TSA agents could meet “reasonable suspicion” mandate if travelers set off metal detector or refuse naked body scan
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Despite Texas lawmakers claiming otherwise, the final Senate version of a bill that purports to criminalize invasive pat downs actually authorizes the TSA to continue groping travelers, mandating only that they need “reasonable suspicion” to indicate that the person may be carrying a prohibited object, which could easily be claimed if the person sets off a metal detector or refuses to undergo a full body scan.
Essentially, after weeks of federal threats and deliberate sabotage, the legislation passed by the Senate last night gives the TSA carte blanche to continue business as usual, because the language of the bill is completely toothless.
An even weaker version of the bill was passed the House yesterday as protesters, led by Austin-based radio host Alex Jones, chanted “treason” and “traitors” outside the chambers of both the House and Senate. The House will today hear the final Senate version of the bill.
The amended text of the Senate version (read it here) states that an invasive pat down is only criminal, “without reasonable suspicion of the presence of an unknown, unlawful, or prohibited object.”
The term “reasonable suspicion” replaces the previous and far stronger language of “probable cause”. Of course, the TSA will now merely claim that “reasonable suspicion” is met when a person either sets off a metal detector or refuses to undergo a naked body scan. In other words, this would mandate no change in current TSA policy.
On his Facebook page, the bill’s sponsor Senator Dan Patrick calls the legislation the “Best version (of) any of the previous bills,” before demanding that the House pass his incarnation when they meet today after 2pm.
The TSA Tyranny lobbying group, who previously withdrew support for the Senate version of the bill, applauded Patrick for his efforts.
“This is language that we can support – while not perfect, and not as strong as “probable cause”, the additional qualifiers limit the breadth of reason to grant authority to “search,” the group announced on their Facebook page.
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Patrick calls the legislation a “good bill” and a “huge win for liberty,” yet there will be many skeptics who merely view this as an authorization for the TSA to continue current policy, and nothing like a condemnation of their egregious behavior, characterized most recently by a case in which a sick 95-year-old grandmother was forced to remove her adult diaper during screening at Northwest Florida Regional Airport.
Although Patrick claims the Senate version is significantly stronger than the House version, the key provisions of each bill are almost identical.
Another indication that the bill passed yesterday by the House is a compromise too far is the fact that both Speaker of the House Joe Straus and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst immediately issued statements praising the legislation. As we have documented, Straus and Dewhurst have been instrumental in sabotaging the bill from the very beginning, gutting it of any real power.
The fact that Straus is now “satisfied” with a bill that just days ago he labeled an “ill-advised publicity stunt,” betrays just how meaningless the legislation has been rendered by the actions of these two apologists for big government.
Alex Jones is prolonging the fight to get a real bill passed that genuinely criminalizes invasive TSA groping. He is calling on all Texans to continue aggressively lobbying their representatives in a bid to mandate Rick Perry to create a new special session, by maintaining a presence at the Capitol to force lawmakers into following the will of the people.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.
This article was posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 5:57 am