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TSA Head Defends Scanners, ‘Pats Down’

From an unquestioning New York Times:

Facing Scrutiny, Officials Defend Airport Pat Downs

November 16, 2010

WASHINGTON — The official subject of the hearing Tuesday was screening air cargo. But senators seemed equally interested in hearing about a new procedure for airline passengers that involves a full-body pat down.

Something, we should note, that does not seem to bother the New York Times. Those famous champions of privacy and untiring opponents of the ‘Patriot Act’ – at least when it is administered by a Republican President.

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut and chairman of the homeland security committee, asked John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration, to explain why he believed the new pat-down procedures were “justified.”

Mr. Pistole said that while “reasonable people can disagree as to what that proper balance or blend is between privacy and security safety,” he believed that “everybody who gets on a flight wants to be reassured that everybody else around them has been properly screened.”

Aviation and travel news has been dominated recently by discussion of the method, which allows screeners to use the front of their hands to touch passengers’ inner thighs, buttocks and breasts. The pat down is required for passengers who opt out of passing through a full-body scanner, officially known as Advanced Imaging Technology machines. More than 300 of the scanners are in use at airports nationwide.

We know we can’t complain what such scanning might do to our own bodies, without facing jail time and an $11,000 fine. But isn’t all the radiation from those airport scanners going to hurt the precious environment?

Mr. Leiberman called the pat downs “awkward” and “unusual,” but ultimately defended them, saying that had Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is accused of boarding a Detroit-bound flight with an explosive device sewn into his underwear, been successful, “Congress and I daresay the public would have been demanding not just the body imaging equipment but pat downs.”

If Mr. Abdulmutallab “had opted out,” Mr. Pistole said, “thinking, ‘Well, I’m not going to receive a thorough pat down so I can get on that flight,’ if that had been successful on Christmas Day, I think we might be having a different dialogue here this afternoon and in the public.”

Sorry, but we still don’t understand the logic behind the underwear check during the ‘aggressive pat downs.’ You get an ‘aggressive pat down’ if you refuse to undergo the ‘naked scanner.’

But when they pat you down they check your underwear for chemicals. Even though the naked scanners don’t check your underwear for chemicals. They can’t see chemicals like the ‘underwear bomber’ wore on his person. We’re not even sure you could feel them in a ‘pat down.’

Still, it would seem to us that either everyone should get their underwear checked, even if they are scanned — or no one should.

While Mr. Pistole did not provide specific numbers, he said only a “very small” percentage of travelers were patted down. The pat downs would occur, he said, if they had opted out of the scanner or if they had set off an alert another way.

We were told by a top official from the TSA just yesterday that only four people have ever been ‘patted down’ in San Diego.

Later, in response to questions from Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, Mr. Pistole said, “There will be no exceptions because of religion” if security officials decide a passenger must either go through the scanner or be frisked.

We’ll see how long this policy lasts.

On Tuesday, the T.S.A. also announced a new policy to offer a “modified pat down” for children 12 years old and under who require additional screening

Hopefully, this will not be confused with the ‘modified limited hangout’ of the Nixon days.

Still, we really only have to worry when the TSA agents start asking us to ‘turn our head and cough.’ Which, come to think of it, gives us a great idea.

The TSA should hire some of the gynecologists and proctologists who are losing their jobs thanks to Obama-care. At least then we could get ‘felt up’ by medical professionals.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “TSA Head Defends Scanners, ‘Pats Down’”

  1. proreason says:

    Why not cavity searches?

    And remind me again what % of attacks on airlines in the last 20 years have NOT been conducted by middle easten muslims.

    We have 35,000+ TSA agents patting down nuns and 3 year olds.

    If the human race lasts until 2050, America and the TSA will be the laughingstock of future generations.

  2. David says:

    My guess is the religious exemption will come about for any who feel that their women are not to be touched. i.e. Islam.

    • proreason says:

      That is my fondest hope…..because if it happens, the backlash will be so intense that it will set political correctness back 20 years and probably put an end to the nonsense 3-oz bottle programs that Libwits enact because they refuse to profile the obvious perpetrators of the danger.

      If it happens, I could easily see mobs in airports surrounding Muslim women who have been allowed through security yelling and screaming for justice. It will be really really ugly.

