19 November 2010

Flying is a "privilege"

I've gotten a lot of feedback from people about my interaction with the TSA last week stating that flying is a privilege, not a right. It is a privilege granted to me in consideration of payment of a fee to the carrier and comes with terms defined by a contract that I agree to when I purchase a ticket. The arguments along these lines fall generally into one of two categories: 1.) the purchase of the ticket implies agreement with the conditions of the contract and, thus, there is no right to complain about or opt out of the security procedures, or 2.) if one doesn't like the security procedures, one doesn't have to or shouldn't fly.

The first argument has simply to do with contract "law". (I admit, right here at the beginning, that I am not a lawyer of any kind, so don't misconstrue any of what you are about to read as legal advice.) A contract is essentially an agreement between two or more parties in which they define the terms of their interaction. In this case, I (actually, my father-in-law, but I'll pretend it was me) gave money to the airline. In exchange, they agreed to fly me to my destination subject to a number of conditions, the most important of which (for this discussion) were those pertaining to the security screening to which I would be subject. At the time of purchase and up until I arrived at the airport, it was my understanding that this screening involved passing through a metal detector, not an AIT machine. This was based on information on the TSA's own website. So, at this point in time, I have paid for a ticket and have agreed to be screened via metal detector and perhaps a "wanding" and pat down of a specific area, if necessary.

Upon arriving at the airport, I found that AIT machines were in use. From my perspective, this would put the airline in breach of contract. That is, the terms to which I agreed, that I would be subject to a metal detector, had been unilaterally altered. However, the metal detectors were still in use. There was a possibility that the contract, as understood at the time of creation, could still be carried out by the original terms. When I was selected for the AIT machine, though, this became an extremely remote possibility. (Since the TSA agents never allowed me to use the metal detector, the contract had at this point been breached.) I opted out of the machine, as TSA procedures allow. Still, I believed there was a possibility that I would receive a "standard" pat down as opposed to the one described in the video documenting my experience. I was willing to continue to try to keep the contract from being broken. Once the pat down procedure was described, however, there was no continuing. I would not subject myself to the described procedure, and now both parties were in breach of contract.

There are two ways to deal with this situation. The first is to enforce the contract. This means that I could require that the airline, via the TSA, live up to the terms as understood at the time of the creation of the contract. Alternatively, the airline, via the TSA, could require that I submit to the new screening methods. We both suggested these alternatives during the course of the discussion, but neither was mutually agreeable. Since neither party, at the time, seemed given to coercion, we had to turn to the second option. This second option is to void the contract. In this scenario, one or both (or all) parties determine that the contract is no longer in their best interest(s), and they agree to void the contract. Here, they all agree to return things to the state at which they were prior to entering the contract, possibly subject to some damages for duties performed under the contract that cannot be undone. I agreed not to fly; the airline refunded my money. Actually, the airline could have had a strong argument that they could not reasonably expect to resell the seat that I gave up and should be able to keep some or all of the money paid to them. In this case, they were gracious enough to refund the full fare. My contract with the airline was now over.

The interesting thing about this is that after the agreement had been terminated, the TSA continued to try to enforce the terms of the contract by asking me to return to the screening area. Not only that, but the TSA was employing coercive means (the threat of a fine) to enforce a non-existent contract. This is where the second argument, that if I don't like it, I shouldn't fly comes into play. This argument is not as black and white as it would seem on the surface. If the airlines were responsible for security, the "if you don't like it, you don't fly" argument would be a valid one, and this final interaction with the TSA would not have occurred. Once the government becomes involved, however, it is a party unto itself. By that, I mean that it creates rules that to which one can "agree" via entering into contract with the airline but from which, it contends, one cannot escape. Given that the TSA, over the years, has employed rules, policies, and procedures that have been kept secret from the flying public, there is no way that anyone can legitimately claim that a passenger has knowingly agreed to all of them. In spite of that, as a government agency, the TSA believes that it has the authority to use coercion to enforce contracts that cannot possibly be fully understood and, in my case, no longer exist.

The problem is bigger than that, though. The government, via the TSA, is saying that travelers can opt out of the protections afforded them by the U.S. Constitution. The problem with this is that there is no comparable alternative to flying for travel over long distances. By federalizing the security of all air travel, the government has severely limited (note that I do not say "removed") people's ability to move freely about the country by making them choose between air travel and their 4th amendment protections. Taken as a whole, the government is effectively removing the restrictions placed on it by the constitution by making it seem as though the people are willingly accepting the change:
  1. The government finds an activity in which a great many people engage and which is difficult for them to avoid.
  2. The government then begins to regulate said activity with disregard for whether or not the authority to regulate said activity or the manner in which it regulates is constitutional.
  3. The government then uses people's continued participation in said activity and acquiescence to the regulation as an indication that its regulation is not only legal, but desired.
At this point, the government is free to operate outside of its own laws because it has forced the people to accept its actions because the alternative would be financially ruinous or prohibitively time consuming.

100 comments:

  1. Like your thoughts here: but a sub aspect of the "impeding movement across the country" is also "impeding commerce." Especially for those that must fly on a daily basis, there is not alternative to flying. Thus continued restrictions on movement and now complete invasion of personal freedom is the government effectively impeding commerce.

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  2. First of all, THANK YOU for what you did. I would have been too afraid to stand up for myself like that but I'm glad someone did it. You brought a lot of attention to something I think people didn't realize was going on. I've known about the scanners in airports for a little while and seemed to be the only one I knew who was bothered by it.

    Anyway, as to the whole contract/you don't have to fly arguments: you can't enter into a contract when the terms of the contract are illegal. Can I pay someone to kill me? Can I pay someone for sex (in most states, no)? Why not? Everyone involved in such a contract would be doing so of their own free will and as consenting adults. Can I run a store that says I only sell to a particular race of people? "If you don't like it don't shop there"? Of course not!! You can't just put anything you want on paper and have someone sign it and that's that. Contracts are only valid and enforceable if they do not violate the law, and a contract that requires you to be strip searched or groped is violating the law (in my opinion).

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  3. John, may I point out that airports have the option to hire private security? They have a right to opt out of the TSA crap.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Amid-airport-anger_-GOP-takes-aim-at-screening-1576602-108259869.html

    I called the airline carrier I am flying for Thanksgiving. I think everyone who disagrees with these methods should call as well and demand they hire private security.

    Kudos to FL for opting out!

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  4. I've got a question. If someone knows the answer, please do respond. If you're guessing, at least say so.

    OK. Airports/Airlines can opt out of using TSA, but as I've read it the contracted screeners are still bound by the "TSA Guidelines". Does that mean the same procedures but just a different, hopefully more polite and understanding, possibly even slightly educated, group of people carrying them out?

    That would be a start, but it doesn't address the slippery slope of eroding freedoms that should be of paramount concern. (I can deal with rude people and most uneducated, rentacop, types with an inflated sense of their authority will tend to be rude.) You have to look at the short history of this and be very concerned about the near future.
    9/11 - Security gets very tight at airports, for the most part is swift and efficient after a few months of growing pains. Well done.

    Shoe Bomber - Now we take our shoes off, sometimes, some people, some types of shoes...

    Liquid bomber guy - Now shoes off and all your liquids are checked and limited in size, except for the $5 water in the terminal...

    Underwear bomber guy - Now they're implementing the naked scanners and "urging" us to use them by making the alternative very uncomfortable for a number of people(for myriad reasons depending on the person...try to think that somebody might have had different experiences in life than yours if you can't wrap your head around somebody being uncomfortable with this..)

    What's next?
    Tampon or Ass Bomber

    The response?
    Well, CT scans are expensive and take a long time, same with MRIs, xrays take a few minutes to develop, so we'll pay some halfwits to do cavity searches. Expect to further surrender your dignity.

    Somebody convince me that this isn't the path we're currently on, and then try to convince me that we should use a more highly trained, better compensated group of experts like they do in Israel. 67,000 TSA "agents"?!! Are you kidding me? There's a lot wrong with how Israel does a lot of things, but they've got airport security wired. It's more efficient, it's less intrusive, it's faster (unless you're hiding something), and it's effective. TSA isn't any of those.

    I remain,
    Dual Citizen

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  5. John,

    I expected you to be one of the 'faux-libertarian' breed, those who protest for their own rights, but are unconcerned of greater governmental abuses to the general public--yet, even the 'faux-libertarians' partake in some actions which protect everyone's Constitutional rights. However, your blogging prior to the SAN encounter reveal you entered the 'rabbit-hole matrix' of reality long ago.

