The controversy over the TSA’s enhanced security procedures for people traveling through commercial airlines has now reached the point where former Governor Jesse Ventura will be suing the TSA over the procedures in what the TSA calls a necessary obligation to security. But are these body scanners necessary? Or is security in the nation becoming more about dollars than sense?
Ventura’s accusations suggest the TSA has violated his most basic rights including his right to privacy and dignity citing his fourth amendment rights against unnecessary search and seizure. There was, however, a court ruling in 1973 in US vs. Davis, section 482 F.2d 893,908 stating “noting that airport screenings are considered to be administrative searches because they are conducted as part of a general regulatory scheme where the essential administrative purpose is to prevent the carrying of weapons or explosives aboard aircraft.” The ruling was later passed into law by congress during a session which passed Public Law 107-71, the Aviation Transportation and Security Act virtually unopposed. Why would such a measure be passed into law unopposed? The bill was passed on November 19, 2001 just weeks after 9/11. This law essentially brought about the Transportation Security Administration as we know it today.
Jesse Ventura, who has a titanium implant that allows him to retain his ability to walk, received the life giving device in 2008. But with the new TSA devices, he has to undergo pat-down procedures which include in his words, “warrantless, non-suspicion-based offensive touching, gripping and rubbing.” Stating that he has a right to a reasonable amount of privacy, Ventura has stated that these security procedures violate this right to an unreasonable degree.
The TSA has left no comment as the lawsuit is pending litigation. But is there another side to this? Some have suggested that the enhanced security measures of the TSA have introduced a whole new industry that not only needs terrorists, but a constant fear of terrorism to exist in order to succeed. The pat-downs would serve as a constant reminder to keep people terrified of the prospect of terrorist attacks, and would allow companies to sell expensive body scanning devices that ultimately were not very effective at deterring future attacks.
Jesse Ventura is perhaps most well known these days for his involvement in the show Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, which covers conspiracies both national and international ranging from Area 51 to Chemtrails.
Though it isn’t the only lawsuit lobbied against the TSA and its enhanced pat-down procedures, the newest lawsuit is one of the more high profile cases involving the TSA in recent times. It will be interesting to see how this case develops as time goes on. Still some are voicing concern on behalf of Mr. Ventura hoping a powerful industry doesn’t attempt to topple his credibility before the case can go to trial.