Finally! Public Outrage Builds Against TSA Abuse of Power

John Tyner, 31, of Oceanside, CA

Thanks to John Tyner, an ordinary citizen from Oceanside, CA, who just wanted to enjoy a little pheasant hunting in South Dakota last weekend, the media spotlight is now on the TSA and its employees, some of whom are apparently power-mad and abusive to the travelers they are supposed to be protecting.

I’m sure you’ve heard about Tyner by now. He’s the man who refused a naked body scan at San Diego Airport, and then refused to be manhandled by TSA employees using their new security procedure, the “resolution pat-down,”

which requires TSA agents to grasp the body of the subject more firmly when running hands over limbs and also requires probing up to the genital areas of the body.

Tyner had the presence of mind to capture video of his encounter with the TSA, and he later posted the videos on you tube and on his blog, where he also described his experience in detail. Here’s an exerpt:

A male agent…directed me over to the far corner of the area for screening….he turned to me and began to explain that he was going to do a “standard” pat down. (I thought to myself, “great, not one of those gropings like I’ve been reading about”.) After he described, the pat down, I realized that he intended to touch my groin. After he finished his description but before he started the pat down, I looked him straight in the eye and said, “if you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” He, a bit taken aback, informed me that he would have to involve his supervisor because of my comment.

We both stood there for no more than probably two minutes before a female TSA agent (apparently, the supervisor) arrived. She described to me that because I had opted out of the backscatter screening, I would now be patted down, and that involved running hands up the inside of my legs until they felt my groin. I stated that I would not allow myself to be subject to a molestation as a condition of getting on my flight. The supervisor informed me that it was a standard administrative security check and that they were authorized to do it. I repeated that I felt what they were doing was a sexual assault, and that if they were anyone but the government, the act would be illegal. I believe that I was then informed that if I did not submit to the inspection, I would not be getting on my flight. I again stated that I thought the search was illegal. I told her that I would be willing to submit to a walk through the metal detector as over 80% of the rest of the people were doing, but I would not be groped. The supervisor, then offered to go get her supervisor.

The upshot of all this was that Tyner was escorted out of the security area by a police officer and then after more consultations with supervisors, managed to get a refund on his ticket.

At this point, I thought it was all over. I began to make my way to the stairs to exit the airport, when I was approached by another man in slacks and a sport coat. He was accompanied by the officer that had escorted me to the ticketing area and Mr. Silva. He informed me that I could not leave the airport. He said that once I start the screening in the secure area, I could not leave until it was completed. Having left the area, he stated, I would be subject to a civil suit and a $10,000 fine. I asked him if he was also going to fine the 6 TSA agents and the local police officer who escorted me from the secure area. After all, I did exactly what I was told. He said that they didn’t know the rules, and that he would deal with them later. They would not be subject to civil penalties.

You get the idea. Tyner’s experience was Kafkaesque. The behavior of TSA and Airline employees was reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s descriptions of military red tape in Catch-22. Eventually Tyner did escape the airport without being groped, but the TSA isn’t through with him yet.

The TSA plans to “investigate” Tyner because he left the airport without being authorized by TSA to do so.

The Transportation Security Administration has opened an investigation targeting John Tyner, the Oceanside man who left Lindbergh Field under duress on Saturday morning after refusing to undertake a full body scan….

Michael J. Aguilar, chief of the TSA office in San Diego, called a news conference at the airport Monday afternoon to announce the probe. He said the investigation could lead to prosecution and civil penalties of up to $11,000.

TSA agents had told Tyner on Saturday that he could be fined up to $10,000.

“That’s the old fine,” Aguilar said. “It has been increased.”

So that’s it, folks. If you want to fly in the U.S. today, you either have to be photographed naked or you have to submit to a humiliating groping process that involves a stranger’s hands coming into contact with your genitals. That’s a Hobson’s choice if I’ve ever heard one. One way or another, you submit to an embarrassing situation in which you are vulnerable to the whims of strangers who may be drunk with power.

Naked body scan image

What’s the risk you take with the naked body scans? They expose you to radiation, and that may be dangerous for young children and elderly people. Many people would find the invasion of privacy and modesty embarrassing and humiliating. And how about the fact that some invisible total stranger may be examining your body and perhaps gawking at your body parts or ridiculing you? These scans show the body in detail and seem to highlight the genital area (see photo). Worst of all, although the government claims the naked images are immediately destroyed, that isn’t so clear.

Gizmodo published multiple stories about this issue today. Here’s a very creepy one you might like to take a look at: The TSA’s Sense of Humor Makes Me Nervous The story includes a photograph of a TSA computer with a highly offensive wallpaper image that apparently reflects TSA “humor” (see below)

The technology site also posted a video of 100 leaked naked body scans.

Wait a minute. Those images aren’t supposed to be saved, are they? Riiiiiight.

At the heart of the controversy over “body scanners” is a promise: The images of our naked bodies will never be public. U.S. Marshals in a Florida Federal courthouse saved 35,000 images on their scanner. These are those images.

A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., obtained by a FOIA request after it was recently revealed that U.S. Marshals operating the machine in the Orlando, Florida courthouse had improperly-perhaps illegally-saved images of the scans of public servants and private citizens.

We understand that it will be controversial to release these photographs. But identifying features have been eliminated. And fortunately for those who walked through the scanner in Florida last year, this mismanaged machine used the less embarrassing imaging technique.

Yet the leaking of these photographs demonstrates the security limitations of not just this particular machine, but millimeter wave and x-ray backscatter body scanners operated by federal employees in our courthouses and by TSA officers in airports across the country. That we can see these images today almost guarantees that others will be seeing similar images in the future. If you’re lucky, it might even be a picture of you or your family.

Finally Gizmodo asks whether the scanners are being put into airports our safety or for the further enrichment of three giant corporations and their lobbyists. The Gizmodo story refers to this story by Timothy P. Carney:

If you’ve seen one of these scanners at an airport, there’s a good chance it was made by L-3 Communications, a major contractor with the Department of Homeland Security. L-3 employs three different lobbying firms including Park Strategies, where former Sen. Al D’Amato, R-N.Y., plumps on the company’s behalf. Back in 1989, President George H.W. Bush appointed D’Amato to the President’s Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism following the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Also on Park’s L-3 account is former Appropriations staffer Kraig Siracuse.

The scanner contract, issued four days after the Christmas Day bomb attempt last year, is worth $165 million to L-3.

