Posted: 2:33 pm Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Video: Ga. GOP hopeful would ‘rather see another terrorist attack’ than deal with TSA 

By Daniel Malloy

Bob Johnson, a Savannah surgeon running in the First Congressional District GOP primary, was caught on tape taking his criticism of the Transportation Security Administration to a dramatic level:

“The TSA is doing something really profound. They’re indoctrinating generations of Americans to walk through a line and be prodded and probed by uniformed personnel, agents of the government, like sheep.

“Now this is going to sound outrageous: I’d rather see another terrorist attack — truly I would — than to give up my liberty as an American citizen. Give me liberty or give me death. Isn’t that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our Republican — or, republic.

“People are saying, ‘Now everyone wants security before anything else. I want a perfectly safe flight.’ You’re not going to have it. We’re going to have jack-boot uniformed people in our backyards.”

Politico broke the story on the video, and the AJC subsequently obtained a copy. It comes from a candidates forum in February in Waycross. All of the other Republican candidates were there, according to the person who sent the video to the AJC.

State Rep. Jeff Chapman of Brunswick and physician Earl Martin of Blackshear are visible in the video, and Martin seems to perk up a little bit at the mention of “jack-boot uniformed people,” but they do not react much to Johnson’s statement. The other Republican candidates are state Sen. Buddy Carter of Pooler, St. Simons Island businessman John McCallum and consultant and farmer Darwin Carter of Alma.

Buddy Carter is seen as the front-runner, with Johnson and McCallum his most likely runoff opponents.

Via his campaign manager, Johnson called his comparison “stupid” but did not back off his criticism of the TSA. Here’s his full statement:

“As a 26 year Army Ranger, head and neck surgeon and even a Christian medical missionary, I’ve sworn my life to defending this country and keeping people safe. And as a Constitutional conservative, it angers me that we are giving up our liberty to the bureaucratic TSA and spying on our own people in the name of false security and that has to stop.

“I’m very passionate about the ideals of liberty, freedom and maintaining a strong national defense, and these conservative ideals shouldn’t be at odds with each other. In the heat of the moment, while making the point that I would much rather fight the enemy than our federal government, I said something stupid and should have chosen my words more carefully.”

Update 5:35 p.m.: McCallum has jumped in the fray to condemn Johnson’s remarks. From a news release:

“There are no circumstances under which a terrorist attack on the United States is acceptable. These comments are embarrassing for the people of Georgia’s First District and unbecoming of someone who wants to serve in the United States Congress,” said McCallum. “He was right to apologize.”

69 comments
Starik
Starik

TSA should be replaced by a program similar to the one the Israelis use - identify threatening people rather that the current farcical procedures. 

NWGAL
NWGAL

No one likes the TSA and no one wants their plane to get hijacked. Who wants to be herded like cattle? It would be worth it if theTSA really wasnt just expensive security theater. I forgot to remove my large pocket knife from my purse and got through with no problem.

HenryRush
HenryRush

Who paid you to say the Carpetbagger McCallum and Johnson will be in a run off? 

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

So is Ben Johnson proposing that we eliminate the TSA's $7.5 billion annual budget?  Does he believe in free enterprise and that we go back to the time when we had private companies doing such a great job operating airport security by using untrained workder and paying them minimum wage?


If Johnson has a problem with TSA screening, he can always catch a Megabus.

tdl234
tdl234

We obviously have a need for short planes.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

Just so  you all know, this story also made national headlines.


2600 miles away and I am still getting news about the stupidity of conservatives in GA.

centgaboy
centgaboy

you just cannot fix stupid- it is a lifelong disease   And Ga is evidently the state that has the largest epidemic ever known to man in the Repub party

Menace
Menace

The reason we have the TSA is because the private firms would rather pay fines than do the job.  Their failures were part of the reason the hijackers were able to control the planes.

Andy123
Andy123

The TSA is needed so we the taxpayers can give coloreds with GEDs federal jobs with gravy federal benefits. 

carman25
carman25

Okay.   So here's my take on the situation. Oddly, I agree with him. Here's why. The rank and file American public are not criminally intent on bringing down our government. The political correctness of the TSA eliminates those that are most subject to scrutiny. If you are not willing to subject those that are more likely to cause disruption, why bother the rest? I see it as a smoke screen to provide an illusion of safety that does not and can not exist if those that are most likely to cause trouble are "waived through" due to political correctness. In the mean time, the American public is inconvenienced beyond measure. Do the math. Since all this started, how many hijackings or subversive plots have been stopped that could not have been stopped by visual observation and, for lack of a better term, individual profiling. This seems to be analogous to using an atomic bomb to kill an ant. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of American citizens are delayed and disrupted for absolutely no reason.It makes no sense. Think about it. How many little old ladies in wheel chairs or four year olds, stopped by the TSA have been found to be harboring high explosives? NONE! Yet, they were detained and searched for no reason at all.  It seems the USA has lost its sanity. We were once ruled by reason, but reason seems to have taken a backseat to political correctness. That's just absurd!

