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A Little Letter from John Ashcroft and Tom Ridge to my dad

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posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 04:33 PM
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I am really surprised by some of the responses on this thread. I guess in the end people would rather have the plane explode in mid-air before having someone go through their bags. Thats a rather scary thought ! If you have a problem with that I guess you could rent a car, take a train etc, but the bottomline is that I am willing to have my bags and person searched before I take a flight... and I would insist that similar consideration is given to my fellow passengers.

I was not born in America, so every time I fly somewhere which is rather frequent, I get to be the lucky prize winner whose bags and person are scrutinised. But I want to get there safely, so I suffer these "indignities". I am wondering how many of those objecting to luggage being searched would be screaming about incompetence if a relative was on a plane that exploded?




posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by RockerDom

And the fact that airlines are private companies is even more reason for the Federal Government not to do searches. Why? They are a private company!

- Dom


Yes they are private. But they are regulated and for the fact to get on that airplane you must go through a airport that is not private. The FAA and DOT get a piece of that action. At most if not all major airports General Aviation is away from the main terminal. When I fly my plane anywhere I do not land at big airports because it is inconvinent and you get stacked in line. Even on the corporate Gulfstream the goal was to stay as far from major airports as possible. Usually you can land at a small municipal airport and be at your end destination before others are finished getting their luggage.

I guess what I am trying to say is charter a plane if you don't want that search. Plus airlines are public. Try going to the shareholders and tell them you aren't going to search bags anymore. There you have a majority of the owners. Do you think that would fly with them?

I agree that you should be protected from unreasonable search and seizure. I don't think that opening your bags to check the content fits that category. The saftey of many is worth the sacrifice of a few. Even in the U.S. military they don't go running off to save one soldier if it will jeopordize the whole unit. The only exceptions I can think to that are PJ's getting a downed pilot.



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 05:38 PM
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Your father should walk next time.
OR charter his own plane.

Inpections happened long before 911, now at least you get a flyer and an apology!

As others have said..Do you REALLY want to get on a plane with 2-300 other strangers with NO inspection of baggage?

I get pulled out of line (randomly, lol) all the time. For inspection, of carry on.

I am 1/2 Lebanese. And I travel alone sometimes for work related things..
SO, sometimes I fit a certain profile..

It takes 5 minutes extra.

Like I said....WALK, if you don't like it



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 06:08 PM
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This same crap happened to me in March of 2003
on a flight from Pheonix to Boise I was not very happy
to find that my bag had been gone through so I sent a letter to my congressman and to Ashcrofts office to let them know and the reply I got was just about the same as the letter I found in my bag when I got to Boise and then again when I got back to Phoenix.

Additionally I would like to add that I know someone is going to say oh so you would rather have the plane blow up ( if they haven't said it yet) and my answer to this is that when your number is up no amount of inspection is going to save you.

I don't remember who said it but "god save the souls of those who would give up any amount of freedom for a little added security


Excuse the language but that kind of stuff really pisses me off!!!

geo

[edit on 10/30/2004 by geocom]

[edit on 10/30/2004 by geocom]



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by Mynaeris
...I want to get there safely, so I suffer these "indignities". I am wondering how many of those objecting to luggage being searched would be screaming about incompetence if a relative was on a plane that exploded?



They are not "indignities". These are known as inalienable rights. Webster's dictionary defines inalienable as : incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred. (Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary) This is an absolute right. It cannot be infringed upon for any reason, that is the law, not some fly-by-the-night legislation that is passed in a moment of numbing, overwhelming fear. I will say this again: I would rather die free than live in a world where my government is more dangerous than any terrorist. If you believe that to be a radical statement, answer this: would you rather be thrown in prison, have no access to a lawyer, and never be charged for a crime, or die? And don't tell me that will never happen, talk to those who were recently released from Guantanamo.

The sad part is, we have already lost in this war. I don't mean our governments, or nations, but we the people have already lost. We are already defeated. When one of us can give up the right of every person to be free, just for the sake of security, then the fight begun by our forefathers over 230 years ago, is lost. The only way it can be won, is to return to, not a pre-9/11 mindset, but a mindset of one people united for one purpose, in true freedom.

