The revolution has started and it is a simple revolution; Americans are standing their ground on their Constitutional rights. Matt Kernan politely but firmly, refused to consent to the radiation or the groping requested by the TSA… And the TSA Backed off!
At this point one would think that the TSA believes that it is mandatory for Americans to be exposed to radiation, or touched in their intimate parts, but according to Matt’s outcome, they themselves, don’t think they have the authority to make it compulsory. They depend on our consent!
After Matt’s polite but firm refusal to relinquish his rights as he was re-entering the country from abroad, the TSA played the ‘we’ll call the police and arrest you’ game. Matt remained calm and polite, explaining his position concisely, and not becoming hyperbolic or unreasonable; which would have given them grounds for arrest on other charges.
He stated his position, pointed out that he was recording the conversation and told them that he gave them no permission to touch his genitals, that he would do only what they told him was mandatory on record. He stated it like this to the police officers: “If you say that a pat-down is mandatory, and that as a condition of that pat-down, I may have my genitals brushed against by your hand, even though you don’t want to, I will do that. But only if you say it is mandatory.” Their reply: “I’m not going to say that.”
There it is in a nutshell, if American Citizens stand their constitutional ground, remain on point and reasonable, we might find out what we are against. In this case we found out that the TSA knows that the radiation and/or groping are not compulsory.
Of course we still need many more patriots to defend their bill of rights, risk inconvenience, and find out just how much the TSA is willing to fight to enforce their unconstitutional ways.
Perhaps the TSA is leaving it up to us; how much do we want to keep our rights? Enough to demand they be respected?
Following is Matt’s own account of his ordeal. Thank you Matt!
You Don’t Need to See His Identification
NoBlasters.com by Matt Kernan
On November 21, 2010, I was allowed to enter the U.S. through an airport security checkpoint without being x-rayed or touched by a TSA officer. This post explains how.
Edit: Minor edits for clarity. I have uploaded the audio and it is available here.
This past Sunday, I was returning from a trip to Europe. I flew from Paris to Cincinnati, landing in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
As I got off my flight, I did all of the things that are normally requested from U.S. citizens returning from abroad. I filled out the customs declarations, confirmed that I hadn’t set foot on any farmland, and answered questions about the chocolates that I had purchased in Switzerland. While I don’t believe that these questions are necessary, I don’t mind answering them if it means some added security. They aren’t particularly intrusive. My passport was stamped, and I moved through customs a happy citizen returning home.
But wait – here was a second line to wait in.
This new line led to a TSA security checkpoint. You see, it is official TSA policy that people (both citizens and non-citizens alike) from international flights are screened as they enter the airport, despite the fact that they have already flown. Even before the new controversial security measures were put in place, I found this practice annoying. But now, as I looked past the 25 people waiting to get into their own country, I saw it: the dreaded Backscatter imaging machine.
Now, I’ve read a fair amount about the controversy surrounding the new TSA policies. I certainly don’t enjoy being treated like a terrorist in my own country, but I’m also not a die-hard constitutional rights advocate. However, for some reason, I was irked. Maybe it was the video of the 3-year old getting molested, maybe it was the sexual assault victim having to cry her way through getting groped, maybe it was the father watching teenage TSA officers joke about his attractive daughter. Whatever it was, this issue didn’t sit right with me. We shouldn’t be required to do this simply to get into our own country.
So, since I had nobody waiting for me at home and no connecting flight to catch, I had some free time. I decided to test my rights.
After putting all my stuff through the x-ray, I was asked to go through the Backscatter. I politely said that I didn’t want to. The technician quipped to his colleague, “We’ve got an opt-out.” They laughed. He turned back and started to explain.
After he finished, I said, “I understand what the pat-down entails, but I wanted to let you know that I do not give you permission to touch my genitals or the surrounding area. If you do, I will consider it assault.”
He called his manager over, who again informed me of the policy. Throughout this event, this happened quite a few times. After raising my concerns regarding the policy to an officer, they often simply quoted back the policy. For the sake of brevity, I will simply say “Policy restatement.”
I said, “I am aware that it is policy, but I disagree with the policy, and I think that it is unconstitutional. As a U.S. citizen, I have the right to move freely within my country as long as I can demonstrate proof of citizenship and have demonstrated no reasonable cause to be detained.”
Policy restatement. “You have two options – the Backscatter or the pat down. It is your choice, but those are the only ways you can go through security.”
I asked if I could speak to his manager.
“I’m the supervisor here.”
“Do you have a manager?”
“Yes, but he’s very far away at the moment. And he’ll say the same thing I am.” Policy restatement.
At this point, I took out my iPhone, activated the voice recorder, and asked The Supervisor, “Per my constitutional rights, I am not allowed to be detained without reasonable cause for arrest. Now, am I free to go?”
He answered, “If you leave, we will call the APD.”
I asked, “Who is the APD?”
“The Airport Police Department.”
I said, “Actually, that’s probably a good idea. Let’s call them and your manager.”
The Supervisor turned and walked away without saying anything. I stood and waited, chatting to The Technician about how they aren’t allowed to wear radiation badges, even though they work with radiation equipment. He said, “I think I’m a couple steps ahead of you regarding looking out for my own health.”
I stood and waited for 20 minutes. Two cops showed up. Big ones. I admit, I did not want to be handcuffed by these guys.
One cop was older than the other, but they were still clearly partners. Neither of them took the lead on answering my questions, and neither of them told the other what to do. They came over to me and asked me to explain the issue. I first showed them the iPhone. After I explained my position, they restated the policy to me.
I said, “Yes sir. I understand the policy, but I still disagree and I still don’t think that I can be made to do these searches in order to go home. Now am I free to go?”
They didn’t answer…
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