LHardingDawg
LHardingDawg

Except for the part about another terrorist attack, this guy is spot on. These TSA goons are searching Grandma and the baby in diapers while letting the people wearing the middle eastern attire get on the airplane.

btn
btn

What on earth does being frisked for weapons have to do with freedoms being violated?


I really do not understand the small percentage of the population that get so riled up when going through security checks to get on planes.  It is not like you are getting strip searched.  I find the ordeal of having my kids car seats completely dismantled every time we go through security to be a pain, but so what?  At the end of the day it is about keeping us safe.


Where exactly have these GOP civil rights leaders been when half the black and brown people in NYC were getting randomly searched on the streets for no legal reason?  I did not see any Tea Party folks standing up and protesting those actual freedom violations.

ChuckAllison
ChuckAllison

Giving up our freedoms is a very, very serious concession.  Folks need to listen to his real message here.  What are you willing to take in exchange for your freedoms?   Homeland security should be focused first on securing the borders of our "homeland". 

BufordIndependent
BufordIndependent

Just when you think Republicans can't get any crazier.  "I’d rather see another terrorist attack....We’re going to have jack-boot uniformed people in our backyards.”  


what a complete load of crap.   Republicans seem to conveniently forget it was President Bush (Republican last time I checked) who instituted the Patriot Act.  That led to the spiraling of loss of so called "freedoms."    Freedoms lost only in the minds of Republicans who have no clue what loss of Freedoms really mean.


So the TSA doesn't allow you to take knives and guns onto the planes.  What other freedoms have you lost?   I fly all the time.   You go through the line, you get screened, you move on.   I've lost 15 - 20 minutes of my time, and.....?   So what.


I'm assuming the same people who are calling to abolish the TSA are the same ones who stand proudly with American Flags on 9/11 and remind us all to "Never Forget."   Calling to ban the TSA shows you've truly have forgotten what the horror of that day was all about and why we have the TSA in the first place.   Is it perfect?  No?   Is it taking away some supposed "freedoms?"  No.   Go talk to the Civil Rights leaders from the 60's to get a taste of what losing freedom is all about.

JImC2
JImC2

And Homeland Security would follow them out the door.

JImC2
JImC2

If I had the authority I would disband the TSA immediately and bad everybody affiliated with it from ever working for the government again. They are useless, authoritarian, thugs.

HighRanger
HighRanger

What is it with Georgia's physician politicos: Broun, Gringey, now Johnson. They're all nuts! Medical degrees must be easier to come by these days than they once were...

NWGAL
NWGAL

Perhaps we should provide al Quaeda with his address?

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

Ship his sorry a$$ over to Afghanistan then.

honested
honested

Breaking news from the Gooberstan Teaklan front:


"I'd rather keep my outhouse than have one o' them gubmint inspectors snooping around to check my plumbing".


Does everyone comprehend the parallels?

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Whew - another crack-pot physician/surgeon from the Medical College of Georgia?  This is embarrassing.

petel
petel

GA doctors who run for office are idiots. Johnson, Gingrey, and Broun are so stupid it's hard to imagine how any of them had a medical practice.  Of course, Broun did lose his medical license.  The Tea Party crowd in this state is so far right that they make John Birch look like a liberal.   

NWGAL
NWGAL

I so agree. This is typical overkill without actually changing the risk.

DixiesDew
DixiesDew

@tdl234

Bulletproof passenger compartment. No screening. 20% discount to Georgia Carry Members. Casualties automatically receive an Honorable Mention Darwin Award and become eligible for the Grand Prize.  

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@centgaboy


It is not a matter of "stupid," I think.  It is a matter that Georgia's legislature is composed of the 3rd largest number of ALEC members in its body in the nation, 42 Republican legislators. Many of these Republican legislators are powerful ones who influence others in how to vote in Georgia's legislature.  The public needs to be made aware of what is happening, beneath their radar, and vote these Republican ALEC members out of office.

Derwin0
Derwin0

@Menace  Except that blades less than 4" long were allowed pre-9/11 by the FAA, and that's what the hijackers used.

anothercomment
anothercomment

You can not get a federal job with a GED. Most of these TSA jobs are held by people with Veterans Preference.

Many federal jobs today require positive degree requirements. This includes, not only Doctors, nurses, scientists, but since the 1990's all purchasing agents had to have a bachelors degree, those that didn't have one had to go back and get one, as did all the Human R esources Officers, and the Financial Analysts.

