Ann and Michael on TSA’s announcement

The following is excerpted from an email exchange between Ann Poe, myself, and our attorneys regarding yesterday’s concession by the TSA to exempt flight crew members from some of the most egregious elements of the security screening process.

ANN: I am concerned about the reference to random screening and other layers of security pertaining to pilots and what that would entail. Our gate agents, rampers and others in FLL don’t go through security. In Oct. one of the gate agents told me that TSA met them at the security door and did a random check by running their hands up the female agents skirts.

Our flight attendants are our eyes and ears of security on the aircraft during flight and boarding.

Flight Attendants are a vital layer of security and once subjected to the same background checks as we are should be able to bypass security as well.  Right after 911 the primary group of people being groped by TSA going through security were good looking flight attendants.

During the flight our passengers are another layer of security we depend on as well.

The money trail needs to be followed in regards to the body scanners and ex TSA officials as lobbyists and the information made more public.  I don’t believe the 81% approval rate for body scanners.  It is so important that the public be educated about them. TSA is trying to scare people into believing the body scanners are effective and the agressive pat downs are necessary. They are not effective and as you know are a violation of our civil liberties.

Private security should immediately replace TSA at airports and our passengers be treated like the customers they are.

I am grateful that it looks like I will be able to go back to work , but the fight is not over. TSA is out of control, ineffectual and violating every American who flys, civil liberties.

Ann

MICHAEL: I wholeheartedly concur with Ann on this. Also, something that needs to be made clear is that, by ‘privatizing security’, we’re not talking about using a local temp agency to staff the front lines with workers who will simply carry out TSA/DSA directives the same way the blue shirts do now. The decision making process itself needs to be transferred to the private sector and handled by industry professionals – not politicians and bureaucrats with myriad ulterior motives. That will ultimately require legislative changes beyond the scope of our case.

People will argue that there will be all sorts of corruption between the private firms and the airlines, airport authorities, etc. Well, unfortunately that’s just business as usual, and putting it in the hands of the state doesn’t stop it – in fact, it exacerbates it. But I’d rather have unscrupulous people conspiring to transfer our wealth into their own pockets than a tyrannical state doing the same thing AND transferring the power and authority of the American people over to the political elite in Washington.

What we’re really seeing take place here is the enemy organizing and getting its act together, bringing the unions on board (as if they weren’t already), and trying to institutionalize the message/movement/whatever this is so that they can control it and ultimately assimilate it into the collective. Resistance is NOT futile – it’s our duty!

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but it’s important that we all help each other stay clear in our thinking about these things.

-m.

Attorney John Whitehead: Agreed. We are in it for the long run. Many battles ahead.

About Michael S. Roberts

Suspected terrorist/domestic extremist. Proficient sinner. Father of 6. INTP. Autodidact. Fed up pilot. Chatty by nature...
This entry was posted in Resistance 101, The big picture, The facts, What pilots are saying. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Ann and Michael on TSA’s announcement

  1. Dottie says:

    If Janet Napolitano and the rest of her crew will submit themselves to the body scan and pat down procedures, i.e., show and tell; then I guess we can do it too. That would include the entire congress as well. They should “practice what they preach” and be willing subjects for this atrocity.
    There is nothing wrong with profiling those terrorists. What do we have a CIA and FBI, Interpol, etc for if not to use.

  2. lids says:

    Dear Anna and Michael,

    I am a British airline pilot working for an international carrier and I spend half my working month in America. Believe it or not, until now, being processed by TSA has been a much easier experience than over here in the UK, where things are being done almost deliberately to antagonize airline workers.

    Firstly, I would like to congratulate both of you for making a very tough stand. I totally support your efforts. However, nobody has so far mentioned the plight of other national airline crews. I wondered if you could confirm the following. I do not have a great understanding of the Bill of Rights. But, is it true, that the Fourth Amendment applies to people like myself, a British Citizen, when legally resident in the USA, (I hold a ten year visa in my passport), on business? If so, could a British airline pilot also claim protection from the Fourth Amendment to prevent a strip search, without cause?

