Ron Paul to TSA: Stop Irradiating Our Bodies!

Click here for the abbreviated version (with background music)

Ron Paul introduced legislation to protect Americans from physical and emotional abuse by federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees conducting screenings at the nation’s airports:

A BILL – HR 6416

To ensure that certain Federal employees cannot hide behind immunity.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


No law of the United States shall be construed to confer any immunity for a Federal employee or agency or any individual or entity that receives Federal funds, who subjects an individual to any physical contact (including contact with any clothing the individual is wearing), x-rays, or millimeter waves, or aids in the creation of or views a representation of any part of a individual’s body covered by clothing as a condition for such individual to be in an airport or to fly in an aircraft. The preceding sentence shall apply even if the individual or the individual’s parent, guardian, or any other individual gives consent.

Ron Paul introduced the “American Traveler Dignity Act” (HR 6416) with the following words. (This is a transcript of his actual speech.)

Ron Paul: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise this evening to announce that I introduced some legislation today dealing with the calamity that we have found at our airports with TSA. Something has to be done. Everybody is fed up. The people are fed up, the pilots are fed up, I’m fed up.

You know, I’ve come to this floor many times over the past many years and complained about the terrible foreign policy we’ve had, the terrible monetary policy we’ve had, the excessive spending and the debt and also the tax policy. But what we’re doing and what we’re accepting in putting up with at this airport is so symbolic of us just not standing up and saying, “Enough is enough”.

I know the American people are starting to wake up, but our government, those in charge – Congress as well as the executive branch – are doing nothing. Yes, they’re talking about maybe backing off and allowing the pilots to go through. But can you think how silly the whole thing is? The pilot has a gun in the cockpit, and he’s managing this aircraft, which is a missile, and we make him go through this groping x-ray exercise, having people feeling their underwear. It’s absurd, and it’s time we wake up.

The bill I’ve introduced will take care of this. But we have to realize that the real problem is that the American people have been too submissive, we have been too submissive. It’s been going on for a long time, and this was to be expected even from the beginning of the TSA and it’s deeply flawed. Private property should be protected by private individuals, not bureaucrats.

But the bill that I’ve introduced will take care of it. It’s very simple, it’s one paragraph long. It removes the immunity from anybody in the federal government that does anything that you or I can’t do. If you can’t grope another person and if you can’t x-ray people and endanger them with possible x-rays, you can’t take nude photographs of individuals, why do we allow the government to do it? We would go to jail. He’d be immediately arrested if an individual citizen went out and did these things, and yet we just sit there calmly and say, “Oh, they’re making us safe”.

And, besides, the argument from the executive branch is that when you buy a ticket, you have sacrificed your rights, and it is the duty of the government to make us safe. That isn’t the case. You never have to sacrifice your rights. The duty of the government is to protect our rights, not to abuse them and do what they have been doing to us. The pilots hopefully will be exempted from this.

But another suggestion I have that might help us: let’s make sure that every member of Congress goes through this. Get the x-ray and make them look at the pictures, and then go through one of those groping pat downs. And then I think there will be a difference. Have everybody in the executive branch, anybody who is a cabinet member, make them go through it and look at it. Maybe they would pay more attention.

But this doesn’t work, this is not what makes us safer, this is preposterous to think that the TSA has made us safer.

You know, when you think about it, if you look at what’s happened over the past 10 years, during this last decade, we lost 3000 on a terrible, terrible day for America. But since that time in this last decade, we have also lost 6,000 of our military personnel going over there and trying to rectify this problem. We have lost 400,000 people on our government-run highways. We have lost 150,000 individuals from homicides. So I think there’s reason to be concerned, reason to deal with this problem. We’re not dealing with it the right way, we’re doing the wrong thing, and groping people at the airport doesn’t solve our problems.