    A poster above states Israeli airports, touted to be the safest in the world, do not use these scanners--the following link includes a report of the Ben Gurion airport security chief advising these scanners are ineffective: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/19/national_outcry_over_tsa_body_scanners

    Personally, I am still undecided on whether some sort of screening should be initiated instead of the current procedures; a security interview similar in purpose as one used at an immigration checkpoint. I still debate what civil liberty intrusions are permissible for travelling within our own borders. Let's face it though, these radiation machines are going to be found to be dangerous. I feel badly for the personnel operating them, as, if usage continues, in ten years or so some nasty cancers will be determined to be associated with employment in airport security. After all, if one of our nation's gold star hospitals can't be trusted with safe usage of technology, how can our government? See: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/10/cedarssinai-investigated-for-significant-radiation-overdoses-of-more-than-200-patients.html

    I have not yet played the videos posted, but I hope they include the agent stating you gave up civil liberties once you purchased your ticket. Astounding. It is not hard to comprehend how staff engage in prison abuses, or the historical complicity of Auschwitz guards. Very few people question the morality, or legality, of what a person in position commands them to perform under the auspices of their job role.

    You deserve great commendation for what you have done. Even the uninformed here posting critical, inflammatory statements will benefit from your steps in keeping our government accountable to its citizenry. People like you are helping to awaken us after the near decade of nightmarish coma born by the Cheney/Bush regime due to not protecting us from terrorism. Much like American soldiers dying in foreign lands, patriots like you fight the battle to keep our country by the people and for the people.

    I will monitor this blog for any further civil case abuses you face from your stand, and I would hope you might be able to be a clearinghouse to publicize similar governmental threats foisted on other members of the public.

    a salute to you,

    Revere

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  6. Pardon, I meant "convince me that we shouldn't use..." in that last paragraph.

    DC

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  7. Clarification: my statements about the Israeli airports and the critical uninformed posters referred to some comments from John's preceding blog post.

    Regarding a private company in place of TSA officials. This is a pure canard. Why would anyone wish to entrust their civil liberties and safety to a corporation? Come on people, think BP here. Companies are solely interested in making money. They care not about anything else. At least our government run TSA will cave in to pressure by its citizenry. Imagine the nightmare of a Blackwater/Xe contracted to provide airport security-- catastrophe abounding and useless congressional hearings.

    The only bigger threat than the 'Patriot Act' intrusions on our freedoms is the continuing threat of corporations destroying our republic.
    -- Revere--

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  8. You Inspired me to Protect my Junk! I Created FlightCup.com so we can protect our junk with the only cup featuring the bill of rights. I am from Encinitas, Ca.

    Hope you enjoy!

    FlightCup.com :)

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  9. John, thanks for having the common sense to make it clear no one is allowed to invade your privacy, and your body is your own. What contract exists that allows someone ownership of someone else's body? Does buying an airline ticket mean I'm consenting to the terms of a prostitute? If we live in a country where the government can assert ownership of our body, then a Democracy we are not.

    By the way, I bought a t-shirt with your catchphrase... hope you got some royalties off that ;)

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  10. Although I actually agree with you on most of the things I do think you should avoid the blatant misrepresentation above of the airline being in breach of contract because you looked up the Tsa website and it was out of date. Just because it was your understanding that the AIT machines were not at SAN does not make it the airlines fault.

    By your own admission it was not you that purchased the ticket, and unless the airline promised you no AIT then you cannot claim they were in breach. Additionally if you failed to understand what you signed up to it does not mean the other party is in breach because they didn't deliver what you assumed they would

    Yes the TSA are a joke, yes they are way way wrong, but please play it straight ... A lot of what you wrote above only serves to damage your case and your image, so please keep it on solid ground

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  11. Bravo for the post, and right-on to those commentators who recognize that privatizing a violation of constitutional rights is not a solution but specious opportunism being advanced by certain politicians in favor of private corporation supporters.

    The government's claim is that letting you leave would thwart their desire to "catch" terrorists -- not merely prevent them from flying "today" or "on this flight". A terrorist about to be caught could simply leave. I would suggest that the problem is that the goal of the screening has become misguided and needs to be corrected; it is confusing public safety with a criminal investigation.

    Another problem here is the belief that not profiling (as a supposed violation of equal protection) is more worthy than the rights of privacy, travel, and commerce. But if flying is a "privilege" not a "right" then we need to recognize that the argument that everyone has to be treated equally, i.e. equally subjected to airport screening, utterly fails.

    One solution could be to just issue exemptions to screening for passengers who have undergone background checks that periodically are updated. They would get a notation on their passports. The passport (not the person) gets "screened" to see if there are status changes. Then, we would only have to physically examine those passengers who do not have current exemptions.

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  12. I find myself wondering... could one theoretically copy-write the image of their unique body and therefore demand financial compensation from the TSA for looking at said image. If a football player can Insure their hair for millions, anything should be possible.

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  13. I don't think airports opting out of using TSA addresses the problem - outside security companies must still follow TSA rules.

    I am no lawyer either, but really question whether flying is a "privilege." A person who wants to fly is a customer who purchases transportation from a carrier. That doesn't mean the customer has to agree to such a blatant violation of privacy. Nor does it mean a carrier must carry that person if that person has demonstrated that he is not fit to fly.

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  14. I realized my clarification post added some material that is a bit off-base. At some airports currently private organizations are contracted by TSA. I do not fathom why anyone would think the Constitutional requirement of securing the people would be satisfied by adding this corporate layer. Why would the corporation's employees not process travelers in the same manner as the TSA, the group which contracts these companies? It will be years before the incompetence of these corporate security firms comes to light. We will see how many commenters here will be following the story then, which will be buried by the mainstream media. Just like Blackwater created the Fallujah debacle, which US soldiers paid for, these private firms will bungle the system to no end. Count on it.
    Regarding this sophomoric argument that travel is a privilege, when is it a privilege in using modern tools to engage in pursuit of one's life. Is shopping in the grocery store a privilege just because someone has the option of growing their own food?

    Revere

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  15. I think a better way to explain the concept of a privilege to the Great Dumbed Down is that a privilege is a grant of immunity from prosecution for acts or actions not available generally; such as the granting of permission by license or permit to engage in certain acts or actions. A right is the inherent, innate, natural immunity from prosecution for engaging in certain acts or actions.

    So when someone says that traveling by flying is a privilege, they are stating that special dispensation has to be obtained from some body that governs or regulates travel transportation by means of flight. So far as I know, no such agency exists and even if it did, it would be unconstitutional as it would interfere with your unlimited right to contract for goods and services that are not contrary to law as set forth in the constitution.


    Now think about the above and ask yourself whether a drivers license is constitutional or not. The answer may surprise you.

    PS I'm from O'side myself. I'd love to buy you a pint sometime. Give me a holler at jdogg92056@hotmail.com if you're interested.

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  16. I cannot agree with you more as to the three points you made at the end of this article. This is the government over-reaching, just as it does in far too many areas of our life, in nearly exactly the same manner as you state there. Bravo, and I wish you well in this endeavour.

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  17. Some might argue that you entered into a contract with TSA itself when you started the screening process (when the official checked your ID), agreeing that once you submitted yourself to starting the screening process, you would complete it.

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  18. I think the contract issue is beyond the point, but the matter of "privilege" is essential. Freedom to travel is as fundamental to free society as free speech. It is not a privilege provided by the TSA, it is a civil liberty that TSA necessarily encroaches upon in the interest of safety. Speech is similarly encroached, as in the classic "Fire!" in a theater example. But the difference is that a commercial air traveler is given what amounts to a Hobson's choice: "Submit to a groping or nude photos, or don't fly." That is no choice at all. The theater visitor can't yell "Fire," but he is never subject to forced interrogation as to whether he intends to yell fire. The air traveler who balks at the groping can't walk out of the theater. This is a complicated 4th amendment question and your side is eventually going to win it. Your protest and those of others refusing scans next Wednesday are helping to bring the issue to a head.

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  19. I totally agree with you! The issue is not security, the issue is stupid security that also infringes on peoples rights against illegal search and seizure allowed under the Fourth Amendment.

    Personally, I have been sexually molested by the TSA no less than 5 times since this nonesense began. I have a steel hip implant so I set off the metal detectors every time. I chose to go through the big irradiation machine twice, once I got through, another time they refused as they said because I set off the metal detecter machine it was then mandatory that I get a pat down. So, when I fly I have to be patted down every single time! Or, if I'm lucky I get to have naked pictures taken of me. This is amazingly stupid and has nothing whatsoever to do with real security.

