A former governor of the US state of Arkansas and potential presidential candidate has slammed the treatment of airport passengers by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Speaking at the conservative “Freedom Summit” in New Hampshire on Saturday, Mike Huckabee said he’s beginning to believe that there’s “more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States,” a reference to TSA patdowns and security procedures at airports.
“When I go to the airport, I have to get in the surrender position,” Huckabee said while holding up his hands. “People put hands all over me. And I have to provide photo ID in a couple of different forms and prove that I really am not going to terrorize the airplane.”
“But if I want to go vote, I don’t need a thing,” he added, referring to Republican-led efforts to require American voters to provide government-issued identification in order to vote, a move Democrats have said would only suppress voting rights.
Huckabee ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and is seen as a possible 2016 presidential candidate. He attended the Freedom Summit along with GOP Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz hoping to win the favor of the party’s right wing for a chance to win the White House.
The TSA, which was created after the September 11, 2001 attacks, has been accused of mistreating passengers and having sexually harassed passengers. The agency’s employees have also been accused of numerous failures and misconduct on the job.
Scott Rickard, a former intelligence linguist in Florida, told Press TV on Saturday that the TSA is “unfortunately expanding its horrific violations on American civil rights as well as American constitutional rights.”
“There is no accountability and there certainly is no one regulating the TSA. They operate pretty much on their own as another security service much like the FBI… and it’s just an expansion of the police state that we’ve seen occurring in the United States over the last half-century,” Rickard said.