Ron Paul: The Revolt Against TSA

by Ron Paul

The growing revolt against invasive TSA practices is encouraging to Americans who are fed up with federal government encroachment in their lives. In the case of air travelers, this encroachment is quite literally physical. But a deep-seated libertarian impulse still exists within the American people, and opposition to the new TSA full body scanner and groping searches is gathering momentum.

I introduced legislation last week that is based on a very simple principle: federal agents should be subject to the same laws as ordinary citizens. If you would face criminal prosecution or a lawsuit for groping someone, exposing them to unwelcome radiation, causing them emotional distress, or violating indecency laws, then TSA agents should similarly face sanctions for their actions.

This principle goes beyond TSA agents, however. As commentator Lew Rockwell recently noted, the bill “enshrines the key lesson of the freedom philosophy: the government is not above the moral law. If it is wrong for you and me, it is wrong for people in government suits… That is true of TSA crimes too.” The revolt against TSA also serves as a refreshing reminder that we should not give in to government alarmism or be afraid to question government policies.

Certainly, those who choose to refuse the humiliating and potentially harmful new full body scanner machines may suffer delays, inconveniences, or worse. But I still believe peaceful resistance is the most effective tool against federal encroachment on our constitutional rights, which leads me to be supportive of any kind of “opt-out” or similar popular movements.

After all, what price can we place on our dignity, personal privacy, and physical integrity? We have a right not to be treated like criminals and searched by federal agents without some reasonable evidence of criminal activity. Are we now to accept that merely wishing to travel and board an aircraft give rise to reasonable suspicion of criminality?

Also, let’s not forget that TSA was created in the aftermath of 9/11, when far too many Americans were clamoring for government protection from the specter of terrorism. Indeed it was congressional Republicans, the majority party in 2001, who must bear much of the blame for creating the Department of Homeland Security and TSA in the first place. Congressional Republicans also overwhelmingly supported the Patriot Act, which added to the atmosphere of hostility toward civil liberties in the name of state-provided “security.”

But as we’ve seen with TSA, federal “security” has more to do with humiliation and control than making us safe. It has more to do with instilling a mindset of subservience, which is why laughable policies such as removing one’s shoes continue to be enforced. What else could explain the shabby, degrading spectacle of a long line of normally upbeat Americans shuffling obediently through airport security in their stocking feet?

TSA may be merely symbolic of much bigger problems with the federal government, but it is an important symbol and we have a real chance to do something about it. We must seize this opportunity, before TSA offers some cosmetic compromise or the media spotlight fades. If you don’t live in my congressional district, please consider contacting your member of Congress and asking him or her to cosponsor HR 6416, the American Traveler Dignity Act of 2010. With enough help, we can push the bill to a vote early next year. Unless grassroots Americans take action, federal agencies like TSA will continue to bully us and ignore our basic constitutional freedoms.


  • bluesparrowfish

    boycott the airlines…………! fly only charter!

  • MrDeathSmiles

    God bless you, sir. God bless you.

    If you aren’t the president come next election, I see no hope left in humanity. You’re the only politician I see that supports what is right, and you also do all of this with passion and it shows.

  • SandGs72

    …RP, you got it all going on my friend!! Now go kick some ass in 2012!!…

  • RonPaulWI

    TSA at airports remind me Nazi checkpoints. Ron Paul 2012

  • sizmike

    American society is going down the toilet, along with it’s jobs and wealth. There are a myriad of signs indicating the decline of the empire. The U.S freedom to travel is gone. Americans are not born free, but rather as a subject of thier government.

    Federal agencies are 100% immune to the law. I hope saddam was worth it.

  • 3monkeysmomma

    I heard on the news this morning that 80% of the American public SUPPORTS this. BOVINE EXCREMENT!

    Write your elected officials. Demand this stop!

  • joepauljoe

    Statistics are #`s of reality…it has been shown that the predominate figure(s) are of muslim and islamic decent that are and have tried to start problems for dissenters(infadels) and yet the people of muslim faith(women) are exempt from these invasive searches.Don`t for a minute that this rule won`t be exploited and what are the TSA thinking in having this exemption for this rule.This isn`t a racist rant as many have called folks that voice their opinion for people of another race or religion

  • campaign4liberty

    Ron Paul 2012!
    visit LibertyPoet

  • golearnthetruthnow

    People in general have not learnt how to say no! To many decide to live on their knees and this needs to stop! Say no to scanners! Say no to drowning yourself in some reality show to distract yourself! To many NEED to WORK for FOOD! And we need to one day figure out how to grow food instead of selling out for it!

  • golearnthetruthnow

    Rise Up! 2012

  • jetsamjetsam

    lets hope that airlines will lobby and reverse this bullshit

  • Samulisami

    We need to start systematicly assasinate every member of illuminati,bilderberg etc etc and kill their whole familys and friends too so the world will be free from those foul parasites! <3


  • donttreadonmyass

    Boy the weeks just fly-by!!

  • ChanWoem

    I think thats what they want..for us to not fly..they are putting TSA at bus stops now and im sure they will start stop check points on our interstates..

  • marco114

    I normally fly home a couple times a year. It’s a long flight, from east coast to west. This year, I’m driving. And to think I used to work for the airlines. NPR has an article about concerns of radiation, search in google: NPR 05/17 Concern

  • fizzywool

    To address the security issue on board large commercial aircraft the answer is to insist on our bill of rights. The bill of rights acknowleges our god given right to self defence. That means we should all been encouraged and equiped with non lethal arms called tazzers as we enter the hatch of the aircraft. These are to be use aganist any threat the you personally deem dangerous. Your right to self defence insures not only your safety but also the entire planes safety. Your personal rights count

  • fizzywool

    The solution is repeal of the entire so called patriot act to begin with. Then continue to repeal the rest of the unconstitutional laws that have been piled on one after the other. We have the legality filter. If a law violates the laws against the government( the constitution and our bill of rights) the the law is illegal and must be repealed. Start with the TSA and the Patriot act. finish with laws like the ones making criminals out of brain damaged drug abusers.

  • jacobin111

    Everyone should file lawsuits against TSA.

    That would be brutal.

  • nvsyru

    Perhaps air travelers should be asking TSA agents for a search warrant. If they can’t produce one, don’t consent to being searched. Change comes from individuals, one by one, standing up for our rights. Our 4th amendment protects us against unwarranted searches, Government should protect and enforce these rights, and the people must demand these rights be respected.

    Thanks to Ron Paul for taking a firm stand on this issue. All should contact their congressman in support of HR-6416.

  • ZullGostnu2

    The TSA doesn’t understand because it is made up of psychopaths.