    They are aggessively screening American business travellers, pilots, little old lady's in wheelchairs, as well as people with hip, knee and other metal implants. It is so stupid it's beyond imagination. We were attacked by terrorists from Saudi Arabia! How about everyone from Saudia Arabia gets a full search? What are we afraid of, offending them? But we don't care about offending people with legitimate medical issues from our own country. I'm not against security, I'm against stupidity! And the TSA is the modern poster child for government supidity!

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  20. I would like to see the US move toward an airport security system like that used by Israel. That said, and in response to a previous comment suggesting that Israeli airport security procedures are faster, my personal experience traveling to and from Israel is that getting through security there takes MUCH longer than in the US (on average). I have flown out of Ben Gurion at various times and on various days of the week, and the process of getting through security has consistently taken several hours.

    Nonetheless, I prefer the waiting.

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  21. I got to bust in on this. I am a former executive with a very large private security company, and I can tell you, TSA employees are nothing more than $8 an hour security guards, most of which are iliterate, un-educated, and unless your state has a certification process like California, probably have a criminal record. It's not TSA, it's your Government that's getting carried away. They are targeting the wrong people, and letting the real terrorists have a free pass at most of our borders. Ask any Israeli security professional. They are the best in the business, and the company I worked for had several as consultants for VIP and high end security details. TSA and the Homeland Security are out to destroy American pride and dignity, and turn this country into a Nazi state.

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  22. Thank you so much for standing up for all of us John. I have written my US Congressmen & Representative asking that they support Ron Paul's American Traveler Dignity Act & look into other ways to keep the government's hands & eyes off my privates. I am not sure it is the answer to all of this but at least it is a start. Something has got to give. Even if you don't think you are a hero, I do.

    Thanks

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  23. First of all, Mr. Tyner, thank you very much for doing what you did to bring attention to this problem. I am very worried that you'll be forced to pay the $11,000 fine that the TSA is trying to wrest from you, a law-abiding American citizen who refused to be sexually molested by TSA. I'd be willing to donate to a PayPal fund if someone sets one up to help you with that disgusting fine.

    As far as I'm concerned, I'll never fly again.

    You are correct that flying is a business transaction between the buyer and the seller and service provider. We are NOT criminals and do not deserve to be treated as such. We should emulate the Israelis, who have the safest airline and the safest airport in the world.

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  24. First, the governmental agency, TSA, has complete jurisdiction over any commerical flight taking off or landing in US -including foreign nations with airlines wishing to do business in US, rather using/not using private contractors.

    These TSA dictates forcibly implemented worldwide to nullify the rights of people all over the globe have never CAUGHT ONE TERRORIST. Zero. Nada. Contraband that has been snatched up have belonged to passengers who were ignorant of the rules or forgot they stashed it in their luggage, ie, 0 terrorists.

    On the other hand EVERY TERRORIST HAS SUCCESSFULLY BOARDED SINCE 911 causing death or averted solely due to passenger alertness and response.

    Why it that?

    Because the enemy is not "things" but specifically a certain kind of people.

    This kind of people have loudly and openly professed their intent to kill people. Affirmed. It professes. It does.

    By refusing to recognize this blatantly simple and clear reality, the US has turned this country and the world, since most every airline must do some business in US, into a stock of blind, brainless, enslaved sheep being led by their noses to their own slaugter.

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  25. Love the post. I agree wholeheartedly.

    John took the first step. But we need to be doing more — we need to mock the whole system. Here are some further suggestions for fun on National Opt-Out Day. Do as many of 'em as you want, and at the very least, pass 'em on!

    SUGGESTIONS FOR ATTIRE:

    1) Men: wear kilts (per Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic).
    1a) Wear kilts in the true Scottish fashion (also per Mr. Goldberg).
    1b) If you don’t feel like going commando, wear some exciting frilly underwear.
    1c) Or an adult diaper.
    1c.i) Extra points if the diaper is slightly used.
    1d) If you’re female, wearing certain adult novelty toys under a skirt might be fun.
    2) Wear a priest’s clerics or a nun’s habit. Make ‘em feel the wrath of God.
    3) Wear a traditional costume from a group that could claim a religious exemption from invasive patdowns (women, this hijab’s for you!).

    SUGGESTIONS FOR THINGS TO CARRY ON

    1) Adult novelty items.
    1a) Extra points if they’re vibrating while going through the scanner.
    2) Things off the TSA’s permitted items list that would nevertheless make the scanners suspicious and would probably get taken away, such as:
    2a) Metal scissors with blades less than 4″ in length.
    2b) Screwdrivers, wrenches, or pliers of less than 7″ in length, properly wrapped.
    2c) Other tools of less than 7″ in length. (No fooling — they’re allowed. Check for yourself at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm to find out. And make sure to complain if they’re taken away.)
    3) Liquids or gels in containers SLIGHTLY larger than permitted.
    4) Any combination of 1, 2, and 3.
    5) But don’t JUST carry those on. Include some “normal” items, too.
    5a) Like alarm clocks. Drives TSA scanners crazy.

    SUGGESTIONS FOR PAT-DOWNS

    1) Don’t. Leave. The Screening Area. Make them pat you down right there.
    2) Moan softly while the person is patting you down.
    2a) If you don’t want to moan, or don’t want to take the risk, breathe heavily.
    3) Stare blankly at the person who’s patting you down.
    3a) Stare saucily at same.
    4) Perhaps the most serious suggestion — say the following words before your patdown begins: “I voluntarily submit to a pat-down procedure. However, I do not wish my genital area/s to be touched.”
    4a) If they violate your request, ask their name, gather your things, and then ask to speak to a supervisor so you can file a complaint for unwanted sexual conduct. They’re probably exempt from penalty, but a bunch of people doing this at a particular airport would overwork supervisors and crowd the area.
    4b) Call the local police department afterward, and complain to them too. Make sure to list both the agent’s and supervisor’s name.
    4c) Also, contact the ACLU and other civil liberties organizations to file complaints.

    SUGGESTIONS FOR NON-FLIERS:

    1) Go to your local airport and hand out literature. Check regulations first.
    2) Go to your local airport and videotape the screening procedure. Make sure you check with the airport authorities first.
    3) Go to your local airport and do SOMETHING to protect our civil rights!

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  26. Thank you for standing up for your rights. Too many sheep are happily led to the slaughter under the guise of "for their own good". These guys need to get a grip and apply some comon, or uncommon sense.

    Our family will no longer fly, we will not allow our daughters or ourselves to be violated.

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  27. Good for you, i am so glad u are standing up for your rights and our rights. This is all going too far, all this scanning and probing, etc. I like these other comments, they are great, too. Also, if you feel like investigating a type of bullying called mobbing and gangstalking and you feel like standing up for those of us who are victims of this, that would be great. We can't get any help and we are abused, harassed and bullied by police, firemen, city hall, social services, doctors, nurses, attorneys, contractors, neighboros, etc etc, and we need someone who can stand up for us and do something about all this abuse. Thank you so much.

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  28. Regarding the supposed $11,000 fine... TSA says you have a legal right to leave the security area if you decline to be searched. Don't believe me?

    Such a warrantless search, also known as an administrative search, is valid under the Fourth Amendment if it is "no more intrusive or intensive than necessary, in light of current technology, to detect weapons or explosives, " confined in good faith to that purpose," and passengers may avoid the search by electing not to fly. [See United States v. Davis, 482 F.2d 893, 908 (9th Cir. 1973)].

    -- http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/optout/spp_faqs.shtm

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  29. Ok, so for the sake of security, I am subject to vile, sexual assault. Really, does the Government sit back and wait for something terrible to happen so that they can force the next billion $ project on the people under the guise of Security... TSA is an EOE, and not all sex offenders are reported.. Will I get free miles for every nut a professional airport security agent gets from seeing or feeling my body. I feel safer already....

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  30. Spoilt brat. You see more at the beach then you do with an AIT scanner. Get over it.

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  31. Seconding the willingness to donate. Please set up a defense fund, Mr. Tyner -- for your sake and ours. The more effective your defense, the more effective a stand you'll take for the rest of us. I don't have much, but I'll put in 50 bucks and encourage others.

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  32. If you have hemorrhoids, your doctor is going to insert his finger into your anus to examine it. If you go to a masseur, he/she is going to rub their bare hands over all parts of your body, including your bare thighs. If you get your haircut, the hairdresser will touch your hair. If you have an STD, the doctor will manipulate your penis in order to examine it. People touch you all the time in all places. Its professional. Its not personal. A knife or sharp implement can be be strapped to the thigh near the groin. Asking everyone 3 questions isn't going to catch anyone.

