Heading up the renewed push for those controversial, clothes-penetrating
scanners at airports is former homeland security secretary Michael
Chertoff. His consulting firm represents companies who make the scanners,
but you wouldn't know it from reading the papers.
But when Chertoff launched into his pitch for full-body scanners on
Campbell Brown tonight, we learned that he is paid by the very companies
who make the penetrating devices
In 2009, Chertoff founded the Chertoff Group, a security consulting agency.
The Chertoff Group's client list is unknown—Chertoff refused to talk about
it in an interview—but he admits in the clip above that some of his clients
manufacture full-body scanners.
What worries me is all the people in Federal regulatory positions that are
eyeing their afterlife out of government service. They might be tempted to
"go easy" on companies they hope to land a post-retirement job with.
You forgot gay closet Republican politicians like Larry Craig who are afraid
they will give themselves away by giving the TSA gropers a "zipper salute."
Why *else* would Republicans demand we back off on such a proven safety
technique like patting down your junk?
"Proven safety technique"? Has this "technique" actually, like, CAUGHT
In medicine, for example, if you have a test that always returns a negative,
there's probably something wrong with the test.
How else would they have amassed the world's largest collection of nail
clippers, lighters and pen knives? Every one of those could have been used
to bring a plane down if someone got out of the plane and poured them in a
jet engine all at once. The TSA does manage to nail nutjobs. And there
hasn't been a hijacking since 2001. Who knows why?
In reality, they've confiscated loads of real weapons that were probably not
meant to do any evil at 40,000 but that got their owners in some real legal
LATEST TSA SLOGANS ...
Can't see London, can't see France, not till we see your underpants
If we did our job any better we'd have to buy you dinner
Don't worry, my hands are still warm from the last guy
Wanna fly? Drop your fly
We are now free to move about your pants
It's not a grope, It's a freedom pat
When in doubt, we make you whip it out
You were a virgin?
We handle more packages than UPS....
Yep. Chertoff was a federal appeals court judge and an assistant U.S.
Attorney General. He also served as Secretary of Homeland Security. He was
one of the main authors of the Patriot Act.
Contrast that with the current Secretary, whose claim to fame was that she
was a governor.
Since leaving government service, Chertoff formed a company to advise on
The Supreme Court gets to decide that, should someone make a "federal
case" out of this.
My take is that the Constitution only prohibits criminal prosecutions
based on Constitution-prohibited searches. Someone I know says that if
TSA catches you with the Hope Diamond, or the International Prototype of
the Kilogram, or the (now obsolete but valuable) International Prototype
of the Meter, they lacked "probable cause" - meaning "constitutionally
illegal search" - they are only supposed to search for weapons and
threatening objects. So, it appears to me that "according to strict
construction", you can get out of criminal prosecution if you don't insist
against such item being confiscated for return to rightful owner.
Then again, the Supreme Court could easily rule that widely-broadcast
searching techniques are reasonable due to being easily predictable. If
you wanna steal the Hope Diamond or the IPK or the IPM, transport it to
your "fence" by highway or watercraft.
(International border crossings are another matter - USA Constitution
does not apply to any foreign country or foreign country flag ship or
aircraft on/over "high seas" if you are smuggling out the Hope Diamond.
USA Constitution also does not apply to those coming into USA from
outside until they get "cleared" by Customs or legally acknowledged to
have landed in USA.
One thing to note - when flying into USA from Toronto's major airport,
passengers must be "cleared" by US Customs before getting on the plane -
on the Canada side of the border.
- Don Klipstein ( email@example.com)
Assume a legal search takes place, say with a search warrant, and a
particular thing is the subject of the search. If, during the search for
that particular thing, the law enforcement agent sees another thing which is
illegal, that other thing is admissable for a completely separate crime.
For example, suppose the cops have a search warrant for illegal drugs.
Further suppose that during the search they find an illegal weapon (maybe a
machine gun). The illegal weapon is valid evidence for charging a completely
different crime than that originally contemplated.
The 4th Amendment has two separate and distinct applications. The first is a
prohibition against "unreasonable" searches. The second is that search
warrants be issued only for probable cause. The courts have held that when a
search is "reasonable," no warrant is require.
In the T&A search protocol, they are looking for weapons or destructive
devices. If, during the search, they find contraband (something illegal on
its face) such as drugs, they cannot ignore this new finding, but instead
call the real cops.
There was a famous case a little over a year ago where the T&A crowd found
almost $5,000 in a flyer's briefcase. They took him aside and vigorously
interrogated him for some time as to the source of the cash. He continually
demanded to know by what authority they needed to know this information.
Fortunately, the flyer had an audio recorder running and he recorded the
entire interrogation. You can listen to it here:
Should be interesting. You also have what is called a "Terry stop"
where the cops can stop for a reasonable suspicion that something nasty
is going on. When doing so, they can perform a quick surface search
(interesting point in this day and age and thread) looking for weapons.
Anything they find they can use. Although since this is screening and
not bases on a reasonable suspicion, that might not be followed.
Overall, there is a long line of cases stretching back to the 70s
that says airport searches are legal. In fact this one
says specifically that evidence seized secondary to the search is
admissible (the dude had no ID and then tried to get a meth pipe and
some stuff through security. Got what he deserved).
This has been going on long before 9-11, though. Also happens in
some places in the Caribbean (for instance in Nassau since we started
going there in the early 80s and Aruba (or was it Curacoa??) we cleared
customs and immigration both). This is done more to help the airlines
since if you have cleared customs there, they can fly you back home
directly East Horsefly, without having to go to an International
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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