Strip Searches Strip Our Liberty
Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that anyone can be strip-searched when arrested, for any offense, at any time. The majority was composed of the more libertarian side of the court who claim to value liberty over all.
Albert Florence, who initiated the suit, had been stopped for a driving violation. Once taken into custody he was told to “turn around. Squat and cough. Spread your cheeks.” He felt humiliated, “It made me feel like less of a man.”
Naomi Wolf points out the absurdity of the reasoning. Justice Kennedy suggested that a 9/11 bomber could have been stopped for speeding. And strip searching him would have prevented the attack? Plans to blow up the twin towers may have been concealed in a body cavity? Or, weapons and contraband could be brought into the prison system, Kennedy continued. Yet those merely under arrest haven’t yet made it into the prison population.
Wolf goes on to warn,
Believe me: you don’t want the state having the power to strip your clothes off. History shows that the use of forced nudity by a state that is descending into fascism is powerfully effective in controlling and subduing populations.
Forcing people to undress is the first step in breaking down a sense of individuality and dignity and reinforcing powerlessness. Enslaved women were sold naked on the blocks in the American south, and adolescent male slaves served young white ladies at table in the south, while they themselves were naked: their invisible humiliation was a trope for their emasculation. Jewish prisoners herded into concentration camps were stripped of clothing and photographed naked, as iconic images of that Holocaust reiterated.
While TSA pat-downs are routine in the US, they are illegal in Britain. Wolf believes that the genital groping policy “is designed to psychologically habituate US citizens to a condition in which they are demeaned and sexually intruded upon by the state – at any moment.”
Interesting, and scary. Especially since cargo holds are not always routinely checked for bombs. And nuclear and chemical plants are not adequately guarded. All because companies want to avoid costs and delays. And yet we must put up with pat-downs, x-ray cameras and strip searches at the airport?
Meanwhile, a facility is being set up in Utah by the NSA to monitor everything all the time. And recent laws have criminalized protest. Where are we headed, Wolf wonders.
I doubt there is a clear plan to psychologically subdue the U.S. population through sexual terrorism. But so long as we all sheepishly submit to it, the techniques could potentially become a tool for our submission.
And the fact that such tools are upheld by the libertarian side of the bench leaves me wondering how pro-freedom they really are. Is it liberty for all? Or just liberty for powerful police and powerful corporations? The rest of us had better submit.
See entire article @ Naomi Wolf, “How the US Uses Sexual Humiliation as a Political Tool to Control the Masses,” Common Dreams