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  33. Okay, so our so-called "representatives" don't have to obey the laws they create for their citizens...

    (AP) WASHINGTON (AP) - No airport pat-down for the incoming House speaker.

    On Friday, the GOP's John Boehner was guided past the metal detectors and hand inspections given to other passengers on his flight home to Ohio.

    Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel said his boss followed procedures set by Capitol Police and the Transportation Security Administration. Steel said the same rules apply to other congressional leaders.

    Furor over airline passenger checks has grown with more airports installing full-body digital scanners and TSA adding a more intrusive pat-down for those opting out of the scans.

    Boehner, R-Ohio, has pledged to fly commercial airlines back to his home district.

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  34. There are an amazing number of people willing to metaphorically bend over and grab their ankles for the TSA -- and give grief to we who aren't. It can be very depressing. But, then, it's a minority of people who ever stand up for their dignity and liberty. It always is. Our Revolutionary War was waged by a minority; our Civil Rights struggle was waged by a minority. Stand tall Mr. Tyner! Don't let the ankle-grabbers get you down!

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  35. Thank you, John, from me and my entire family. You're a hero!

    But I'm seriously wondering why they don't do the usual "private company" end-run, find a way to make it a "private company" decision (while using federal dollars/actions to prop it up until everyone gets tired of fighting and just shuts up and does what they're told). That's what the government usually does when it wants to violate civil rights, and it's worked before. Look at another woefully unreliable and ineffective violation of our rights using intimate and even internal monitoring that was forced through under the guise of "public protection"--I speak, of course, of drug testing, especially workplace drug testing.

    Every ignorant pro-TSA search comment I've heard here could be and has been made by an ignorant pro-testing person, except for the "it's a private company, so they have the right to do whatever the hell they want for whatever reason, no matter how invasive or wrong they are". Hell, I've even been told it's a "choice"--as if this isn't a matter of "submit or die, your choice" (which is essentially what withholding subsistence from a person as a condition of submission amounts to). And asking a question about the process immediately eliminates you from the running, because apparently only an outright addict or dealer would have a problem with their employer extending their reach into their flesh to monitor them, just as only a terrorist who is absolutely covered with explosives could possibly object to being stripped, groped, or anally probed (and it is coming).

    And yet drug use abounds. Every job I've worked (and I've worked jobs across the board going through school) has been free of such warrantless search and seizure, and yet they have been safe, honest, wonderful workplaces and not once have I worked with anyone coming in stoned or plowed--apparently their non-warrentless search and seizure methods are working very well. All my friends and relatives, however, work in places with plenty of warrantless testing both pre-emp and random, and of course they tell me daily of who was stoned out of their gourd while on the job--not to mention drunk out of their minds. And many of these people are factory workers. Even though they've gotten to the point where so many apps would have you to agree to damn near saw off an arm for testing, and I'm hearing stories of people having their bare genitals watched to prevent cheating, their excesses have accomplished absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    Same thing with this bull. They'll strip your rights and your privacy, telling you it's for your own good, and it will do absolutely nothing to keep you safe. Sorry to all the Captain Safety's out there, but I'm not going to bend over and take it in the ass in the inevitable event of someone hiding explosives in the corn chute just so you can wallow in some childish illusion of security.

    All they need to do is find some way to foist this onto the "private company" like they did with drug testing and they would have a supposed justification that unfortunately makes a lot of people just shrug and bend over for a drilling.

    I'm genuinely surprised they haven't done this yet. Perhaps they're getting lazy or impatient. It's like with the Iraq war--in the old days, they at least tried to fabricate a cause for going to war, but nowadays they just say "I know Boris Badinov is up to something, trust me!" and expect you to follow.

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  36. Thank you, John, from me and my entire family. You're a hero!

    But I'm seriously wondering why they don't do the usual "private company" end-run, find a way to make it a "private company" decision (while using federal dollars/actions to prop it up until everyone gets tired of fighting and just shuts up and does what they're told). That's what the government usually does when it wants to violate civil rights, and it's worked before. Look at another woefully unreliable and ineffective violation of our rights using intimate and even internal monitoring that was forced through under the guise of "public protection"--I speak, of course, of drug testing, especially workplace drug testing.

    Every ignorant pro-TSA search comment I've heard here could be and has been made by an ignorant pro-testing person, except for the "it's a private company, so they have the right to do whatever the hell they want for whatever reason, no matter how invasive or wrong they are". Hell, I've even been told it's a "choice"--as if this isn't a matter of "submit or die, your choice" (which is essentially what withholding subsistence from a person as a condition of submission amounts to). And asking a question about the process immediately eliminates you from the running, because apparently only an outright addict or dealer would have a problem with their employer extending their reach into their flesh to monitor them, just as only a terrorist who is absolutely covered with explosives could possibly object to being stripped, groped, or anally probed (and it is coming).

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  37. And yet drug use abounds, even in the workplace. Every job I've worked (and I've worked jobs across the board going through school) has been free of such warrantless search and seizure, and yet they have been safe, honest, wonderful workplaces and not once have I worked with anyone coming in stoned or plowed--apparently their non-warrentless search and seizure methods are working very well. All my friends and relatives, however, work in places with plenty of warrantless testing both pre-emp and random, and of course they tell me daily of who was stoned out of their gourd while on the job--not to mention drunk out of their minds. And many of these people are factory workers. Even though they've gotten to the point where so many apps would have you to agree to damn near saw off an arm for testing, and I'm hearing stories of people having their bare genitals watched to prevent cheating, their excesses have accomplished absolutely nothing whatsoever. Despite this, the pro-testers struggle to extend it even to schools and hospitals.

    Same thing with this bull. They'll strip your rights and your privacy, telling you it's for your own good, and it will do absolutely nothing to keep you safe. Sorry to all the Captain Safety's out there, but I'm not going to bend over and take it in the ass in the inevitable event of someone hiding explosives in the corn chute just so you can wallow in some childish illusion of security.

    All they need to do is find some way to foist this onto the "private company" like they did with drug testing and they would have a supposed justification that unfortunately makes a lot of people just shrug and bend over for a drilling.

    I'm genuinely surprised they haven't done this yet. Perhaps they're getting lazy or impatient. It's like with the Iraq war--in the old days, they at least tried to fabricate a cause for going to war, but nowadays they just say "I know Boris Badinov is up to something, trust me!" and expect you to follow.

    Anyway, thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for your brave stand against the encroaching threat to our liberties--and, of course, by extension, for exposing yourself to the ignorant abuse of cowards by making it public.

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  38. @scott6012:

    Metaphorically? That's only a temporary condition, soon to be remedied. And many of those have made it clear that they will cheerfully submit to the full roto-rooter in exchange for an illusory safety (a security blanket, if you will). Not only that, they will allow this to happen to their children, and they will teach those kids that this is an acceptable part of a free society.

    That last part is the really frightening part, especially considering how paranoid most American parents are about pedophiles.

    What's also depressing is the delusion that this is a choice or privilege, just like driving was somehow a choice or privilege when the gas prices were skyrocketing. When you've basically ingrained something to the point where it has become a literal necessity for many, if not most or all, people, I find it nauseating that anyone can set vile conditions for it and still pretend that it's a free choice.

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  39. If you are waiting in line for the security check, and you decide you DON'T want to have it done, is it legal to just walk out of the airport and NOT board your plane?

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  40. Thank you, John, for recording and posting your security check experience. In light of your experience, I am canceling my airline ticket to San Diego to visit my daughter for Thanksgiving, even though I haven't visited her in four years. I find it unimaginable that the American people accept such an invasion of privacy and apparently believe submitting to naked scans and body searches keeps us safe from terrorists. Besides the large-scale protest in the works for the holiday, what suggestions do people have for bringing this mass sexual assault to an end? I have already signed the ACLU petition. Thank you.

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  41. @Digby.
    You're kidding right? The only beach you're going to see more then[sic] you do with an AIT scanner is a nudist beach, and that's only if you get up real close and personal. And by the way, the specs requirements from the TSA for these scanners include image storage.

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  42. When people tell me "Flying isn't a right, if you don't like the new procedures, you can always take the train or drive." I respond with "Rosa Parks should have walked."

    I like your blog post better! Thanks for what you did and what you continue to do.

