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Peace and Prosperity

Sexual Assault by the TSA is OK, Except in the Airport Bathroom


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Here is some welcome news for travelers. There seems to be a limit to where Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees can sexually assault travelers — at least at the New York City LaGuardia Airport. WABC-TV reports that a TSA agent was arrested Thursday for sexually assaulting an individual in a LaGuardia Airport bathroom.

At checkpoints in airports across America, TSA employees regularly subject travelers to friskings (termed “pat-downs” by the TSA) that would justify arrest and prosecution if done by someone without government-granted legal immunity. The United States government admitted as much when it threatened in 2011 to close down all airports in Texas when the state government was on the verge of passing legislation that would subject TSA employees to fines and jail time for offensive friskings.

British singer, lyricist, and author Morrissey described last month a TSA employee physically abusing him at the San Francisco International Airport checkpoint and Morrissey having little recourse to hold the abuser accountable. Morrissey recounts that a TSA employee identified as the general manager on duty “sexually assaulted” Morrissey. Morrissey details the apparently futile confrontation with the TSA employee afterwards:
… the guilty "officer" was confronted, and the conversation went thus:

You have just sexually groped this man.
Officer: That's just your opinion.
What you have done is illegal.
Officer: That's just your opinion.
You have no right to do what you have just done.
Officer: That's just your opinion.

Apart from "that's just your opinion", he would not comment, even though, since the penis and testicles were mine and no one else's, then my opinion must surely have some meaning. But, of course, what the airport security officer was saying was: your opinion will never count in the eyes of the law. The words "that's just your opinion" volunteered themselves from this 'officer's' mouth before he had even heard the question. He knew he could be confronted, but he also knew that he could never be challenged (even though the entire incident is most certainly on CCTV camera).
While Morrissey filed a complaint, he wisely understands that this effort is most assuredly futile, noting:
In the interests of imperishable bureaucracy my submitted complaint against this 'officer' will obviously be either unread or ignored because, as we all know, on matters of officialism it is not possible to be pleasantly surprised by anything at all.
Morrissey is but one recent victim of TSA harassment and abuse. His fame, along with his choice to articulate forcefully and clearly what happened and his opinion instead of just keeping quiet, ensured that his story received widespread circulation. But, there are countless other individuals who have similar stories related to their interactions with the TSA. We almost never hear their stories.
Copyright © 2015 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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