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Reload this Page > Today was the day...(The Michael Roberts/ExpressJet Story)

Today was the day...(The Michael Roberts/ExpressJet Story)


Old Oct 25, 10, 3:05 pm
  #451
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Originally Posted by N965VJ View Post
The Rutherford Institute Agrees to Represent Michael Roberts, Airline Pilot Who Refused to Submit to Virtual Strip Search

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — In a case involving the continuing encroachment of modern technology upon personal privacy, The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of an airline pilot who refused to submit to airport security screening that exposes intimate details of a person's body to government agents.





More commentary from John Whitehead, the Rutherford Institute's founder here:

<SNIP>

The bottom line is this: forcing Americans to undergo a virtual strip search as a matter of course in reporting to work or boarding an airplane when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing is a gross violation of our civil liberties. Indeed, putting yourself through the full-body scanner is the same as subjecting yourself to a strip search. It completely undermines one’s right to privacy and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents.

The Constitution does not allow blanket strip searches or full-body pat downs of American citizens unless there’s some reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot. If we allow the government to reverse the burden of proof so that we have to prove our innocence, then we might as well give up on the Constitution altogether. At that point, we are all suspects in the surveillance state.

Right now, this is one man’s battle against the surveillance state, but it should be every American’s battle. This is our fight, now, before it’s too late. Our country is rapidly moving toward a surveillance state where no one’s privacy or freedoms will be recognized anymore. A lot is at stake. It’s time to resist the ever-growing encroachments on our freedoms.

Excellent news! Good luck, Michael!

I read through the entire website, and hope this will turn out with good results!

Last edited by FriendlySkies; Oct 25, 10 at 3:19 pm
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Old Oct 25, 10, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by gatelouse View Post
The thing is, I don't believe that 100 ordinary flyers who follow in your footsteps would generate the requisite media attention. And it would just make the TSA even more reactive. But just 1 or 2 additional flight crew would make national headlines: "TREND--Another Airline Crew Walks Out on TSA." This would get the attention of the right people in the right places.
That's a very good point. And isn't it interesting that someone just told me the TSA managers in MEM have decided to open dedicated crew lines using only metal detectors. Hmmmm.

AT LEAST write your airline and let them know where you stand. Do it today, please.

Originally Posted by ralfp View Post
Seriously? What gives anyone the right to feel secure?

One does, however, have the right to be secure "against unreasonable searches and seizures" by the US government.
Very well said. Come on, people - I'm working this chink in the armor pretty much by myself here (with a lot of people cheering me on). Some of you are in a position to help in a direct way. All of you can spread the word. Think about the world we're going to leave for those who come after us - that's what this is about, and IT'S IMPORTANT!

Isn't it?

Below is an email I just received:

Good Afternoon,

I am writing this email in hopes of getting in contact with Michael Roberts.

Today when flying from Boston Logan to BWI my 17 year old daughter had quite an unpleasant experience due to the new scanner malfunctioning. There was some confusion of whether there was a scan or not. She was told that she needed to submit to a full pat down after being told "it did not scan" . She was told she would need a pat down. Being 17 she had no idea what that meant and how intense a full detailed full body pat down can be. Even when she began to cry, the TSA agent continued the pat down. My daughter felt molested and humiliated and as a parent I was helpless to stop this violation. Also, the gentleman behind her had a full body pat down which leads me to believe the machine was not working for anyone. However his pat down was not as intense as my daughters.

My daughter who is a seasoned traveler and even visited Israel this summer has never experienced such extreme searches If they were to have asked her the reason for her visit, as they do in other countries, they would have learned she was no threat and was merely on a college visit to MIT. As a parent, I have serious concerns that such a search would be done on a 17 year old minor. The searches cross the line, she was molested for no reason.

I really want Mr. Roberts to know that he is doing the right thing by standing up to TSA. These measures are not making it safer to fly, they are just arbitrary measures being done to make us believe it is safer at the same time it is taking advantage of law abiding citizens. I do hope he is successful in his fight against TSA.

I am sending a similar email to Southwest Airlines, Congressman Chris VanHollen and Boston Logan Airport. Until this issue is resolved, I will find an terminal/airport that does not have the full body scan or I will have her take the train.

Thank you for forwarding this message.
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Old Oct 25, 10, 3:27 pm
  #453
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Originally Posted by SpatialD View Post

Good Afternoon,

I am writing this email in hopes of getting in contact with Michael Roberts.

Today when flying from Boston Logan to BWI my 17 year old daughter had quite an unpleasant experience due to the new scanner malfunctioning. There was some confusion of whether there was a scan or not. She was told that she needed to submit to a full pat down after being told "it did not scan" . She was told she would need a pat down. Being 17 she had no idea what that meant and how intense a full detailed full body pat down can be. Even when she began to cry, the TSA agent continued the pat down. My daughter felt molested and humiliated and as a parent I was helpless to stop this violation. Also, the gentleman behind her had a full body pat down which leads me to believe the machine was not working for anyone. However his pat down was not as intense as my daughters.

My daughter who is a seasoned traveler and even visited Israel this summer has never experienced such extreme searches If they were to have asked her the reason for her visit, as they do in other countries, they would have learned she was no threat and was merely on a college visit to MIT. As a parent, I have serious concerns that such a search would be done on a 17 year old minor. The searches cross the line, she was molested for no reason.

I really want Mr. Roberts to know that he is doing the right thing by standing up to TSA. These measures are not making it safer to fly, they are just arbitrary measures being done to make us believe it is safer at the same time it is taking advantage of law abiding citizens. I do hope he is successful in his fight against TSA.

I am sending a similar email to Southwest Airlines, Congressman Chris VanHollen and Boston Logan Airport. Until this issue is resolved, I will find an terminal/airport that does not have the full body scan or I will have her take the train.

Thank you for forwarding this message.
Absolutely disgusting!

Many of us are working on mailing letters to the various Congress Critters about the NoS, and your experience. We are also working on setting up some peaceful protests at checkpoints across the US.
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Old Oct 25, 10, 4:10 pm
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That parent needs to contact law enforcement to file a complaint and get a copy of that tape before it happens to dissappear magically. This is getting stupid a few blue shirts need to go to jail to wake Pistole up that this BS wont be tolerated and his underlings will be on the wrong side of the law.
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Old Oct 25, 10, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by DevilDog438 View Post
Occasional? Arguing with some of our TSO posters is like trying to make a Cabernet out of turnips and onions.
It would be funny to watch certain TSA employees try to polish a turd in public here if it wasn't so scary...
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Old Oct 25, 10, 5:48 pm
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A positive blog on AVWEB:

http://www.avweb.com/blogs/insider/A..._203513-1.html

Full agreement from me!
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Old Oct 25, 10, 6:00 pm
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Originally Posted by SpatialD View Post
That's a very good point. And isn't it interesting that someone just told me the TSA managers in MEM have decided to open dedicated crew lines using only metal detectors. Hmmmm.

AT LEAST write your airline and let them know where you stand. Do it today, please.



Very well said. Come on, people - I'm working this chink in the armor pretty much by myself here (with a lot of people cheering me on). Some of you are in a position to help in a direct way. All of you can spread the word. Think about the world we're going to leave for those who come after us - that's what this is about, and IT'S IMPORTANT!

Isn't it?

Below is an email I just received:
Pass this story to the person who believes TSA violated their daughter.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/reg...scan_stations/

Maybe a second occurance and police need to be notified.
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Old Oct 25, 10, 6:45 pm
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Now I think it's pretty clear where to send our donations:
https://www.donation-net.net/Rutherford/donate.cfm
Originally Posted by CANFLY View Post
Until there is universal peace you'll have to suck it up buddy.
You can suck it up, buddy. When most people have enough information to make an informed decision, it seems they "opt out".

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Oct 29, 10 at 8:49 pm Reason: merge consecutive posts
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Old Oct 25, 10, 7:04 pm
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I'm going to guess you're not from the U.S.

Originally Posted by CANFLY View Post
The problem isn't with the security agents, it's from the thugs and terrorists that caused extra security measures to be taken.
Then please explain why the extra security measures taken in the U.S. are complete failures -- TSA has yet to stop, much less, catch a terrorist, or prevent bombs from being brought on board American airlines.

Also, please show me where in the Constitution is the authorization for the government to usurp powers denied to it in the interest of security.

I may not like being scanned but it beats having hundreds of lives lost.
Being scanned won't prevent a terrorist from blowing up a plane.

I have the right to feel secure on an airplane.
No, you do not. There is no such right under U.S. law.

Until there is universal peace you'll have to suck it up buddy.
Not in the U.S., we don't.

