NYCLU sues city over bag searches

08.04.05

Looks like the New York Civil Liberties Union has its priorities real straight: it has sued New York over subway bag searches:

New York’s random searches began on July 22 after a second set of bomb attacks on the London transit system.

“The policy of searching thousands of subway riders daily without any suspicion that they have done anything wrong is unprecedented, unproductive and unconstitutional,” said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman, whose organization filed the suit on behalf of five New York city subway riders.

The searches – which seemed to be voluntary, based on what I saw in New York last weekend – were intended as reassuring, not invasive. To be sure, the chances of thwarting a terrorist attack with random bag searches is pretty slim. The point seemed to be more to make people feel better. Nobody objected much.

Can someone please explain to me why it’s not an invasion of civil liberties to have a bag searched at an airport, but it is in a subway?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John Palubiski 08.05.05 at 3:29 PM

Decades ago the ACLU actually did important work; now they just sue everyone.

Now suppose they win and a month from now a bomb goes off in the subway killing dozens. Will the friends and relatives of the victims have the right to the NYCLU?

You right about searches having a slim chance of stoppong an attack, but as you said they do reassure the public – and who knows – they may have SOME effect of intimidating would-be attackers.

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2 DaninVan 08.05.05 at 5:48 PM

You into the Merlot, again J.P.? (your typing, not your p.o.v.)

You don’t want to have your backpack searched? Fine, take a taxi!

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3 John Palubiski 08.05.05 at 6:04 PM

Exactly DinV! It,s not like people are being asked to ride the subway naked or something, right?

I don’t know what happened to the ACLU. There are so many pressing issues concerning censorship, privacy and REAL human rights abuses, that it’s astounding they would stoop to picking a fight like this.

It seems to me that human rights “abuses” only become important to the ACLU (and other like-minded organisations) if the “abuses” in question afford them the opportunity to rag on Bush or the war effort or The West, in general. And Israel, of course, is ALWAYS a favorite.

Remember the HRW report given by that Irene gal hailing from that paragon of human rights, Pakistan?

Monty Python all the way!

And hey! Waht’s rwong iwth my ytping?

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4 Dan Chercover 08.05.05 at 9:32 PM

Heh…nuffing, J.P.

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5 Tré 08.08.05 at 5:31 PM

Slippery slope.

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