What has solved our problems, basically, has been that they put a good lock on the door and they put a gun inside the cockpit. That’s been the greatest boon to our safety. Safety should be the responsibility of the individual and the private property owner. But right now, we assume the government’s always going to take care of us and we’re supposed to sacrifice our liberties. I say that is wrong, we are not safer and we also know there are individuals who are making money of this. Michael Chertoff; I mean, here’s a guy who was the head of the TSA – selling the equipment. And the equipment is questionable; we don’t even know if it works, and it may well be dangerous to our health.

You know, the way I see this; if this doesn’t change, I see what has happened to the American people is we have accepted the notion that we should be treated like cattle. “Make us safe, make us secure, put us into barbed wire, feed us, fatten us up”, and then they’ll eat us. And we’re a bunch of cattle if we have to wait and say, “We’ve had it”. I think this whole idea of an opt-out day is just great. We ought to opt-out and make the point, get somebody to watch it and take a camera, it’s time for the American people to stand up, shrug off the shackles of our government and TSA at the airport.

These are Ron Paul’s prepared remarks:

Ron Paul: Mr. Speaker, today I introduce legislation to protect Americans from physical and emotional abuse by federal Transportation Security Administration employees conducting screenings at the nation’s airports. We have seen the videos of terrified children being grabbed and probed by airport screeners. We have read the stories of Americans being subjected to humiliating body imaging machines and/or forced to have the most intimate parts of their bodies poked and fondled. We do not know the potentially harmful effects of the radiation emitted by the new millimeter wave machines.

In one recent well-publicized case, a TSA official is recorded during an attempted body search saying, “By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights.” I strongly disagree and am sure I am not alone in believing that we Americans should never give up our rights in order to travel. As our Declaration of Independence states, our rights are inalienable. This TSA version of our rights looks more like the “rights” granted in the old Soviet Constitutions, where freedoms were granted to Soviet citizens — right up to the moment the state decided to remove those freedoms.

The incident of the so-called “underwear bomber” last Christmas is given as justification for the billions of dollars the federal government is spending on the new full-body imaging machines, but a Government Accountability Office study earlier this year concluded that had these scanners been in use they may not have detected the explosive material that was allegedly brought onto the airplane. Additionally, there have been recent press reports calling into question the accuracy and adequacy of these potentially dangerous machines.

My legislation is simple. It establishes that airport security screeners are not immune from any US law regarding physical contact with another person, making images of another person, or causing physical harm through the use of radiation-emitting machinery on another person. It means they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

Imagine if the political elites in our country were forced to endure the same conditions at the airport as business travelers, families, senior citizens, and the rest of us. Perhaps this problem could be quickly resolved if every cabinet secretary, every member of Congress, and every department head in the Obama administration were forced to submit to the same degrading screening process as the people who pay their salaries.

I warned at the time of the creation of the TSA that an unaccountable government entity in control of airport security would provide neither security nor defend our basic freedom to travel. Yet the vast majority of both Republicans and Democrats then in Congress willingly voted to create another unaccountable, bullying agency– in a simple-minded and unprincipled attempt to appease public passion in the wake of 9-11. Sadly, as we see with the steady TSA encroachment on our freedom and dignity, my fears in 2001 were justified.

The solution to the need for security at US airports is not a government bureaucracy. The solution is to allow the private sector, preferably the airlines themselves, to provide for the security of their property. As a recent article in Forbes magazine eloquently stated, “The airlines have enormous sums of money riding on passenger safety, and the notion that a government bureaucracy has better incentives to provide safe travels than airlines with billions of dollars worth of capital and goodwill on the line strains credibility.” In the meantime, I hope we can pass this legislation and protect Americans from harm and humiliation when they choose to travel.


  • jimstar79

    Can not understand what made you put that awful music on top of Ron Paul making that statement?!? Will now have to go and find it elsewhere.

  • Joachim Troilius

    I agree with Mr. Paul.

    From all of these occurences, on airlines, I’ve made a conclusion, that would be in line with the Constitution: If people’s rights were upheld, as per the Constitution, a lot less crimes, among those; terrorism, would be a lot more difficult to perpetrate, for the perpetrators.

