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Stop the TSA power grab

Posted by Richard on March 14, 2012

That TSA story I just posted about reminded me of something David Aitken linked to that I meant to pass on. The TSA advertises for security screeners on pizza boxes and gas pumps. The people it hires are given a bit of classroom and on-the-job training (far less training than it takes to get a cosmetology license in the District of Columbia). It’s enough for the relatively simple work they do.

But now the Obama administration, in keeping with its “we don’t need no stinkin’ Act of Congress” way of governing (remember when liberals fretted about the imperial presidency?), has “administratively reclassified” these security screeners as Transportation Security Officers, complete with federal law enforcement uniforms and badges. All they lack is law enforcement training. And guns — but they’re already pushing to get those.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) details the whole story in an excellent Forbes op-ed column, including the way the TSA is extending its tentacles far beyond airports. Not content to rifle through luggage and grope genitals, the newly-minted TSOs can be found at train and subway stations, ferry terminals, and along Tennessee highways randomly inspecting cars and trucks.

Rep. Blackburn has introduced a bill to rescind this “administrative reclassification,” and it deserves your support:

In order to help rein in the TSA I introduced H.R. 3608, the Stop TSA’s Reach in Policy Act aka the STRIP Act. This bill will simply overturn the TSA’s administrative decision by prohibiting any TSA employee who has not received federal law enforcement training from using the title “officer,” wearing a police like uniform or a metal police badge. At its most basic level the STRIP Act is about truth in advertising.

As TSOs continue to expand their presence beyond our nation’s airports and onto our highways, every American citizen has the right to know that they are not dealing with actual federal law enforcement officers. Had one Virginia woman known this days before Thanksgiving she may have been able to escape being forcibly raped by a TSO who approached her in a parking lot in full uniform while flashing his badge.

Please contact your congresscritters and ask them to support H.R. 3608.

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3 Responses to “Stop the TSA power grab”

  1. mickeywhite said

    Body Imaging Screening.
    During consideration of the Transportation Security Administration Authorization bill (H.R. 2200), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (RUtah) offered an amendment that would prohibit the use of Whole-Body Imaging (WBI) as the primary method of screening at airports. The amendment would allow passengers the option of a patdown search rather than being subjected to a WBI search that shows extremely intimate details of one’s body. The Chaffetz amendment would also prohibit TSA from storing, copying, or transferring any images that are produced by WBI machines. Since its creation, TSA has become infamous for its meddlesome searches and disregard for an individual’s right of privacy. Evidence shows that corruption and mismanagement have been commonplace within the relatively new federal department for years. The Chaffetz amendment would do very little to scale back the power held by the TSA, but it does offer some hope that our representatives are not wholly unaware of how the TSA and its policies would threaten the privacy of American citizens through a process that has been called a “virtual strip-search.” The House adopted the Chaffetz amendment by a “Committee of the Whole” on June 4, 2009, by a vote of 310-118 (Roll Call 305). Such technology is obtrusive for American citizens and violates our right of protection against unwarranted searches and seizures.
    Marsha Blackburn voted AGAINST this bill.
    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    She is no conservative.
    See her unconstitutional votes at :
    http://mickeywhite.blogspot.com/2009/09/tn-congressman-marsha-blackburn-votes.html
    Mickey

  2. Richard said

    Thanks for the info, Mickey. That’s quite a list you’ve compiled (and I agree that most, but not all, of those votes are bad; BTW, I’m not a conservative, I’m a libertarian).

    But regardless of how often she’s been wrong in the past, I think her op-ed column is very good and I strongly support H.R. 3608. Don’t you agree that she’s doing the right thing on this issue, trying to rein in the TSA?

  3. Rick Shultz said

    You know I’m not crazy about Marsha Blackburn either, but dammit, this
    time she did something good and should be commended and SUPPORTED.

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