Ron Paul introduces legislation that would open TSA agents to prosecution

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Some outraged members of Congress aren’t settling for merely criticizing TSA’s new airport security measures. Yesterday, Texas Rep. Ron Paul introduced The American Traveler Dignity Act.

Only one paragraph in length, the bill would remove TSA employees’ immunity from prosecution for implementing the new screening procedures, which offer passengers a choice between either a full-body X-ray scan or an invasive pat down.

Paul explained the bill’s need in a speech on the House floor yesterday, saying, “If you can’t grope another person, if you can’t X-ray people and endanger them… if you cant take nude photos of individuals, why do we allow the government to do it?”

Jeff Deist, chief of staff for the Texas congressman, told The Daily Caller that “we will start seeking cosponsors in earnest next week.”

So far, just North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones and Tennessee Republican Rep. John Duncan have joined Paul as co-sponsors.

Duncan delivered a speech on the floor of the House about the new screening measures, stating, “a nationwide revolt is developing over the body scanners at the airports and it should.”

A common focus of congressional criticism of the security measures is the role played by Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security during the last Bush administration. Paul and Duncan, as well as others, have accused Chertoff of abusing his influence to secure sales for one of his clients.

“This is much more about money than it is about security. The former Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, represents Rapid Scan, the company which is selling these scanners to his former department,” said Duncan Wednesday.

Paul was equally critical, stating, “Here is a guy who was the head of the TSA selling the equipment, and the equipment is questionable, we don’t even know if it works and it may well be dangerous to our health.”

Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe is another vocal critic of the new security measures, saying yesterday, “there must be a better way to have security at airports than taking pornographic photographs of our citizens, including children, and then giving apparent kickbacks to political hacks.”

TheDC was unable to reach Poe for comment.