Am I the only one who thinks this way: From the moment I drive into an airport parking lot until the moment I leave the destination airport, I must put my Constitutional rights on hold. I lose my free speech. If I complain or make any remark a federale doesn’t like, I can be singled out for government persecution. I must give up my right against search and seizure. Every personal item I own is open to government scrutiny including my person. My body can be legally violated by a government sponsored body cavity search. Every one of my bags including wallets and purses can be opened and rifled through by the government. I can be forced to strip in front of government workers upon a mere suspicion. None of these actions requires a warrant. My presence in the facility constitutes my consent. All this is in the name of security.
This is the same mentality that stops all cars on a busy road to check for proper driver’s licenses. This assumes every citizen to be guilty of a minor traffic infraction (driving without a valid license) until proven innocent by a look at the license. That is nothing other than a government checkpoint to check on the papers of the citizens. This serves no purpose other than to allow the government to flex its muscles. They stop hundreds of innocent citizens on the off-chance that they might catch a few people with invalid licenses. Do a few invalid licenses really rate the wholesale violation of citizens’ rights that a traffic checkpoint does? No, it is simply big brother checking up on you. It is like the bully who stops you with his demands. It is totally unnecessary.
In the airport, everyone is considered to be guilty of being a terrorist until proven innocent by a look into all of the personal belongings. Again this is nothing other than a big government checking up on all of its citizens. I understand that the attack on the World Trade Center was a major tragedy. Yet, with the exception of better surveillance of carry on items, all of the security measures we are taking at airports would not have prevented the attack. But why is checked luggage inspected? The box cutters used as weapons would have done the terrorists no good if they had been in checked luggage. Those weapons made it through the security points at the concourse. Beef up those points. But why the hassle of hand inspecting all of the checked luggage? In the history of commercial aviation in the United States, how may aircraft have been brought down by checked luggage? Certainly the possibility exists, but doesn’t the X-Ray check look for contraband in the checked luggage? Then they need only hand inspect luggage the X-ray identifies as suspect.
I am not opposed to checking carry-on items and checking passengers for weapons. Those metal detector checks at the concourse are capable of preventing carried on weapons. But the opening and inspection of every piece of luggage that every passenger brings to the airport is ludicrous and unconstitutional. But since when has the unconstitutionality of an action prevented the action in postmodern America? The Constitution is void where prohibited by the courts. Do the words overkill or overreaction or knee-jerk ring a bell here? Or the words of George Orwell? Words such as Big Brother, Newspeak, and Doublethink? This is good for us. The government only has our best interests at heart. Not!
In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Big Brother is an oppressive government (like our bloated Federal Government). Newspeak is speech approved by the Party (a bit like political correctness). Doublethink is rewriting history and writing news for the political value and not for the facts (propaganda). Perhaps Orwell was only off by a few years! It seems that we already have all of these things in place.
I will only fly commercially if there is absolutely no other choice. If there is an alternative, I will always seek it. That is until trains, busses, taxis, and the public highways fall under these same overkill security measures. Then it will be too late to worry about it anyway.
Government does not want to protect us. It wants to oppress us as all government does. Agreeing with and allowing the government to take away our rights in the name of security will assure the eventual oppression of us all. Newspeak anyone? Doublethink anyone? Then comes the Ministry of Love (the torture chambers).
I am surprised there are not earthquakes at the cemeteries in which our founding fathers are buried.
© 4/24/2004, Mark Oaks. All rights reserved