TSA Tightens Security - Unnecessarily - Again
Have you ever traveled with the fear that you might lose your ID and will be unable to board your return flight? It turns out that the highly classified, super-secret TSA rules actually permit you to get on the plane without an ID, as long as you submit to additional screening (and provided you find a TSA employee who actually knows what the super-secret rules say).
That remarkably reasonable policy is changing.
Beginning Saturday, June 21, travelers ... who "willfully refuse" to show IDs won't be allowed through checkpoints or onto planes. Only passengers who show IDs, and "cooperative" passengers who explain why their IDs are missing and help police confirm their identities, will get through.
The policy change invites abuse by giving TSA the discretion to decide (based on nothing more than a whim, or worse, a prejudice) who is being "cooperative." It also further diminishes the right to travel. [more ...]
The right to free travel -- unencumbered by government officials demanding identity documents -- is "something that distinguishes ourselves from others not living in the free world," said Jim Harrison, an attorney who has fought document requirements.
"History will judge," Harrison said. "What's going on here is the TSA is incrementally chipping away at the freedoms that Americans have. And the freedoms that we're talking about are the fundamental right to travel, the freedom to be free of search without reasonable suspicion and your First Amendment freedoms to assemble and associate freely without government interference."
If TSA deems you "cooperative," you might still be allowed to take your flight, but look what you'll have to put up with:
TSA says that under the new policy, all people without IDs will face varying security measures, from pat-downs to interviews with behavior detection officers.
"Behavior detection" is the latest fad in the junk science that law enforcement agencies devour. Can agents really "detect" terrorists by means of an interview? No terrorist would be so idiotic as to invite attention by boarding a plane without an ID in the first place. It's the behavior of ordinary fliers that TSA will be "detecting."
The right to be free from search without probable cause -- a right you waive when you board a plane -- is also taking a hit. It no longer matters to TSA whether you actually intend to board the plane.
Privacy advocates also question a second recent TSA policy change. In the Gilmore ruling, the judge noted that if Gilmore wanted to avoid a search he thought was unconstitutional, he could have merely walked away. But the TSA now says passengers cannot refuse a search once they have entered the checkpoint area.
What's the point of searching people who aren't getting on the plane? What's next? Searching everyone who enters the airport?
|< License Plates for Jesus | McClellan Testifies About Valerie Plame Leak >|