FlyersRights Position on TSA Security

FlyersRights is a passenger advocacy group led by Kate Hanni, with whom I was pleased to participate in a panel, along with Jim Babb from WeWontFly, at the EPIC conference
in DC earlier this month. As she mentions below, each party in attendance at the conference had a unique perspective on the TSA’s criminal airport screening policies. Indeed, it’s a testimony to the universally egregious nature of the state’s actions that they have united such an otherwise disparate group in opposition. It’s a beautiful thing when fascist high treason brings people together. -ed.

FlyersRights Position on TSA Security

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) conference on January 6th was an inspiring demonstration of people with divergent political views coming together on an issue of national importance.   Each speaker had a unique perspective, but we all agreed on one thing–the new TSA measures are wrong.

The FlyersRights.org position has always been clear.  As we’ve stated in press releases and countless media interviews over the last few months, air travel security is essential, but requires measures designed to enhance security that are effective, safe, and constitutional.  I joined with all the other conference speakers in pointing out that none of those things are true of the present measures.

While in DC, I visited, along with a team of FlyersRights volunteers, several senators’ and representatives’ offices.  We saw that opposition to TSA measures is not a popular one amongst legislators.

The aim of the FlyersRights membership is to abolish to the new TSA measures, yet our views are tempered by the reality and knowledge that TSA is unwilling to meet with passenger-rights groups and are uncompromising in terms of changing its position.

Moreover, the FlyersRights view of the problem is based on the realities of actively pursuing the issue in the halls of Congress.  Simply stated, getting TSA to abolish full-body scanners would be a colossal undertaking.  More feasible is moving them to a secondary screening method.

That means that our government must stop viewing us as presumed terrorists and pursue means of finding the bombers, not the bombs.  Ordinary Americans who pose no threat to our safety must be treated with dignity and respect, while those who actually do pose a threat are identified and subjected to additional scrutiny.  In short, we propose very limited use, and only with probable cause.

The FlyersRights position has been misrepresented in published accounts of the conference.  We are very sensitive to people with implants, mastectomy prosthetics and other disabilities, and have been working closely with disability groups to prepare them with special TSA medical device cards to facilitate passage through TSA checkpoints.  We learned of these cards while our Hotline volunteers were actively assisting people with exactly these issues.

We stand ready to work with the TSA to develop procedures that take into account the needs of all flyers, and to help them understand the discontent their actions to date have caused in the flying public.  FlyersRights.org runs a full time hotline where we handle issues for all air travellers, including people with special needs, every day, 24/7.  We do this for free.  It is a great honor to help those with handicaps and medical devices and all air travellers to navigate the very hostile waters that both TSA and air travel present for us all.

About Michael S. Roberts

Suspected terrorist/domestic extremist. Proficient sinner. Father of 6. INTP. Autodidact. Fed up pilot. Chatty by nature...
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3 Responses to FlyersRights Position on TSA Security

  1. Susan says:

    TSA either has to go, or at least undergo a substantial psychological and cultural change. It’s role must be rethought and redefined. Everybody in this country should be thinking and rethinking the role of the federal government in our individual lives.

    I don’t think “working with” the TSA will work. Being “sensitive” to the needs of this group or that group just works to divide us instead of unite us. If TSA is such a great idea, why do we have to start with the exclusions? Why isn’t everybody – politicians, judges and Wall Street bankers included – all living under the same rules the rest of us have to live with?

    • I agree, Susan. We’re seeing more and more of these examples where the state recognizes different classes of people and applies the law differently to each one, according to whatever is politically expedient. If they hadn’t made a concession to exempt pilots from this madness, they would have lost the whole game before the end of the year because the pilots were about to shut the holidays down. It wouldn’t have even taken a majority of us. If only a dozen flights had been canceled because of crew members refusing to kowtow to the humiliation, it would have been a (beautiful) disaster. DHS/TSA understood this very well, and now crew members are excluded from their abuse, mostly.

      I don’t think making politically strategic compromises is an effective way to resist, either – not in the long run. But that’s how organized resistance within the system functions. It often happens that the state infringes on the rights of the people – maybe they encroach a couple miles onto “our side of the fence”. We kick and scream, form coalitions, organizations, non-profits, etc. and then four or five years later we finally manage to beat them back one mile and we call it a victory, forgetting where we started when the whole thing began. Thus, the fascist state inches forward, step by step while we shop and play, even if we do grumble a little bit. I think there may be some value in working from within the system (that’s why Ann and I as well as many others are suing), but it’s pointless if we the people aren’t also willing to stop participating in the wholesale undermining of our basic rights and freedom. It’s what we’re willing to put up with out in the streets that really matters in the end.

      BTW, did anyone even bother to ask what value the state brings to the situation – whether it’s airline security or any other situation, for that matter? How do politics and bureaucracy enhance the quality of the goods and services that are available on the market (or, even more paradoxically, how do they enhance a free people’s efforts to resist tyranny)? After 9/11, it was just assumed that the government had to step in and take over in the airports. How strange that no one seemed to question whether this was necessary or even desirable! We waved our flags and supported our leaders in an unprecedented show of credulous bipartisan devotion. I wonder if there are any other examples of that sort of nationalistic social behavior in world history…

      I’m glad to have friends working within the system if for no other reason than it helps to reach the hearts and minds of those who cannot envision living their lives independent of the system. But it truly is all about hearts and minds. As long as we tolerate their crimes and aggression, the traitors and tyrants in Washington will press on, safe and secure.

  2. …water seeks its own level.

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