Rapiscan got the other naked-scanner contract from the TSA, worth $173 million. Rapiscan’s lobbyists include Susan Carr, a former senior legislative aide to Rep. David Price, D-N.C., chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee. When Defense Daily reported on Price’s appropriations bill last winter, the publication noted “Price likes the budget for its emphasis on filling gaps in aviation security, in particular the whole body imaging systems.”

An early TSA contractor for full-body scanners was the American Science and Engineering company. AS&E’s lobbying team is impressive, including Tom Blank, a former deputy administrator for the TSA. Fellow AS&E lobbyist Chad Wolf was an assistant administrator at TSA and an aide to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who sits on the Transportation and Defense subcommittees of Appropriations. Finally, Democratic former Rep. Bud Cramer is also an AS&E lobbyist — he sat on the Defense and Transportation subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee.

It always comes down to money, doesn’t it? Personally I haven’t flown since before 9/11, and I am determined never to fly again until this outrageous violation of our privacy and civil liberties ends.

109 Comments on “Finally! Public Outrage Builds Against TSA Abuse of Power”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    I’m not flying again, ever! I think if I had to deal with these TSA morons, I’d flip out and end up in jail.

    • grayslady says:

      Ditto, and great piece, BB.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’ll second you on that one. And I was cavity searched in Switzerland as a teenager trying to get on a plane during the 1972 Olympics right after the Munich massacre.

      • bostonboomer says:


        • dakinikat says:

          My parents and my kid sister had to wait for me for some time and they weren’t allowed to go near the curtained booth. It was this women that looked like the Beulah Ballbreaker Gym Teacher in those Porky’s movies. She had a thing for my lip gloss too. She opened every single bit of my make up and acted like it was some 007 gadget. I was traumatized and just glad it wasn’t the wrong time of the month.

          • bostonboomer says:

            That’s horrible. My mom told me my dad was groped at a European airport years ago.

          • dakinikat says:

            Yup. And at the time, what she did probably would’ve been considered statutory sexual assault under today’s laws. I so looked like a Palestinian national!! That musta been the reason!

    • newdealdem1 says:

      The way things are now with these body scanners, I feel the same.

      I travel on business about 25% annually. Two months after 9/11, I had to fly and wasn’t really apprehensive because I figured that using planes as weapons of terror wouldn’t happen so soon after 9/11 or for some time to came after that. Flying from that time until 2005 when the UK was hit hard by AQ was not bad at all. A bit of delay but nothing like happened after 2005 (which compared to now was also not that invasive).

      I’ve been lucky this year because I have been assigned to fly to States where I can drive and I’ve driven as far as Virginia to avoid those scanners. I, like many others find it a rank invasion of privacy and now with the choice of a pat down, I honestly don’t know which is worse because both are equally invasive. And, right now I don’t know what I’ll do or how I will react when I’m assigned to travel to the West Coast and the chances of that happening next year are not small.

      I’m more apprehensive of going through this draconian system now than I am of the possibility of being the victim of a terrorist attack which is not how it is supposed to rock.

      My family has been planning a vacation a year from now and we have to fly. We have a 7 year old daughter and given the recent video’s we’ve seen on utube of little children being subject to these TSA pat downs has stunned and outranged and disgusted by what we saw. No way will we subject her to that.

      As for the alternative scanning, for health reasons, I don’t want my kid being exposed to radiation if she doesn’t have to be (if god forbid she got sick and needed an x-ray or MRI). This is really no choice at all.

      So, if things don’t change by next year, we will vacation to where we can drive to our destination.

      The problem is once these people have this much power over others, they don’t easily relinquish it as in “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. And, this was proven today.

      I saw the head of the TSA testifying to the Senate and he said he went through these procedures with the scanner and the pat down and he said while they were more intrusive than he thought they would be he wasn’t going to change his mind about doing away with these methods. He also indicated that Sec. Napalitano went through them as well as an example to all of us who travel that it was no big deal. Yes, that makes me and my family so much more ok with this violation since these two went through it. NOT. And, we all know that this doesn’t make us more safe to fly.

      I’ve been reading what Israel does at their two international airports and I’m now more sympathetic to their system than ever before. I think our security system doesn’t make us more secure and we all know the system is FUBAR. 1984 has arrived but we don’t have to submit to it. Right now, there are ways to get around it but I wonder how long the trains will not be subject to these scanners or pat downs? Or how about drivers having to stop at check points on the highway before we leave our state and enter another one having to be body checked? How far will this all go before this base violation of our privacy stops?

      I’m hoping these recent law suites against the TSA for these draconian practices will be victorious. And, more than this that these ridiculous and not-making-us-more-safe practices be thoroughly reviewed by the Congress (yes, I know, we’re doomed) to find a better solution to make us safer.

  2. fiscalliberal says:

    Dylan Ratigan had the former head of El Al ? security on for a interview. He contended that all this screening is ineffective. He was talking about a woman that cleared through US security and then to El Al. She was a engaged woman to a guy who had parents in Isreal. She was going back to meet his family and she had some gifts from the son for the family.

    She passed US security with all its devices. At El Al they only intervied the person in line with her luggage. After a few questions they pulled her aside and looked at her luggage which had explosives. The woman was a innocent person, her future husband was the terrorist.

    He explained that the questions were simple and work. All of this clap trap stuff about xrays and searches is ineffective and a smoke screen. Playing devils advocate, Dylan said we are a much bigger population – (my paraphrase) he said that that is not relevant in terms effectivity. Why is it that we cannot learn from other people?

    I am flying on Thanksgiving and will do the xray. The wife had double hip and a knee replacement, so she will get the experience. She is not looking forward to it. My daughter who we are visiting told her to wear pants and deal with it. The daughter is tough

    • bostonboomer says:

      I think people should refuse on principle. It is a violation of our rights.

      BTW, Michael Chertoff is one of the people who profits from the sale of these body scanners.

      Airports are only the beginning. If we put up with this, scanners will be in schools and department stores.

      • dakinikat says:

        and I can imagine they’ll all wind up on youtube and facebook

      • paper doll says:

        BTW, Michael Chertoff is one of the people who profits from the sale of these body scanners.

        Bastard. …and laughing all the way to the bank

        • newdealdem1 says:

          What a shocker: some erstwhile politician or official is making bucks by the implementation of these mad machines. And, the more of them the more they make. Christ, our poor, beloved country needs a power washing to get all of this stink out of it from the three branches to the Corporate personhood bums to the silent majority of citizens who continue to stand by and take the highway robbery and abuse. We all need to become more French-like.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      If I were in this situation, I would take the scanner…but I see the point of those who fly frequently. All that radiation can’t be good. But then you have those situations, like the little 3 year old girl, who are forced into being “pat down” when they set off the detectors twice.

