September 8, 2011
TSA to Reward Frequent Fliers Who Give Up More of Their Privacy
By James Wilson

Stung by bad publicity, the TSA is making "reforms." One of them is to give frequent fliers a "choice": give up even MORE of your privacy for greater convenience!

Isn't this just more evidence that the TSA should be ABOLISHED, instead of reformed?

I wrote a letter telling Congress to do just that, and I invite you to do the same.

You may borrow from or copy this letter...

The TSA is under fire. So, it is trying to make some improvements, such as...

Transitioning away from "naked" body scanners. Their "reforms" even include a trusted flier program to enjoy a more streamlined screening experience. Sounds good, right?

But this proposal requires you to give up even MORE of your privacy.

It is fundamentally wrong that the people must request permission, from the federal government, to board an airliner.

The Supreme Court said in United States v. Guest ( that "The constitutional right to travel from one State to another, and necessarily to use the highways and other instrumentalities of interstate commerce in doing so, occupies a position fundamental to the concept of our Federal Union. It is a right that has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized."

The very existence of the TSA, however, spits in the face of the Constitution...

  • In violation of the Fourth Amendment, it conducts unreasonable searches against EVERY flier, almost all of whom provide no cause for reasonable suspicion
  • In violation of the Fifth Amendment, it denies the right to fly to those who refuse to cooperate -- depriving them of liberty without due process of law

It is not surprising that an unconstitutional agency will abuse its power. Here's just ONE list of ten TSA outrages:

No wonder people don't want to fly. According to the U.S. Travel Association (

  • On average, each person avoids two to three trips a year because of the hassles of airport-security screening
  • Which amounts to an estimated $85 billion in lost business for hotels, restaurants, airlines, and other travel suppliers
  • And there's a huge loss of productivity from those who DO fly. Think of the time wasted at airports because travelers have to arrive early, uncertain about how long it will take to get through security

YOU know as well as I that if private screeners treated passengers the way the TSA does...

  • They'd face lawsuits from the public and likely investigation by the Department of Justice
  • And probable criminal prosecution under state laws

Heck, you or your colleagues would probably want to haul them up before a committee to demand answers!

Ironically, private screeners would NOT DARE treat their customers this way...

  • Airlines have an interest in keeping their passengers safe
  • Airlines also have an interest in making the passenger experience as enjoyable as possible

Under a private airline security system, airports, airlines, and their insurance companies would develop innovative, un-intrusive methods to keep passengers safe. The most effective methods would be adopted by more airlines, who unlike the TSA must satisfy customers.

Airline security may have been "private" before 9/11. But it was still tightly regulated. Congress should abolish the TSA, AS WELL AS federal regulations. Airlines and their insurance companies would be held liable for hijackings, terrorist attacks, or other mishaps.

I would feel safer on an airliner with PRIVATE security and DEREGULATED procedures.


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Thank you for being a DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka

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