By: Steve Watson
Friday, Nov 12th, 2010
Scientists, pilots, flight attendants, privacy groups, parents, Muslim groups and everyday passengers all rebelling against airport tyranny
People from all walks of life are rejecting the mass implementation of radiation spewing airport body imaging machines and fighting back against the molestation and groping that women and children are being subjected to at the hands of TSA officials.
As we have detailed throughout the week, multiple pilot’s unions are advising their members to avoid the scanners, while simultaneously denouncing the enhanced pat downs as humiliating and on a par with sexual harassment.
The pilots have been joined by flight attendants, with one union demanding that their workers not be touched in sensitive areas in full view of passengers.
Now one of the largest Muslim advice groups, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), has issued a warning to all muslims traveling on US aircraft in response to the reports of excessive physical searches of those singled out by security agents and those who refuse to be put through the scanners.
In “special recommendations for Muslim women who wear hijab,” CAIR states:
“Before you are patted down, you should remind the TSA officer that they are only supposed to pat down the area in question, in this scenario, your head and neck. They SHOULD NOT subject you to a full-body or partial-body pat-down.”
The group also advises that passengers should ask for the procedure to be done in a private place.
Recent accounts from passengers detail the fact that the enhanced body searches are being conducted in public as a way of intimidating others from resisting the scanning machines. They also describe TSA officers in some cases literally lifting travelers from the ground from between the legs and forefully squeezing and feeling around breasts with the fingers and palms of both hands.
As reported by Reuters, parents are now demanding that the procedures be changed for children, after witnesses have described their children’s genitals being touched by men and women working for the TSA.
“I didn’t think it was going to be as horrible as he was describing,” one father noted after an agent told him what he was going to do to the child before conducting the full body search.
“At some point the terrorists have won.” the father added. The TSA says it is currently “reviewing” the procedure for children. Perhaps it should first review it’s policy on background checking its own employees, which by all accounts is woefully inadequate.
While the TSA maintains that the body scanning machines are safe, and that the option of the pat-down as an alternative will eventually be withdrawn, scientists continue to speak out over the health hazards associated with the x-ray technology.
John Sedat, a University of California at San Francisco professor of biochemistry and biophysics and member of the National Academy of Sciences tells CNet that the machines have “mutagenic effects” and will increase the risk of cancer. Sedat previously sent a letter to the White House science Czar John P. Holdren, identifying the specific risk the machines pose to children and the elderly.
The letter stated:
“it appears that real independent safety data do not exist… There has not been sufficient review of the intermediate and long-term effects of radiation exposure associated with airport scanners. There is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations.”
As the following CNN report highlights, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a non-profit privacy advocacy group is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the TSA over the scanners, arguing that their use is illegal in respect of the fourth amendment and the documented health risks the machines carry.
All of these groups and individuals will get the chance to speak as one on what has become known as ‘national opt-out day’, scheduled to take place on November 24th. This day of national protest will see thousands and thousands refuse to submit to the tyranny taking over our major airports and scheduled to be implemented on our streets if we do not resist.
It’s the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government’s desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an “enhanced pat down” that touches people’s breasts and genitals. You should never have to explain to your children, “Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it’s a government employee, then it’s OK.”
The goal of National Opt Out Day is to send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change. No naked body scanners, no government-approved groping. We have a right to privacy and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we’re guilty until proven innocent.
We urge our readers to join forces with these groups and organise peaceful protests at the nearest airport to you that has implemented body scanners and enhanced TSA pat downs.
The issue has garnered such massive attention, largely due to coverage via The Drudge Report, that the federal government has been forced to respond, with TSA Administrator John Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano set to meet today with executives from the travel industry and heads of pilot associations.
The world is watching.