  3. Sophie says:

    Personally I haven’t flown since before 9/11, and I am determined never to fly again until this outrageous violation of our privacy and civil liberties ends.

    I have flown twice since 9/11 (no practical other way to travel) and each time I say never again.

    They are out of control with citizen surveillance. Not a conspiracy–just old fashioned government/corporate dominance.

    • dakinikat says:

      I frankly am offended that the equivalents of mall cops have a right to grope me and question me and especially my children and my elderly father. It’s all part and parcel of handing taxpayer money to private businesses who add no value and overprice unnecessary ‘services’.

    • Sima says:

      I’ve flown several times since then, and I keep saying ‘This time is the last!’

      Flying to Europe wasn’t so bad. I did that twice do finish my research. But that was right after 9/11, before the Machiavellian minds of the TSA and Homeland Security got to work.

      Flying to Philly was awful. Just awful. Each airport has different rules. So at one, you take out your laptop and turn it on. At the other, you don’t, and you get sneered at and ridiculed by the TSA goons when you do.

      I think it’s the point that the whole thing be amazingly inept. I guess they figure the ‘terrists’ will give up in frustration or something.

    • bluelyon says:

      Oh…that is just rich, since this shit got put into place under W. (not to defend Obama, by any means)

      • bostonboomer says:

        The right knows how to play the game. Obama could have done the same and reversed Bush destruction of civil liberties. But he’s too much of a coward.

  4. affinis says:

    This is totally off topic. I rarely comment at FDL, but just got into a bit of an argument on a PDS post.
    One thing that bugs me with much of the left Blogosphere these days – the predominance of Stevensonian “creative class” elites – often a product of relatively privileged backgrounds. They generally don’t have a clue about their biases, and how they alienate the working class. One of my points of disagreement at TC in the past was the anti-FDL/anti-Hamsher sentiment – i.e. that an apology was required, etc., etc. I think that’s silly (summarily rejecting a natural potential ally in this way). At the same time, certain of the arguments were not 100% wrong – I see quite a few FDL posts and comments that come from a rather snobby elitist place. And I have some sympathy for myiq in his reaction to that (though I also think that advocating voting for Bristol is a bit dumb – even though I can see, at least in part, where he’s coming from). Even at TC – there was the idea of having a “run for the working class” – and it seemed that nobody saw the problem with this until I piped up (and Dak then validated the point I was making). Currently, it seems that there’s hardly anyone speaking for “average working people” (yes, I know there are a few – but it’s minimal – and many of those who do claim to speak for average working people do so from a paternalistic perspective) and no political formation that really backs their interests. Meanwhile, much of the left actively sneers at the “bubbas”. End of rant.

    • affinis says:

      P.S. Context – I’m originally from a poor working class background. So much of what passes for “progressive” these days really pushes my buttons. I think Hedges has a point:

      • bostonboomer says:

        I love Chris Hedges. He’s absolutely right about radicals. We don’t really have any radicals on the left anymore. The closest thing would be Chomsky or Nader.

        Radicals are needed to pull the rest of a culture in one direction or another. Without the wobblies, conditions for workers would never have improved, and we wouldn’t have gotten the big unions that resulted in all of us better conditions.

        Now that the unions have been nearly neutered, there is no force on the left for change.

    • Zaladonis says:

      It’s interesting that the tea party, Sarah Palin, Scott Brown, those working class groups and voices are on the right now – used to come from the left. Now the left pretends grass roots stuff, like the Obama people falsely claiming his huge financial support came from small donations over the Internet, but when authentic grass roots things happen, like gays protesting at Democratic events, they get shouted down by Obamanation.

      The Republican Party was always, in my lifetime, about elitism, then the Atwater/Rove strategies drew in some working class – I think mostly through religion and prejudices like racism and homophobia. But in the past few years the Democratic Party has embraced elitism, both real elites and wannabes, and largely turned their backs on a huge swath of Americans.

      I think right now a Working Class Party, rejecting both the GOP and Democratic power monsters, might be fairly easy to coalesce. The trick, of course, is finding a leader and organizing.

    • bostonboomer says:


      I totally agree with you, and I have plenty of sympathy for myiq’s points on this. I grew up poor too. My parents were upwardly mobile, but I didn’t really benefit from that–we were poor throughout my childhood. I’m proud to call myself working class.

      But the left has always been like this. In the ’60’s they tried to reach out to workers, but they weren’t really successful. The Democratic party attract working class people by supporting our issues–unions, social security, protecting workers, creating jobs.

      Now that the Dems have sold out to corporations, why should they get working class votes? The Repubs appeal to people’s baser natures, and that is what is winning out today.

      • Zaladonis says:

        And I agree with you, BB. I think the working class that’s sticking by the Democratic Party today are either old faithfuls (who maybe could be peeled away if a good leader started up a new party) or wannabes who have an elitist attitude and are as susceptable to being fooled as they are invested in trying to fool others.

        My upbringing was totally different from yours – wealthy privileged family, but solidly liberal and Democratic. Limosine liberals we used to call them. But it was complicated (i.e. long story) and by my 21st birthday I was literally homeless living on the street. Everything I have, and have had as an adult, has been earned by my work. So I kind of feel like I’ve seen both sides of that.

        In the old days the Democratic Party really did stand for policies that sought to help those we used to call the underprivileged (that’s probably not a PC word today), and in some cases did while in other cases good intentions got it wrong. But today, as you point out, Dems have sold out to corporations, and they seem to have convinced a lot of voters that doing so was necessary.

        I haven’t formally left the Democratic Party yet, guess I’m one of the old faithful and it’s hard to abandon something I was raised and lived decades believing in, even when it’s no longer what it was that I believed in.

  5. Dario says:

    I don’t want to fly.

  6. Zaladonis says:

    As for the TSA flap, personally I think it’s ridiculous. The whole thing. It’s taken all these years for it to even become an issue among travellers – they just trot along like sheep. And then suddenly some snotty guy with a camera gets all squeamish about someone “touching his junk,” and it becomes a cause celebre.

    Those security measures should have been studied and evaluated a long time ago, but rather than approaching it from informed intelligence and reasonable analysis, it comes from something that sounds like a spoiled kid in high school. Yes a spoiled entitled narcissistic kid.

    I’ve flown since 9/11, and like Kat I also underwent severe scrutiny including cavity search but mine was in the mid-80s when terrorism was a concern in Europe. They’ve run their hands over and in me and it’s not pleasant, but it’s the rules and I guess I’m old fashioned but I follow rules. If you think the rules are wrong then you work to change them, you don’t suddenly get all pissy and shout out, “molestation!!!”