    I do hope, now you have won the initial battle, that you can bring in to the picture pilots from other nations. I served alongside American soldiers during my service in the Royal Air Force and I am deeply happy with the turn of events over there. Regarding radiation, I simply do not trust the guarantees coming from your government.

    Regards and good luck..

    • Very interesting question, lids – I don’t know the answer, but I’m going to forward this to the attorneys and see whether they’d like to comment. Unfortunately, the problem for all of us right now is we can claim Fourth Amendment protection all we want, but our government simply isn’t honoring the natural rights that are guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment (or much of the rest of the U.S. Constitution, for that matter).

      This recent development doesn’t change that – it’s just a political concession from the state to appease the pilots while allowing DHS/TSA to continue infringing upon everyone else’s rights and liberty unhindered. That’s why we really have no alternative but, independent of the system, to say no to the evil being done here, stand for what’s right and true, and then try to restore a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Whether we as a nation succeed or not in that regard, each individual – citizen or visitor – must choose for himself: perilous liberty, or quiet servitude.

  3. lids says:

    Dear Michael,

    Thank you for your prompt reply. I understand that somehow your Administration has bypassed the constitution to bring in these searches? However, may I ask one more question. Do you think it is the general stand taken by your pilot unions that has brought about this recent concession by TSA? Or do you think it is the prospect of Government Officials having to take the stand, when you bring your lawsuit against the state?

    I have never heard of anyone doing this before. I very much hope you take your case all the way. In the UK we still have an independent judiciary, I know yours is fiercely independent and your constitution has been in existence for an awfully long time.

    Thank you for forwarding my question to your advisors. I’d be greatly reassured to have it confirmed that in theory at least, we can quote the same Bill of Rights that you referred to when you came up against the TSA.

    Once again,

    Best Regards from the UK..

    • lids, after consulting with John Whitehead, the lead attorney handling my case with Ann, I am confident that you are indeed guaranteed the same constitutional rights and freedom as anyone else when you are physically inside the borders of the United States. Mr. Whitehead has written a book entitled The Change Manifesto, in which he explains specifically that, “Fourth Amendment protections do extend to all persons who come within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States… as the person enjoys constitutional rights while within U.S. borders…”

      Interestingly, he notes that a foreign citizen would not be afforded such rights when outside U.S. borders – even against actions conducted by agents of the U.S. government. He cites a case in which American agents raided a Mexican national’s home (in Mexico) and the Supreme Court found that the Fourth Amendment did not apply because the individual lacked a significant relationship to the United States to call upon the U.S. Constitution for protection. So, depending upon your own government’s resolve to protect your rights and freedom in the UK, you may actually be safer here than you are at home (that is, if our government actually honored the Constitution)!

      And, speaking as an ordinary American citizen, I think that’s exactly the way it ought to be in the land of the free and home of the brave.

  4. This exchange pretty much gets to the heart of the matter — I think Ann and Michael speak for the majority of both pilots and Americans — at least for those souls without neurological damage or an underlying agenda.

    Thanks for posting!

  5. TomF says:

    Hello UK airline pilot:

    Whilst in the US for business or leisure you most certainly are afforded the same US constitutional protections as a US citizen or resident, just as you are subject to the rule of US law. The Fourth Amendment reads 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.” TSA policies are thought to be in clear contravention. But their defense runs two ways: 1) what’s going on is not “unreasonable,” and 2) we agree that our constitutional rights are suspended when we enter an airport’s security zone. Fights over #1 go on all the time (“reasonable” is the most troublesome word in US jurisprudence) but #2 is a wholly unprecedented and extremely dangerous / frightening argument, especially as TSA has designs on enlarging its purview to cover rail and bus depots, sports stadia, national monuments, perhaps shopping centers, etc. It is no longer thought weird or wild-eyed to raise fears of the US devolving to a police state. In which case TSA’s hyperzealousness in defense of the United States brings to mind the Vietnam commander who claimed it was necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.

