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TSA On The Ropes; Budget Slashed, Texas Grope Ban Returns

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has “change of heart,” sends HB 1937 to Rick Perry

TSA On The Ropes; Budget Slashed, Texas Grope Ban Returns 030611top
Image: Flickr Commons

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Friday, June 3, 2011

Days after a top TSA official conceded that the agency would be forced to reconsider its policies in the aftermath of a nationwide backlash against invasive screening procedures, the agency was dealt another two huge blows yesterday with the news that the TSA budget would be slashed by $270 million, in addition to the return of a bill in Texas that would make grope-downs a felony.

The Texas bill that would have made invasive TSA pat-downs in the state a felony, legislation that was nixed after the Justice Department issued a threat to shut down Texas airports and impose a federal blockade, has risen again like a phoenix from the flames.

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the man responsible for turning Senators away from the bill which had looked set to pass having sailed through the House unanimously, has reversed his position and “asked Gov. Rick Perry to include the measure in a special session of the Texas legislature,” reports The Hill.

Texas state Rep. David Simpson (R), one of the main backers of the bill, told visitors to his Facebook page that Dewhurst has had a “change of heart,” which may have something to do with the firestorm of criticism the Lt. Governor received after his actions, in addition to promises by Simpson and others to oppose Dewhurst’s future political aspirations in the state.

“The Lt. Gov. sent a letter to Gov. Perry asking him to include the TSA bill HB 1937 in the special session!,” Simpson wrote on the website. “Please call the Governor and tell him you agree with Lt. Gov. Dewhurst!”

There shouldn’t even be a debate as to whether or not TSA workers can stick their hands down your pants or fondle a woman’s breasts. Not even a police officer or an FBI agent can legally lay a hand on you unless it’s in the course of an arrest. Though welcomed, there isn’t even any need for a law to be passed in Texas, all state police have to do is enforce existing laws.

As Steve Wagstaffe, the District Attorney in San Mateo County, told Alex Jones last year, merely touching someone against their will is a felony in California, just as it is in Texas and across the country.

“If it is skin to skin, if someone were to take their hand and put it underneath somebody’s blouse and touch someone inappropriately and go skin to skin, that’s a felony, and if it’s done simply over the clothing, according to California law, that’s a misdemeanor,” said Wagstaffe.

If police merely did their job and enforced existing laws by arresting TSA agents who molest Americans, whether that be in airports, at train stations, highways, bus terminals, prom nights or wherever else TSA workers are used, then there would be no need for new legislation.

In a related story, the number of TSA screeners groping children and searching babies’ diapers at security checkpoints not just at airports, but also proms, highways, train stations and bus depots, is set to be cut by 10 per cent after the Republican-controlled House voted 219 to 204 to cut the Transportation Security Administration’s budget by $270 million, a move opposed by Democrats and union leaders.

The cut was part of a homeland security budget bill for fiscal year 2012. The House also voted 218 to 205 to prevent the TSA from collective bargaining with its workers. Both amendments now move to the Senate.

The deluge of negative press that the TSA has been forced to endure over the course of the last year is finally starting to cause cracks in the facade of the federal agency.

As we reported yesterday, TSA Field Operations Manager Scott Johnson said that the agency was considering changing its screening techniques during a meeting with lawmakers in Alaska.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.

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