AEA's Ric Peri (right) sent a letter to ANN
about his feelings over TSA's recent assault on our liberties.
We simply couldn't have said it better... so we're going to let him
say it, verbatim.
Like most Americans I generally support our Government's actions
to enforce the laws and to enhance the security in and around
public places. However, I am seriously concerned about the
continuous chipping away at the rights and liberties of those of us
who make our living in aviation. Everyone in aviation has
already lost some of their civil liberties in the name of National
Security. This latest action by the FAA and TSA to withhold
the civil liberties of aviation certificate holders is not
acceptable. Where are the checks and balances of
Government? Where is the due process of law?
My office is in downtown Washington, DC. Each day I ride
the train into Union Station and then walk to my office; down
Louisiana Avenue, along side the Capitol, then turn and head up
Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House. My office is
located about half way between the Halls of Congress and the
residence of the President.
Moving about the city for meetings with various industry groups
and government agencies I usually choose to walk. Walking
allows me the opportunity to experience the history of democracy;
never has this been more important to me than now when Congress,
the Department of Transportation and the FAA seem to be accepting
the loss of liberty for a few in the name of security for all.
About six blocks from FAA Headquarters, along Pennsylvania
Avenue, is the Justice Department. Chiseled into the marble
facade of their building so that each employee will see it when
they enter the building are the following words: Justice is
founded in the rights bestowed by nature upon man. Liberty is
maintained in the security of justice.
But the most appropriate message is from another
location about a block from the Capitol. Located on the corner
of Louisiana and New Jersey Avenues is a small monument; a monument
you might miss if you were not looking for it; a monument with a
Again, etched in marble, the message begins: "Here we
admit a wrong - Here we affirm our commitment as a nation to equal
justice under the law." spoken in 1988, by President Ronald Reagan
as he signed the Civil Liberties Act.
The monument is a remembrance of the 120,000 citizens who lost
their civil liberty; the 120,000 citizens who lost the right of due
process; the 120,000 Japanese citizens who were interned during
World War II in the name of National Security.
are two more messages that stand out at this monument. Senator
Daniel K. Inouye instructs us that "The lessons learned must remain
as a grave reminder of what we must not allow to happen again to
But the message I'll end this with, asks: "May this memorial be
a tribute to the indomitable spirit of a citizenry in World War II
who remained steadfast in their faith in our democratic
system." This message was given to the American people by
internee, Congressman and current Secretary of Transportation,
Norman Y. Mineta.
As we move forward in our endeavors to assure National Security
let us not forget the lesson our history has taught us and never
forget: "Liberty is maintained only in the security of
Ric Peri--Vice President, Government and Industry
Aircraft Electronics Association