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Posted by Lisa Simeone at 08:27 AM in Books, Current Affairs, Film, Food and Drink, Games, Music, Religion, Science, Sports, Television, Travel, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink
4th Amendment, abuse, molestation, sexual assault, travel, tsa
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One word: Yup.
November 20, 2010 at 10:08 AM
Going through airport security this past weekend, radio host Owen JJ Stone, known as “OhDoctah,” related how he was told that the rules had been changed and was offered a private screening. When he asked what the procedure entailed, the TSA agent responded, “I have to go in your waistband, I have to put my hand down your pants,” after which he did precisely that.
Stone chose to conduct the search in public in the fear that the TSA worker would be even more aggressive in a private room . . .
the agent pulled out his waistband before patting his backside and his crotch.
November 19th, 2010
I fly regularly for work. Last week, even though I had set off no alarms, a TSA agent made me unbutton my shirt exposing my bra and THEN frisked me under my shirt, focusing on my breasts. She also spent a lot of time “frisking” my genital area, again *under* my skirt, which exposed my underwear. It was humiliating. I debated canceling my trip home for Thanksgiving, I was so upset about it.
I complained but was told since anything that falls under the umbrella of “security procedure” there is zero recourse. So why is the TSA so far above the law? There is nothing you can do if they do something incredibly abusive.
November 19th, 2010
. . . I knew what to expect on the pat down put was still bothered by it. My crotch area was well probed by the TSA agent, my breats were well probed, I had to lift my shirt up while the TSA agent shoved her fingers into my the wasteband of my pants, etc.
TSA Forces Cancer Survivor Flight Attendant to Pull Out Prosthetic Breast During Patdown
“I didn’t really expect her to touch my vagina through my pants,” said Kaya McLaren, an elementary schoolteacher from Cle Elum, Wash., who was patted down at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport last Saturday because the body scanner detected a tissue and a hair band in her pocket.
. . . According to information the T.S.A. has shared or published, the airport pat-downs are supposed to be conducted by officers the same sex as the traveler, and passengers can request a private screening and have a traveling companion present during the search. Agents are not permitted to look inside passengers’ underwear or reach inside a skirt
3.Gimme a break
November 16th, 2010
This past Thursday while waiting to board a flight from Tucson to Chicago I witnessed two women who were thoroughly patted down per the new regs with a new twist, both women were asked if they minded a quick peek into their panties. The looks on their faces spoke a thousand words. They both apparently submitted to this intrusion, but were very unsettled. One women was 40 ish the other, older at maybe 65-70. Give me a break.
Lisa Simeone |
November 20, 2010 at 11:00 AM
SkiAdcock in FlyerTalk (Nov. 10, 2010 ): Was chatting w/ someone who was at SMD2 (don't remember who), & she mentioned that when she opted out & went through the patdown that the agent pulled her pants forward & backward from her body & looked down inside her pants, both front & back! I would have gone ballistic at that point. http://www.thousandsstandingaround.org/
TSA-SEXUAL ASSAULT (her title, not mine)
This woman says, if I'm reading her entry correctly, that she was touched not through her underwear but on her skin. Her buttocks and her labia. Read it and see what you think. In any case, according to her lawyer, she was sexually assaulted. http://www.ourlittlechatterboxes.com/2010/11/tsa-sexual-assault.html
Lisa Simeone |
November 20, 2010 at 11:09 AM
One more word:
At least in Milgram's experiment, about one out of three experimental subjects refused to deliver the final, clearly fatal dose of (fake) electricity.
As for the woman at ourlittlechatterboxes: I read her account as saying she got probed under the waistband but the officer did the other touching through clothing. Either way - if the officer could feel individual labia, she had gone too far!!
November 20, 2010 at 12:58 PM
Yes! Thank you. Yes, Stanley Milgram, too. I guess I figured a lot of people already knew about him and his famous experiment, but then the level of cluelessness throughout all this has been surprising. And so few people I've talked to have heard of Philip Zimbardo, though the Stanford Prison Experiment has also gotten tons of press in the past 40 years. But of course, history teaches us that people are only too happy to perpetuate their cruelty through the ages.
Thank you also for the clarification on the Christian-cookbook-writer-blogger Erin who titled her entry "Sexual Assault." Litbrit and I were trying to figure out if she'd been touched on her skin or through her clothes. In any case, plenty of other people have come forward saying they HAVE been groped on their skin (am compiling a list of accounts from around the country), so I guess the TSA and John Pistole think she got off easy.
Lisa Simeone |
November 20, 2010 at 06:27 PM
Lisa & Sungold: Great work on your respective series of posts on this.
Democracy Now! just ran a piece on the topic which noted that an NYC legislator is introducing a bill to bar the machines from being used within NYC (including its airports) … perhaps a legal mind here could comment on the jurisdictional issues such a law would pose?
On a somewhat lighter (albeit still slightly bitter) note …
November 21, 2010 at 06:42 AM
Excellent, ballgame. Gallows humor, indeed.
Meanwhile, the hits just keep on coming (but, of course, they're all "lies," written to "stir things up," as my national TV reporter friend keeps telling me):
From Andrew Ian Dodge:
. . . I went through the scanner fully cooperating and followed the instructions. Yet I was still taken aside as I exited the machine. No warning bells went off like with the old metal detectors, so I thought it might be random . . .
