Fear and Loathing at the Airport


Columbia, MO – And you thought the Obama administration was seeking to restrict your freedoms of privacy, right to choice and ability to travel. Have you forgotten the dictatorial restrictions imposed by misters Bush and Chaney and the ghost of J. Edger Hoover (party dress and all)?

In 2001, our legislators passed the infamous Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, the USA Patriot Act, Public Law 107-056.

Yes. most Democrats voted for the USAPatriot Act. Only one Democratic Senator voted against the bill, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. In the House, 145 Dems voted “Yea” along with 211 Republicans. No one read the proposed legislation. I am not proud of this but it is fact.

The only 67 legislators (62 Dems, 4 GOP and one independent) understood that the USA Patriot Act was is a violation of the Fourth Amendment “against unreasonable searches and seizures…”

Yet we are searched, without probable cause, at the airport when traveling to grandma’s. We remove our shoes, belts, jackets and other clothing that may “hide a bomb” without question. Our electronic devices are searched, examined and dusted for bomb residue. We smile and have the “wand” passed over our bodies in search of metal because we are randomly chosen. All in the name of national security – fear and loathing in airports.

2009 H.R. 1467 will, “allow the FBI to apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, (America’s “Secret” court) to grant government access to tangible items (books, records, etc.) in international terrorism, and clandestine intelligence cases.” It has been abused. J. Edger is laughing, ho ho.

The Act provides that your personal data from businesses, credit card companies and your Internet provider, among others, will be available to law enforcement, without a warrant, in the name of Homeland Security.

These provisions are being considered for renewal by Congress this fall. Provisions the Obama supports and a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.  

J. Edger’s ghost is laughing at us from his perch atop the Supreme Court. “Ho ho. The Constitution has a loophole.”

I may be channeling the late Hunter “Doc” S. Thompson, gonzo journalist, novelist, humorist, satirist, minister for the Universal Life Church, drunk, druggy and founder of the now defunct Fourth Amendment Foundation, after reading (for the third time) “Better than Sex.”

 I want to resurrect the Fourth Amendment Foundation. I want to preserve the Constitution and protect the citizens of our nation from unwarranted search and seizure – including public disrobing in airports. Wanna join me?

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About David Rosman

David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com, InkandVoice.com and NYJournalofBooks.com.
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One Response to Fear and Loathing at the Airport

  1. This is an important conversation to have. “Disrobing” at the airport may be a small price to pay for “protection” … or is it? Protection comes in many forms. I’m not certain what the answer is. I am certain that an active discussion of alternative solutions needs to happen.

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