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  43. I applaud you for standing up for your beliefs, John. I flew from Denver to Philly for business on November 7th. Unfortunately upon arriving at the airport I was in the middle of baking up a serious migraine (I was in the 'visual distortion' phase as those of you who get migraines will understand). When I approached the security checkpoint, I did the same as you. I saw the scanner machine, and quietly stayed near the conveyor belt, and prepared myself for going through the metal detector. I was picked out of the line of people randomly to go to the body scanner, and given my hazy pre-migraine state, I went ahead and just submitted to the scan against my better judgement. I didn't have it in me to have my junk touched or go through the long process of the pat down at that point. I proceeded to my gate where upon boarding we were notified that TSA would be doing "random searches" of our carry-ons. This is new I thought, we all just went through security to get to the gate. I had a first class ticket, and was literally #2 in line to board the aircraft. I just wanted to get to my seat and sleep off the migraine on the 3.5 hour flight. The TSA agent picked me randomly, again, and proceeded to rifle though my small carry on bag for about 60 seconds while the gate agent looked on impatiently, and the other 200~ people getting on the flight waited behind me. I can't help but wonder whats next. I wouldn't be surprised to see a supply of white latex gloves, KY jelly, and those "chair massage" style seats in which you can "assume the position". It sounds far fetched... but is it really? I'm no longer sure... As for me, the process of flying has now become SO invasive and unpleasant, that I simply have zero intention to get on a plane in the near future. My next business trip is in February and I'll be traveling to Las Vegas. I have already told my boss I'm driving, so which he replied "so am I".

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  44. @Anonymous
    you've obviously havent been to the beach lately.

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  45. Take a good look at an AIT image. There's one here:

    http://regmedia.co.uk/2010/11/15/nudie_perv_scan.jpg

    You see diddly sqwat. You see a faint outline of the buttocks and either an unrecognizable willy or groin area for a woman.

    Big deal.
    You see more on a beach, by far. Maybe not the prude puritan beaches you go to.

    Earth to Americans - we are all human beings. We were all born the same with genitals.

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  46. Firstly it is important to understand that 9-11 was orchestrated by Dick Cheney and the neocons from PNAC. Therefore uncovering the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the Truth about 9-11 would lead to the undoing of the Union as it exists today...and the guardians of the Union also understands this, which is why the lie about 9-11 and the phony "war on terror" must be perpetuated at all costs.

    Do NOT submit to the lie.

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  47. I am glad to see you took a stand on this issue.

    Regarding "contract law", your analysis is a good start, but it ought to distinguish between the airline and TSA as completely different parties, not one acting as the agent of the other. You are had a contract with the airline, not the TSA. The government is a third party, imposing involuntarily restrictions on both you and the airline. You and the airline were more or less aware of certain requirements being imposed against you both (e.g. the TSA uses a metal detector on you, and the TSA would not allow the airplane to fly with uninspected passengers or cargo). These conditions are unilateral imposed against you and the airline, by the government. Therefore, it is thus not a contract, because you are not a voluntary participant with any verbal or written agreement. The relevant contract between you and the government is the constitution. If the government changes its impositions to cause the need of violation of the contract between you and the airline, it is neither the airlines fault nor yours - the blame lies solely with the TSA. It is fair enough for the airline and you to agree on a settlement dividing the damages, for which they treated you fairly by 100% reimbursement.

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  48. John - I don't know if this has been brought up before, but I hope you know that if you are fined thousands of dollars for standing up for yourself, know that there are a lot of people behind you. I would be first in line to donate to helping pay your fine.

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  49. Every person has a constitutionally guaranteed right to travel, by any mode of transportation, according to US Supreme Court and Police Officer Jack McLamb. Once a private corporation takes govt taxdollars, it becomes a govt entity and the constitutions apply.
    piratenews-tv.blogspot.com/2009/03/constitutional-right-to-travel-without.html

    Duress voids all contracts. Adhesion contracts are one-sided and are invalid.

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  50. John

    Well done.

    At what point did we forget that the government ARE OUR SERVANTS? And why the obsession with air travel. A terrorist could just as easily board a crowded bus and train (remember Madrid?). Why are there no porno-scanners for land-based mass transit? Because it is a pile of crap. The beneficiaries are people like Michael Chertoff whose clients are selling this rubbish to airports in the name of our security.

    Ah but what the underwear bomber, bleat the sheep. Yes and did you know that this guy was on a no-fly watch list which was ignored? So instead of improving existing procedures, we buy into the myth of "total security" submitting our children and grandparents to unnecessary molestation.

    What is wrong with us? And I too will contribute to your defence fund if the TSA gangsters come after you.

    Enough is enough!

    People shouldn't fear the government - the government should fear the people.

    Mr. British Angryperson

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  51. Man oh man, the TSA made a serious mistake when it decided to mess with you of all people! If we all had the same ability to think through the various arguments with such dispassion and lucidity, our freedom would never be in jeopardy.

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  52. As an honest citizen, Army Veteran and FREEDOM LOVING AMERICAN, I salute you.

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  53. @Angela - yes, airports can "opt out" of TSA in airports and hire private companies, but by law they must do exactly the same thing. They must sexually molest each and every passenger in exactly the same way as the TSA. The only difference is you are being molested by a contractor goon, not a TSA goon.

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  54. @vonroy - the constitution is not a contract.

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  55. @Mr. British Angryperson - Many say the government are supposed to be our "servants". This is not true. In today's world, a servant would be a person hired by an individual or group to serve a certain purpose. This hiring would be a voluntary contract agreed to by both parties. There is no such agreement with the government. The government simply imposes itself on society by force.

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  56. john tyner's a loser who's just looking for publicity. and spends too much time trying to justify it with his words.

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  57. Anyone who believes the Constitution is not a contract is an idiot. In fact, a review of cases interpreting the Constitution consistently shows that contract principals apply. If parties do not fight to enforce their rights, they most definitely will lose them.

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  58. Anonymous...

    Did you see that women with breast cancer are now being asked to remove/show their prosthetics to TSA employees???

    MSNBC, Nov 19th!

    THANKYOU for standing up against this disgraceful conduct!

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  59. It is interesting how short individuals' memories can be - all those complaining about the body scanner must have forgotten about Sept 11 2001. Perhaps this is the same bunch of people who had a lot to say about how a tragedy like 9-11 could happen. Maybe if we had this level of security back then, 9-11 could have been prevented. At least now there may be a greater level of reassurance when you board a plane that the person next to you may not be carrying a weapon or intend to bring the plane down. Why do we seem to forget that potential terrorists are always thinking ahead and are constantly planning different ways in which to bypass our security systems and technology? I watched your video with John Tyner complaining about the body scanning and pat down - first, the one or two persons who may see the body image do not see your face, and if you go through the body scan, you would not need a pat-down unless there is an alarm triggered. If even you do need a pat-down, you are told exactly what is going to be done and how, and as an alternative, you are offered a private screening. So if you want to complain, take a minute and consider all the people who were on the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the one that crashed in Pennsylvania. There were no survivors from any of these flights. I am sure that if any of these people had survived, they would be advising us to consider using the body scanner technology and to remember that the security procedures and mechanisms implemented by TSA is meant for our safety. TSA and Homeland Security came into existence based on recommendations from the 9-11 Commission Report , and for those who are saying that they prefer to revert to private security agencies handling security at the airports, then we are going right back to pre Sept 11 days, when private security let through all the hijackers, even though the majority of them triggered alarms that the private screeners never resolved. Read the 9-11 Commission Report.

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  60. There are two problems facing the TSA in regards to filing a civil suit and fine against Mr. Tyner: 1) In filing the suit they turn Mr. Tyner into a martyr. The American people now have a face for their dwindling freedoms. 2) In not filing the civil suit they show that Mr. Tyner is correct and should not be prosecuted. The government cannot win, no matter the road chosen.

    Mr.Tyner is the face of the American people being crushed by a despotic government. WWTFFD= What Would The Founding Fathers Do? Mr. Tyner's refusal to submit is "the shot heard 'round the world." The time has come for the American people to say "enough is enough." Take up arms (i.e. write your reps.) and be heard.

    JavaJunky

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  61. Hi John, I respect the fact you took a principled stand, as well as your well-made points.

    With that said, I don't think the contract you made with the airline (e.g. the CoC -- conditions of carriage, the really important one) actually included security screening as that's done by an entity outside of the airline's control.

    American Airlines' CoC can be found here:

    http://www.aa.com/i18n/customerService/customerCommitment/conditionsOfCarriage.jsp

    The airline essentially has to transport you and any checked bags from the origin airport to the destination airport. Doesn't include the security screening.

