Saturday, December 02, 2006

You, Naked! On the Net! For All To See!

It looks like the socialists at "Homeland Security" think they've finally found a way (they think) to do xray screening of prospective airline passengers without invading their (Constitutional right to) privacy.

Read about it here.

Try as they might, however, they cannot satisfy the Constitutional question--not to mention the question of an individual's natural right to the sovereignty of his own person and privacy--without resorting to subterfuge. The executive branch of government, who appoints the federal judiciary, seems to find it very amenable to the notion of redefining our rights in law, according to the wishes of the President. The Supreme Court has been so philosophically flexible as to be unable to connect military conscription to involuntary servitude (!).

It certainly won't be difficult for the same court to find that xray examination of our innards to determine the content of one's most recent repast. This ought to be good news to those concerned with the current "obesity pandemic."

For today, however, we're concerning ourselves mostly with the notion of using xray technology to (they say) look for dangerous weapons and substances secreted on our persons, for use in destroying the very aircraft that keeps us alive and mobile at 36,000 feet.

Now, I don't doubt that there are a few crazies 'pon the planet who are willing to do just that for one insane credo or another, but I don't think this has much to do with the real reason
government wants this technology in place in airports. In today's climate, though, it will suffice. Fraidy types who, in today's America are legion, can be easily convinced to accept just about any invasion against their rights in the name of security--even false security. Note that no one ever needs to be safe--he/she merely needs to feel safe.

The linked story comforts us by saying the xray will be adjusted to "be blurred in certain areas while still being effective in detecting bombs and other threats." The story also states that "the TSA said the X-rays will be set up so that the image can be viewed only by a security officer in a remote location. Other passengers, and even the agent at the checkpoint, will not have access to the picture." Also, "the system will be configured so that the X-ray will be deleted as soon as the individual steps away from the machine. It will not be stored or available for printing or transmitting...."

Anything, as we all know, that can be configured can also be reconfigured, and it'll be only a matter of time when some enterprising TSA minion will decide to augment his wages by selling xray images of various famous and remarkable individuals to willing internet webmasters. It will happen.

This, of course, is the empirical eventuality. It leaves aside the philosophical discussion completely.

If an airline wants to use such technology as a condition of access to their aircraft, it's certainly within its rights to do so The travelling consumer is, by the same argument within his rights to seek another airline, with more reasonable requirements, with which to deal.

With government making the decisions, it's a one-size-fits-all world. Choices are taken away. Furthermore, government screening of airline passengers sets up the very real specter of government approval of travel--a notion far more dangerous to America's freedom than the possibility of a crazed "terrorist" attack, which can be thwarted in any of a number of ways that don't clash with the rights of the individual traveller.

I don't expect Americans to rise in outrage against this, another of many usurptions of our rights, and so those of you who choose to travel on airlines will soon find your privacy invaded right to your skin--and maybe beyond.

I'll take my car, for as long as I still have that freedom......

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


The Wine Commonsewer said...

This is Reason's cover story this month.

Col. Hogan said...

You mean, I scooped Reason? Cool!

Glen Litsinger said...

Hey, Col. Hogan!

I wrote a satirical response to an essay on by Becky Akers and am looking for somewhere to publish it. Would you like to read it?