    We are engaged in a very serious fight over core issues of personal liberty, dignity and privacy with vast ramifications, and it affects not only flight crews but the passengers on whose custom their jobs and airlines depend. US hoteliers, for example, report a shocking number of cancellations from travelers who prefer staying home to dealing with TSA. Please resist when possible / appropriate. And I hope the airline employees’ unions do not cut a “sweetheart deal” with TSA for relaxed treatment and leave the flying public to face this unreasonable tyranny alone; we are all in this together.

  6. lids says:

    Thanks so much for the information on the Bill of Rights. But how did I agree that MY constitutional rights have been suspended when I enter a US airport? I am not a US citizen.

    Over here we have the Human Rights Act. The same defence and the same arguments are rolled out. UK government claiming that use of scanners is reasonable in response to the threat. But nobody has tested this argument in a court of law-yet.

    What is even worse here in UK, is the lack of opt out. We simply don’t have the choice. No scan, no fly. And all kids under the age of 18 have to go through. We are behind the schedule on the roll out programme, so it hasn’t caused the same outcry, but I am sure it is coming. Pregnant women and kids are most at risk, but they are being forced through.

    My feeling is, we fight this here and now, or we lose. Many pilots over here would rather see extensive use of profiling and sniffer dogs. I totally agree on the importance of retaining freedom, I am sure you are in no doubt how difficult the fight will be. However, you have one important factor on your side. The good men and women of the Jury..

    Regards,

    • liberranter says:

      But how did I agree that MY constitutional rights have been suspended when I enter a US airport?

      lids, I’ll echo TomF’s reply that you are ABSOLUTELY entitled to protection of your rights under the 4th Amendment, as well as the other nine amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, while present in the United States or under any aspect of its jurisdiction.

      Let me be clear on this: NO ONE can “waive” their constitutional rights, EVER, even if they express the wish to do so! The very purpose of the BoR is to state, in clear and unambiguous terms, that the United States government’s sole purpose for being, it’s only raison d’etre is to SAFEGUARD AND MAINTAIN those rights at all times and under all circumstances – period. Your rights are endowed by the Supreme Creator (or Nature, if you prefer), NOT the State, as the black-robed tyrants of this nation’s Supreme Kangaroo Court would have you believe, and as so many of the public school-indoctrinated sheeple would bleat. In other words, you already have these God-given rights by fortune of birth, even as citizen of the United Kingdom (or anywhere else in the world from which you might hail); the ten amendments to the Constitution that make up the BoR merely serve as a guarantee that whenever you are under the jurisdiction of the United States government that those rights will be protected. Indeed, given that the federal government has laid claim to airports within the United States as its responsibility, that even further solidifies the federal government’s responsibility, as the airports are under de facto federal control to protect your rights, even more so than if the airports were exclusively privatized.

      All of the above said, I am under no illusions whatsoever, and neither should you or anyone else be, that the machinery of the federal totalitarian leviathan, as represented by the TSA, will in any way abide by the law as set forth in the Founding Document. Just know that ANY violation of your rights (and this goes for passengers too), which is to say anything and everything that the TSA is doing under the guise of security theater, is ENTIRELY unconstitutional and criminal!

  7. lids says:

    Well, there is an almighty fight started over here, in response to what happened with Michael and Anne and the stance taken by pilots unions. It remains under the surface for the moment, but rest assured, feelings are running high.

    Some of our pilots have already been forced to go through the body scanners. Does anyone over there in US have any access to independent research on these machines?

    Or does anyone know if there has been ANY long term research carried out?

    Regards,
    from UK

    • lids, I concur with the replies others have already left in reference to your question. See my reply above as well now that I’ve spoken with counsel.

      I’m delighted over the report about the issue being stirred up over there. This is absolutely a human rights and freedom concern – not just an American one, and certainly not just a pilot thing. Be aware that a likely “compromise” that may be offered if/when the scanner program falls apart will be some sort of biometric system. As far as I’m concerned, that would still probably fall under the category of unreasonable search and seizure and really isn’t a solution. LESS GOVERNMENT CONTROL OVER OUR LIVES IS THE SOLUTION, PERIOD!

