Fire the TSA? Here’s the Super Shady Story Behind ‘Public Outrage’ at Airports

With each day the drama around TSA body scans takes on new twists and turns. Earlier this week I penned an article pointing out the hypocrisy displayed by many who are seemingly up in arms about their ‘junk being touched during pat downs or pictures of their privates from the scans being posted on the internet. It was just two or three months ago many of these same people were insisting that Muslims be searched from head to toe. They wanted religious garb removed and searched. They wanted people profiled. They wanted no stone unturned in the pursuit of safety and our fight against terror.

I found the whole thing laughable and those who were complaining a bit self centered. We’re looking at folks, both men and women who are sagging in all the wrong places shouting on local newscasts that TSA agents better not post their private parts on the Internet. Your looking and saying..Are you kidding me?   Yeah right? Maybe if the machines actually kept and stored pictures. They don’t. But seriously folks.. please just stop. This is not about grandma and grandpa having their body parts on youtube. And trust, nobody’s trying to sexualize you on a pat down. That’s the distraction from a much  deeper story.

To see this nationwide turn around where everyone is willing to forgo safety concerns to maintain their vanity had a foul stench that was hard to pin down. Something about this ‘outraged’ reeked of an orchestrated campaign, similar to the ones we saw last summer when folks were up in arms about healthcare. Y’all remember those days when this new crop of activists would show up at townhalls and disrupt them. At first it seemed genuine and spontaneous but after seeing them for a while you came to realize there was a pattern to them.  For starters it wasnt as many as you’d thought. Folks would spread themselves out in a room to create the illusion of having large numbers. Second many of the folks were actually pretty well off and not in any sort of financial jeopardy as they suggested. I know one of the protests I went to in nearby Danville, organizer oblivious to the fact I’m a journalist, handed me their cards. Two of the loudest people there were executives at healthcare facilities. They had a financial interest in keeping the drama kicking.

Not to digress, But I bring all this up because I recall how so many of us were initially taken back and fooled. Many of us got caught up and believed that some sort of large-scale mass revolt against healthcare was occurring. It wasnt. What we witnessed was a well-funded highly organized stealth campaign. This current call to action against the TSA (transportation security agency) seems to be the same thing.

What really underscored this for me was hearing something said in passing on one of the local newscasts. It’s too bad there was no follow-up, but it was revealed that there’s a push to Fire the TSA and replace them with ‘professional’ private security firms..Say what you will, but this is another step at corporate dominance. It’s a push to privatize everything.  Just like the so-called healthcare protestors.  They wanted to get rid of the pubic option.  Here we have the government-run TSA and a push to put the operation under private, corporate control.

The one leading this charge is Republican Congressman John Mica out of Florida. For those who don’t know Mica is a ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He will head that committee when the new congress convenes in January and the Republicans  take charge.

Mica has made the usual GOP talking points. He asserts the TSA is a bloated bureaucracy and needs to be streamlined. Sounds kind of funny when you take into account that Mica was one the chief co-sponsors of the Airport Security Federalization Act of 2001 that help put the TSA on the map in the aftermath of 9-11.

Congressman John Mica

When then President George Bush was insisting that we give him blank checks to fight the war on terror, Mica was right there supporting him. If folks recall it was seen as being ‘unpatriotic’ to not support any and all moves to make our airports safe. The TSA which is under the jurisdiction of Homeland Security was pointed out to be a key frontline agency to help combat the war on terror. Mica was a supporter.

When it was time to cut budgets and pare down so called bloated agencies, Mica introduced bills that cut welfare and student loans etc. he was up in arms about the TSA. But nowadays he’s running around saying we need to get rid of the TSA because the lines are too long??? Weren’t people like Mca telling us from day one after 9-11 to show up for our flights 2 hours a head of time so we could be safetly checked in??

Also folks should keep in mind there’s call for travelers to opt out of getting full body scans this Wednesday. The plan as stated is to slow down the lines and make folks call for sweeping changes with the TSA.

