General Question

Illuminat3d's avatar

Why doesn't the Tea Party voice their concerns over those full-body scanners that are soon-to-be at all the airports?

Asked by Illuminat3d (183points) September 21st, 2010 from iPhone

And try to find and support any candidates that are for the protection of our civil liberties?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

24 Answers

josie's avatar

Not that I am a Tea Party guy, but I have never totally understood what the problem is with the full body scanners?

robmandu's avatar

The 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

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.


The Transportation Security Administration, in many people’s opinion, violates this law – indeed, the Constitution they’ve sworn to uphold – millions of times every day in American airports.

Ostensibly, this slippery slope is being traversed to “make us safer”, but security experts don’t think it’s working.

Forget the Tea Party, I lament that the public at large is willing to put up with it.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@robmandu I don’t. I ask for an alternate screening method.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
robmandu's avatar

@Dr_Dredd… “alternate screening method” == pat down + wand + xrays of your bags + TSA guys pawing thru your stuff if they want == “unreasonable search without a warrant”


YARNLADY's avatar

When anyone chooses to ride on an airplane they automatically give permission to be searched. Therefore, it is not unreasonable nor warrant less. No body is forcing the passenger to fly – you can always take alternate transportation.

thekoukoureport's avatar

Because it doesn’t work with their message. FIND A SCAPGOAT and SPREAD FEAR!

josie's avatar

@robmandu But flying on an airplane is voluntary. You can always refuse. It is not the same as being summoned to court or being caprciously singled out for scrutiny by the governement without any cause.

robmandu's avatar

@YARNLADY and @josie, on this tenet – that flying is “voluntary” – I disagree for several reasons, but mainly because the 4th Amendment doesn’t make any room for “voluntary” circumstance.

If that’s the rationale, I’d be content if the Constitution was amended to include it.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
josie's avatar

@robmandu What do you mean. If the government stops you and searches you on the street, for no reason at all, that is unreasonable.
If you, as an act of volition, present yourself at the airport to board a plane, then you have made a choice in the presence of other options. You could drive. You could charter a plane. You could take a boat or train. You could not go at all. But if you decide to fly, you subject yourself to search, which in the face of possible terrorism could not be argued to be unreasonable. There are plenty of legitimate gripes of government intrusion. Why focus on the one of the weaker ones?

robmandu's avatar

@Josie, you voluntarily walked down the street in your example, I presume.

Anyway, that’s why I referred to this as a slippery slope.

Let me ask, what makes flying in a commercial jet – or indeed, simply reporting to one’s job in the airport’s security zone – so extraordinary that we arbitrarily suspend Constitutional law?

josie's avatar

@robmandu Because you do not have to. Fourth ammendment protects you from the government because they have a monopoly on the use of force. That puts you at a disadvantage. But the government is not forcing you to submit to search. You can still refuse and walk away. If you refused the body scan, and walked away and the government chased you down and made you do it anyway, then you would have a point.

robmandu's avatar

If I want to continue unimpeded to my intended destination (my flight), they can and will force me.

But fine, let’s consider your example as you state it. How long do you think it will last that way? I think not long.

josie's avatar

@robmandu You don’t HAVE to fly. There is no promise anywhere that you can use a federally regulated business in any fashion that you choose. Your argument will only hold after you get rid of the FAA and the TSA, among other federal jurisdictional authorities.
Please do not misunderstand me… I would be happy to join the fight to allow airlines to operate free of federal regulation. But in my lifetime, it will not happen. So, I will fight the battles that I can win.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@josie saying “you don’t HAVE to fly” is, really, a cop-out. (And your example about being summoned to court earlier on was just plain wrong. Have you tried to walk into a courthouse lately? I’m sure the full-body scanners will show up there before long, too.)

The point is a good one. Say, “Well, terrorism trumps your rights” puts us on the slippery slope. It won’t be long before all forms of public transportation will require some type of search. We’ve been lucky that the bus bombers haven’t show up here as they have in Israel.

Frankly, I’m surprised that no terrorist has yet detonated a bomb… at the security checkpoint. How long will people be willing to stand in that line once that happens? And when it does, where do you set the perimeter? A mile away from the airport, as we tried for awhile after 11 Sep 2001?

I think we should handle flying the same way bouncers check patrons at some of the seedier bars I’ve been to. They ask you at the door if you’re carrying a weapon, and if you’re not, they issue you one.

MeinTeil's avatar

The Enemy swore to disrupt the American way of life. It includes things such as freedom of movement and instant convienience.

With every shoe removed, every bag opened, every pelvis glowing, our Enemies achieve their aim.

robmandu's avatar

As a past member of the American Airlines Executive Platinum frequent flier program due to the rigors of my job, yes, I do HAVE TO fly. Alternative travel will not get me to Shanghai in a timely manner.

But really, that’s beside the point. The process itself is of questionable efficacy and moreover, if it’s so important to conduct these warrantless searches, then let’s codify it properly with a real Constitutional amendment.

Trillian's avatar

Whatever. I’d rather be a bit “inconvenienced” than blown up. Or I can damn well walk.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I also have to fly. I live in the UK and while I would love to take the Queen Mary home to America…a) it’s four to five times more expensive b) it will take me a few weeks to get to New York. If what you propose is that when I get to New York, I find a way to get to my family in the Southwest (and they live in the remotest part), then you can tack on another 10 days. Yippee!

Full body scans are invasive. They photograph you and keep the photos (unlike what we are told). They are also dangerous to your health.


Why can’t the US do what El-Al does? Before you even get in the queue, the El-Al security is quizzing you on your trip, your travel, asking to see your itinerary and they have everyone profiled before they get on the plane. If you are a little bubbe going to her great-niece’s Bat Mitzvah, you are not going to get stopped, searched or scanned. Not just because you look like the least likely candidate for a hijacking, but because El-Al has already run a check on you when you booked your ticket. It’s still invading your privacy (as much as your landlord or the police check) but at least, it isn’t physically invasive (unless you are suspect and pulled out of the queue). But if you are clear——you just get on the plane.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Trillian don’t forget what Franklin said. It may be more apropos now than it was when he said it:

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

robmandu's avatar

@Trillian, that’s how they sell it – not that I agree it’s acceptable enough reason here now 9 years after 9/11 – but if that’s your main reason, well, prepare for disappointment.

I understand that for most people, the motivation is noble… we just want to be safe. However, we need to realize that politicians and career bureaucrats will revert to their typical sleazy ploys, like fear mongering.

We can help safeguard our population and respect the Constitution in its current form by focusing on intelligence gathering, old-fashioned police work, and emergency response.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Because the people that have hijacked the tea-party for personal and political gain are rich and don’t have to take public airplanes or subject themselves to the searches and riduculousness that we are subject to.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Here’s an article I just came across while reading the morning news.

Feds: Privacy Does Not Exist in ‘Public Places’

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther