There have been a lot of statements about the new TSA required WBI virtual strip search/enhanced pat-down groping. Personally, I’ve already written to my congressional representative—you can too! Also, I will be protesting the WBI virtual strip search which I feel is a trampling of my 4th amendment rights by Opting Out and receiving the enhanced pat-down.
If you feel strongly about this you need to protest now and write your representatives now when the media spectacle is high or else the WBI scanning will become mandatory like it is in the UK now and it will be hard if not impossible to go back. It’s important to note that if the WBI becomes mandatory you may still be required to receive the enhanced pat-down if they think they spot something on the scanner (a stray item in your pocket, strange clothing, etc.)
As I see it we have two choices:
- We allow these new enhanced security requirements to stay in place in exchange for a small safety advantage.
- Or we protest this trampling of our 4th amendment rights and accept that there is a remote but possible chance of death by underwear bomb.
Option 1 comes with a whole sort of problems including:
- The Whole Body Imaging (WBI) virtual strip search (which will likely be made mandatory as it is in the UK if we don’t protest this) which is uncomfortable for some with sexual trauma.There are also some possible minor detrimental health effects with backscatter x-rays.
- The enhanced groping style pat-down, which is required if they see anything on the WBI. This is definitely uncomfortable for people with sexual trauma; depending on how strong of a panic reaction they get they’ll either never be able to fly again or they’ll be able to get through it in an Ativan haze.
- Worse lines at airports (the WBI take longer than the metal detectors and the pat-downs take even longer)
- Higher infrastructure costs to pay for the technology and private screening rooms
- underwear bombs being replaced by clever luggage bombs, butt plug bombs, tampon bombs, or fat guy bombs covered by rolls of flesh.
- Allowing more of our 4th amendment and privacy rights to be handed over to Homeland security in the guise of safety.
In contrast, option 2 only comes with one problem:
- A possible successful underwear bomber.
For me the choice is pretty clear. I don’t want to be treated like a prison inmate every time I fly, nor do I want others to especially those for whom it would be a traumatic experience, and for this I’m willing to risk the small possibility of an underwear bomber being on my flight. In any case, I don’t see this as an increased risk of being blown up since anyone willing to fill their underwear with PETN would also be willing to fill a butt plug with it (actually that may be a better way to pack it) which the WBI won’t spot unless they have no ass.
I make this decision for the same reason I choose to bicycle even though it is potentially more dangerous than driving. For the same reason I eat sushi. For the same reason I recreationally shoot firearms and fireworks. For the same reason I do a lot of things.