If you're not American, I'll excuse your lack of understanding of the constitutional limits on government power in the U.S. If you are, you need a high school civics remedial class.
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Old Oct 25, 10, 9:44 pm
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Originally Posted by SpatialD View Post
Below is an email I just received:
...

Today when flying from Boston Logan to BWI my 17 year old daughter had quite an unpleasant experience due to the new scanner malfunctioning. ...

If they were to have asked her the reason for her visit, as they do in other countries, they would have learned she was no threat and was merely on a college visit to MIT.

...Until this issue is resolved, I will find an terminal/airport that does not have the full body scan or I will have her take the train.
We've seen (somewhere here in the last few weeks) a letter to Disney World essentially saying that the person would not be bringing his family because of the TSA intrusions. Others have written to airlines, hotels and other tourism interests to explain why they are losing their business.

The highlighted sentences suggest another possible avenue for pressing the case. Thousands of potential college students visit universities; tens of thousands of college student travel interstate several times a year. If parents or potential students wrote to university admissions departments saying "we will not visit/apply to/attend your university because it would require travel through airports where TSA violates our constitutional rights", it would draw further attention to the problem. (The student and parents would have to be willing to carry through on the statement, of course.)

I'm (very) out of touch with the balance between supply and demand in US colleges and universities. MIT probably has a backlog of potential students and might not worry about losing one or two. But are there others where a downturn in out-of-state students would be a concern?

Just a thought.
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Old Oct 25, 10, 9:59 pm
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Originally Posted by SpatialD View Post
AT LEAST write your airline and let them know where you stand. Do it today, please.
Okay, I'm in. To lower the barrier for everyone, here are comprehensive postal mail and e-mail POCs for the major airlines, per Chris Elliot's site:

Mailing addresses for other airlines take a bit more effort, but a "Contact Us" link should be available on your favorite carrier's website. Some even provide a proper mailing address.
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Old Oct 26, 10, 12:15 am
  #462
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Originally Posted by FriendlySkies View Post

Many of us are working on mailing letters to the various Congress Critters about the NoS, and your experience. We are also working on setting up some peaceful protests at checkpoints across the US.
Awesome. Keep it up!

Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Pass this story to the person who believes TSA violated their daughter.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/reg...scan_stations/

Maybe a second occurance and police need to be notified.
Jeeze- I don't know whether I should give that to her or not. She's already been traumatized. Man, what is going on? We have got to wake up before it's too late.

Oh yeah, someone asked about this video, mentioned in my radio interview. Doing more interviews this week and trying to get FB/Twitter online. Just busy. Stay tuned...
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Old Oct 26, 10, 12:43 am
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From a missive I sent to my elected representatives earlier today...a big tip of the nib to InkUnderNails, who posted a great letter in another thread that I cribbed from freely:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented the installation of whole body imaging (WBI) scanners. These are the devices that have the ability to "look" through clothing and "see" if there is anything concealed under the clothing. When the machines were introduced, we were told they would not be used for primary screening. However, they are now being installed on the front lines of airport security queues nationwide.

I have three specific concerns. First, there is no good information on the radiation exposure or the safety testing of the technology. I have researched whether these machines pose a risk and I can find little except the testimony of the DHS. Unfortunately, it appears the committee that examined the scanners and has assured the public of their safety is comprised chiefly of these machines’ manufacturers (“Are Scanners Worth the Risk?,” New York Times, September 7, 2010.)

Second, the machines present a rather detailed image of the nude body to an off site observer. I am not a prude but I have an objection to this process especially for children and the disabled. This virtual strip search should not be done just because law-abiding Americans want to get on a plane, unless there is cause to believe that they are concealing something. Courts have repeatedly upheld the legal standard of reasonable suspicion (Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)); this standard is currently being violated by the TSA.

Additionally, the public has been assured these machines do not save images of naked Americans accused of no crimes, but tens of thousands of images were saved in courthouses in Florida and Washington (“Feds Found Storing Checkpoint Body Scan Images,” CBSNews.com, August 4, 2010.) It would be easy for government to link the images with identifying information - since ID must be provided to enter these facilities - for database compilation purposes.

Allegedly, the individual has the right to ‘opt out’ of the WBI scanners; according to the TSA there are signs posted at each WBI station informing travelers of that right. However, I have personally not seen even one of these signs despite having flown through three airports with WBI scanners in the last couple of months. Anecdotal evidence indicates the signs, when present, are very small with nearly illegible type and are placed in a secure area that is difficult to exit – doing so requires abandoning one’s possessions on the X-ray machine near the WBI.

