Time to say bon voyage to gov’t voyeurs

Boston Herald

“I’ve got nothing to hide.”

When the American ideal of individual liberty is laid to rest in the graveyard of the Nanny State, that phrase should be on the tombstone. It’s the refrain of every self-deluded citizen who abandons freedom in pursuit of security.

After getting one of the new “Is-that-your-Chapstick-or-are-you-just-glad-to-see-me” patdowns at Logan, Amy Tormey of Sharon had no complaints. “Whatever it takes for safety in the air,” she told the Herald.

We all know that civil libertarian Harvey Silverglate is right: “All [TSA agents] are doing is annoying law-abiding, peaceful citizens, and in the end if there are terrorists intent on blowing up a plane, they will.”

But if you complain, you’re the problem. Hey, granny, you don’t want some TSA stooge feeling up your garters? Then take a bus!

Unfortunately, not even avoiding the overly-friendly skies will keep you safe from unreasonable searches.

After all, the reason granny’s getting groped in the first place is because she’s trying to avoid having some stranger leering at her naughty bits in the new body scanner/porn machine, a technology that shows your form so clearly that TSA employees have been busted for making comments about the size of men’s, er, “attributes.”

And now, thanks to the “anything for security” brigades, this new body scan technology is headed to the streets of Boston.

Forbes is reporting that the Billerica-based American Science & Engineering has sold more than 500 of these backscatter X-ray scanners mounted in vans. When a security-minded government agent drives down your street, the technology allows him to search the contents of your car – and your clothes. The company Web site shows one of these vans rolling down State Street.

Representatives of American Science are quick to note that they can’t see under your clothes from behind the wheel as clearly as at the airport. Yet.

But is it your duty as an obedient American to accept the fact that the government can search you and your vehicle anytime it wants?

Oh that’s right. You’ve got “nothing to hide.” So this Time magazine story won’t bother you, either:

“Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway – and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.”

So says the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case involved FBI agents who slipped onto the property of a suspected pot dealer, stuck a tracking device on his car and tracked him for days afterward – without a warrant.

I know what you’re saying. “Warrant? We don’t need no stinkin’ warrant!”

You’re letting the TSA give you the “Full Monty” treatment already. You’re submitting to secret scanning while you’re snoozing in your car. So why would it bother you that they’re tracking where you go when you drive away?

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