James Bovard Versus the TSA

by | Sep 29, 2021

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, there was a flurry of action establishing and expanding the United States government’s infringements of freedom in the name of making Americans safer. Along the way, political writer James Bovard documented the vile developments. Speaking Tuesday at the Future of Freedom Foundation’s Restoring Our Civil Liberties webinar, Bovard provided a biting, and at times funny, introduction to destructive and absurd actions the US government has pursued since the September 11 attacks.

Starting off, Bovard notes that while in the 1990s he had much criticized out-of-control government, including in his book Lost Rights, it has turned out that “the 1990s were practically a golden age for freedom compared to what’s happened after 9/11.” From there, Bovard, in his speech, addresses some of the new government powers and agencies that have come into being over the last 20 years.

A chunk of Bovard’s presentation is focused on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Bovard’s unfortunate interactions with this US government agency created soon after the September 11 attacks. Since this is Bovard speaking, a fair amount of humor is included into the telling. Sprinkled through the stories are details about the TSA and its insufferable practices.

Bovard also addresses in the speech other abuses of Americans undertaken by entities including the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that were asserted after the September 11 attacks to be necessary for keeping Americans safe and winning a war on terror. Concerning expanded US government activities overseas that came at the same time, Bovard discusses drone killings and torture as well.

Bringing things forward to the last couple years, Bovard, in the conclusion of his speech, discusses how pumping up fear has again allowed large expansions of government power at the expense of freedom, this time in pursuing a “war on covid.”

Watch Bovard’s speech, and stick around for the wide-ranging question-and-answer period with Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger that follows, here:


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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