This Thanksgiving holiday airline passengers are being urged to protest the controversial full body scanners now in use at many U.S.airports. National Opt Out Day is slated for the day before Thanksgiving, Wednesday, November 24th, one of the busiest travel days of the year. National Opt Out Day organizers are calling upon air travelers to exercise their right to “opt out” of “the naked body scanner machines” or Advance Imaging Technology (AIT), as the government calls it.
“All you have to do is say “I opt out” when they tell you to go through one of the machines. You will then be given an ‘enhanced’ pat down. This is a right given to you by the TSA,” according to information posted on the National Opt Out Day organization website.If a traveler does opt out of a full body scan, he or she is advised to have the enhahnced pat down in full public view to show others what the procedure is all about.
Congressman Ron Paul files bill to protect Americans from abuse during TSA screenings at airports
In related news, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has filed a bill called the American Traveler Dignity Act to “protect Americans from physical and emotional abuse by federal Transportation Security Administration employees conducting screenings at the nation’s airports.”
Recently airline passengers have ramped up complaints about the dangers of radiation from the AIT machines as well as the aggressive “pat downs” conducted by TSA officials on airline passengers who “opt out” of the AIT scanning. A California man, John Tyner, was detained by TSA officials earlier this week when he refused both a full body scan and an enhanced pat down. He reportedly said to the TSA official conducting the pat down “don’t touch my junk..or I’ll have you arrested.” (see video posted with this article for a complete report and interview with Tyner)
The TSA regulations state that those passengers who are not comfortable with the scanners can “opt out” and have an “enhanced pat down” instead. Rep. Ron Paul’s bill offers another approach:
“My legislation is simple. It establishes that airport security screeners are not immune from any US law regarding physical contact with another person, making images of another person, or causing physical harm through the use of radiation-emitting machinery on another person. It means they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us…The solution to the need for security at US airports is not a government bureaucracy. The solution is to allow the private sector, preferably the airlines themselves, to provide for the security of their property.”
What do you think about the use of body scanners and pat downs at U.S. airports? Post your comments below and have your voice heard
For more information: Read this WGTN News article
TSA: Myths and Facts