HarryCrews
HarryCrews

@Andy123


"coloreds"? Really? God, I hope this is trolling or a sick joke. If not, is there any question the Georgia GOP is brought to you by the same Dixiecrats that brought you Jim Crow; just in a different sheet color?

DixiesDew
DixiesDew

@Andy123

I'll bet Walmart just cleaned up with you guys with the January White Sale this year! 

honested
honested

@Andy123  

Awwwwwww.

Just when I thought your mother had nothing to be proud of.

tdl234
tdl234

@carman25

Nobody gets skipped out of political correctness. Period. And if I were a sinister A-rab terrorist wouldn't it be a good idea not to dress as one and sneak a weapon aboard in some white bread grannie's panties? You have yourself a blissful day! 

Andy123
Andy123

@LHardingDawg

Not to mention the majority of the people on the ramp with access to planes NEVER go through security.

The TSA at the front of the airport is smoke and mirrors for the mentally weak and the paranoid.   

tdl234
tdl234

@LHardingDawg

Why don't you experiment for us for us LHD? Talk your wife out of a set of sheets, not those, another set without the holes. Sew a couple of darts in them for sleeves and then go through security dressed as an A-rab. See if you slide on through. You will be searched 9 times out of 10.  The 1 in 10 time? You get a little trip over to the booth for a little Q&A to boot. 

Of course there are a lot of ignorant types that don't know that Paul Broun was either pandering and/or ignorant himself of programs like TSA Pre√. Where frequent flyers pay to be more extensively pre-screened and avoid the everyday hassles.

honested
honested

@LHardingDawg  

Thank shrub for taking you down this path.

OR 

Stay home, everyone else will be much happier!

btn
btn

These are just people doing their jobs to keep terrorists from taking over planes.   


Why exactly can't grannie and baby be frisked for sake of security?  What harm is being done?   If you don't like being touched, the last place you should be is in one of those incredibly narrow airplane seats.


How exactly did the Bill of Rights somehow get turned into a defense for paranoid people who do not want to be touched?

honested
honested

@ChuckAllison  

Great idea chuckie.

Let's get serious starting first thing in the morning with locking up ALL those Americans who hire people that cross the borders illegally.

Without the nectar, there would be no bees.

anothercomment
anothercomment

Most of them are military veterans who got these jobs through the Veterans preference they earned in Viatnam, or One of Bush I or Bush II wars or. They have 10 to 30 point disabilities from their military service disabilities.

If you are not at least a 10 point veteran you have very little chance of getting one of these gate jobs. Now when you are complaining about the quality of these employees it is directly related to the upper class and Oligarchs ( aka Republican bedfellows of the Bushes, Chainey, Hailburton and the rest of the military defense contractors ramping up two wars based on false information spread by Condi Rice, ( Bush's Mistress ) ) they depleted the military and dropped the normal entrance standards of the volunteer army.

All the custodian and grounds keeping jobs for these folks with veterans preference were contracted out since the late 1990's to reward the campaign donors of the Republicans. The jobs where outsourced under the guise of saving money. How do you save money with 20% profits, you cut workers pay and benefits, throw them out of the middle class. While the rich get richer. So the new Veterans preference for the soldiers without degrees became TSA. They pay better than .the part-time $10.25 hr no benefit we hire veterans jobs with Home Depot.

btn
btn

@JImC2  

You long for the good old days, when hijackings happened all the time.  

honested
honested

@JImC2  

Really?

On what do you base this deeply considered pontification?

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

@JerryFloyd  

It's the leeches you have to watch out for.

Give Johnson credit though, at least HE washes his hands before seeing patients.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Ralph-43


See my response to Petel, below, Ralph, about this same concern.

anothercomment
anothercomment

One of Gingrey's partners is my friend of 17years, they told me they jumped for joy when he won the Congressional seat. He was sued all the time and caused the other partners to get trapped in suits. Who wants Phil starring up her ???? When he was in the Ga Legislature was horrible for the practice.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@petel


As I stated below, Petel, "Just because one has credibility (and training) as a surgeon or doctor does not mean that that person has been trained to think with complexity and nuance in the realm of ideas."

HarryCrews
HarryCrews

@Derwin0 @Menace


I have news for you, the TSA employees are the same folks that were handling airport security before 9-11. They just got a nicer uniform and new employers. Turn airport security over to the U.S. Military -- like every major Country in Europe.

DixiesDew
DixiesDew

@Andy123 @LHardingDawg

Well darling, they went through extensive corporate human resource screenings to get the job and even have to randomly pee in cups to keep the job. Not to mention having to go through security checkpoints your myopic viewpoint doesn't allow you to see.  

tdl234
tdl234

@LHardingDawg

Oh, and no fair cheating by using your Dale Earnhardt #3 Forever sheets.