    Good luck with your future travel -- hope it works out better.

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  62. Re: "I would not subject myself to the described procedure, and now both parties were in breach of contract." IANAL, but I had a business contract class once... The way I understand it, if the other party breaches contract, the contract is immediately voided, and therefore you cannot be in breach of it yourself, and you have the rights guaranteed to you under contract law.

    Re: your refund. The question of whether or not the airline has a reasonable chance of reselling your ticket does not play into the equation. Since the contract was breached by the TSA, which was acting on behalf of the airlines, it was effectively breached by the airline. So, you have a right to be made whole, i.e. a refund.

    Thanks for what you've done.

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  63. a few years ago i was in amsterdam, waiting for a flight back to detroit, when a man in the waiting area began loudly arguing with someone about his "rights as an american". i was SO impressed by the response by airport staff: they arrived instantly and discretely, suddenly everywhere. everyone in the area was quickly organized and interviewed face to face before being scanned and immediately boarded. in my opinion, that face to face interview is worth more than a thousand invasive pat downs.

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  64. What a total jackass thinking he's better than everyone else. Its a RANDOM check. He must have been molested or something

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  65. It's only RANDOM right now because they know if they force it on everyone there will be a revolt.

    It's like the lobsters i'm cooking tonight, they sit nice and still while they slowly cook in their own complacency.

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  66. What a winy little bitch you are. You refused to go through the backscatter (which is fine, I would have too), but then refused the body search as well. Surely you did not think airport security would just let you walk in after that and jeopardize the safety of others. Fucking moron…

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  67. Thank you very much for taking a stand to challenge the now over reaching policy of the TSA in screening passengers. Back when airport security started to require all passengers to remove their shoes for screening, I knew that airport screening was theater and nothing more. Thank you again for calling out that the emporer has no clothes.

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  68. Firstly let me say thank you. You ARE a hero in the same way in which early civil rights activists stood up to oppression and abuse in the South 50 years ago.

    And as someone who experienced much the same behavior (going thru LA) a few months ago I applaud your use of a cellphone to create a record of the incident whose veracity is beyond challenge. I wish I had done the same.

    As an American I am deeply saddened at what America has become - "security theater," a preoccupation with the illusion of security. And we as Americans have stood meekly by as our government has restricted liberties in the name of security. Terrorists did not do this to America, we have done this to ourselves.

    In military terms fixed defenses are expensive and relatively easily and creatively by-passed. TSA's practices and procedures have and will continue to prove to be a Maginot Line (cultivating a false sense of security) - that's why the Israelis would never consider such things.

    Lastly let me add that if TSA does in fact hit you with civil penalties, for exercising your rights, please start an Internet campaign to raise funds. I for one will give.

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  69. I also have personally recieved a real lesson regarding the amount of personal freedom you give up by flying. I need to travel for a living - about 200k miles/year. A few years ago on an international flight I was physically poked by a flight attendendent after falling asleep to be told to remove my earbuds(not connected to anything) that I used for hearing protection. Half asleep/unconscious I reacted undiplomatically (I can't even remember what I said but I did get my point accross) that I did not appreciate being physically prodded in the chest strongly by her finger (no exageration). From there things cascaded out of control similar to the movie "Anger Management". To make a long story short I slept the rest of the flight and to my surprise after landing I was met by the TSA and was arrested, detained, and interrogated by the FBI, Airport Police, and Delta security at the Atlanta airport. What I did not realize until the end is that the the flight attendent was in the next holding cell telling her story about me as an abusive and unruly passenger. I believe the authorities did not buy it. However, like you before I was let go I was told by Delta that I was banned from flying on their airline for 24 hours as when there is a report she had to back her flight attendent. Unfortunately she was the judge and jury and I had no witnesses. To get home I had to buy a one-way ticket on Continental and unlike you I lost the value of my ticket. What did I learn? (1) when subjecting yourself to fly you are subject to their rules (2) they have total power over you and wield lots of it (3) there is no way to ultimately win unless I would want to spend millions like Meg Whitman (no - I don't have her money) and still might lose (4) I can't justify the time and effort and it is my personal decision to just give up and keep my words to myself. So - they won. I learned. And unless I am ready to become a politician or a successful lobbyist/activist and can dedicate my life to changing the system (and by the way on the list of problems that need change in America, this would be very far from the top of the list), I would not have a chance to help the situation. Good luck fighting the system. You are a smart guy and if you run for an office you have my vote - but probably like me you will eventually just give in to buying the air ticket and flying (with a tight lip). We have only so much energy and resources and air travel is a lost cause.

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  70. I think this entire incident brings into perspective some very important larger issues regarding airport security:

    1.) It has become quite apparent that the TSA, and it's employees, seek to harm innocent Americans and aid those who wish to bring us harm. The "job" they are performing is at best unjust and unconstitutional, and quite possibly criminal.

    2.) TSA employees are NOT LEO's - they are not even "officers", and never have been! They are merely government employees, no different than someone who works for the Department of Agriculture, for example. They are no more an "officer" than a mall security guard! They are not issued firearms and do NOT have powers of arrest. They do not even have a valid badge.

    3.) Let this be a lesson to everyone: RECORD EVERY TSA ENCOUNTER WHENEVER POSSIBLE AT THE AIRPORT. This protects not only you, but other innocent Americans as well. Record everything, so there is evidence should something happen like it did to Mr Tyner. Most cell phones today make it very easy to activate an audio and/or video recorder.

    It is up to every one of us to fight the war against the TSA in a legal and responsible manner. We can do this by communicating with our congressmen, insisting that screening is turned over to private companies, and most importantly by REFUSING THE AIT SCAN EVERY SINGLE TIME!

    The TSA is endangering American lives on a daily basis. In the name of both national security and civil rights, the organization needs to be dismantled before there is another tragedy. This is extremely serious business, but it is a battle we are currently winning.

    Thank you again Mr Tyner.

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  71. Flying on an airline is a business transaction for money given to the airline. Being protected against search and seizure is a protected right that does not get lost for an airline ticket.

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  72. Oh absolutely, it's not like the government has any reason for getting involved in airline security,,, I mean, its not like anything has ever happenned..
    oh wait...
    uh, it's all fascism! The govt just got involved because they want to get their hands on your junk!

    Well done John! Good luck in your continued quest to expose the sham of the millions we spend on security in this country. We have to expose the way the govt invents "security threats" just to gain control of the american people.

    I mean, its not like you, personally, get paid to work on govt security.. I mean, that would make you a hypocrit, right?

    oh wait...

    ;-)

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  73. It's this bad in Canada too, folks. And if you refuse the porno-scanners at Heathrow or Ringway (Manchester) in the UK, you cannot board your flight. My suggestion for all this craziness? Sniffer dogs. I would far rather be sniffed by a goofy black lab than submit to this invasive procedure (the woman should have bought me dinner after the pat-down.) This would be of great benefit to numerous problems - many pound puppies would be saved; dignity would be restored; security would be guaranteed (those dog noses are awfully good.) Perhaps you try and replace Napolitano with Cesar Millan....

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  74. Oh absolutely, it's not like the airlines have any reason for getting involved in security... I mean, its not like anything has ever happened... it's not like they would loose customers when their planes are taken over, .. and multimillion dollar pieces of equipment.
    oh wait
    uh, thats capitalism! The airlines just aren't involved because government forcibly took over security. after all, people who work for the government have so much better foresight about new terrorist methods (9/11, shoe bomber, panty bomber, etc,.) than people in the private sector.

    Well done John! Good luck in your continued quest to expose the fact of "michael chertoff" machines, etc,. It's not like theres no vested interest in government officials.

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  75. Yet more humiliations:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/11/20/922157/-Ux6:-TSA-humiliates-victims-of-breast-bladder-cancer,-terrorizes-toddlers,-kidnaps-infants.-Next

    My fellow Americans, it's absolutely no coincidence that these stories are making the media rounds fast and furious ever since John had the courage to speak out. Before John's actions, I wasn't even aware of any issues in terms of TSA, scanners, and pat downs.

    Yet these stories are making the news like wildfire because people are EMBOLDENED to finally speak out, thanks to John.

    Power to the people!