So now we have high ranking congressman smashing on a government  agency that he help star and generously fund complaining the lines are too long and we would be better off with private security guards. Mica has already written letters to 100 airport heads urging them to get rid of the TSA.. He’s already gotten the Orlando airport which is in his district to get rid of the TSA.

Really? What private firms would that be you ask? Well according to a recent ABC news article, over the past 13 years, Mica has  received almost $81,000 in campaign donations from political action committees and executives connected to some of the private contractors already at 16 U.S. airports. Once again its all about the money, the shadiness of a corporatist congressman and the manipulation of a public thats getting wall to wall coverage on the evening news about Price William getting married and not some simple investigative reporting about why we’re having protests against a screening process we all insisted we needed

Finally lets take this to its final conclusion. Why else are people like Congressman Mica pushing to fire the TSA? Because the TSA like most first responders including police and firemen had been fighting to unionize. It was something President Obama said he would help them do back in 2008. It was something vigorously opposed by South Carolina Senator Jim Demint who  said that if the TSA were to join a union it would increase terrorism.

So what this boils down to is union busting and political kickbacks and favors.  What folks also don’t know is that any private security firm would have to follow the same exact procedures as the TSA except they would get paid less. Its not like the TSA employers are making tons of money. They’re our fellow citizens doing a job thats important . They’re our neighbors, family and friends who upon getting their pay check probably show up at your local coffee shop and grocery store and contribute to the local economy.

Michael Chertoff

Mica is one of those breeds of Congressman who is on the haterism tip on behalf of corporate security firms. Him and his croonies yearn for the days when we are the oppressive beck and call of a handful of corporate barons who want to work you for long hours and pay you substantially less. This means you as a worker will forever be economically beholden to the whims of your employer.  In other words you may wind up with a dead end job that you have to keep because you can barely get buy.

We can’t end this off without talking about former Department of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff, remember him?  Well during his reign under george Bush, he’s the one who pushed for these full body scanners that we are supposed to be objecting to. When he was advocating, very few pointed out that Chertoff had a business relationship with the manufacture Rapiscan Systems. Even now as folks are being critical, few people are calling Chertoff to the carpet for subjecting us to this invasive machine.

So Chertoff got paid and now Mica wants to get paid.. and they say the music industry is shady

Something to ponder

-Davey D-

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Comments

  1. InfTruthRadioCK says:

    I’m one of those who think the scanners are an invasion of privacy. I think the close-to-fondling pat downs are as well. I am one of those who didn’t support the introduction and implementation of the patriot act, and I am one who still does not support its enforcement under Pres. Obama. You are right, many of those who are against it are hypocrites, and that weakens the argument from them that this is a gross invasion of privacy.

    One thing I’d like to add though, is that the machines are capable and do save the images of scanned individuals. This was in a CBS News article recently. What is the difference between covert wiretapping and overt wiretapping? The only difference is whether you know are not. With scanning or these pat downs, you have the option of choosing which type of invasion of privacy you get… Its still wrong.

    • I am not suggesting that there weren’t people concerned about this.. There was a website dedicated to flyers that honed in on this.. Flyersrights.org I believe.. However, lets not confuse individual acts that weren’t super organized, were not addressed in mainstream left circles and did not receive a fraction of the publicity this well funded lobby effort has.. At best lets say this issue was hijacked.. Cause if Mica and Demint are not about protecting privacy.. They’re about protecting profits and used the concerns around the scanner as guise.. If anything these folks wanna take this private so it becomes even harder to reign in.. Corporations have more power and leeway then the govt anyday..

  2. InfTruthRadioCK says:

    My initial comments were made prior to reading the blog in its entirety. One good way to see why there are certain movements and the like is to follow the money… Good work on this one dude!

  3. Private companies are created by citizens. The TSA is a government created entity. Ron Paul spoke out on the house floor against the TSA and actually called out Michael Chertoff by name a couple days ago. So people are aware. You just need to realize that the democrats are just as much to blame for our problems as the repubs are.

    Here’s Ron Paul’s awesome speech defending our liberties at home and calling out the profiteers like Michael Chertoff.

