Radiation or Molestation?

Posted By: admin

Published to Public Criticism on Dec 25, 2010

You now have the option of an enhanced pat down (involving some very intimate contact from members of airport security) or a body scan if selected by the officials of the TSA. That’s right, you get to choose between radiation or molestation. And if you refuse? Well, there’s always the third choice of an $11,000 fine and detention. Think that’s a little extreme? Want to complain? Too bad, you’re just going to have to take it.

With a record number of complaints and lawsuits being made against the TSA by American travellers claiming intimidation, harassment and even sexual assault during security checks TSA chief John Pistole insists that any incidents of groping are appropriate in response to the threat posed by terrorists.

Think about that for a moment.

It is now perfectly acceptable, according to the government, for travellers to be subjected to enhanced pat downs, which involve touching of intimate body parts such as the genitals by TSA officials to check for potential threats to air safety. And if you don’t like it? If you happen to feel that this measure is both disproportionate and excessive, that it disregards the traveller’s right to privacy and compromises their dignity then you either get used to it or you don’t get to fly.

Cut and dry. No debate. No argument. That’s how it is.

So when children as young as three are being subjected to enhanced putdowns, being told by TSA officials to treat the experience as if it’s a game (a common tactic employed by paedophiles), remember it’s done to keep us safe.

When rape victims are subjected to physical assault by the police and arrested for protesting their rights don’t get angry, after all, we don’t want someone smuggling explosives onto the plane right?

And when the TSA officials flout even their own rules and detain a young mother for not allowing her breast milk to be x-rayed don’t complain, they’re only doing it for your own good.

As the media is quick to remind us terrorists are always looking for new and ever inventive ways to circumvent security measures, from box-cutter wielding hijackers and underwear bombers to body cavity explosives, so surely any inconvenience in airport safety is justified. After all you’re only being asked to give up some of your liberties to preserve your freedom right?

If only that were the case.

The real terrorist threat?

As this website has pointed out in previous articles the so-called terrorist threat has been used by Governments around the world to justify and force measures onto their citizens that they normally wouldn’t accept. Measures that are excessive and disproportionate to the ‘threat’ they are allegedly designed to counter. Measures which are often ineffective, little more than security theater and whose only benefits appear to be political and financial.

Disturbingly the alleged threat posed by so-called terrorist groups was originally created by the very Governments who now claim to be fighting against them. From CIA funding for the Mujahideen and SAS training camps for the Taleban to 9/11 and the 7/7 terror attacks the involvement of security services, financial elites and Western Governments appears very strongly time and again. Conspiracy theorists have long been derided for the claims that they have made but evidence continues to grow that the threat of terrorism might come directly from those who occupy very high positions of power and influence. But continue to sell the story through a largely apathetic, unquestioning mainstream media of muslim extremists hell bent on wreaking havoc, all the while suppressing evidence of Government collusion in terror attacks, and large sections of the public will continue to buy it.

Hence our current predicament. Daily freedoms that we took for granted are now being taken from us at a blinding rate. Measures that would have been associated with dictatorships such as Hitler’s Germany and Stalin's Russia are now becoming more and more commonplace. Who would have thought 15 years ago that we would be subjected to almost constant CCTV surveillance, full body scans and/or enhanced pat downs at airports, military checkpoints on US soil, limitations on public protest, DNA databases, indefinite detention without trial, extradition and fingerprint scanning of children in UK schools to name but a few?

And each time we’re sold the story that such measures are, quite often, necessary tools in fighting crime and, the latest buzz phrase, preventing terrorism an event occurs which seems to necessitate even harsher, more intrusive measures as the last ones just weren’t quite good enough. And round and round we go, escalating with each pass. Yet very few seem to mind. Very few seem to question. People just go back to watching their TV shows or drinking. Nothing to worry about. Nothing important.

But the question needs to be asked, and urgently. What freedom do you have when your liberties are being taken away under the pretext of improving security? What freedom exists when the relationship of power between the state and the individual becomes fundamentally altered in favour of the state? What freedom exists when history has shown, time and again, the consequences for societies and its peoples when power and control is centred strongly in the hands of its rulers? And finally, what freedom exists for a society whose governments are complicit in funding, and often directing, the very ‘terrorists’ that they claim to be fighting?

Time to wake up people.

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