I know that there are those here who disagree with me, and I hold no ill will against you, even if you hold it against me. I do not hope for a better future for myself, or my family only, but for all of us, as one people, to go ahead to a better tomorrow. I feel, though, that my words are meeting too many blinded eyes, and cannot penetrate the fear that encapsulates the souls of my countrymen, and my friends abroad.

I simply hope that we can burn the ropes of terror that bind us, shatter the chains of insecurity, and realize that the only way we can move forward as humans, is to never allow terror to affect our lives in any way, and especially if in doing so, we leave liberty behind us.

- Dom



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 08:19 PM
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Dom: I am not sure how you managed to leap from your father's suitcase being searched to Guatanamo bay. However I still insist that it is for everybodies safety that the bags are searched, personally I would prefer it if ALL the bags were searched. it also helps to pack less and take a largish carry on bag instead, that way you will see them search your bag. I have had them search my carry on bags three times before I could get onto a flight in Atlanta at the same time I had three body searches at three different spots, walked across an airport without shoes as I didn't have time to put them back on and be in time for my flight, yes I feel inconvenienced but I believe they are trying to save my life.



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 08:23 PM
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It is not a violation of your civil rights or a violation against the 4th amendment to submit your luggage to inspection. If you bother to read the inside of your boarding pass envelope, the airlines actually inform you that by accepting your boarding pass, you are consenting to any inspection of you and your personal property. This is called informed consent. Travel by airline is not your right, or is it guaranteed by the constitution. Nor is it a warrantless search. It is a search for explosives. In the course of a search for explosives, though, if your bong and stash happen to fall out, then TSA is obligated to report this to law enforecment. Law enforcement then can search the bag after the contriband is in plain view.

If you don't want to have your stuff inspected, take the bus.

How quickly we forget just why your luggage is inspected.



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 08:28 PM
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Originally posted by RockerDom
I know that there are those here who disagree with me, and I hold no ill will against you, even if you hold it against me. I do not hope for a better future for myself, or my family only, but for all of us, as one people, to go ahead to a better tomorrow. I feel, though, that my words are meeting too many blinded eyes, and cannot penetrate the fear that encapsulates the souls of my countrymen, and my friends abroad.


Very nicely put! I disagree with you strongly on this topic and have not minced words about it.

However, I want to make it clear that it is your opinion on this specific topic that I take exception to, and more often than not find myself involuntarily nodding in agreement when I read your posts, which tend to be thoughtful and insightful, such as this one.

I am also very passionate about Liberty, but insist that the desire for it be compatible with Reason.

I don't see searches of baggage that is carried along with hundreds of passengers aboard aircraft 6 miles above the earth as being unreasonable. You do.

We disagree, but that doesn't make either of us evil, blind or ignorant, just opinionated.

Good people can disagree on things like this. Your concerns about baggage searches don't make you an anti-government whacko anymore than my lack of them makes me a lapdog for tyranny.


Originally posted by RockerDom
I simply hope that we can burn the ropes of terror that bind us, shatter the chains of insecurity, and realize that the only way we can move forward as humans, is to never allow terror to affect our lives in any way, and especially if in doing so, we leave liberty behind us.


As time has passed, and in particular since I began deep meditation on various things, I have come to suspect any message that is couched in terms meant to inspire fear. Fear and deceit run hand in hand.

You may wish to consider the irony, however, of using precisely that approach in denouncing airline baggage searches. Is this really government running roughshod over our rights, or doing the job we have demanded it do?

We, the People, have through our elected representatives enacted laws which demand that the federal government conduct the searches you are protesting. If you disagree, I recommend focusing your energy on changing the law, rather than complaining about it being enforced -- as required by our Constitution, no less.

There is such a thing as being penny wise and pound foolish. Again, good people can disagree, but I think this is the wrong place to set up the barricades.



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by SHADOW266
In the course of a search for explosives, though, if your bong and stash happen to fall out...
Thanks for the insinuation, I appreciate your underhandedness.



If you don't want to have your stuff inspected, take the bus.

How quickly we forget just why your luggage is inspected.