    Guess I’m in the minority here but I just think the way these things happen today, like this guy (he’s 31? doesn’t he look 15 or something?) behaving like a spoiled brat who probably never gave a thought to anybody else’s discomfort with airport screening but when a uniformed security person is going to touch his wee-wee through his clothing, he cries, “don’t touch my junk.” I understand how humiliating a cavity search is, or little children being frightened, or older people with diapers or whatever being embarrassed, but a 31 year old guy and his precious junk? I’m sorry but get over it.

    • ugsome says:

      It’s one thing to take off your shoes, another to have a total stranger touch you there. I don’t think travellers merit that because they are “sheep.” They are, as you are, following rules. Resentment over intrusive security has been building for years. When people have had enough it takes one seemingly small incident to trigger massive outrage.

      • Zaladonis says:

        When people have had enough it takes one seemingly small incident to trigger massive outrage.

        But see, there was no “incident,” small, seemingly, or otherwise. Nobody had even touched his groin before he started complaining about “his junk” and “molesting” and threatening arrest.

        It’s one thing to take off your shoes, another to have a total stranger touch you there.

        What kind of society do we live in where children and adults sexualize themselves through dress and manner and language, and then refer to anywhere near our sexual organs as “there”? A juvenile one.

        Kids for a few decades now have been raised in an increasingly teasing sexualized culture, obsessing over beautiful bodies, showing them off, flirting and seducing and peppering their language with sexual inuendo and at the same time growing more Puritan about normal nudity and touching.

        Granted, I come from the generation of Our Bodies, Ourselves when we strived to own our bodies, feel more comfortable about our bodies, less ashamed, less secretive, being in touch with our erogenous zones but at the same time understanding that those parts of our bodies could be non-sexual as well.

        While it may be uncomfortable, there is nothing obscene about a standard body search. I’m not talking about the sickos who work in those jobs and get their jollies copping an extra feel – obviously they should be fired and punished. But I’ve been patted down in airports a number of times and it’s a business-like process of human hands checking for weapons. Do I like a stranger feeling up under my testicles and under my butt? No, of course not. But there are lots of things I don’t like that I accept because it’s necessary.

        In my view, these security measures should all be evaluated for effectiveness, and continued or not according to the findings. This emotional response to everything through the Internet, from how to deal with bullying to this issue, rather than using objective information to formulate reasoned solutions makes Life In These United States* feel like we’re all in one big high school in desperate need of adult authority.

        Maybe that’s another reason I like Hillary so much. She responds like an adult.

        *Anybody my age remember that feature in the old Reader’s Digest?

        • bostonboomer says:

          From Ugsome’s link below:

          She felt along my waistline, moved behind me, then proceeded to feel both of my buttocks. She reached from behind in the middle of my buttocks towards my vagina area.

          She did not tell me that she was going to touch my buttocks, or reach forward to my vagina area.

          She then moved in front of my and touched the top and underneath portions of both of my breasts.

          She did not tell me that she was going to touch my breasts.

          She then felt around my waist. She then moved to the bottoms of my legs.

          She then felt my inner thighs and my vagina area, touching both of my labia.

          She did not tell me that she was going to touch my vagina area or my labia.

          This was a mother holding an infant. She’s lucky they didn’t do the same to her baby.

          • Zaladonis says:

            From that link:

            I stood there, an American citizen, a mom traveling with a baby with special needs formula, sexually assaulted by a government official. I began shaking and felt completely violated, abused and assaulted by the TSA agent. I shook for several hours, and woke up the next day shaking.

            Here is why I was sexually assaulted. She never told me the new body search policy. She never told me that she was going to touch my private parts. She never told me when or where she was going to touch me. She did not inform me that a private screening was available. She did not inform me of my rights that were a part of these new enhanced patdown procedures.

            This woman was not sexually assaulted, she was body searched.

            And it’s a perfect compliment to the 31 year old man warning, “don’t touch my junk!”

            This generation’s sense of entitlement mixed with fear and childishness is troubling and causing all kinds of problems, including misidentification of things like racism and harrassment and assault.

            Life happens. We get touched. Even our “private parts.” It’s not always a molestation or assault; it’s not always actionable. We get touched, our private space gets intruded upon. On a crowded subway, at the doctor’s office, at airport security, by a date who goes faster than we’d like, by a friend’s dog or child. You stop it if you feel it goes too far, think, “that’s annoying,” and you move on with life.

            Touching our privates is not in and of itself sexual assault and it infuriates me (who has been sexually assaulted and has worked with victims of genuine sexual assault) to have the trauma of the real thing diluted by accounts like this that are overwrought reactions to nothing more than an unwanted and uncomfortable event.

            The notion that we each are always entitled to rules that conform to our own definition of safety is nonsense. If dozens of people pass through airport security and don’t feel sexually assaulted and one person feels assaulted, do we alter the procedure for everyone so that one person is happy? That’s how we’ve ended up with countless regulations that are absolutely stupid like a shut-off mechanism required by law telling me how hot my hottub can be or where the fence latch on a pool fence has to be, or where the fence itself has to be. My situation is not necessarily the same as yours, my fears and sense of comfort/discomfort about my privates may not be the same as yours, and catering to the dumbest or most fearful or most puritanical is an overly restrictive response IMO.

            Me, I just want to get on the plane and reach my destination without being terrorized by either a bomb or a baby screeching along the way.

            I’m sorry this woman felt violated, that’s an unpleasant experience. But from the experience she described she woke up shaking the next day? Seriously? An adult woman with two children. Because a female security officer touched her labia. Good grief. Doesn’t sound like a story of sexual assault, sounds more like a story describing how coddled and juvenile Americans can be.

          • Sima says:

            Replying to Zaladonis below, actually. He says:

            You stop it if you feel it goes too far, think, “that’s annoying,” and you move on with life.

            But see, the guy did stop it when it went too far. He said he didn’t want to be touched and was willing to take the consequences of not flying. Not wanting to be touched shouldn’t mean you are arrested, threatened with arrest, hauled off for a private consultation, come under increased scrutiny or anything else. You say, ‘No’, they say, ‘Ok fine, there’s the door’ and off you go. That didn’t happen to him.

            I sympathize with the mother above. I would not let any touch me like this. If that means not flying. So be it. My money will go elsewhere.