  3. DoctorRock says:

    I gotta tell ya’ – I’m lovin’ it! This is only going to get bigger and take so much PC BS down. That Incompetentano thought this would ever fly (ha!) only proves that she’s even stupider than she looks. Think about the constitutional challenges! Not to mention our right to free passage, not to mention the billions they’ve wasted on harassing our citizenry without making us any safer. The answer is profiling, not having Eugene put his hand down your pants.

    • tranquil.night says:

      When my Dad visited Israel early this year, I asked him what it was like to be a tourist on a beach that had someone hired to rake it for bombs every morning.

      “There is a collective awareness but never a collective acknowledgment.”

      In that they do everything, including profiling, to keep their people not only safe but to the best degree possible able to still live their lives unintruded by the nasty reality of the state of war theyre in.

      It’s not just sound domestic (and socio-economic) policy, it’s an important factor in psychological warfare – the unmistakeable message being that their only reason for being at war is in the interest of protecting their people and providing normal opportunities for them (as opposed to the cause represented by their enemy.

      So therein lies the difference between Israeli and United States Security currently. They live for the most part at peace while in the middle of a war for survival. Meanwhile our government wants the right to touch our junk and is sending our valiant into the “courageous restraint” meatgrinder, all in and for what they can’t even call a war anymore and our President is apologizing for.

      On that tangent, I wonder what would’ve been the result if Staff Sgt. Giunta had been thinking of courageous restraint in the midst of his unit being ambushed.

  4. Perdido says:

    They will balk at patting down Muslim women. They won’t admit they are not doing it, but they won’t dare do it. There is already a ‘fatwah’ issued on any TSA half-wit that dares feel up a Mussie. The TSA has been put on notice by the fatwah and as are all tyrants and bullies they are afraid.

    We have way too much Federal government.

  5. Mae says:

    It really is too bizarre that in order to fly from one airport to another one woman gets to grope the genitals of another. I mean, are these people sick or what!

  6. Georgfelis says:

    So when your mother used to ask “Are you wearing clean underwear?”, she was really just concerned for your own good in the event you got searched at TSA. Nice to know.

    Just wondering, if a TSA agent were to pull Janet out for “enhanced screening”, how long would that agent retain their job? Sauce for the Goose…..

  7. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The sign says, “If you SEE something SAY something”.

    OK, you’re fat. You’re ugly. And most condemning of all–you’re stupid.

    And, why is it that these “women of the democrat party in positions of authority” cannot seem to shake the “trying to look like a man” stereotype? I thought they’d be beyond that and at least try to look like women. Unless there’s some unwritten “code” or manner of dress that indicates they are of a certain type of person. But, who’s to say?

  8. proreason says:

    Well, at least we know what job Barney Franks will be doing after he is evicted from the government mafia in 2012.

    But I’m highly confident that there aren’t any other perverts in the TSA. Big Sis and the Ambiguously Gay Person in Chief wouldn’t allow that, would they?

  9. wardmama4 says:

    Well there is a class of people – who go directly to that touchy-feelly pervert paradise – those who wear a prosthetic. These people can not go through the current scanners (not sure about the enhanced ones) – and are given a real pat down – My 24 year old son- was patted down, his wheelchair, prosthetic and other shoe were swabbed down and all because – the real enemy won’t be named, profiled or even acknowledge by this bunch of juvenile delinquents on steroids.

    Want to read how much they are willing to sell out America and We The People – read the S.3827, The DREAM Act to see how Reid et al are attempting to give away America to criminal illegal aliens.

    The TSA is out of control and never forget this warning from Franklin: They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. The sick joke is that America is giving up liberty, Constitutional RIGHTS and not getting any safety at all. It is all about control of the citizens.

    Stop Them Now.

  10. Natural Born Citizen says:

    The picture itself is hilarious, the jail guard from “Dykes in Cell Block C”, and Big Sis seeing who has the strongest handshake!

  11. Astravogel says:

    I don’t fly all that much, but has anyone seen them
    do a ‘pat down’ on a uniformed member of our military
    services? I never have.

  12. rangerrebew says:

    My wife and I are flying to Hawaii at Christmas to see our son and I hope I can work up a good fart when they pat my crotch. I assume they will do that since I have artificial knees and will set off the alarm. I think I’ll also put “Napolitano is a bull dyke” on my body to add “humor” to the whole thing.

    • proreason says:

      Really. I’ve been assuming Napolitano is the passive partner, just based on her conduct as our Homeland Insecurity Chief..

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