Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized, opinion, politics | Posted on 30-01-2012
COMMENTARY | Tea party favorite Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., made a political statement Monday morning when he refused a fully body pat-down after an abnormality was found in a full body scanner. According to a Facebook message posted on Paul's profile, which appeared around 10 a.m. Eastern time, he “is being detained at the Nashville Airport by the TSA [Transportation Security Administration].”
Mr. Paul's chief of staff, Doug Stafford, disclosed to The Daily Caller that the Kentucky Senator “was detained by the TSA after their scanner had an 'anomaly' on the first scan.”
“He offered to go through again,” Stafford alleged. “The TSA said he could only have a full body pat-down. He would not consent to it. He offered to go through the scanner again. The situation is ongoing.”
However, the TSA version of its latest fiasco is a little different, as one spokesman contended that Paul was not detained, but triggered an alarm (which Paul's staff claims was a “glitch”) and abstained from the screening process in order to resolve the problem.
“When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport,” the TSA affirmed in a statement. “Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling.”
But according to several other sources, and considering the TSA's dismal track record of deflecting controversy, the security administration's defense is askew.
Moreover, if Paul was detained, the TSA would have blatantly violated Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution, which states, “The Senators and Representatives… shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same….”
Paul has long been a vigilant opponent of the TSA's airport police state, particularly due to the seemingly absurd judgments it has made in patting down non-threatening travelers, including a six-year-old girl, a breast cancer survivor, and a 94-year-old grandmother.
Indeed, Sen. Rand Paul may be correct when he calls the TSA's intrusive “security” tactics the “universality of insult.”