Presenting PreCheck: Fascist and Furious

Recently by Becky Akers: What Will Jesus Do?

Seldom have so many bragged so much about so little.

The TSA and its flaks in the corporate media are currently shilling for the agency's "Pre√ (yes, Jargon plumbs new depths here: that cuneiform translates as u2018PreCheck') Program." The outrage with the Orwellian name isn't anything new: it's haunted nationalized aviation for almost as long as the TSA has. Sometimes, companies who "partner" with the Feds but nonetheless insist that they're "private" have offered it. Other times, as now, the Thieves and Sexual Assailants are its sole sponsors.

The scam pretends that serfs who divulge even more information to the Feds than their dossiers already contain will suffer less persecution from the TSA than the rest of us. The agency doesn't go so far as to claim they'll completely escape its sexual molestation, nor even that they'll breeze through checkpoints; rather, these self-snitches will merely "undergo expedited screening [sic for u2018unconstitutional, warrantless searches']." Our Masters will "no longer" force them to "remov[e] the following items: Shoes; 3-1-1 compliant bag from carry-on; Laptop from bag; Light outerwear/jacket; Belt." However, "TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures [sic for u2018sexual assault and humiliation'] throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening."

Indeed, one of the TSA's spokesliars insists that "random" groping is "an important element of the program." Wanna bet the groping is no more random than the porno-scanning is? (And by the way, where are the feminists on this? Why have we heard diddly from NOW during the TSA's decade of degrading women?)

Permission to sometimes perhaps avoid Big Brother's fondling comes with a price: $100. Since we're dealing with Leviathan here, assume this is a yearly fee and that it will rise steeply as more passengers seek relief, even if partial, from the agency's abuse.

But here's the real kicker, something that should have every American, Occupier or otherwise, screaming to abolish the TSA and indeed all government: PreCheck is unabashedly, openly fascist. It splits with corporations the power the Feds wield over us.

Not just anyone can enroll in PreCheck, you see: "Travelers who already submit background information to participate in a frequent flier program with American and Delta airlines may be invited by those airlines to participate in PreCheck. If passengers agree, the airlines would share the background data with the TSA." [Emphasis added.]

The fascism will expand as other airlines exploit PreCheck: "United, US Airways and Alaska airlines are expected to join the program this year."

In other words, you have to be rich enough to spend lots of money with a corporation – you have to have earned the corporation's approval – before PreCheck will consider your application. (Members of various unconstitutional lists the Feds maintain, such as "Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Traveler program," are also eligible. And even we plebs can apply – read: pay $100, non-refundable — via the TSA's website, but we're gambling against very long odds without a corporate supporter.)

Ironically, this is exactly how aviation's security should function — provided we strip the TSA from it. Airlines should bar customers they don't trust from their planes. And would, were it not for Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its evisceration of our inalienable right to associate. That legislation renames private companies "public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce" and then prohibits them from "discriminating," which the Feds interpret as refusing to do business for any reason a bureaucrat hasn't approved. And no wonder: the State reserves the august authority to discriminate for itself.

Then, too, absent the force that Leviathan always brings to its alliances with business, corporations own no power over us: we are just as free to break off transactions as they are, to make other arrangements, to live life as we see fit, with or without a specific company's cooperation.

For example, let's say Linda tries to buy a ticket on Macho Airlines. Its CEO is a raging misogynist who has prohibited his employees from transporting women. Alas, barring half his potential customers from his airline means that the other half picks up the slack in much higher prices. So even if Linda could persuade Mr. Misogynist to fly her to Paris, she'd far rather ride on his cheaper – and more welcoming – competitor.

In a freed market, then, neither exercises power over the other, though the wealthy Mr. M leads a corporation and Linda is merely an impecunious traveler. Plenty of other companies will serve her when Mr. M declines to do so.

But that's no longer the case when government intrudes in the mix. Under its control, Mr. M can't deny Linda passage because of her sex – but the government can on the slightest pretext (the Feds refuse to divulge their criteria for inclusion on the No-Fly List – probably because anecdotal evidence suggests they ban passengers for a lengthy list of "offenses" that wouldn't pass muster if exposed). Nor does the government block Linda from only one airline: it blocks her from all. She has no recourse, either. Since Leviathan doesn't divulge the names on the List, she can't prove she's on it, and therefore has no "standing" to sue for her removal. And yes, courts have upheld this Alice-in-Wonderland "logic." Enthusiastically.

Tragically but predictably, the frequent flyers the media quotes love PreCheck. "Oh, that would be a great thing," one of them told CBS's affiliate in Chicago. "I'd really enjoy that. It would be a time saver." I wonder if he'll as heartily welcome government's working with corporations to restrict access in other industries, too – ones where he doesn't have a leg up on everyone else.

Meanwhile, John-sorry, Janet Napolitano, the DHS's Secretary, smears PreCheck's dupes as "our trusted partners." How's that for a dire insult? Bear that in mind, all you eager enrollees: totalitarians, thieves and pedophiles consider you their accomplices.

February 15, 2012

Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.

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