Detained by TSA
ACLU Sues TSA
In praise of Michael Roberts
After reading stories about what the TSA had been doing, I wanted to avoid them, but I also wanted to be prepared should I be unable avoid them. That recording was to protect my rights and theirs. At no point have I bashed the TSA agents or their handling of the situation. They were all professional, if a bit standoffish, but the standoffishness is not to be unexpected. I'm sure they deal with people far more unruly than me every day. The only time I lost my cool was at the very end when the TSA representative tried to force me back into the screening area instead of simply allowing me to be on my way. The entire incident should be judged on its merits (as demonstrated by the recording), not by whether I tried to bait them (which I did not).
So, the next question is obviously, "what do I expect to get out of this?" I don't want to be a hero; I simply want to draw attention to what is going on and give people a sense that they're not alone in the fight against the ever expanding erosion of liberty. I had this to say in response to another commenter about what had transpired:
Every attempt to blow up a plane since 9/11 has been stopped by passengers after the government failed to provide protection for them. Every incident, however, has been met by throwing more money and less sensibility at the problem. Aside from securing the cockpit doors and the realization by passengers that they must fend for themselves because they're more likely to be killed by a hijacker than flown safely to their destination where the hijacker's demands can be met, security is largely the same as it was before 9/11.Obviously the issue of the private airline industry mingling with the government handling of security is more complex than that. For example, with private handling of security, the screener may choose to overlook victimless crimes like drug possession or possession of sexually explicit (but otherwise legal) materials or paraphernalia during a search for dangerous items (i.e. those that could be used to commit acts of terrorism). The government, on the other hand, has, does, and will use the search for dangerous items as a pretext to arrest you for anything else they may find.
The only thing changing is the amount of money being spent on the problem and the constant erosion of liberty, and all I did was draw attention to this. If you want to argue that the airlines are private, you're preaching to the choir. I refused the x-ray machine, and then I refused a groping by a government official. I mildly protested, and when they told me that I could submit to the screening or leave the airport, I left peacefully. The only time I got angry during the entire encounter was when I was unlawfully detained and threatened with a lawsuit and a fine.
If you think the government is protecting you, ask yourself this: If the official at the end of the video thought I had an incendiary device, why would he want me to go *back* into a small area crowded with hundreds of people instead of leaving the airport as quickly as possible?