubious value.”

    BTP National Committee Chair Darryl W. Perry says, “People are frustrated with both the theater disguised as security & the intrusiveness by the TSA.”

    Donnelly & Babb add, “Air travelers are clamoring for someone to stand up and demand that their basic human dignity be honored. As parents, we have a sacred responsibility to our children to keep air travel safe, trauma-free and respectful of individual liberty.”

    The fourth plank of the current BTP program reads, “Congress should repeal the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act & FISA Acts and abolish the NSA, TSA, CIA and any other federal agency that infringes on individual rights. Congress should review and revoke the emergency powers granted to the President in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. The U.S. should restore privacy by forbidding warrant-less wiretapping of phone and internet communication. The U.S. must restore habeas corpus, allowing all detainees, foreign and domestic, a speedy and public trial. No physical or environmental discomfort should be used to influence the interrogation of suspects for any crime. The U.S. government must respect the rights of all people, regardless of place of birth, status of citizenship, or suspicion of criminality.”

    Perry adds, “If people continue to allow the government to infringe upon the right supposedly protected by the 4th Amendment to be protected from “unreasonable searches & seizures” then naked porno-scanners and enhanced pat-downs that border on sexual assault will soon no longer be confined to airports, but also train stations, bus depots, federal buildings and possibly shopping malls and school buildings.
    When will people decide to say ‘enough?’ After all, something bad might happen and we need to be protected against the ‘terrorists!’
    I agree with Thomas Jefferson: ‘I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it’.”

    The Boston Tea Party was founded in 2006 with a one sentence platform, “The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.” In October 2008, the party’s National Convention adopted the four point program of the Campaign for Liberty. Their program calls for an end to overseas occupation, a restoration of privacy and other liberties, no increase in the national debt, and a thorough review of the Federal Reserve. During the 2010 convention the Party adopted a new program to End the Wars of Aggression, End the Fed, End the War on Drugs, End the Abuses of Liberty, End the Immigration Fiasco.

  2. Kimberly Wilder Post author

    Zogby shows the real reaction:

    Found this at nader.org…

    While the regular press is towing the line for Obama and the TSA, saying that people aren’t really worried about the new security measures, Zogby did a poll that tells a different story!

    Quote:

    Zogby Interactive: 61% Oppose Full Body Scans and TSA Pat Downs; 48% Will Seek Alternative to Flying Frequent Fliers: 59% Oppose Enhancements and 43% Will Seek Alternative to Flying

    End quote

    Article at nader.org:

    http://www.nader.org/index.php?/archives/2225-Public-Concern-Over-TSA-Screening-Grows.html

  3. Kimberly Wilder Post author

    Thank you Darryl. I added the Boston Tea Party to the list.

    I am very excited to see that the American people and the third parties are taking some stand against the oppression of these searches. So, I am willing to do updates. Please post in comments, or send to my e-mail, any other third party/independent candidate endorsements of the boycotts.

    Many thanks,
    Kimberly Wilder

  4. NewFederalist

    I am fortunate that I do not have to fly. Just what are people who really must fly in the course of their job responsibilities supposed to do? I would guess if someone refused to fly to an important meeting they could be fired, for instance. Most employers won’t grant enough travel time to take ground transportation coast to coast. Until there is enough backlash from the sheeple this loss of liberty will likely persist.

  5. Mik Robertson

    These false sense of security measures will persist unless there is some economic impact or it becomes politically uncomfortable.

  6. R Mayhew

    Barr was on Sean Hannity’s show today with the ACLJ. He’s handing out “traveler rights cards” through optoutalliance.com

    Good groups and voices but there needs to be more.

  7. Kimberly Wilder

    Let’s hope we see a little “more” tomorrow.

    I believe that there may be some people who are out of the loop, show up at the airport to visit Grandma, and have odd reactions to what is going on.

    People who traveled a lot probably felt the oppression come on gradually. Newbies might flip out.

    (And, clearly, the threats of a boycott mean something, or there would not be statements from Obama and the TSA Administrator. Stuff is moving…)

    Oh…Thanks for the comment, R Mayhew.

  8. Kimberly Wilder

    The Washington Post angrily blames (and mocks) Libertarians for TSA Opt Out day…

    The Washington Post

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/23/AR2010112303954.html

    Quote:

    Criticisms of opt-out protest

    Some aviation security experts say the public firestorm is largely being fueled by a few, privacy-obsessed individuals, many of them identified as Libertarians, and is not emblematic of the larger feeling amongst Americans that such screening, while intrusive, is necessary to ward off terrorist attacks.

    End Quote

    (I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But, heck, the Libertarians are being noticed on this one!!!)

  9. Carey Campbell

    This is an interesting story.

    We went to the Green Party convention in Freiburg, Germany last Wednesday. Pictures here
    http://www.votejoinrun.us/id48.html
    and Video here
    http://www.youtube.com/my_videos?feature=mhum

    Flew out of Dulles International airport near Washington D.C.

    Earlier last Wednesday – Cable TV was ranting about supposed problems, that turned out to be the regular fiction, based on our personal experience.

