TSA Patriot Games
By Stewart Howe
With no small ammout of trepidation, I embarked a few months back on a temporary career path which involves frequent domestic air travel. In short, putting an ardent Constitutional Patriot in frequent contact with the T.S.A. This is a sure recipe for interesting situations.
"No, I will not consent to a Millimeter Wave Scan or the Backscatter Radiation Scan" Sir/Mam... This is typically followed by stern and "grandstanding" calls into a walkie-talkie, that "we have a male 'opt-out' at this location" and need a gestapo commander here pronto to deal with the trouble maker. The fun begins.
"No, really, I understand (with a genuine smile) that you have a job to do, but too many of my countrymen and women have given their lives in defense of our Fourth Ammendment Rights for me to just go along with all this".
Usually, there is an odd mix of signs of understanding along with loud beligerant requests to "stand right there on that mark on the floor", and await your fourth reich processing, sir. Comical and sad all at once, but thoroughly enjoyable as theatre of the absurd.
After I am made to stand in compliance for some time, being made an obvious example to all, as someone who is being "inconvenienced and held up for ridicule" for daring to question authority, the SSupervisor will then inquire what the problem is that I am the cause of. Again..."Too many of my contrymen and women have...", which is delivered wihout attitude, but with a kind and understanding appeal to the small part of them that will respond to what I am explaining. And by now, there is a small gaggle of them assembled to learn from the encounter. I am more than willing to teach them.
The supervisor is politely yet firmly made aware that though I appreciate and respect the fact that he is a man with a job to do, I am also a man with a job to do. Mine entails not allowing him, them, or anyone to overstep the authority granted to them by the Constitution of the United States of America. Especially not in light of the hoax(s) on which his/their job is attempting to be justified.
"I don't have a problem with a reasonable pass through a metal detector, or a respectful pat-down for weapons; But beyond that, my privates are just that. Private. There are now State Prosecutors willing to press charges against TSA agents for sexual assault. Touching me in any type of lewd manner outside my pants will constitute misdemeanor sexual assault. And inside my pants; felony sexual assault. Just so we're clear on that." (Politely, calmly, and without any attitude whatsoever) I am apealing to the small part of them that understands, and I am serving as an example to the now assembled group of would-be thugs, that resistance is reasonable and appropriate. This really starts to show some interesting reactions around this stage of the process. Some are visably restraining anger and frustration. Some appear ashamed of themselves. Others look sheepishly on from a distance not knowing what to think. I almost feel guilty about how much I am enjoying this. Almost.
There is usually some dance of negotiation involving them threatening to bring in the police; To which I reply that if that becomes necessary, that yes indeed, they will be the ones making the arrest for me. Though I'm hopful that it will not be necessary. And I am usually offered a "little room over there" for a more private grope-down, to which I decline, stating that it's always good to have witness' for this type of thing. At this point they typically have brought in a SSupervisor high enough in rank that he does not wear the blue uniform, but rather a shirt and tie. His demeanor is professional and he calmly and matter of factly difuses the now embarrasing, for them, situation by acknowledging my concerns with varying degrees of genuine respect, and securing my consent to a somewhat mutually "respectful", somewhat enhanced pat-down that will not cross the line into my need to seek an arrest and press charges.
I've found the key is to be willing to go all the way to being arrested or assaulted; While remaining calm and respectful of their humanity, regardless of how small of an amount of it there is left in them. This has a tangible and observable effect on everyone around. There are generally quite a lot of them around, along with countless fellow citizens who get to witness a forthright stance against tyranny. This is just so rewarding I can't tell you. Flawed and faltering as it usually is, if I make a genuine attempt to be true to what I believe in and not come from ego, anger, or the like, it has always ended with me moving on with my travels feeling like I've done my little bit for the day to combat evil.
These folks are human and of varied character. They are impressionable and decent in many cases, from my experience, and apealing to their humanity is important. Truth and integrity "has a ring to it" that will get most peoples attention (as it has mine) and they will respond to it in one way or another. My job is to represent the best I can. The response is out of my hands, but is always interesting to witness.
The men and women of the US Armed Forces, Police, Intel Community and TSA need to know there is a contingent of citizens who support their own unwillingness to "go along to get along" with the insane status quo. And that we are here to join them in restoring our Republic.