    A tough, hardened, less herdable and more self-sustaining people, as per the Constitution, with guns, would be a considerably less palatable target, for these criminals. They are usually not very brave.

    And also, if the U.S. hadn’t been entangled in all these over-seas activities and alliances, there would have been no reason, to attack the U.S.

    The Constitution prohibited the U.S. from entering such alliances and activities.

    The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing, when writing that clause into the Constitution.

    Going along the line of the inalienable rights, given in the Constitution, and the right, of Americans to carry weapons, I have another idea, of how to improve safety, on airlines:

    Much in the way of how oxygen masks can be dispensed, at the flip of a switch, by the pilots, in the cockpit, in case of an emergency, a similar switch could be installed, for a gun, to be dispensed, at each row of seats, in the case of an emergency.

    I think that would have an immensely prohibitive effect, for any would-be-highjacker, to try to transgress, against his fellow travellers.

    And it would uphold the individual rights and dignities, as described in the Constitution.

    In the case of a bomber, it would do no good, for passengers, to be armless, anyway.

    And, as said before, if the U.S. focused on taking care of its own businesses, as per the Constitution, and not meddling in overseas affairs, also as per the Constitution, there would be little incentive for overseas maniacs to do anything in the U.S.

    That would also be preventive, for overseas terrorists, in doing stupid things in the U.S.

  • WellIAMScottish

    I don’t want the government to be groping inside my underwear. Are they perverts or what?!

  • Deborah McKnight

    I like Ron Paul speaking out against the Fed, I just wish he would also tell how it was rejected in the 1800’s for the very problems we have today, Hoover approved it and regretted it,

    The Fed is not part of our government but an international banking system that prints money that we pay them interest on,

    we do not benefit from the FED, get rid of it and the rest of the enormous federal government and return issues of the states to back to the states,

    there should be a Constitution Commission that stands at the door of congress , white house and the senate and determines if the problem to be solved needs to remain at the state level, thus keeping Federal government small.

    Praying for Israel and Christians and understand our Judeo-Christian roots here in America and to understand Islam and muslims are required to take what they want by thier kuran and to lie about those intentions.

    • Fem

      Fanatism and violence has no religion, belief, or respect for anything or anybody, it’s just extreme behavior.

      I think Ron Paul is right when he asks the government people to check out the procedure on themselves, that should bring some of them back to reality, more in tune with the public. However, the rich enough with private planes would still be in ‘wonderland’.

      I respect other religions, I wish peace for israel and middle east, and I am confortable with being brought up catholic, rather appreciate it even more now.

      Peace we will have if we look for it, and live for it.

    • dan

      There’s no such thing as Judeo-Christians! Either you’re a jew or a Christian. One accepts Jesus as their savior and the other rejects him. They rejected his message of peace, love and kindness and had him murdered. What they wanted from God was an cruel, powerful ass kicker! This reflects who they really are as a people in whole. I don’t see every jew as in on a plot, but there is a plot, and the synogogues are the center.

      Only because one came from the other or preceded it, does not tie them or the followers of the two together. It’s just a scam designed to align Christians with Jews.
      It’s sory of like people who believe in evolution calling themselves monkey-men.
      There are no monkey-men; either you’re a man or a monkey.

      Jesus was not a jew; he was the Spirit of the Lord manifest in a human body.

  • Harold

    Dr. Paul

    I for one am behind your bill. I realize that there has to be a level of safety, but I believe the government is just mucking it up all in the name of political correctness and absence of any common sense.

    Why is it that a veteran, a veteran who during his service was responsible for a great number of nuclear facilites, a veteran who underwent extensive background checks and received a secret security clearance, a veteran who has proven time and time again he is not a criminal now can not fly on a commercial aircraft without being fondled, irradiated, and humilated?

    I am such a veteran and I know of countless more. It is absolutely ridiculous to group every man, woman, and child into a group that are guilty until proven innocent. I resent the fact I am treated like a criminal everytime, and I mean everytime I try to utilize commercial air transportation. Why can’t we have a system that once an individual has proven him or herself as a trustworthy, patriotic, citizen and that him or her is in no way a threat to anyone, exempts that person from such humilation?