          • Zaladonis says:

            But see, the guy did stop it when it went too far. He said he didn’t want to be touched and was willing to take the consequences of not flying. Not wanting to be touched shouldn’t mean you are arrested, threatened with arrest, hauled off for a private consultation, come under increased scrutiny or anything else. You say, ‘No’, they say, ‘Ok fine, there’s the door’ and off you go. That didn’t happen to him.

            Actually he said if you touch my junk I’ll have you arrested. That’s HIM threatening the security personnel.

            Look, I’m a law and order guy. I believe in a civilized society citizens have a responsibility to abide by the rules and if security officers instruct us to do something that’s according to the rules then we do it. If that man in San Diego, or anybody, wants to say no then the way to do it is to respectfully say I am not comfortable with this and I can’t let you touch me, then proceed as directed by the security personnel. Not announce obnoxiously if you touch my junk I’m having you arrested and then having a hissy fit about it online. That’s childish.

            If the security procedures are ineffective or inappropriate then that should be determined in a thoughtful rational way. I have seen no movement to make that happen, just another sudden emotional mob-rule uprising that fails to consider whether or not these measures are necessary for safety or can be replaced with equally effective or better procedures.

            I sympathize with the mother above. I would not let any touch me like this. If that means not flying. So be it. My money will go elsewhere.

            I understand that and I make choices like that all the time.

        • talesoftwokitties says:

          Zaladonis, I’m with you on this.

          • Zaladonis says:

            Thanks for saying so.

            I know most here probably won’t agree with me, and that’s okay, but it’s always nice to feel not alone. 😉

      • newdealdem1 says:

        Second this.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Luckily they still can’t force me to fly, but if they start putting these scanners in other public places many people will regret going along with this. But by that time our civil liberties will be gone and we won’t be able to do anything about it.

          • Branjor says:

            I keep thinking they’re going to put scanners in the streets one day.
            Not the same thing, but in my town they have video cameras mounted on some traffic lights.

          • Sima says:

            I’ll agree to it IF, IF they put scanners in places that the public can access, and said scanners scan the police, the TSA, the FBI, Congress, and so on. So the watchers are watched.

            That’s the only way to make it equitable and semi-safe from overlord type control.

    • bostonboomer says:


      No, I agree with you about this particular guy. I’m just glad the issue is gaining some attention finally. People have died in TSA custody. I don’t have time to look for the link, but a woman who was clearly delusional was chained up and left alone in a room for hours. She ended up dead–strangled by her chains. Other disturbed (and normal) people have died from tasers. This situation needs to be addressed IMO.

      I choose to deal with it by avoiding airplanes. Frankly, I agree with the people on the right who say we need to use some profiling instead of searching elderly women and 3-year olds.

      • Zaladonis says:

        Some bad incidents have definitely happened because of TSA practices. I think I remember a couple of them involving celebrities, like early on Diana Ross complaining about her breasts being fondled, and (maybe I’m wrong) someone else having drugs found on her (or him) and the issue of illegal search & seizure being raised. Those instances should be dealt with and the employees fired and punished. Clearly we need to have proper supervision and hiring that emphasizes professional behavior. But that’s a separate issue from whether or not the security measures are effective and necessary.

    • Ben Kilpatrick says:

      Zaladonis, I have no idea who you are, but I will say one thing unequivocally: You are part of the problem.

      • Zaladonis says:

        I’m probably part of more than one problem; which one are you referring to?

        • bostonboomer says:


          LOL! You’re entitled to your opinions, most of which I agree with. I don’t think you’re part of any problem–you just have different experiences and a different point of view.

          • Zaladonis says:

            You’re so good to me!

            If I give you a great big hug from Connecticut will you feel it in Indiana?


          • Jane in CA says:

            I agree with Ben. I’ve read all Z’s justifications, but keep coming back to the question of why would any reasonable person would want to defend this loathesome practice.

            Fourth amendment, anyone?

          • dakinikat says:

            Wisdom beings come to my assistance please!! I agree with a Texas Republican congressman!

            A GOP lawmaker said Tuesday the full-body scanners now employed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) violate the Fourth Amendment to the constitution, which protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

            During a one-minute speech on the House floor, Rep. Ted Poe (Texas) also blasted former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff as a “political hack” and accused him of profiting from the proliferation of the devices.

            “There is no evidence these new body scanners make us more secure. But there is evidence that former Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff made money hawking these full body scanners,” Poe said.

            He went on to explain that Chertoff, who served under President George W. Bush, had given interviews promoting the scanners while he was “getting paid” to sell them.

            “[T]he populace is giving up more rights in the name of alleged security. These body scanners are a violation of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures … There must be a better way to have security at airports than taking pornographic photographs of our citizens, including children, and then giving apparent kickbacks to political hacks.”

          • Zaladonis says:

            I agree with Ben. I’ve read all Z’s justifications, but keep coming back to the question of why would any reasonable person would want to defend this loathesome practice.

            You’ve read all my posts about this and concluded that I’m defending this loathesome practice? Since you’re deriding my argument as “justifications,” I think you might re-read them because you’ve completely misunderstood what I’ve said.

            I’ve not defended the security practices or any of the actions of the security personnel. I’ve criticized the actions of that guy in San Diego as an inappropriate response by a citizen to the directives of security officials and to the laws our elected representatives agreed upon, and that the rest of us have been following for nearly a decade.

            Short of actual revolution, I do not support anarchy, I support law and order, and that means citizens follow the laws and comply with officers authorized to enforce the laws.

            In a free democratic law & order society, citizens who object to laws have recourse: we can pressure our elected representatives to change what we believe is unjust. That’s an ordered and mature response that respects the structure of society we’ve agreed upon. If that guy in San Diego had done that, I’d support his efforts. But there’s no indication he ever tried that; what he did was a juvenile’s tantrum response to complying with the law. As I’ve pointed out before, over the past 20 years or so we have devolved from a reasonably mature culture into a high schoolish culture and it’s not making us a stronger or more productive nation – it’s diminishing us. And in my view this 31 year old’s behavior is another example of that.

        • bostonboomer says:

          I’ll take all the hugs I can get–even long distance!

    • Ben Kilpatrick says:


      I might step on some toes by saying this, but the few people on here who have said things to insult the guy who stood up to the Total Sexual Assault sleazeballs like calling him “whiny” for not wanting to be felt up by a moron really, honestly make me want to vomit.

      When, as a society, did we become so slavish, submissive, stupid, base, cowardly and cowering that even the suggestion that we allow government officials to look at us naked could be met by ANYTHING SHORT OF A RIOT?

      • dakinikat says:

        I don’t disagree with you. I think it’s unnecessary and violates your right to privacy.

