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Thursday, November 18, 2010

TSA Enhanced Screenings - Drawing The Line

I'm a believer that preparedness activities take place in mindset as well as in physical activities like food storage, learning skills, etc. So, I frequently spend time thinking about "what if" and run through what responses I might have for various situations - for myself, my children and my family.

This week I had a huge dilemma put before me regarding flying and the new enhanced security procedures being conducted at our airports across the country.

My husband is currently serving on Active Duty with the U.S. Army Reserves. He completed a year of active duty orders in September, and has been extended for what it appears will be an additional year. We are fortunate he is state-side, and we did get the chance to visit him in Kentucky quite often this past year.

This new set of orders has him serving at Ft. Jackson, SC. Quite a bit further from us than Kentucky - not a huge deal, but with 3 young children and no extra drivers - makes you think about the best way to travel.

In trying to make it easier for us to visit him over the Thanksgiving holiday, he purchased tickets for the four of us to fly to see him instead of me having to spend 2 days driving. A trip we were looking forward to, until all of the news started hitting this weekend about the advanced screening techniques being used in the airports.

I hadn't given the security process a lot of thought - I assumed go through the metal detector, don't set if off and you're good to go. I've traveled extensively in my past - at one point having about 2 million frequent flyer miles. I haven't traveled since 9/11 and boy, did I have an eye opening experience learning about the new security theatre and I am appalled that we stand for this in America under the guise of believing it makes us safer.

I learned that I could ask at the ticket counter to have my children "deselected" from enhanced security screenings if they are under the age of 12 (mine are 11 and under). But that apparently is no guarantee they won't be "randomly" selected for additional screening once we are in the security line. Or if they set off the metal detector twice for some reason. And you don't get to choose which security line you end up in. It is purposely set up as a maze so you can't figure out which line leads to which machines.

So red flags are already going off in my head as I'm watching these videos of the new aggressive "pat-down" procedures in place if you "opt out" of the naked body scan or if randomly selected.

There is no way this is a "pat down" people. Try full body cavity search - or not far from it. As a Christian, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother - I've spend a lot of time reinforcing to my girls what kinds of touches are acceptable, especially from strangers. And there is NO WAY the government of this country has the right to "pat down" me or my girls in this fashion.

I do not lose my constitutional rights just because I choose to take a flight. So I have drawn the line in the sand and will not be flying this weekend. I cancelled our flight and let the airline know exactly why I was doing so. Not that they really care - I mean after all, they've already received my non-refundable money.

But we have to take a stand. And we've let too many things slide by already. Every time we give an inch, they take a mile. Until one day we wake up and there is nothing left for them to take.

Here are some links where you can join the fight against these TSA security measures, where you can learn more about what travelers are experiencing and where you can even report your own security screening incidents. The time to act on this is NOW.


Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) - provides information and a place for you to record any scanner incident you would like to report.

We Won't Fly - These are the people pushing for the National Opt-Out day on November 24th, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Fed Up Flyers - Website run by Michael Roberts, the Memphis pilot who refused the body scanner and pat down procedure who has now found himself without a job thanks to his "disobedience".

World Net Daily - Ron Paul introduces legislation to stop these intrusive TSA screenings.

Ann Coulter article - Napolitano: The Ball's In My Court Now

Forbes article about MOBILE scanners in vans that can see through walls, vehicles and clothing - coming to a city near you.

Oh, and guess what? Although Americans are not allowed to be exempted from any of the screening process based on religious grounds, Homeland Security is considering an exemption for Muslim women in burkas. Isn't that special? Read more:

Greely Gazette - Napolitano considering allowing Muslim women to pat themselves down at airports. . .


Chandler's Watch - Muslim "women" soon to be exempt from TSA invasive screenings . . . look for Muslim men to follow . . .

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