This week, Congressman Ron Paul took a stand against the idea that the remote possibility of a terrorist attack justifies any indignity and sacrifice of personal liberty. He was talking about the genital pat downs and nude x-ray screening that air travelers are subjected to in the United States. Paul said, in his characteristically colorful way:
“If you can’t grope another person and if you can’t X-ray people and endanger them with possible X-rays, you can’t take nude photographs of individuals, why do we allow the government to do it? We would go to jail. He would be immediately arrested, if an individual citizen went up and did these things, and yet we just sit there and calmly say, oh, they are making us safe. And besides, the argument from the executive branch is that when you buy a ticket, you have sacrificed your rights and it is the duty of the government to make us safe.
That isn’t the case. You never have to sacrifice your rights. The duty of the government is to protect our rights, not to use them and do what they have been doing to us.”