I informed the TSA officer that it was the scar from my colon cancer operation that went from my crotch to my sternum. A day later the scar still hurts from the kneading and prodding. I was informed they were checking in order to determine if I had anything sewn into my stomach. I offered to lift my shirt to show the TSA officer the still rather graphic scar, but he refused.
So in just five minutes I was told I looked like a notorious porn star by a TSA female employee and then had my scar examined by a man. I was so very pleased to be reminded of the painful and frightening experience of a few years ago.
I guess there is a new category of suspect persons to the TSA: “traveling with scars . . . .
Surely it would have been better had the dozens of staff on hand been inspecting packages in the holds of airplanes instead of kneading my scar."
Lisa Simeone |
November 21, 2010 at 12:42 PM
Great news! George Will has joined the anti-TSA chorus. Can you say "front-runner"? Most of his criticism would have been just as valid before the new scanners and more invasive pat-downs; funny how he's only now discovering that the TSA is basically security theater.
low-tech cyclist |
November 21, 2010 at 12:58 PM
George Will is yet another person whose solution is racial profiling:
If grandma is coming to our house, she may be wanded while barefoot at the airport because democracy - or the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment; anyway, something - requires the amiable nonsense of pretending that no one has the foggiest idea what an actual potential terrorist might look like.
November 21, 2010 at 03:05 PM
Well, I guess I'm glad George Will is suddenly worried about civil liberties (and even Kathleen Parker is writing about it today), but I agree with Mandos that his reasoning is pathetically flawed. So George Will knows "what a terrorist might look like"? Really?
Did Timothy McVeigh look like a terrorist? Did the Shoe Bomber look like a terrorist? (okay, he looked like a freak, I'll give you that) Did the women who've been forced to wear bombs strapped to their bodies in Iraq and Afghanistan look like terrorists?
I must quote, again, and again, and again, Bruce Schneier. And Gavin de Becker. And Clark Ervin. And Stephen M. Lord. And Richard Roth. And Rafi Sela. And other people who actually study security and care about empirical evidence rather than emotional scare-mongering.
But too many Americans seem to want their fantasy world of 100% security. Such a world doesn't exist, but they like believing anyway. It's so comforting.
Lisa Simeone |
November 21, 2010 at 04:30 PM
I call it the Swedish Grandmother Hypothesis. Um.
November 21, 2010 at 07:14 PM
(Nov. 21) -- A Michigan man who survived bladder cancer in 2007 has now been forced to survive humiliation at the hands of the TSA, whose airport screeners spilled urine on him during a recent security check at Detroit's airport.
Thomas Sawyer, 61, was flying to Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 7 with his wife to attend a wedding. Since having part of his bladder removed because of cancer, Sawyer wears a urostomy bag attached to a tube from his abdomen.
He said he asked TSA agents if he could be screened in private because of his medical condition. "One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn't have any place to take me," the retired special education teacher told MSNBC. "After I said again that I'd like privacy, they took me to an office."
"I tried to warn him that he would hit the bag and break the seal on my bag, but he ignored me," Sawyer said. "Sure enough, the seal was broken and urine started dribbling down my shirt and my leg and into my pants."
"I was just so embarrassed, so humiliated," Sawyer also told The Detroit Free Press. He's filed a complaint with the Transportation Security Administration.
Lisa Simeone |
November 21, 2010 at 07:46 PM
Well, people believe in even more weird stuff than 100% security. I read somewhere recently that in the US about 700 million people fly per year. How many were caught before attempting a terrorist act? Zero. How many attempts have there been? Let's be generous and say 10 (I know it is less). How many successful terrorist attacks have there been? Zero. With those kinds of numbers you can't even do statistics. If you take an average of 600 million people flights per year over 8 years that's 4.8 billion people subjected to unlawful search and siezure without any probable cause.
What is the true cost of all this theater? We will never know. But qualitatively we know now that one cost, is passively accepting extraconstitutional government intrusion.
Today I read somewhere that if you are in the process of checking though security and decide to hell with this you are subject to fine and arrest if you do not submit, you are not allowed to leave. So if you object to the illegal search you are charged with a crime?
The whole world is laughing, and at the same time wondering, just how insane will it get? Afterall we are arguably the only remaining "super power" and are behaving like a bunch of timid children. What if we begin to behave like petulant and belligerent children?
Perhaps the absurdity of it all is beginning to hit home, perhaps people will begin to assert their rights, but is it now even possible to roll back this preposterous Punch and Judy show? With 5 ideologues on the Supreme Court I doubt it.
I was ashamed when the US committed naked aggresion and invaded Iraq with no cause what ever. Now I am just apalled at how docily the population has been brought to heel.
Don't forget, this is just one issue. The freedom to travel without being subjected to intimidation and duress. How long will it be before discussing such matters on a blog becomes aiding and abetting terrorism?
The one size fits all crime of the 21st century?
Land of the overworked and underpaid, home of cowed and sheepish.
Krubozumo Nyankoye |
November 21, 2010 at 07:56 PM
TSA Pat Down Went Too Far, Agency Chief Says
TSA Administrator Says Search of Passenger's Underwear Should Have Never Happened, Agency May Rethink Protocols
The beleaguered head of the Transportation Security Administration said today that at least one airport passenger screening went too far when an agent reached inside a traveler's underwear, and the agency is open to rethinking its current protocols.
An ABC News employee said she was subject to a "demeaning" search at Newark Liberty International Airport Sunday morning.
"The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around," she said. "It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist.
Lisa Simeone |
November 22, 2010 at 03:07 PM
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