How quickly we forget why this country exists. How quickly we forget that interesting part of the Bill of Rights that says "Congress shall make no law..." None, nada, zip, for any reason, ever. There is no justification. There cannot be a justification. No amount of fear, terror, fright, apprehensiveness, anxiety, or panic gives a reason. Not ever.

The fact that this subject is even up for debate is very saddening to me. I respect your opinion, and I do see your point of view, but you have to see that is in violation of Life, Liberty and the prusuit of Happiness. And before you ask, yes, I see how it can also aid them, but the sacrifice of one right is one too many.

- Dom



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 08:41 PM
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The reason your Dad's bag was searched was because of the Air Transportation Security Act (ATSA), passed in Nov 2001. Prior to that Act, approximately 10% of all luggage was inspected for explosives. The other 90% was not even given a second look. BEcause of this, quite a few airplanes went down due to hazardous materials being inadvertenly shipped onboard. If you ever wonder why your torch lighters can go on a plane, it's because they have a tendancy to explode in lower pressure, and have done so on planes in the past.

Although hazardous materials is not the primary reason for inspections on luggage, by being required to inspect all luggage does find some.

I always think when I hear of people whining that their luggage is being inspected, about what the people of Pan AM 103 would say. Next time, instead of writing to Ridge and Ashcroft, try writing to onel of the family members that lost loved ones over Lockerbie. See what their reaction would be that you think your civil rights are being violated. Or try speaking to one of the passenger who were on board with Richard Reid and see what their take is on the topic of inspecting your shoes at the checkpoint.



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 08:43 PM
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The searching of baggage is a must in this day and age.

What I'm concerned about is that these searches take place in private. If the searches are truly random, why can't the owner of the luggage be present when the search is carried out?

Secret searches definately provide a "window of opportunity" for authorities to "frame" people that are causing them problems.

If they did plant something, how the hell could you prove that that the offending item wasn't in your bag?



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 08:49 PM
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First off, Majic, I always enjoy your posts. I'm glad you commented here.


Originally posted by Majic
As time has passed, and in particular since I began deep meditation on various things, I have come to suspect any message that is couched in terms meant to inspire fear. Fear and deceit run hand in hand.

You may wish to consider the irony, however, of using precisely that approach in denouncing airline baggage searches. Is this really government running roughshod over our rights, or doing the job we have demanded it do?


Isn't that the conundrum? First allow me to say, I never meant to inspire fear, but to invoke anger. I am willingly guilty of this, because I am, myself, mad. Also, I have found in the course of my (not so long) life that fear paralyzes us, and anger spurns us on. I deeply apologize if I scared anyone, but if I made you mad, than I did what I set out to do. Just please don't hit me with anything blunt, I bruise easily. However, always remember you should be angry at opinions, and never at people. The moment you become angry with your fellow man over his opinion is the moment you lose the fight.

Your question to me in this quote is the reason this debate exists. It has no answer that does not contain some measure of opinion, no matter how informed. And we all know what section of the body opinions resemble


I absolutely agree with your statement about "Reason" versus "Liberty". However, there must, must, must be a line that cannot be crossed when it comes to our freedoms, and it is my opinion that it has been crossed. Not only on this issue, but with things like police checkpoints, enemy combatant classification, and the other broadened powers FBI agents now possess. Again, this can be debated into perpetuity, because it is based upon opinion, however we do need to decide where the line between Liberty and Reason is, and find a way to make sure it is never crossed for any reason.

Mynaeris, forgive me for taking so long to respond to you. First off, I have to say that I absolutely love your avatar. Hot chicks holding loaded firearms tickles me in special places


Anyway, allow me to say that I never said that searches of baggage do not iincrease security. Of course they do, I will never argue that point. I agree they are trying to save lives, but at some point we need to measure the value of our lives and the value of our freedoms. Those who have gone before have spilled their blood to put those freedoms ahead of their lives so we wouldn't have to. But we must come to a point where we realize that all of our lives come at a cost, and as free people we must be willing to pay that cost at all times and in all places. It is not an easy thing I ask, and I do not ask it lightly. I guess that's why we're debating


Thank you for your respectful discussion.

- Dom



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by Psychoses
What I'm concerned about is that these searches take place in private. If the searches are truly random, why can't the owner of the luggage be present when the search is carried out?