Finally, and most important, if there are problems found on the image, or someone exercises their right to opt out of the WBI machine, the TSA will perform a ‘pat down’ at the checkpoint. Having been subject to one of these ‘pat downs,’ I can testify that these searches are more akin to friskings that accused criminals receive upon arrest. Furthermore, evidence is mounting that these friskings would be more accurately described as sexual assaults in any other context. As a law-abiding American without so much as a speeding ticket to my name, I resent the repeated insistence by government that I should allow this unreasonable infringement upon my rights and privacy simply to travel to another part of the country.

It would appear that terrorism-related incidents occur in miniscule numbers compared to the millions of people whose right to privacy has now been violated by these TSA procedures. I’m personally not against a reasonable search for terrorist equipment or activity, but it’s my considered opinion that current processes are beyond what ought to be considered lawful by our elected representatives. This is especially true given the fact that foreign companies are allowed to ship cargo on U.S. passenger planes that hasn’t even been disassembled or X-rayed (“TSA will not meet air cargo screening deadline,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 17, 2010.) Why are these companies totally exempt from even basic security measures, while I personally have to decide between two grossly invasive procedures every time I visit the airport?

I am concerned that this expansion of the administrative search has been done without any Congressional authority and has not been vetted through the courts. Every day thousands of travelers are subjected to these searches and if they resist or question the process, the TSA will threaten to not allow them to fly. This coercive measure usually succeeds as many travelers have a significant amount of time and resources invested in the need to travel.

There are other problems with these machines as well (they are slow; expensive; travelers are denied access and line of sight to their possessions) but the issues listed above are most urgent.

Thank you for your time. The Constitution guarantees all Americans freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and an invasive procedure which clearly violates the spirit of this cherished document should not be implemented lightly. I would appreciate it if you or your staff would look into what is going on with security at our airports. I agree that security is important, but our basic right to be secure in our person and effects should not be easily overridden by a Federal agency acting outside of its defined powers.
I suppose I'll just edit the address information and copy this to the airlines I fly most frequently and the head of my local metropolitan transit authority. Anyone who wishes to do so has my express permission to use any part of this letter in part or in whole in crafting his or her own communications, except when doing so would promote further government intrusiveness into what ought to be the private affairs of common people.

The most tired being that somehow the activities of the government agency is violating someone's rights somehow (ghads I hate seeing that one, its old and tired and most often made by some ignorant fool who thinks they know what they are talking about).

The "slippery slope" argument is drastically over used, just as are the terms of "fascism" and "Nazi". None serve any useful purpose in these types of forums other than to dive head-long into the pool of hyperbole.
Interesting. The most over-used arguments I see on Flyertalk are from naked Napoleons convinced despite all evidence they are the experts and that nobody else can make valid points or have the right to his or her opinion. It's particularly hilarious when these folks lushly illustrate points being made by others about the untenable nature of some characteristic about this person, or of his or her walk of life or profession.

What it comes down to is that the public will decide whether these scanners stay or go, and it'll happen relatively soon. I intend to do my part to see that they go sooner rather than later.

Thanks for the link to the Rutherford group's donation page, MM. Guess I'll start shuttling some of the coin I've been sending to EPIC.org (the group filing the FOIA against the TSA on the WBIs) their way.
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Old Oct 26, 10, 1:45 am
  #464
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Originally Posted by gatelouse View Post
Okay, I'm in. To lower the barrier for everyone, here are comprehensive postal mail and e-mail POCs for the major airlines, per Chris Elliot's site:

Mailing addresses for other airlines take a bit more effort, but a "Contact Us" link should be available on your favorite carrier's website. Some even provide a proper mailing address.
cool....thanks....
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Old Oct 26, 10, 7:02 am
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Originally Posted by SpatialD View Post

Oh yeah, someone asked about this video, mentioned in my radio interview. Doing more interviews this week and trying to get FB/Twitter online. Just busy. Stay tuned...
Thanks so much, Michael. I can't open it here at work but will do so as soon as I get home!

Folks, a suggestion that we all post links to Michael's radio interview on FB pages, if we have them. Once I view the link, I'll post that also and send it to my e-mail list.
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