        • bostonboomer says:

          I would feel violated if that happened to me. And if you are an abuse survivor, as I am, it could be traumatic.

          • Zaladonis says:

            I would feel violated if that happened to me. And if you are an abuse survivor, as I am, it could be traumatic.

            I get that too, BB.

            I’m an abuse survivor as well and there are certain things I can’t tolerate, so I avoid them. And I’m about 99% successful. We can walk away, we can log off, we can quit a job, find a new place to live, end a relationship. Usually extreme measures aren’t necessary but even when they are, that’s just what we have to do. Sometimes people think I’m weird because of it, sometimes even mock me, I know what goes on. But they’re not responsible for my comfort level and neither are the rules of society — I am.

            Frankly I find it hard to believe a 31 year old guy with a cell phone that recorded all this and knows how to upload it on YouTube and his own blog didn’t know about security procedures at airports when he bought his ticket. This is not exactly secret information. And the lines to get through security are usually long, it’s not like what happens there is a sudden stunning surprise by the time you reach the security area. I have more sympathy for the mother who did seem genuinely to be caught by surprise, but I don’t think –by her own description– she was sexually assaulted.

      • bluelyon says:

        I believe it all began when we allowed them to tell us that we had to pee in a cup just to get a job. Or be a cheerleader. Or a high school athlete. Guilty until proven innocent.

      • Zaladonis says:

        You illustrate my point well, Ben.

        I can appreciate body hangups but people with shame or concern about being touched or seen naked ought not to be the ones determining security procedures at airports.

        Security procedues ought to be developed and modified and implemented according to what experts know about terrorists and their tactics, not what makes you or me or a mom from Omaha comfy.

        • dakinikat says:

          Which is why I think if they are going to violate rights, they might as well profile the people most likely to do this. Elderly US citizens and babies are usually not suicide bombers.

          • Zaladonis says:

            I agree with that, Kat, and I’ve never been opposed to profiling per se. But on the other hand, if terrorists know we’re profiling wouldn’t they recruit unlikely looking people to do their dirty work?

            Have to say, it feels weird to be on this side of the argument because I’ve also felt all along that the security response to terrorism has been excessive. But where I’m coming from in this discussion is the assumption that terrorism is a genuine threat and that we have to decide who makes the rules about security procedures and then follow them.

            It’s reasonable to believe terrorism isn’t all that much of a threat so the security measures aren’t necessary, or it’s reasonable to disapprove of the qualifications of those assigned the task of determining security procedures or of those doing the searches. But to just flatly complain about being touched in certain places or being seen naked because one isn’t comfortable with that in general, to me that’s a personal problem and not a valid criticism of security procedure.

        • bostonboomer says:

          But that’s just the point, Zaladonis. The procedures they are using are not designed to actually catch terrorists. They are designed to make Americans feel powerless, fearful and as if they have no control over their bodies and lives.

          The violations of civil liberties that we are experiencing are just the beginning. Soon kid will have to go through these machines in schools. It’s a slippery slope. We are well on our way to fascism in this country.

          If they really want to catch terrorists, they are going to have to profile people by ethnic group, country of origin, clothing, whatever.

          • Sima says:

            I completely agree,

            The procedures they are using are not designed to actually catch terrorists. They are designed to make Americans feel powerless, fearful and as if they have no control over their bodies and lives.

            I couldn’t do what they require. It’s not just the touching, it’s being in such a helpless and submissive state. THAT is what makes it like sexual assault. I don’t want to feel that way ever again, even to prove I’m not a terrorist for some TSA goon.

          • Zaladonis says:

            But that’s just the point, Zaladonis. The procedures they are using are not designed to actually catch terrorists. They are designed to make Americans feel powerless, fearful and as if they have no control over their bodies and lives.

            I don’t believe that’s the purpose, and I don’t believe most people who are having hissy fits about this believe that either. I think it’s a completely different issue for them, but if they do believe what you describe then I hope they make that known and it results in a thoughtful examination and action. If it turned out that these security procedures are not, in fact, designed to thwart terrorists, I sure would like to return to air travel the way it was 15 years ago. But I bet that’s not what we see evolve from this; I bet people squeal about their privacy “down there” about as long as they were oh-so-heartsick about teen bullying and then some other Big Outrage will go viral.

        • B Kilpatrick says:

          Well, if you don’t have any personal dignity, I can’t help you with that.
          I suppose we’re at a loggerheads over the fundamental right of the individual to be free from state-sponsored abuse, and to be free from having her or his complaints dismissed as “childish whining” when subjected to such abuse.

          I suppose Aristotle was right in positing that some people were born to be slaves.

  7. cwaltz says:

    My husband, back when they went from private to Federal screeners, actually at one time applied to be a screener. After the screening process for becoming a screener we decided we’d never fly again. Find terrorists? These people couldn’t even figure out how to figure out a screening process for their applicants and then figure out who they screened. We received a letter telling us that he’d be screened in Staunton. So we headed our whole family up that way and spent the night at a hotel so my husband could be refreshed and show up promptly at 7 AM as instructed. He showed up and they hadn’t gotten the computer stuff up and running so they instructed him to come back the following day. He went back the following day at 7 only to be told come back at 10 and then the lines still weren’t up so they bused him to one location to do the computer portion of the actual job screening process. The people then sent them to another location to do the interview process. They were then taken back and given their scores. They couldn’t tell my husband if the veteran preference had been applied or not. They pretty much were useless for anything other than golf(yes that was what the officials that were tasked with screening at Staunton were doing while waiting for the computers to be on line.) Two weeks following this process they sent him an email saying that his application was accepted and he needed to report to Staunton for the screening process. Uh hello you screened him already? Needless to say we passed on the second trip since the first was bad enough(although the kids did enjoy the pool at the hotel we stayed at.)

    • bostonboomer says:

      Wow! That’s depressing. For me, the fact that my three-year-old nephew was searched tells me they are never going to catch a real terrorist.

    • dakinikat says:

      My hypothesis is these folks are about on the same level as mall cops so they’re scared to find any real terrorists. I actually think they go through the motions on the least likely suspects so they know they want actually find anything.

      But, it’s just a hypothesis. I’ve just seen them hassle my youngest daughter when she was little a lot and my elderly Dad who is a ww2 vet and a real flag waver. I think they go for the obvious nonterrorists so they don’t have to do anything extraordinary.

  8. cwaltz says:

    This is off topic again but important.