Luggage is not inspected randomly. If your bag is not inspected in front of you, as in many airports, then it is being searched using a large cat scan machine that alarms on certain objects on a small number of bags. The inspectors then have to search the bag to clear the alarmed item. If the bag searchers do not search the bag, then the bag cannot fly.

Unfortunatly, due to the size of the machines, they cannot be placed in an area that you can observe you bag being searched. If you are so paranoid about the contents of your bag being search out of your sight, ask to have it inspected in front of you. I'm not sure if they would, but it never hurts to ask.



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 09:16 PM
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Whether luggage inspections are appropriate enough or extreme, if anything in the future that is a terrorist attck in the US and related to airplane's,....

then maybe it wasnt enought to search the luggage alone.
Maybe all the vehicles and roads within a certain radius, or how about the homes of persons with unique names (like ... uh ... Ted kennedy) that are similar in name to someone on a list.
(forget the fact that you are probubly profiled within minutes of buying your tickets.)

At what cost, and to what level, is appropriate or not.



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 09:19 PM
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There is one aspect of this process that bothers me. I realize the nessecity of searches in airliners, but I also realize a potential harm that alot of folks aren't addressing here. If we make it ok to let them search us witout our knowlege, how long is it going to be before it is ok for them search our homes, our children, etc. in the name of public safety? If they want to search you or your baggage at the airport, that is for the good of all concerned, but searching you without your knowlege is a very dangerous precedent. I have nothing to hide, most of us don't (yeah right), but what we do have is a constitutional right, if not an obligation to make damn sure we aren't being searched unreasonably. It is up to us, the citizenry to define these lines. If we leave it up to them, they will act in their interests, not ours.



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 09:27 PM
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Originally posted by smirkley
Whether luggage inspections are appropriate enough or extreme, if anything in the future that is a terrorist attck in the US and related to airplane's,....

then maybe it wasnt enought to search the luggage alone.
Maybe all the vehicles and roads within a certain radius, or how about the homes of persons with unique names (like ... uh ... Ted kennedy) that are similar in name to someone on a list.
(forget the fact that you are probubly profiled within minutes of buying your tickets.)


At what cost, and to what level, is appropriate or not.


And that is the big question mark. It is a big unknown, because it is supposed to be. People want to know the processes and practices and the why in regards to security. The reality is that no one knows; the reason being to keep those with ill will guessing. To know a security system is to know it's weakness.

We all elect leaders to represent our viewpoints. Those leaders are tasked with the basic function of providing for the common defense. The leaders decide what actions to take to secure the safety of the citizens. You have the opportunity on Tues to say to our leaders that you are against the current levels of appropriate security.



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 09:38 PM
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Shadow, ... makes sense.

But you know, a crack dealer on the streets of NY knows if he is not cought selling or possessing, then he has rights that cannot be violated, including protection from illegal searches (and seizures). Sure he could be harassed, but if he's been down that street before, then he has a lawyer that could reduce that from occurring.

(And I'm there tuesday
)

[edit on 30-10-2004 by smirkley]



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 10:54 PM
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It's a discusting demoralization tactic meant to contol those you dont think your own. Sad the fact we welcomed people here from other countries to escape these same persecutions means nothing these days. Vote for me to be president 2004, my platform is to let the world mind their own buisness first of all the US.



posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 11:19 PM
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Originally posted by RockerDom

To answer the question several people asked me, yes, I would rather die in a terrorist attack than be treated like a criminal by my government.
- Dom


I guess Dom won't be flying anymore.

How is checking your bags being treated like a criminal? I guess you don't like the metal detectors also?



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 01:10 AM
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Just a Note for all of you
More planes have been physically crashed by terrorist than blown up.
And let's face it the only explosives on the Sept 11, 2001 was the fuel.


As far as putting something in tiny writing on a boarding pass that you are consenting to a search that is just where it starts with that attitude in our life times the title to your house will say the same thing. I hope you all feel safer sitting in your self made private prison!!!!!

As far as the patriot act goes that particular bill had nothing to do with we the people it was created by a small group of people in private and was much more like an executive order than a choice.
geo

[edit on 10/31/2004 by geocom]



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