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  76. Hi John,

    I commend you for standing up for OUR Rights. Israeli security personnel are highly trained and get the job done generally WITHOUT being rude, disrespectful, and aggressive.
    It is obvious to me, and a friend with many years in the Security arena that it is more "smoke & mirrors" to make the public "feel" better. Quality should be over quantity and BRAVADO! A true terrorist is going to be able to get around these 'obvious' procedures. I would love to see the type of Intelligence the Israelis' use..and training of human nature and investigation in use at Airports and other high security arenas. That would be INTELLIGENCE!
    Good for you to stand up for your Rights! I can see BIG BROTHER coming more and more...just what the Terrorists want...I should think.

    Security...is securing the flying publics allegiance and understanding to be vigilant. Eliciting peoples' support out of knowledge instead of fear is a way to increase Security and be proactive. When people are "manhandled" and also fearful in a supposed "free" country to protest...this is THE TERROR! Again...seems what the Terrorists want!

    Although I also fly out of San Diego on occasion..I do worry about these "untested" scanners, as far as health goes and of course the privacy issue. Are we lab rats? X-rays were deemed "safe" many years ago! Now...we know.

    Thank You for your courage and inadvertently bringing this issue to the attention of ALL. I hope you enjoy your trip some other way!

    I am soon to fly and wonder what the situation will be. I commend you also on standing up, even with the inconvenience of missing your trip and the pressure "to conform". Not many have the strength to do this...and I am glad you did.

    I wonder if they will push the charges? Why you had your recording device on...I don't care. Good thing you did...I hope it helps any further fallout for you!

    A friend in Spirit

    Namaste

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  77. DLT in Washington StateNovember 20, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    TSA along with the whole Homeland Security Department is out of control. Orange alert, Red alert, it is nothing but trying to scare the public and justify their jobs. TSA has never caught a terrorist. My belief is if they want on a plane bad enough, they will figure out a way. All those ground jobs are minimum wage and the turnover is high.They will find a way on to the plane.
    In response to reading about your incident, I put a question out on my facebook page regarding whether they had the full body scanner in Seattle and/or if they were doing the "pat downs." I only have 70 "friends" on facebook but they range from very libral to military conservative. I was only asking the question because as a 66 year old woman nobody is patting me down unless I break a law. It went wild, I had a "friend" in California in an argument with a friend (military wife) in Washington who do not know each other posting back and forth, pro and con. It really stirred up the pot. "Minority" friends responded "get used to it."

    I think my flying days are over. I applaud you for standing up for your rights. And to the person who said you were rude to the agent, you were not, you were low key, expressed your opinion, explained it was nothing personal - you handled it fine.

    I'm asking my friends to write to their legislatures both state and federal to complaine about the TSA process.

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  78. They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Ben Franklin

    I won't be flying until they stop touching people's junk.

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  79. Thanks John Tyner.

    Let us know if you run into trouble and need donations to help cover costs. A few dollars from each favorable commenter should cover it I would think, though I'd gladly send $100 or more as needed.

    As for the many miseducated that have written here, it is necessary to point out that they are purposefully miseducated, dumbed-down, and conditioned by the leftist (read - Marxist) public school system, teachers unions, and state media. This dumbing-down is done so that unsuspecting and self-deluded idiots who don't know their history and constitutional rights, and don't know that liberty must be fought for each and every generation, can be lead to slaughter by the tyrants who gravitate to power.

    Allow me to contradict, some dopey, and miseducated view points that were posted earlier.

    1) USA is not a democracy! The founding fathers went to great lengths to ensure that it wasn't. Democracy leads to destruction, read your bible. Ours is a constitutional republic. Consequently, Americans have much greater personal authority than they would have in a so called democracy. Dopes, look it up, educate yourselves.

    2) TSA hires people without proper background checks. They have hired and continue to hire, child molesters, perverts, criminals, felons, illegal aliens, thugs, and general incompetents. Subject yourselves to them at your own risk.

    Whatever you do don't subject your children to these molesting and violating thugs!

    ...continues below see part 2

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  80. ..........continued part 2

    Children are deeply, negatively affected by violating use of authority. The TSA employees are subconsciously attempting to impose the abusive, porno culture where they come from, on the young and innocent whom they resent and see as privileged. Furthermore, there is a major security breach in TSA's hiring practices, and this poses a clear and present danger to the nation in several ways.

    First, they are attempting to strip the decent American culture of its dignity and honor through the well known and time-tested methods of shock and bullying, and replace that decent American culture with the TSA's degraded gutter behavior and mentality -- basically it is the beginnings of a thuggish outlaw totalitarian structure (Americans would be very foolish to accept this).

    Second, they are attempting to condition Americans to accept these personal violations as honorable, normal, and necessary so that Americans will further submit to improper authority on a larger scale.

    Third, by TSA and the so called "Homeland Security Dept" offering the false choice of thuggish degradation, or no flight safety, they are attempting to fool the uninformed American public that this is the only way to make flying safe. When in fact what the TSA is doing and how they are doing it is completely unnecessary and counterproductive to the stated goal of flight safety. The fish rots from the head down. Look at the thugs at the highest places in the US gov't today. That is where these plans of violations of the American public and her children are hatched.

    3) Our President (Obama) could even pass the TSA hiring criteria. His refusal to show an authentic birth certificate, or any school, or medical records, or personal history, would work just fine for the TSA hiring procedures. But oh yeah, bring on the naked scanners, strip searches, intimidation tactics, and threats of civil fines for average decent people.

    4) Next time you fly out of Europe to Israel fly on El AL. Watch how they do security. Their planes have not be hijacked in over 30 years since implementing these procedures. They do not engage in all this wasteful and make-believe "security" nonsense that the TSA does. The Israelis recognize a few very effective methods to sort out the terrorists who wish to fly. Everyone else is not hassled. Why not use their psychological methodologies, and person profiling here? We would save billions and billions of dollars and the airports would become safe and efficient again. I suppose this is too much common sense for a purposefully dumbed-down society and its government to accept.

    5) John didn't hold anybody up or slow anything down at the airport. The TSA did that.

    6) The incompetence of the TSA and its procedures was well exposed in John's recordings and many other videos on the web. That incompetence is what you all should be concerned with and railing against, not the messenger who brought us the information and experience to see. The TSA fellow at the end of John's recording who was threatening legal action, should be fired. How foolish and unprofessional his behavior was, (he didn't even know it was so) -- it is emblematic of the gutter culture from where these TSA employees come, and emblematic of what they are attempting to impose on the American people through deceptive policies of the US gov't.

    7) What a waste of resources if TSA and the federal apparatus brings suit against John for asserting his rights. The purpose would be to intimidate. That incompetent, overweight and obviously self-indulgent Janet Napolitano has recently been doubling down on her assertion that she's doing the right thing. This too will fail, and she will soon be out her r(ear).

    It's time for America to wake up again, this happens by the combined actions of courageous men like John Tyner.

    Thanks again John.

    "Don't touch my junk".

    Brilliant.

    -Mr. Thompson

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  81. Even though you're not a lawyer you have articulated your arguments well. Those that said you only going to have 15 minutes of fame are wrong. You have touched off a universal rebellion against this kind of privacy infringement as evidenced by "opt out" days and other proposals. More power to you and keep up the good fight for our liberties.

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  83. John,

    Thank you for taking a stand. If only more people would do the same, we would rid America of this pestilence.

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  84. Brady V United States 397 US 742@748 (1970)

    Waivers of constitutional rights not only must be voluntary, but must be knowingly intelligent acts done with sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences.

    At least the Supreme Court will still give it to you straight.

    When you threatened arrest if sexually assaulted, the bright TSA boy knew that you were withdrawing consent concerning 'your junk' and that he was on thin ice. He called his supervisors, who were tasked with forcing your consent...look at all the morons that freely crater and quick.

    The @**%#@#@# who did falsely arrest you, (and tried to coerce you into returning to the security area for your PERV ASSAULT), should be dragged, En Personam, into an Article III Constitutional court, and sued for all he is worth. Along with Janet Napilotano, also en Personam, and TSA and the Airline too. False arrest is serious.

    These Cruds will learn real fast that letting Birka clad muslims breeze right through security, to avoid profiling, all the while abusing the shit out of Americans, DOES NOT constitute a 'good faith' performance of their jobs.

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  85. I watched your TSA videos a few days ago. I'm an American citizen who has lived in England for a long time. I fly roughly every other year to go back to the US to visit relatives. If none of my American relatives were alive, I wouldn't bother to fly there anymore.

    Flying for our family is a necessity. Believe me, travelling back to Mobile, AL isn't what I consider to be a holiday. Give me Seattle, or Paris or any wildly different place I've never been to before. But our child really needs to have some sort of relationship with both sides of the family, however infrequent.