      Regarding your question about independent research, TSA has been pretty uncooperative with several groups that have asked to examine the AIT scanners for themselves. The Dutch government reported last year that Al Qaeda had purchased several AIT devices themselves to study and conduct tests with, so perhaps you could see if they’d like to share their information with you (?!!!?!?!)

      I’ve heard that US Airways pilot union is involved in some kind of research efforts on the machines as well so you could write them and see if they could help. See http://usairlinepilots.org/. Good luck over there – just be prepared for a serious fight as you go up against some really powerful people.

    • Or does anyone know if there has been ANY long term research carried out?

      There are certainly valid concerns over the tech being dangerous to your health. Common sense should tell anyone – especially those who fly frequently – that exposure to irradiation from these machines many times a year can’t be good for you.

      For more insight, read the full letter of concern by UCSF scientists.

  8. lids says:

    Thanks Michael. Some members of BALPA (British Airline Pilots Association) are already asking if they can join USAPA because they are becoming angry about the lack of action by their own union leaders. BALPA tries to achieve progress through consensus, some hope with the vested interests involved in our own government. It was reported today that UK Govt advisors are “terrified” at the prospect of an insider pilot causing carnage. We are very much seen as part of the problem over here, so in many ways you are already light years ahead of us.

    What impressed me most about USAPA was the willingness to put the interests of their members first. I have been reading up a fair bit. Professor Rez states that you are just as likely to die of cancer than be killed by a terrorist on board. If that, statistically is the case, you should have a really good chance of winning your own case because to irradiate innocent people you need to have very good reason. This advantage to society just doesn’t stack up in the case of body scanners. Any half decent jury should hopefully see you over the line.

    I’ll keep you updated on what is happening in UK. Rest assured you are being mentioned in despatches on our bulletin boards. My only word of advice, (not that I think you need it), is maximum publicity and pursue the opposition in an unrelenting manner!

    Regards,

    • Thanks, lids – please do keep me updated on the goings on over there.

      In my opinion, you certainly can’t go wrong breaking ties with the ALPA mafia. USAir pilots did, and right now they’re in the first generation of new leadership under USAPA, comprised of good people who actually care about what they’re trying to do for the pilots and are in it for all the right reasons. But, like any other governing organization, I expect it’ll drift from its founding purpose and principles over time. I’ve already heard that, in a very unfortunate turn of events, USAPA has elected to join the Teamsters. That means they’re going to become more organized, centralized, and controllable.

      Unity is important, but as far as I can tell, there’s really no benefit to the institutionalization of these efforts. On the contrary, doing so seems to tip the scales in favor of the corporate/state fascist regime every time as it effectively brings the resistance under the regulatory control of the regime (assimilating it into the collective, as it were). I’ve often said that, at least over here, the unions have been castrated by the regulatory process and our most effective leverage – the power to strike – is all but taken from us. In short, we must first receive permission from the Man before we may revolt against the Man!

      All that’s really necessary is a culture comprised of individual men and women of character who will say no to the greed, power lust, and evil by which the parasitic political elite seek to exploit and oppress the productive general population, and who will instead stand for things like truth, justice, and liberty. Here again, institutionalization does not promote such a culture and indeed works directly against it. But that’s just one domestic extremist’s point of view. (-:

  9. BJ says:

    If prior comments by our Government are an indication of truthfullness we CANNOT believe
    the xray scanners are safe. There are NO regular checks or monitoring to determine the amount of radiation and it is prohibited from being published or even made known.
    The brave souls who believed the Government when they proclaimed the AIR was safe
    at the World Trade Center after 9-11 are facing major pulmonary medical problems and many have already DIED. All rescue DOGS died in the 1 year range after being there.
    Will the tsa employees face a similar fate? I dislike what they do but I certainly hope they fare better than 1st responders at WTC in New York have. Does our Govt even CARE?

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