    The service by all the people at Dulles, and in particular the TSA folk was superb. They were polite, efficient, professional. We got through check in quickly. There was no difference in level of check than when we had gone to Indiana for a family wedding last month.

    When the Green Party convention was over – an great Green Party gathering in the Green City of Freiburg, where I studied 30 years ago, we flew back to Dulles.

    Once again every one at the Airport did superb work.

    Enjoy the pictures and videos – should be posting about 20 of the “Carey Campbell’s Green Party Minute with ….” on our IndependentGreen Youtube channel of this Green Party convention. Working on various stories as well.

    Stay tuned for those Green Party stories…

    Based on our Green Party family trip the good people at the airports are doing exception work for us.

    Our family publicly thanks them all for what was a delightful Green Party journey and joy.

  10. Kimberly Wilder

    Patti Roberts is the wife of Michael Roberts, one of the airline pilots who had concerns with the TSA.

    Her explanation about what is wrong with the TSA searches demonstrates the very human side to the question of liberty…

    http://fedupflyers.org/women/patti-roberts-on-tsa-security-screening

    Quote

    Michael and I teach our children that their bodies are special and belong only to them. We teach them to protect their special parts through modesty. We teach them to never let anyone see or touch them in an inappropriate way. Every kind and loving parent knows this drill. It’s part of the job. Why then are we subjecting ourselves and our children to such heinous crimes as we travel by plane?…

    Yes, crimes! The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards law-abiding citizens in this country against being unreasonably searched…

    We have found that people must be told these things are wrong. Mothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors – please, do not allow government security agents to put their hands on you or your children. Your body belongs to you. Do not allow government security agents to see beneath your clothing. Your body belongs to you, not them!

    End Quote

  11. Kimberly Wilder

    More credit for the Libertarians…

    In an article about TSA procedures at Minnesota Public Radio:

    Quote

    Libertarians and some health advocates have said that the better option is mass civil disobedience that would prompt a breakdown of the security and aviation systems and force the federal government to retreat from its advanced imaging efforts.

    End Quote

    Link to full story:

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/11/23/holiday-travel-airport-msp-body-scanners-pat-down-qa/

  12. paulie

    Hi folks. Still not reading your comments and not checking email frequently.

    I feel dejected and need to work up some enthusiasm to start working, but if anyone reading has plans for a demonstration at Reagan National Airport give me a call at 415-690-6352, I’ll try to make it down there.

    Wes Benedict told me at the LNC meeting he was interested in doing something, but I’m not sure if plans at that airport have already been made. If not, it may be too late, at least for me, as I am not interested in doing civil disobedience at this time.

    Again, I will not see responses here, so 415-690-6352 if there are concrete plans in place for a protest at Reagan National.

  13. Best We Can Do? [Lake]

    DID NOT KNOW WHERE ELSE TO PLACE THIS MORE GENERAL CONSIDERATION OF FEDERAL POWER. GOT HERE VIA ‘GENERAL’ PORTAL :

    Letters | Tuesday, Nov. 23
    More News: Healthier America

    Thomas Jefferson believed in limited government, but when he had a chance to buy the land in the Louisiana Purchase and double the size of the nation, he did, despite his misgivings about its constitutionality. Do any tea partiers want to give those states back to France?

    Harry Truman was one of the first presidents to pursue a national health care program. Any of you want to call this Missouri farmer who gave the order to drop the atomic bomb to end World War II a socialist?

    Exploding health care costs — from health insurance premiums, benefits, treatment technology, procedures, hospital and doctors bills, an obese population with millions of diabetics — threaten our nation’s economy as much or more than a terrorist plot in a crowded city.

    We fear the latter, but the cancer that will kill us individually and collectively is already at work. It is killing us softly, but killing us nonetheless.

    Charles Bishop, Kansas City

    Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/11/22/2462522/letters-tuesday-nov-23.html#ixzz16E9Niwz0

  14. TSA = terrorists

    Kimberly at 16

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/11/24/tyner/index.html

    Responds to the Nation smear job, links to other responses (links at URL above)

    ” as BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow wrote today, “I remember when being anti-authoritarian, pro-dignity and pro-freedom were values of the progressive left. Some of us still embrace them.”

    ….

    “Nor was this reaction mine alone. It seems to be a consensus even among liberal, Nation-friendly journalists that the attack on Tyner was not merely misguided, but odious, as all such journalists who commented (at least that I know of) condemned it, often in terms at least as harsh as the ones I used. In addition to their own Nation colleague Jeremy Scahill (who denounced it as a “shameful smear”), Mother Jones’ News Editor Daniel Schulman wrote: “This Nation story is journalistic malpractice of the worst kind”; The American Prospect’s Scott Lemieux, on his blog, called it “Liberal McCarthyism” and an “embarrassment”; and the usually rhetorically restrained Ezra Klein condemned it as a “hit piece” which I had “rightfully hammered.”

  15. TSA = terrorists

    Ames and Levine’s characterization of the Free State Project as “Koch funded” should be investigated as well.

    Their chain of logic on this is that FSP idea originator Jason Sorens later went on to work at a Koch-funded think tank. However, they have provided absolutely no evidence that the FRee State Project has received any Koch funding whatsoever. This is very shoddy, McCarthyite “evidence.”

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