TSA Critic, Senator Rand Paul, Prevented By TSA From Getting On His Flight To DC

from the he-might-be-a-terrorist dept

Senator Rand Paul has frequently criticized the TSA and its security theater at airports both for being intrusive and (more importantly) for not being effective. He's made the point repeatedly that it's a mistake to simply assume everyone may be a terrorist. So it's interesting to note that Paul himself was unable to board his flight to DC today after the TSA refused to let him through security. Apparently the scanner machine spotted something, and Paul refused a pat down. There was some dispute over whether or not he was "detained." The TSA denies "detention," which actually is an important issue, since you cannot detain elected officials on their way to Congress, according to Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution:
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
While the TSA says this wasn't a detention, it does raise questions over whether or not Senator Paul was "questioned in any other Place" while "going to..." his "respective" House. The White House put out a statement that kinda misses the point:
"I think it is absolutely essential that we take the necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe, and I believe that’s what TSA is tasked with doing."
Sure, it's essential. But does anyone think that patting down a US Senator has anything to do with ensuring that air travel is safe?

Filed Under: detention, privacy, rand paul, tsa


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2012 @ 2:34pm

    I'm the opposite...

    I refuse to go through a body scanner in order to board my plane - so I opt for the pat-down every single time. I realize that this is a blatant invasion of my personal space and privacy - and yet, I choose this because I believe it is the lesser of the two evils.

    I would rather force some TSA agent to put his hands on me every single time I show up at the airport, reminding him that this is what his organization demands of a fellow citizen - than to give them an "out" by going through their invasive (and potentially harmful) machine instead. I want them to know that I have a choice and will exercise it - and I feel better about the choice I'm making.

    If everyone had to do the patdowns - rather than be allowed to pass through this invasive "naked scanner" machine, which may or may not ultimately cause cancer someday, then I think the requirements would change pretty quickly.

    The conspiracy theorist in me believes that these requirements were very much pushed by the corporations that produce these body scanners and similar invasive technology so that they could unload their technology on the domestic market and rake in the taxpayer-funded-government-subsidies.

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