Rand Paul

Nude TSA-Protesting Man Will Fight Charges Because as Campaign For Liberty and Rand Paul Put it: "the government literally has its hands in our pants."

|

As Brian Doherty noted below, a President Rand Paul in 2016 is not the most implausible of ideas. The next question is of course, do we have to wait four more years to nix this whole Transportation Security Agency (TSA) thing? Sen. Rand Paul had his own run-in with the TSA in January, but even before that the curly-mopped Kentuckian was not wild about the agency. He recently urged supporters to sign the Campaign for Liberty's petition to get rid of the TSA. Because, as a member of that campaign so beautifully put it, "the government literally has its hands down our pants."

It sometimes seems like Drudge and cable news have a TSA horror story every few days (grandmothers, the disabled, children, none will go unmolested. Also, your belt might explode.) yet people still support the security measures to a distressing degree. But there are always a few choice Americans who are fighting back in the best, most basic way they know how.

Take this naked guy from Oregon. Some misguided politics possibly implied, since the dude has also stripped naked to bikeride-protest against oil dependence, (or maybe he just likes getting naked?), but John E. Brennan declared in mid-April that he was "nude, but not lewd" when he took off his clothes at the security screening area of Portland International Airport. And he's sticking with that argument in court. "The most effective way to tell them I'm not carrying a bomb is take off my clothes," said Brennan who had previously complained about the TSA's treatment through his twitter account. And so, Brennan has just decided not to plead out on his charges of disorderly conduct and indecent exposure, the better to fight for Americans' freedom to go ungroped.

Notes the Oregonian:

John E. Brennan had the option Wednesday morning of entering Multnomah County Circuit Court's community court program, which would allow his misdemeanor to be treated like a citation. He would be required to plead guilty. He also likely would be ordered to do community service and write an apology letter. But Brennan and his attorney, Michael E. Rose, told a judge that they wanted to go to trial.

"His (letter of) apology would be more of an explanation and so community court is simply not appropriate for him because he has said 'I didn't do anything wrong,'" Rose said, after the brief hearing.

Rose said one of two things will happen next: The district attorney's office will dismiss the charge or Brennan will go to trial, as early as mid-June.

"Community court is the easy way out," Rose said.

Brennan is charged with "indecent exposure," a Portland city ordinance that says it's unlawful for "any person to expose his or her genitalia while in a public place or place visible from a public place, if the public place is open and available to persons of the opposite sex." State law allows nudity—as long as it isn't done to sexually arouse oneself or others.

Only worrying about the emotional scars of the opposite sex from the nude person? That's pretty heterosexist, Portland law. And also stupidly broad because nudity is victimless. State law, if you're going to have a law about nudity at all, does seem much more sensible. Under state law it seems clear that a naked protest is not the same as a guy in a park trying to terrify your children or elderly relatives. 

Though Paul has remained clothed while protesting the TSA, the Sen. may be more radical even than Brennan, who doesn't want to abolish the agency:

"(TSA screeners) have a delicate job. They have to balance safety in the skies, which I completely support, and our personal liberties; and right now, I think as the pendulum is swinging, it's swinging toward taking away our personal liberties and our constitutional rights," Brennan said.

On Monday, Brennan got through the security checkpoint at Sacramento International without any problems. He opted out of the full body scanner, but got through the process with his clothes on.

Brennan said he's done disrobing in airports; he doesn't want to end up on the no-fly list. He's now encouraging other passengers to know their rights.

"It's not my job to solve the problem; there are experts for that," Brennan said. "My job is to protect my rights and the rights of other people flying."

He's not exactly a libertarian patriot, he may like getting naked a little too much for the squeamish, but his generally cheerful stubornness and refusal to be cowed into saying he did something wrong is commendable, and that's something in the direction of liberty.

Reason on the TSA and on Rand Paul

NEXT: Why Is Nurse Jackie's Drug Habit a Problem?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. He’s not exactly a libertarian patriot, he may like getting naked a little too much for the squeamish, but his generally cheerful stubornness and refusal to be cowed into saying he did something wrong is commendable, and that’s something in the direction of liberty.

    God Bless useful idiots.

    1. Oh…and great alt text on the second pic.

    2. I don’t think I’d call him useful.

      “(TSA screeners) have a delicate job. They have to balance safety in the skies, which I completely support, and our personal liberties; and right now, I think as the pendulum is swinging, it’s swinging toward taking away our personal liberties and our constitutional rights,” Brennan said.

      He’s fine with the TSA, he’s just wanted to get naked in an airport.

      1. He’s fine with the TSA, he’s just wanted to get naked in an airport.

        The fact that he is fine with the TSA is why he is an idiot. The fact that he likes to get naked in airports is what made him useful by keeping this TSA nonsense out in the open. I wasn’t praising his political stance or his views on the TSA.

        1. Ah, I see. Carry on then.

  2. Only worrying about the emotional scars of the opposite sex from the nude person? That’s pretty heterosexist, Portland law.

    Do you mean “heteronormative”, or are you pointing out that the law can only prosecute “hetero” exposure?

  3. Don’t like the TSA? Don’t fly.

    If enough people boycotted air travel, things might actually change.

    1. What would change is that the TSA would claim that, since air travel was less common, they would have to monitor other modes of transportation now since they would be more likely lines of attack for terrorists. Voila, TSAgnents at every bus stop and train station!

      1. *TSAgents

      2. It’s just a matter of time before they do that anyway.

    2. If enough people boycotted air travel, things might actually change.

      Every major airline except Southwest has gone bankrupt since 9/11 and the TSA.

      So, no, I don’t think people voting with their feet is going to make the slightest difference.

      1. Every major American airline except Southwest . . .

      2. There are smaller airlines popping up that avoid TSA checkpoints, and they are growing.

  4. If he loses the case at trial, are they still gonna let Warty comment from prison?

    1. Couldn’t have been Warty. His nakedness is never so non-violent.

      1. You know those fake Beer Nuts cans with pop-out snakes in them? It’s kinda like that, only with far, far more screaming.

  5. My biggest problem with the TSA isn’t the groping, and I wish it wasn’t such a focal point – I think most people are too sensitive, and that we all need a little more love where it counts. My problem is the government control aspect, which I dislike at all levels of contact. It’s the indignity of being under someone else’s control, whether through fondling or interrogation. And knowing that it’s all a charade to make stupid people think they’re safe is maddening.

    Also, ad banner, it’s Carole King with an “e”.

    1. Guilty until proven innocent.

  6. As Brian Doherty noted below, a President Rand Paul in 2016 is not the most implausible of ideas.

    I’d be willing to say that a President Rand Paul in 2016 is almost as likely as us landing a man on the moon by next Monday. For there to be a President Rand Paul in 2016, one of three scenarios will have to happen:
    1: Mittens taps him as his VP nod, wins and leaves office before his term ends.
    2: His dad gets the GOP nomination and taps him for the VP slot, wins and leaves office before his term ends.
    3: Mittens picks someone else and a Watergate-like scandal envelops the administration and Rand Paul ends up getting in like Gerald Ford does.
    4: The GOP wins control of the Senate and Rand becomes Senate President pro tempore, and in a Tom Clancy-esque attack, the Japs fly a 747 into the Capitol during the SOTU while Rand is stuck at a TSA checkpoint at IAD with a man’s hands in his pants.

    /stickler for inauguration dates

    1. One of four scenarios. Although there are more ways it could happen, but they involve Rand leaving the Senate for a cabinet position, which isn’t likely at all.

  7. It’s usually the people who you don’t want to see nude who are the first to strip down.

    note: there have been some wonderful exceptions in my life: the nude art model – she preferred to walk around her apartment in the buff. Or the blonde who like to show off her boobs to groups of guys… or several concerts.

  8. A recommendation for President (or Presidential Candidate) Rand Paul: Pick Bruce Schneier for DHS head.

    1. +100

  9. Surprising this guy wasn’t put on a sex-offender list.

    Then again, the day is young.

  10. Sometimes yu just have to throw your hands in the air and shout, Whos your daddy!

    http://www.Privacy-Dudes.tk

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.