Lists at top. Expanded excerpts below.
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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.
“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.
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…