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A World Without Liberty

November 29, 2010

As evidenced by the hundreds of editorials written in the last few weeks regarding them, the recent “full body scans” and “pat downs” at airports are extremely controversial.  Allegations have already been raised against the TSA for numerous incidents of sexual assault, including the grabbing of a man’s genitalia during a pat down.

With all these new security measures, it’s time for America to face itself and reconsider:  What are we willing to give up in the name of security?  The Republican Party, prides itself on the defense of individual liberties; from gun rights to rights of the unborn, Republicans speak together.  However, we have been remarkably silent on the newest of these issues.

It’s time for the Republican Party to take a stand and inform the American people that they do NOT leave their civil liberties at the entrance to an airport.  Just as in the Supreme Court decision Tinker V. Des Moines, where the Court stated that students do not leave their rights at the schoolhouse gates, American citizens do not leave their civil liberties every time they travel.  We have a right to privacy, as confirmed by the Supreme Court in Griswold V. Connecticut, Roe V. Wade, and the first, fourth, fifth, ninth, and fourteenth amendments.  We cannot afford to give up this right to privacy in the name of security, when these body scans do not provide much more security than the original system did.  After all, intelligence has proven to be a far more viable source for curbing terrorism than any pat down at an airport.

If we are willing to give up our rights in the name of security, we are willing to give up our freedom.  We leave ourselves open to arbitrary oppression under any policy the federal government deems necessary for our security.

President Obama needs to speak up on this issue; for all his talk about the rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and the right of Americans to not have their phones wiretapped, he has been remarkably vocal in support of these new measures.

It’s time for President Obama and the Republican Party to take a stand with the ACLU and defend all civil liberties at all times, not only the liberties that are convenient for political leverage.  The fight for our liberties is one fight we cannot afford to lose.

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