    If it offends some people tough cookies. I am offended everytime I go to the airport.

  • WellIAMScottish

    THANK YOU to the gentleman named Ron Paul. THANK YOU for saying on the floor of Congress what the rest of us will never have the opportunity to say. THANK YOU for standing up for us!

  • RockmannCRX

    Thank God for Ron Paul. The “powers that be” were so petrified of him that they wouldn’t even let him the the “republican” debates. He is a Real American for America!

  • matt7t6

    to me its quite simple:

    2 atomic bombs whipped out the 2 japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki… an unspeakable act of inhumanity that America never honestly regreted. On 9/11 2 Planes crashed into the 2 towers of the WTC…. for me this is the payback of an old bill, with the divine signature of our creator and judge.

  • Thank you for posting the Petition Link … I’m passing it along and I hope it goes viral!

  • UNIQUE1982

    Four letters, H E R O.

  • TerrorWarrior5000

    Ron Paul wants the next Sadamo Bin Laden to pull of 9/11 part 2. That is why he is against this.

  • michael67394307


  • huddlstn

    Google Don Cordell for President, then find the link about Obama tells you he is not an American Citizen.

  • huddlstn

    YouTube tells me Error when I try to tell you Obama is not an American Citizen, I guess YouTube wants to block Don Cordell for President telling you the truth.

  • mark berry

    The government has gone too far with these intrusive searches. Since no Democrats are speaking out against them I support you. Someone must draw lines.


    WHat TSA needs to do is put the scanners and body checkers in our immigration offices/borders and be scanning all the visas we are giving to these terrosit. The underwaer bomber had a American visa, the last guy had a visa then got his American citizenship, were been violated at the airports and our government is giving out visas like candy. I can see what there doing to scare the nitwits to thinking we need to be in the middle east, come on AMerica wake UP, where is the russian and chinese armies batlleing al quida.???? its a force we made so oil comapnies and other agendas can get us in the middle east. We need to care about America we have two wars started from lies and no end in site, spending billions looking for MR goodbar or al quida. No MORE stop givng the terrosit visas. If we protected our borders for real not like were doing at the Mexico where it is like a Walmart door. We need these scanners at our borders and even before that before you come here from Germany and before they come they should be scanned before giving a visa. Why are we giving terrosit who are unedcated visas to come here? thats what America should be asking. I can see if they were an Engineers, doctors, all our imiigration stystem does is let in all the manure. We would not have 9/11 if the governemtn was doing there jobs to protecting the borders. LEts bring our military home and make them all border patrol and guess what we wold not have terrosim and we would not have to get naked on flights to go from california to Las vegas NV

  • Whitney


    On optoutday stick a banana down your pants and let the TSA deal with that.

  • Dre4dwolf

    People like rationalizing irrational acts with emotions, no matter what we do, the people lost on 9/11 will never come back, the last thing they would want is more innocent people to die in their name, and to have their deaths exploited for a cause that will create more violence.
    We are not fighting war on terror, we are fighting a war against freedom.
    If USA was doing the right thing in the first place 9/11 would of never happened, terrorists are the outcome of OUR foreign policy.

  • Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch) said it best in “Network”

    “…I want all of you to get up out of your chairs…

    I’m as mad hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!!

    • Howard Beale:
      [talking normally] I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad.

      [voice rising to shouting] You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell,

      [shouting] ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it:

      [screaming at the top of his lungs] “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

  • Dre4dwolf

    if terrorist started shoving bombs up their bum, you would permit a TSA agent to stick his finger up your bum hole?
    So far we have lost more people fighting the war on terror than where lost in the events that started it.
    So 3000 people die, we send thousands more to die to avenge the deaths? what next? send thousands more to avenge the deaths of the avengers?0o
    War has to end eventually, and if it doesn’t we will eventually run out of people willing to die for a lost cause.