Opinion: New TSA Security Measures Go Too Far: Seen Naked or 'Enhanced' Pat-Down? I'll Drive, Thanks
Passengers are describing it as fondling, groping, aggressive, humiliating, and over the line.
The reports concerning the Transportation Security Administration's new airport security measures are alarming. Since late October, airports around the country have begun requiring an "enhanced pat-down" procedure for anyone who refuses the full-body scan. What used to be done with the backs of the hands is now done with fingers and palms. Passengers describe it as fondling, groping, aggressive, humiliating, and over the line.
We all want our planes to be safe. No one wants to be afraid to fly. But there has to be a better way to achieve security than this.
The reports coming from all over about the Transportation Security Administration's new airport security measures are alarming. Since late October, airports around the country have begun requiring an "enhanced pat-down" procedure for anyone who refuses the full-body scan. People who have experienced this pat-down tell a very different story than the official statement given by TSA.
First, travelers describe the shout-out: "We've got an Opt-out!" which is yelled at the top of the agent's lungs so everyone around can hear. Next, they're taken to a roped-off area usually still in view of everyone else going through security and the "pat-down" begins. The agent begins at the ankles and works his way up, now using the palms of the hand and the fingers when necessary, feeling every inch of the traveler's body - including the genitals and breasts.
What used to be done with the backs of the hands is now done with fingers and palms, and much more thoroughly and intrusively. Passengers are describing it as fondling, groping, aggressive, humiliating, and over the line.
TSA swears that these pat-downs are done by a person of the same gender, but the reports I've read this past week say otherwise, that woman are being patted-down by men, and that even small children are being searched by agents of the opposite sex. Though frankly, there's NO WAY this side of eternity I would allow any adult to search my child's body and touch my child's genitals, man or woman.
This is going way too far. This to me is simply the beginning of the end of appropriate bodily privacy. This is a forced invasion under the guise of safety. The underlying goal is that people will gradually become accustomed to having their modesty shredded in public and their bodies exposed or groped whenever the government deems necessary.
Thanks to the Shoe Bomber we're all walking through security barefoot. Fine, I don't care how many people see my feet. But the latest bombing attempts - have they been discovered on a terrorist's person? No, they've been found in the baggage beneath the plane. Meanwhile, we're doing virtual strip-searches and groping people's genitals. Doesn't it just seem like the terrorists are two or three steps ahead of us?
Along with the gross bodily invasion, my objection to these new security measures lies with TSA agents themselves. In the last ten years, I have flown numerous times with my small children and sadly, my encounters with TSA agents have been ridiculously consistent. There are surely some agents who defy the trend, but time and time again, I found them to be extremely unhelpful and indifferent. Traveling alone with small children isn't easy and security after 9/11 made it even more difficult.
Trying to manage a stroller, car seat, carry-on's, plus two or three kids under age 4 is exhausting. Removing everyone's shoes and jackets; collapsing the stroller while holding the baby; hoisting the stroller and car seat up onto the x-ray machine belt while holding the baby; having my walking child(ren) pushed by the agent through the metal detector alone; trying to keep my eyes on my child(ren) while the agent stands there waiting for me to dismantle everything with one arm; finally making it through with the baby only to find our shoes, bags, stroller, car seat, & jackets left in a heap for me to collect. All the while, the TSA agents just stared, or glared if I wasn't moving fast enough. These excursions through security always left me sweating, worn-out, and angry.
On my last flying adventure, I was battling food poisoning from the day before. I was dehydrated and barely able to keep myself upright. Going through security, the agent confiscated my small water bottle despite my pleas and then "selected" me for a more extensive carry-on search. I was carrying my infant daughter and I begged to be allowed to sit down before I fell over, but the agent refused and forced me to stand there while she spent ten minutes going through every article in my carry-on.
So no matter how often the TSA assures the American public that their employees are "professionals" who are "specially trained" to handle these enhanced security measures in a "respectful manner," I don't buy it for a second. I've seen otherwise. Now more ...
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- Priests for Life: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Most Significant Legislative Step Forward
- In the Wake of the Moore Tornado: What Can we Learn from the Disaster?
- US Supreme Court Accepts Religion Case: Will Legislative Prayer Survive Religious Censorship?
- Largest Burmese Python caught in Miami-Dade County
- Court sides with Obama, Osama death photos can remain secret - for your own good
- Two Oklahoma men killed in tornadoes; Kansas, Iowa batten down for severe weather
- Supreme Court to decide if prayer before town meeting is permissible
- All survive terrifying plane 'belly landing' in Newark
- Nebraska Bishop: Gosnell clinic was 'reminiscent of Auschwitz'
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?