  9. ugsome says:

    See also this post at “Our Little Chatterbox” about an incident at Dayton:

    Note the very different reactions of the man and the woman: she is frozen in fear and complains afterwards, he stops it beforehand. Sexual assault is equally outrageous for both sexes but likely more terrifying for women.

    • bostonboomer says:


      Thank you so much for that link! I’m tempted to do another post on this. It’s outrageous!

  10. Fior says:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the great work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  11. bluelyon says:

    Just my two cents.

    Since I have a pacemaker, when I go through airport security I HAVE to be patted down. Regarding the TSA employee patting down the woman without telling her EXACTLY what she was going to do and how she was going to do it: The employee was not following SOP for the patdown. Every time I have been patted down, the TSA employee has been professional and let me know that I had the right to a private area and then told me exactly what she was going to do before she did it. This TSA employee was derelict and a formal complaint should be filed. But she wasn’t assaulting the woman. I’m with Zaladonis on this one.

    Now…body scanners. Don’t like ’em and would definitly opt out if given the choice. And the whole $11K fine? WTF?

    • bostonboomer says:

      I like my solution. I just don’t fly and never will again unless I need to escape from a dictatorial regime.

      • bluelyon says:

        Well, if I don’t want to spend three days on the road each way, flying is the only way I’m going to see my mother. So, not an option for me.

        • bostonboomer says:

          I understand. It only takes me two days.

          • dakinikat says:

            Yeah, the only time I fly any more is when I visit my sister and dad in Seattle. Driving isn’t a viable option from New Orleans. And I HATE it!! Dad won’t come down here any more because it’s so traumatic for him.

        • BxFemDem says:

          In order to see my mother in Puerto Rico I have to fly, unless I took a boat which would take 3 days to get there, and 3 days to get back.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Lots of people have to fly. I think it’s a shame that the focus of our government is on surveilliance of ordinary citizens rather than actually preventing terrorism.

    • Dee says:

      I used to be patted down every time I flew out of Raleigh-Durham. For the past year or two I have been directed to a body scanner every time I fly out of one terminal. The other terminal does not have a scanner so I am still subject to pat downs. Sometimes the security person explains what she is doing – sometimes they don’t. Usually they go through my carry ons as well and I have been subject to the wipe down for explosive materials many, many times.

      I finally asked why I was always picked for further securty checks. The woman told me it is because I layer. I am always cold on a plane so even in warm months I wear a fleece vest or jacket given that blankets are no longer available on flights. I just have to live with it and frankly am glad they go to the bother.

      I do think it is funny that a 65 year old woman who could not look anymore waspy fits the security risk profile. The funniest security check I have witnessed was an entire Amish family being put through every possible check. It was a mom, dad, grandmother, and two children. They were flying out of Raleigh-Durham and I felt it was funny and reflected the stupidity of TSA.

      I just can’t get all worked up about additional security so I agree with you and Zaladonis.

  12. Sima says:

    Here’s another story. A woman opts out of the full body scanners. The agents go nuts (this is in Miami), handcuff her to a chair!!!, rip up her tickets and get 12 cops to escort her from the airport.

    • Sima says:

      What I fail to understand is why, after the people refuse and are willing to leave, do the goons detain them? IF the airport isn’t secure outside the secure areas (and hence these people have to be escorted in cuffs from the airport) then what’s the point of the secure areas anyway?

      Oh wait, I get it. They have to be roughed up because they need to be seen as ‘other’, as ‘law-breakers’. If they were allowed to just walk out, they could talk to other people and maybe get a little protest going.

      • bostonboomer says:

        That makes sense. But what is the point of all this false security anyway? Is it just so the military-industrial complex can make more money or are they preparing us for full-on fascism? I think it’s the latter.

    • Zaladonis says:

      Sima, did you listen to the 14 minute audio at that link?

      And you’re okay with those three adults on that radio show who sound like they’re teenagers giggling over, like, how totally horrible that nazi gym teacher was when she made me, like, shower naked?

      If what that woman said were true, why isn’t she pressing charges or why aren’t those three taking some kind of serious action beyond laughing on air claiming the security personnel choose her because she’s “smokin hot”?

      This generation is obsessed with sexualizing themselves and then projecting their own narcissistic self absorption into motives they assign to other people.

      I’ve always been one to question authority and rules I believe are unjust but unless our government has set up a Schutzstaffel, this eroding respect for law enforcement authority is not going to lead to a good place. And if our government IS taking action like Nazi Germany, and Generation Me is laughing about it while they express their outrage, something is very wrong with their mental state.

      I thought, of all the ridiculousness of this woman’s overwrought description and the radio hosts being “horrified” (as they laughed), her best line was, “I got, like, a thirty minute lecture about terrorism and I’m like I don’t CARE if those people are doing those things, it has nothing to do with ME!”

      • bostonboomer says:


        Whether these particular people are childish is a separate issue from whether the new “enhanced” pat downs are abusive.

        This person speaks for me:

        • bostonboomer says:

          I hope you aren’t suggesting that when my father had his genitals grabbed when he was 70+ years old and my mother had her breasts fondled at 84, that they were “whining” and immature and they had also hypersexualized themselves and so somehow deserved it.

          And what about my 3-year-old nephew?

          • bostonboomer says:

            I listened to the entire tape. I didn’t interpret it the same way you did, Zaladonis. As for the laughing, that is a common psychological defense. Furthermore, they are on the radio and trying to be somewhat entertaining rather than completely depressing the audience.

          • Zaladonis says:

            BB, I don’t know your parents, and I don’t know why anybody would want to fondle the genitals and breasts of 70/80 year olds. I also don’t know why mature people who believe they’ve been inappropriatedly touched by security personnel don’t report it. And though I don’t know what happened to your three year old nephew, if you or his parents believe he was fondled or assaulted and didn’t report it, I don’t understand that either.

          • Zaladonis says:

            Furthermore, they are on the radio and trying to be somewhat entertaining rather than completely depressing the audience

            Oh well that makes sense; we wouldn’t want radio listeners to get depressed over an epidemic of airport security sexually assaulting passengers.

            Next up: Teen suicides continue and after that Bristol Palin straight from Dancing With The Stars! Stay tuned!

        • Zaladonis says:

          No it’s not a separate issue, it’s right to the issue, as credibility always is, because so far all I’ve heard are childish sounding overwrought descriptions that sound exaggerated. Nothing under oath, nothing under the scrutiny of cross-examiniation, nothing with independent witness accounts verifying or not.

