Ron Paul: The Revolt Against TSA

Uploaded by RonPaul2008dotcom on 21.11.2010

Hello, this is Ron Paul with your weekly update for November 22nd.
The growing revolt against invasive TSA practices is encouraging to Americans who are fed up
with federal government encroachment in their lives. In the case of air travelers this encroachment
is quite literally physical, but a deep-seated libertarian impulse still exists within the
American people and opposition to the TSA full-body scanner and groping searches is
gathering momentum.
I introduced legislation last week that is based on a very simple principle: Federal
agents should be subject to the same laws as ordinary citizens. If you would face criminal
prosecution or lawsuit for groping someone, exposing them to unwelcome radiation, causing
them emotional distress or violating indecency laws, then TSA agents should similarly face
sanctions for their actions.
The revolt against TSA also serves as a refreshing reminder that we should not give in to government
alarmism or be afraid to question government policy. Certainly those who choose to refuse
to the humiliating and potentially harmful new full-body scanner machines, may suffer
delays, inconveniences or worse. But I still believe peaceful resistance is the most effective
tool against the federal encroachment on our Constitutional rights, which leads me to be
supportive of any kind of opt-out or similar popular movements.
After all, what price can we place on our dignity, personal privacy and physical integrity?
We have a right not to be treated like criminals and searched by federal agents without some
reasonable evidence of criminal activity. Are we now to accept that merely wishing to
travel aboard an aircraft give rise to reasonable suspicion of criminality?
Also, let's not forget that TSA was created in the aftermath of 9/11 when far too many
Americans were clamoring for government protection from the specter of terrorism. Indeed, it
was Congressional Republicans, the majority party in 2001, who must bear most of the blame
for creating the Department of Homeland Security and TSA in the first place. Congressional
Republicans also overwhelmingly supported the PATRIOT Act which added to the atmosphere
of hostility towards civil liberties in the name of state-provided security.
But as we've seen with the TSA, federal security has more to do with humiliation and control
than making us safe. It has more to do with instilling a mindset of subservience, which
is why laughable policies such as removing one's shoes continue to be enforced. What
else could explain the shabby degrading spectacle of a long line of normally upbeat Americans
shuffling obediently through airport security in their stocking feet?
TSA may be merely symbolic of much bigger problems with the federal government, but
it is an important symbol that we have a real chance to do something about it. We must seize
this opportunity before TSA offers some cosmetic compromise or the media spotlight fades. If
you don't live in my Congressional district please consider contacting your member of
Congress and asking him or her to co-sponsor HR 6416, the American Traveler Dignity Act
of 2010. With enough help we can push this bill to a vote early next year. Unless grassroots
Americans take action, federal agencies like TSA will continue to bully us and ignore our
basic Constitutional freedoms.
Thanks for calling. A new update is placed on this number 888-322-1414 every Monday.
The written text can be found on my website under the heading
"Texas Straight Talk".