Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A political Q&A

Some people running for Congress in a NY district were asked about the TSA policies by a local reporter. Here are their responses:

What is your position on the controversy surrounding TSA scanners and enhanced pat downs?
[Ian Murphy]: Well, that's a  complicated situation. It's real easy to get bent out of shape about some dude touching your “junk,” but some very credible reporters have claimed that the whole “Opt Out” movement was a carefully orchestrated PR campaign aimed at demonizing the TSA, which has been involved in a decade-long struggle to gain the same collective bargaining rights enjoyed by employees of all other federal agencies. And lo they have been demonized.
Astroturf aside, I have no problem with being scanned. And if you do “opt out” prepare to be frisked. I don't feel like I'm giving up any rights in this case, and I'd like to know that everyone on that plane was checked for explosives and other weapons too.
There's a  very big difference between something like this and something like the warrentless wiretapping in the Patriot Act. Our Constitution provides us protection against unwarranted search and seizure. It doesn't, however, give us the right to enter a potential flying bomb with weapons. To me, this seems by definition warranted.
[Kathy Hochul has no response]
 [Jane Corwin]: The TSA has a mission of keeping our airlines safe, however it seems clear – at least from some of the reports I’ve seen – that in some cases they have gone too far with their pat down policy.
[Jack Davis]: We need to start concentrating our resources on real potential threats and not squander them hassling average citizens.
They all sound like politicians, but it's good news that this topic has not died away and at least some candidates are being asked to make a statement on it.