    We're planning on flying over Christmas 2011, and the possibility of my 6-year-old daughter, nevermind myself and my husband, getting felt up in the security line makes me queasy.

    I wonder if the 'authorities' can force people through the backscatter scanners before they are proven to not be a health risk.

    I'm terribly sorry you went through such tremendous aggravation. Thank you so much for questioning 'those in charge' and not allowing yourself to be abused, simply because it would have been easier to do so.

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  86. Fine, its also my privileged not to fly. Maybe the 80% of the public who have no problem with these procedure will reconsider their position when thousands of frequent fliers like me STOP FLYING, stop buy expensive food, beverages, and services in your cities, stop booking hotel rooms, stop taking taxis, stop all of the Economic activities related to flying!

    Here is my response to the the issue:

    Dear Sir or Madame,

    I am writing to inform you of my extreme displeasure with the current state of airport screening and its impact on your company. In the past 5 years I have traveled by air an average of 1-2 times per month, having spent at least $20K on airfare. Granted, this may be a drop in the bucket for your company, but multiplied by the thousands of customers who have similar travel habits and may be feeling similar anxiety over recent developments and I would dare say it is a significant portion of your profit margin. Over the past week I have been reading story after story of the dehumanizing behavior going on at our nations airports, and today, after reading and seeing video of a little boy being strip searched, I have decided that I am going to vote with my feet. I don't need your services that much and I am unwilling to submit to degredation to do business with you. I am emailing your companies because yours are the companies I most frequently fly with and which will be loosing my business a number of times in the upcoming months. As of yesterday I cancelled two trips scheduled for January (Washington, DC ussually on US to DCA or Jetblue to IAW) and early February (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic) and I am OPTING OUT of flying completely until this situation is rectified. I would suggest that your companies and their lobbying arms consider taking your head out of the sand and protecting your customers from the TSA, lest you find yourself minus a few thousand customers. Given the current national mood I would count on any more "bailouts!" Sincerely Yours,

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  87. John,

    You are profoundly stupid. I'm sorry to be so direct but there is no other way to put it. Don't fly if you don't want to. For those among us who are rational, protection is a good thing.

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  88. Don't forget the argument that contract law cannot override constitutional law - i.e. you can't make a contract that removes someone freedoms or rights that are afforded to them by the constitution of the country you're operating in....hence why someone can't sign a contract to be a slave, or a contract to die etc etc.

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  89. I know lots of people that have cancelled tourism plans to visit the states and are holidaying elsewhere because of these procedures....but hey, you're economy is strong enough not to need tourism right?

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  90. John,
    First of all, thank you very much for taking a stand and bringing this issue to light. After 9-11, I remember hearing a quote from Benjamin Franklin "People who are willing to give up freedom for security deserve neither". And it appears that that is exactly what our nation has chosen to do. I sincerely believe that our forefathers are turning over in their grave to see how our current government officials have distorted the foundation of this country.

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  91. Marina_6000 Please don't insult me I lost a good friend on 9-11 but that doesn't mean I agree with the current TSA practices. They are not effective, they don't work, and there are other proven methods that are not invasive. If the current procedures entail scanning of young children they are breathtakingly inappropriate. And, while you may be OK with it that does not mean others are. What about someone who has been a prior victim of sexual assault - the process of going through a naked body scanner or getting a pat down can be traumatic and cause flashbacks. While I believe most TSA agents try to be courteous, etc. there have been far too many instances of improper behaviour due to poor and inconsistent training. Furthermore, the TSA lied to us - the images can be stored and transmitted. I work for a contrator that does work for the DoD, etc. so I know what I'm talking about. Additionally, the scanners safety relies heavily on proper calibration - I've no confidence the TSA has the necessary expertise to know if a scanner is not properly calibrated. The biggest issue I had with the TSA's treatment of John Tyner was their nonesense about him not being allowed to leave the airport due to suspicion of carring a bomb. The TSA admitted the scans are random - this specifically means there is no prior determination that a specific person poses a threat. Such tactics of stating a fine and that you can't leave the airport if you don't finish the securiy screening process if you're not flying is such a blatant violation of 4th ammendment rights that it's just plain stupid. If not, it can and will be a serious health hazard. The bottom line is the TSA has lied on multiple occaisions and has lost the trust of the American people. I don't see how they are going to get it back.

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  92. Damn! According to The Stupider Americans (TSA), flying is a privilege??? We don't need no stinking privileges! If you receive a privilege it only means someone can take it away again. Maybe our leaders would like to replace our Bill or Rights with a Bill of Privileges!

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  93. I guess I disagree with the argument flying is a privilege. In this day and age, without suitable alternatives in terms of time and cost, I see it as a need.

    If it is a privilege, what would happen if all business travel stopped? The economy would be damaged---heck do y'all remember the days after 9-11 when no planes were in the air over the US? Everything ground to a halt. There weren't enough rental cars, trains and buses. People were stranded everywhere.

    Air travel is a need in the 24-7-365 world in which we live today.

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  94. Call your representative and ask them to sign H.R. 6416,The American Traveler Dignity Act.

    Call your representative and ask them to sign H.R. 6416,The American Traveler Dignity Act.

    For those of you who naively believe that "RAPE-SCAN" is about security just do a search on the Internet for Rapiscan SCAM.

    This is about MONEY!!!!!

    "Rapiscan also has a financial relationship with former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff (now a peddler of whole body imaging)."

    "As for the company’s other political connections, it also appears that none other than George Soros, the billionaire owns 11,300 shares of OSI Systems Inc., the company that owns Rapiscan. Not surprisingly, OSI’s stock has appreciated considerably over the course of the year. Soros certainly is a savvy investor."

    Let's see how many sheep out there change their tune once their children and grandmothers are aggressively groped by TSA perverts. (In the name of national security).

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  95. The RIGHT to freely travel has been repeatedly upheld by the courts as a fundamental right as protected by the 5th amendment as part of our liberty, and the 9th amendment as an unenumerated right.

    "Some people will point out that the Constitution does not state specifically that anyone has the right to travel. This is true. It does not state specifically that you have the right to choose your own spouse, or to have children, or any number of "specific" rights. In fact the Constitution does not grant any rights to anyone. What we have come to know as the "Bill of Rights" is in fact not a statement of what rights we have as Americans, but more specifically an enumeration of certain rights that the federal government was prohibited from acting against. It was a protection of the people from government encroachment."
    http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=39565

    All the scans and groping is just theater to make us feel link someone is doing something, but they are looking for things, not at people. "Things" are not dangerous, people are dangerous. To quote the old bumper sticker, guns don't kill people, people kill people. People hijack planes, people escorted the underwear bomber onto a plane without a passport.

    It goes both ways though. People stopped Richard Reid from igniting the explosives in his shoe, people and police work stopped the UK liquid bombers, people stopped Abdulmutallab from blowing his privates off (and now we get our privates handled by TSA). I do not believe anyone is going to successfully hijack a US flight for the fore-seeable future, or blow one up from within the passenger cabin.

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  96. keep fighting the power. it is amazing how submissive most americans have become -- all in the name of perceived security. what next? anal probing cant be too far away.

    i was molested by tsa in chicago this summer and it was humiliating. i will not pee in a cup for a job nor will i ever again be felt up for the privilege of flying on a commercial airline. but americans sadly have been cowered by whatever bullshit the media, their employers, and their government tells them.

    stand up for rights, john. things will never change unless truly courageous people like you question the stupidity that seems to reigning supreme in our country these days.

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  97. I think it's sad that our men and women are willing to go to war and are murdered (which is also "illegal") to keep the people of this country safe however some people are not willing to submit to a simple pat down to keep people safe also. You are free to travel the country as you want. It's called the interstate. As long as you are traveling in a planes which have been used to kill our citizens you should be willing to cooperate to make us all safer. I'm sure that when your doctor cups your balls and says "cough" so he can check you for a hernia, you don't see that as molestation so why would you consider this any more of a sexual assault than that? Because you choose to.

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  98. I think it's sad that people believe that our men and women willing to go to war and murder (which is also "illegal") or allowing what would amount to an assault (sexual or otherwise), if not performed by the government, keep people safe.

    You are not free to travel the country as you want. Interstates, among other forms of transportation, are all becoming subject to TSA abuses. (http://original.antiwar.com/paul/2011/10/24/tsa-releases-vipr-venom-on-tennessee-highways/) But then cars have been used to kill our citizens as well, so "logic" dictates that we should welcome more unconstitutional abuses with open arms.

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