Last Thursday I was flying to LA on the Midnight flight. I went through security my usual sour stuff. I beeped, of course, and was shuttled to the “toss-em” line. A security guy came over. I assumed the position. I had a button up shirt on that was untucked. He reached around while he was behind me and grabbed around my front pocket. I guess he was going for my flashlight, but the area could have loosely been called “crotch.” I said, “You have to ask me before you touch me or it's assault.”
He said, “Once you cross that line, I can do whatever I want.”
I said that wasn't true. I say that I have the option of saying no and not flying. He said, “Are you going to let me search you, or do I just throw you out?”
I said, “Finish up, and then call the police please.”
When he was finished with my shoes, he said, “Okay, you can go.”
I said, “I'd like to see your supervisor and I'd like LVPD to come here as well. I was assaulted by you.”
He said, “You're free to go, there's no problem.”
I said, “I have a problem, please send someone over.”
I like Penn (of Penn and Teller). He's great. And I think it's wonderful that he's willing to fight (and can afford to fight) this craziness of airline security. I think (and I think Penn thinks the same) that it's insane that he gets special treatment just because he's famous (and if I may get cynical here, that may also mean he has the resources to make this look really bad, or the financial resources to fight this in court).
I'm suing Attorney General John Ashcroft and various federal agencies, to make them stop demanding that citizens identify themselves in order to travel. Not only airports, but trains, buses, and cruise ships are now imposing ID requirements. This violates several constitutional rights. Stop showing ID whenever someone asks (or demands) it, and you will start to discover just what your rights are.
So between Penn and John Gilmore's suit against the Federal goverment on behalf of anonymous travel, this is slowly restoring my faith that this current lunancy (link via The Duff Wire) will go away soon.