    • Ron paul speaking two days ago and influencing a movement agaisnt privacy violations is too little too late and inconsistent.. Chertoff did this under Bush with everyone uner the gun of being labeled unaptriotic if we didnt do everything to protect travelers.. This is not a dem vs GOp thing .. its about corporatist and in this case the party soon to be in charge is being pretty upfront with their intentions.. Chertoof got paid and now its time for the security firms

  4. The easiest tip-off on Mica comes when you reralize that any private airport screeners would have to follow the same TSA screening guidelines — which means that nothing would change for the flying public. The only thing different would be who was getting paid.

  5. adrielhampton says:

    Davey, Are you advocating the left sit this one out? That government employees implementing an insane policy are preferable to private contractors implementing an insane policy? I say both are wrong.
    And I supported Obama over Hilary Clinton partly because I don’t like an individual mandate when private health insurance companies get windfall profits. This TSA fiasco, much like the minimal health care reform we are got, is another example of government/corporate union for the profits of the few at the pain of the many.
    The left should have fought the Wall Street bailouts (including this months’ “Quantitative Easing”), and we need to be fighting this.
    I understand where you are going, but the left’s continued inability to harness populist rage for the right causes is making me ill.
    Fire Pistole and Napolitano. End DADT. U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan. End the Fed and the Drug War.

    • I didn’t advocate anything except understand what’s at play here kickbacks and double dipping into public coffers for lots of money by the same camp.. all this stuff about radiation in scanners has nothing to do with the narrative unfolding now..

      One should be principled and hold those who violate us accountable.. in this case Mica..next we should not allow inncocent workers to be scapegoated.. thats the rank and file TSA workers who wanted to form a union..

  6. The problem has been identified.
    not-unionizing=more $ for one or two bosses AT THE EXpense of hundreds or more.

    I haven’t heard solutions though?
    Any suggestions?

    Your only as strong as your weakest link.1. The TSA workers must be educated thouroughly as to the sitution.
    2. you have to expose deflection by in this case Mica and the other. Many street bosses use deflectuion to dummify or ram thetre agenda; i’m sure the same in corpr.
    3. once everryones organized on the same page; you must never settle or sell out. The pressure will too extreme for guys like Mica. Its amazing how quickly they’ll fold or maybe if there somwhat strong try to compromise or plea bargain so to speak but unlikely. This must be communicated from the bottom up to create excitement. This excitement that snowballs can be devastating.

  7. Union activists need to play hardball. Will the union refuse to violate passengers’ 4th Amendment rights?

    • Adriel show me these long lines of outraged passengers.. I was at airport all weekend.. saw one person opt out..but I’ll wait.. U dont like 4th amendment rights being violated..show me how this new concern is connected to communities where this routinely happens with our public servant police.. I’ll wait..

  8. “Maybe if the machines actually kept and stored pictures. They don’t.”

    Oh, really?

    One Hundred Naked Citizens: One Hundred Leaked Body Scans

    http://gizmodo.com/5690749/these-are-the-first-100-leaked-body-scans

    A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., obtained by a FOIA request after it was recently revealed that U.S. Marshals operating the machine in the Orlando, Florida courthouse had improperly-perhaps illegally-saved images of the scans of public servants and private citizens.

  9. sabrina4mumia says:

    If you think this isbad -last summer I had to travel via columbia. I had to go thru immigration multiple times and when conecting with panama city panama everything got search and yes pat downs. these were the countries not citiest of the usa. They went via all of my dreads yanking thru them. this was August abig hoax to get a big contract etc. hey what took so long for the outcry. In dc the body scanners they have at train stations 2 years ago. going thru the body scanners I come out with an extreme headaches. Am I the only one and yet they say no harm. This is a priority for amerikkka but not the many lives that are being lost in Haiti???? I told someone when they have massive people with cholera in florida NYC and dc area then they see the freezer burn when it is too late.