          That woman’s (her name is Meg McLain) account, which if true would be very troubling, is questionable –so questionable in fact that even her friends are giggling as they’re expressing their supposed outrage over it– and yet Sima, whom we both respect as a clear headed grounded mature adult, posts it here as “another story” and presents the description at face value, and you, another smart mature person whose presentation of information I hold in the highest regard, respond to the posted link without questioning its validity.

          Well I question its validity. And based on her own description of events I question the validity of that other woman’s characterization of being sexually assaulted. And that man in San Diego wasn’t even touched before he declared, “don’t touch my junk or I’ll have you arrested.”

          In that audio that Sima linked to, Meg McLain (who seemed like a very nice and earnest young woman, I’m not implying anything nefarious), said this at the start:

          “I’ve read about these new pat down proceduces and I’ve gone through them as well, and it’s like physical … on every area of your body including your breasts they have to like squeeze and like twist them and it hurts! It’s getting to the point where I feel more molested than I would if some random guy came up and molested me, it’s more intrusive than that.”

          From that most listeners, and certainly her friends at the radio station reasonably concluded Meg had, herself, experienced this horrifying squeezing and twisting of her breasts, and the mysterious whatever-elses that she claims makes her feel more molested than if she’d actually been molested. (That last line of hers is disturbing from a sense of proportion perspective just as that other woman claiming she’d been sexually assaulted.)

          Then when one of her radio show friends figures out Meg hadn’t actually undergone a pat down or breast twisting as part of this horrific experience that left her shaking and sobbing, and asks her about the breast twisting thing, she responds:

          I had read a few articles since these new procedures went into effect, I think like a week or two ago, and also like I’d seen videos and stuff like that, and like before even this started, when, before I was into the idea of liberty, after 9/11, I would get random screening and they would do that and so I just sort of knew it was coming and I didn’t want to do that again, I didn’t want them to touch me in ways I’m not comfortable with.

          This is not believable testimony. In fact it’s got lie/exaggeration woven all through it. She claims she’s read about it in the past couple of weeks (I can find nothing online about this terrible practice except other people repeating her story as if the breast twisting just happened to her) and then tries to add credibility to it by tacking on the claim she herself did experience it many years ago.

          Just because someone says, or even believes, something horrible happened, doesn’t mean what they describe or that their characterization is true.

      • bostonboomer says:

        How do you know she isn’t suing?

        • Zaladonis says:

          I would be shocked if she subjected herself and that story to the scrutiny of cross examination and independent witness testimony.

  13. catarina says:

    Does TSA Think Tampons Are A Security Risk?

    Virtual strip searches and frisking once reserved for imprisoned criminals are being
    performed on law abiding citizens, their children, and their elderly parents??


    • bostonboomer says:

      Good Grief! I never even thought of that!

      How are you doing, Catarina?

      • catarina says:

        Tampon scanning. It’s disgusting and outrageous.

        I’m not a criminal. I’ve never had a speeding ticket.
        But I’ve been fingerprinted and passed federal and state background checks by the state of MA and the Feds so I can and carry a firearm and use the IRS’ electronic filing system

        But I want to fly commercial I have to submit to a vaj-scan because Janet Napolitano says so.

        DHS has the budget to do better, smarter security solutions.
        This is knee jerk, offensive, and silly. Aren’t my fingerprints and two background checks enough? Leave my tampon alone.

        I emailed and called Scott Brown’s office to express my outrage and was told they’re getting a LOT of calls.

        I’m well, boomer, how are you? 🙂
        Really enjoying the posts and comments here.

    • bostonboomer says:

      From your link:

      Because as we all know, sexual predation is about personal power. If that predation is institutionalized, as it is now in our airports, it’s about social power, political power, and – most importantly – economic power…

      …”You should never have to explain to your children, ‘Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it’s a government employee,’” say the organizers of National Opt Out Day – Nov. 24, 2010 – when they’re urging all U.S. air travelers to refuse to be body-scanned.

  14. Sophie says:

    I do resent airport security and think it has nothing to do with security. We are not safer–we are being pushed into being more and more submissive. I would like them to figure out a way to protect us without violating ANY of our civil rights. As it is, the terrorists have already won.

    • Zaladonis says:

      I don’t resent it so much as I think it’s badly designed. My attitude is whatever security procedures are needed to keep air travel safe is okay with me and I’ll follow the rules, but I’ve never been convinced the procedures in American airports is anywhere near as effectively designed as they could be. I mean, nail clippers? Please.

      During the Bush years I and many others, probably you included, criticized this and Republicans shot us down. That was going to change when Democrats were in power. But since Obama was elected and has done nothing about it, Democrats went silent about it as well. Now suddenly a YouTube of a 31 year old man who’s experienced nothing untoward but gets obnoxious with security personnel goes viral and, like the flight attendent who had a hissy fit, a mini cult following gets all excited about this simmering discontent that some “hero” has now blazed our way out of. It’s historic! Unprecedented, I tell you! Bah. The frivilousness of what happened this week and the fake importance of it infuriates me as much as the dismissiveness of Republicans during the Bush years.

      Why? Because airport security is not Dancing With The Stars or Real Housewives or Jersey Shore. Everything that happens is not a reality show presented for our enjoyment. I think serious investigation and evaluation of the procedures and how they can be improved should happen. But that’s not what will come of this. It’ll just be drama and entertainment, sobbing and shaking and giggling because security personnel don’t treat some child-adults the way mommy said they deserved. The United States of America, a place I have been so proud to be part of because I think it’s been one of the most phenominal nations in the history of our planet, has devolved into a big dysfunctional high school veering backward into Lord of the Flies.

      • catarina says:

        CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – A Charlotte-area flight attendant and cancer survivor contacted WBTV after she says she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down.

        Cathy Bossi lives in south Charlotte and has been a flight attendant for the past 32 years, working the past 28 for U.S. Airways.

  15. catarina says:

    Swift was one of an increasing number of passengers Transportation Security Administration officers are thoroughly searching by hand. They call it an “enhanced pat-down.”

    Swift says they told her she was singled out because she was wearing a skirt. She says the search earlier this month was very rough and left her in tears.

    “The female officer ran her hand up the inside of my leg to my groin and she did it so hard and so rough she lifted me off my heels,” she says. “I think I yelped. I was in pain for about an hour afterwards. It just felt excessive and unnecessary.”

    • Sima says:

      It was excessive and unnecessary. Hurting someone while searching them? Talk about a police state.

      I think the TSA people have this ‘us against them’ mentality. So we are all criminals and they are the people who will prove it. Probably they refer to passengers en masse with vile little nicknames, and think of everyone as cattle. So they don’t even notice when they hit the shock on the cattle prod a bit too hard.