In the movie “Braveheart” the evil king Edward III implemented a policy to ethnically cleanse Scotland of Scotsmen. Called Prima Nocta, it gave the local lord a special, legal right to sleep with all commoner, newlywed, Scottish women before their husbands do. Its purpose was to shatter cultural bonds and reduce the population to slaves. The modern mind finds this concept abhorrent since it has at its root the idea that all men are not created equal; that a crime is not a crime depending on who is doing it.
The American equivalent of Prima Nocta is now the TSA. The TSA can perform acts that are legal on one side of a yellow line on an airport floor but grossly illegal on the other, such as illegal search and sexual battery. Contrary to the Fifth Amendment of our Constitution, all American travelers must get permission to travel, passed through the TSA, before boarding commercial vehicles of all types (even a bus). Thousands of American citizens are on the TSA “no fly” list even though no charges are brought against them. This amalgam of legal hypocrisy rests on the idea that a person inherently consents to government search when they travel (what nonsense) and that the illegal search will prevent some sort of terrorist catastrophe. The thought that this can exist in the law, and that Americans now accept it as part of the price of travel, is as disturbing as it is ridiculous.
But the level of national outrage with the TSA has increased a notch as of late. TSA agents recently conspired to guide attractive male travelers to a fellow inspector who got his jollies by groping them. Because the TSA was typically inefficient in investigating itself, the evidence to prosecute these men was lost. The worst that could happen to them is they got fired.
Okaloosa County is no stranger to this TSA saga. It was here that Ms. Jean Webber’s chronically ill, 95 year old mother became national news when she was forced to remove her adult undergarment at the order of a TSA agent; a task Ms. Webber had to perform on her mother personally. TSA agents have been involved in theft, smuggling, sending pictures of attractive “naked screened” passengers to tens of thousands of recipients, bribery and, now blatant sexual battery. Since very few travelers actually consent to having a stranger grope their genitals, (most endure it simply to get to where they need to be), everyone going through this procedure in Florida is having the crime of sexual battery committed against them.
In our land of the free everyone must get searched by the TSA without evidence or probable cause. Even Congressman Ron Paul was delayed from voting in Congress by a TSA search, which is a direct violation of the Constitution, Article I, Section 6, as he told them.
We now have an entire generation that has grown up under TSA illegality. What makes the destruction of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments so much more the worse is that TSA procedures will not prevent terrorism. Without fueling overactive imaginations, there must be a dozen ways that a fanatic can attack flight operations without even getting on a plane; without even seeing a TSA agent. When the government took over airport security, it gave a public subsidy to the airlines who otherwise would have had to come up with private measures to handle security. That method would have at least given people a real choice as to how they wanted to travel, not violated the Constitution, nor set up a privileged legal class.
The TSA should be disbanded. Airport security should be returned to those who have the greatest stake in its success, the airlines. Crimes should be prosecuted based on the act, not based on who is doing them, or where. The United States does not need a fake Constitution, nor does it need to propagate the idea that you’re privileged in the law if you work for the Feds.
Let’s leave the middle ages in the history books where it belongs.
Pete Blome is a retired military officer, and Chair of the Northwest Florida Libertarian Party