  10. Lots of assumptions and half-truths in this article. For one thing, the author is throwing the baby out with the bathwater on this issue. He does not seem to take into account the fact that the new policies require people to submit to what is essentially a “strip search”. the alternative being a full body, more aggressive pat-down, including the touching of genitals. Both options are new and extremely invasive. This is the true reason for the outrage. It violates our 4th amendments rights and privacy. It treats law-abiding citizens like terrorist suspects. While there may be some opportunism with private companies trying to drum up business, that is not what is driving the grassroots outrage. Also, the author cannot be certain that a private security will have the same policies. There is no law requiring them to. One shouldn’t confuse a government agency’s policies with law. There is a difference.

    • Keef..save it fam.. u were no where to be seen after 9-11.. I personally lost my job speaking out against the War on terror bc I saw it from day one as being a remake of the war on drugs.. I never heard anyone complaining abt 2 hr waits, and pat down since 9-11..

      In many of these airports scanners have been there for over a year.. Many activists and many Muslims were already getting full body intrusive searches.. There was no outrage.. It was some activist who had legit concerns and it overshadowed by the need to feel safe.. Even this week I was at two airports and specifically watched to see where this outrage..One in SFO the other in Texas.. There was NO DAMN outrage.. only one person in one hr of observation opted out..

      Lastly Keef do ur homework.. SFO has private security who do they answer to? DHS.. Seeing folks like Bobby Jindal and others say we need to be concerned about the american traveler is 10 yrs too late.. they were the ones who insisted we go all out and search folks.. They also remained quiet when the full body scanners were being sold to us by Bush’s boy Chertoff..

      Lastly if this was such a huge concern, show me the bills introduced to shut this down and change procedures.. I’ll wait.. ……

      We know this is BS bc one attempt to minimize this was to have special express lines with private companies like CLEAR.. 50-100 dollars a year allowed u to forgo long lines etc.. That operation did nothing.. show me the high demand??

  11. This “outrage” is phoney. It makes you think when folks say you can’t always appease the public…there’s probably some corporate shills who made that up in their latest hustle. I guess it could be safe to say that when code-words such as “government takeover” or “big government” are used, some corporate stiff or politrick is behind it. Reminds me of Rep. Issa and his phoney, future attempt at impeachment (huh?)…he used to run the company that made Viper Alarms and is one of the richest members of Congress…again, make you think!

  12. They just stripped searched a kid. The funny and the not-so-funny of TSA:
    http://abetterwaytotradestocks.blogspot.com/2010/11/funny-and-not-so-funny-tsa.html

    • nude..How will that change when privitized? The same procedures will be in place and whatever security firm used will follow dictates as prescribed by DHS.. so what are u really saying?

  13. Real Brother here.

    I think its a ploy to get TSA to ease up on security so that they can blame Obama for an attack. Check out my Blog on this:http://wp.me/p18LGX-3f

    TKCAL

  14. as someone with a very arabic/muslim sounding name who traveled to and from the arab world for years, i have been experiencing these “pat downs” for nearly a decade. thank you for pointing out the hypocrisy of this new public outrage. it’s a bitch to be treated like an Arab in post-9/11 america isnt it?

  15. “hawk.. firing the TSA does not get rid of the machines.. so whats ur point??”

    I don’t know how I can make this any clearer.

    You wrote an article claiming “Maybe if the machines actually kept and stored pictures. They don’t.”

    And I directed your attention to a website that proved that statement wrong. Took me all of about 45 seconds to find it.

    Seriously, you need to work on your research. If you just make stuff up and post it online people will call you out on it.

  16. I really feel the scans and pat downs are an invasion of our rights. It is an ever growing effort to help us surrender our power. My protest has nothing to do with body shame or hypocrisy against muslims. We are marching like a bunch of sheep into a closed society. These procedures and the willingness ‘for safety’s sake’ are an endorsement that we should fear the muslims and Arabs. I feel less threatened by the so called terrorists than those implementing these policies without it ever going before congress or allowing public discussion or descent. Frankly Davey, I am surprised that you buy into the fear mongering of the control machine.

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