Friday, October 24th, 2008 | Author:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will take over responsibility for checking airline passenger names against government watch lists beginning in January, and will require travelers for the first time to provide their full name, birth date and gender as a condition for boarding commercial flights, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

But rest assured, this is not a violation of the citizen’s right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” as defined in the Fourth Amendment. No, no, no.

And this vast database “which identifies about 400,000 individuals and includes roughly 1 million name records and aliases” is perfectly acceptable. (Did you know there are that many terrorists waiting to blow up our planes? Wow, do we need DHS!) Giving up personal information to have the “right” to board an airplane is nothing at all like having a national ID card, or getting “permission” from the government to fly – even though you won’t be able to get on a plane without spilling your guts.

And don’t pay any attention to old Ben Franklin, who said “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

No, our government will take care of us, just ask them. In fact, in addition to all the other wonderful things this new “Secure Flight” program will do, Secretary Chertoff told us that it will “protect passengers’ privacy.”

Boy, do I feel better.

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