The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a bureaucratic tyrant that serves no purpose other than to further its own existence. It has caught zero terrorists. Let me say that again; it has caught zero terrorists. In fact, it has been shown that many terrorists have slipped through its gates and boarded planes to their intended targets. Comparing the TSA to the Gestapo or SS is a bit over the top, at this point, but they did have the same excuse for existing as does the TSA: the elimination of individual rights in the name of “the greater good.” Think it’s not so bad? Try walking away once you’ve stepped into the screening line. You’ll find out that you’re subject to an $11,000 fine and possibly arrest. Is the next step to make all airline passengers change into orange disposable jumpsuits and have no carry-on items at all?
The courts have ruled in favor of the TSA in almost every instance because they say the need of the government to protect the people from terrorists out weights the needs of individual liberty. After all, it’s just a minor inconvenience to be electronically strip searched without cause as opposed to the possibility, ever how remote, of being blown up. Historically the courts have also ruled in favor of slavery, McCarthyism and many other morally indefensible positions. (It can even be argued that we’re in the middle of another McCarthyism era now, just use the word terrorist in place of the word communist.)
The history of the TSA’s recent repeated injuries and violations of Constitutional rights all have as their direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over the people that choose to fly (and soon other mass-transit). When a government agency acts to subjugate its people under absolute authoritarianism, it is the right of the people; it is their duty, to throw off such a government agency. There are only two possibilities of making the TSA go away: one, they become unfunded; two, it becomes unprofitable for them to exist.
The concept of defunding the TSA is simple to understand, hard to implement. Legislators who have previously voted yes on TSA funding have to be convinced to vote no when it comes to funding the TSA. The only way that will happen is if they are convinced that they’ll be voted out of office if they vote to approve funding. The public needs to become vocal about disapproval of legislator’s approval votes. In order to accomplish that, the public needs to be made aware of who voted in favor of the funding and told exactly how to become vocal. Blogs and news media would work well to this end. News media love reporting dirt on legislators. (The other option is to wait for the legislature to be filled with new blood. That worked for the House Committee on Un-American Activities which lasted from 1938 – 1975.) Ron Paul is currently the only presidential candidate that stands against the TSA.
To make it unprofitable for the TSA to exist is the route action protestors are likely to take. Airports need to lose a substantial amount of revenue before they believe that the TSA must go. The only way that will happen is if a significant number of people start not flying the large airlines. But people are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. (I read that in a declaration or something and it’s as true today as it was 200 years ago.) In other words, few people are going to volunteer to not fly; they’d rather put up with the actions of the TSA than to take another form of transportation. They can be made to miss their flights by delaying tactics: blocked entrance roads, having luggage contaminated with something (a legal something, like a drop or two of gasoline) that will get them pulled aside, flash mobs, thousands of Mylar balloons drifting over the airfield causing planes to divert, propaganda (TV, billboards, etc) indicating delays, and many other forms of civil disobedience and asymmetric tactics. The actions don’t even need to be put into practice to any great extent; the idea that they’ll likely miss a flight or connection is all that is needed. Targeting airports here and there can be effective. If people start believing that they will be greatly inconvenienced they’ll start looking to other forms of transportation and the TSA will become unprofitable as a result.
Will it actually go down this way? Large numbers of people are not going to start “protesting” the TSA. It will be the actions of a few active (as opposed to passive) protestors that eventually get the job done. If I can think of this, you can bet that smarter people are way ahead of me. They just aren’t doing much…yet.