A whole new fear of flying

Invasive security searches have passengers clamoring for dignity

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What a galvanizing battlefield moment in the war against our privacy and dignity.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Transportation Security Agency officers check airline passenger as they check in at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport. U.S. officials are defending new anti-terrorism security procedures at the nation’s airports that some travelers complain are overly invasive and intimate.

John Tyner's blog entry and accompanying videos chronicling his airport ordeal at the hands of the Transportation Security Agency starkly reveal the repulsively uneven enforcement employed in the name of airline safety.

Airport security measures have long been idiotic.

The difference is, now they're offensive as well.

Newly arrived full-body scanning machines, which essentially see you naked, are horrifying passengers and even pilots -- who not only complain about their intrusiveness but question their safety.

But if you object to the scanner, your reward is a full-body pat-down -- which an increasing number of fliers are claiming to be absurdly personal to the point of being humiliating.

That's exactly what happened -- almost -- to Tyner, a 31-year-old software engineer.

After Tyner flatly refused the embarrassing body scan, a TSA agent instead gave him the option of a pat-down. The agent described the intimate procedure, and Tyner vowed he would have the agent arrested if his private parts were touched.

Tyner ended up cashing in his ticket and canceling his trip -- but as he left the airport a security supervisor threatened him with a civil lawsuit and a hefty fine for leaving because security hadn't finished screening him.

Remember -- by that time, he wasn't even an airline passenger!

It's gotten so bad, just in time for the holiday travel rush, that travel industry executives met with Homeland Security officials to voice their concerns that the invasive procedures were discouraging people from flying -- and alienating those who do.

Pilots and flight attendants also note, rightly, the folly and frustration of repeatedly scanning or patting down the same airline personnel flight after flight. You'd think they'd recognize these folks at some point, and figure out they're not a terrorist threat.

Then again, the Transportation Security Agency's policy of randomly searching little old ladies and children isn't much smarter.

Meanwhile, Muslim women who wear bulky, head-to-toe outfits are being counseled by the Council on American-Islamic Relations not to agree to either the body scans or pat-downs -- and to tell authorities they'll only agree to be touched from the neck up.

Considering the religious nature of their objections, they are likely to be the main group, if not the only group, that escapes scrutiny in airports.

One man said his 8-year-old son was even touched in the genital area during a random pat-down.

"We spend my child's whole life telling him that only mom, dad and a doctor can touch you in your private area," the father told Reuters, "and now we have to add TSA (agents), and that's just wrong."

Is this really the best we can do to stay safe in the 21st century?

This goes far beyond this temporal holiday travel season. We'll be setting benchmarks for the privacy rights of future generations.

The Tyner incident is an almost Orwellian moment in our attempt to redraw the line between security and human dignity. Out of a pathetic fear of profiling, we're getting the line wrong.

Comments (92) Add comment
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jones255
0
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jones255 11/17/10 - 09:40 am
0
0
WW1949 - Yours is the best

WW1949 - Yours is the best response yet. My question through all of this is, why haven't the peaceful Muslims condemned the actions of the Muslim extremists? And what are they doing to "out" extremists that they know? Is it fear??

workedforit
0
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workedforit 11/17/10 - 09:52 am
0
0
I wonder what happens when
Unpublished

I wonder what happens when you poot in the puffer.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 11/17/10 - 09:54 am
0
0
I could care less if they

I could care less if they scan me and pat me down as long as it keeps myself and my family safe......if you don't want to be scanned or patted down then drive or take a boat. As for Mr. Tyner, he seriously needs to get a grip....a good pat down may actually do him some good:)

dichotomy
37659
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dichotomy 11/17/10 - 10:03 am
0
0
If they exempt muslim women,

If they exempt muslim women, the entire point of this exercise is futile. If this PC policy stands, then there should be a total boycott of flying or a violent revolution at the security checkpoints. Can anyone explain the logic of a policy of exempting muslim women from an inspection intended to catch muslim terrorists? If that isn't politically correct crap then nothing is. You want to be safe while flying? Then muslim women should be the first to have body cavity searches. If they don't like it then they can catch a train or a boat. If the TSA is serious about feeling up 8 year olds and grandmas, they cannot suucumb to this demand from muslim women.

burninater
9948
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burninater 11/17/10 - 10:20 am
0
0
dichotomy, the AC staff is

dichotomy, the AC staff is trying to pull a fast one on you here. Pay attention to their language: Muslim women are being "counseled" not to agree to searches by a private group. It is the AC's OPINION that they will "likely" receive an exemption ... but this OPINION is not based in fact. If such an exemption was actually attempted, I think it would face a huge uproar and have a snowball's chance in hell ... in a battle in people's minds between PC and fiery plane crashes, PC doesn't stand a chance.

The TSA has clearly stated that burka wearers receive no such scan exemption.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/tsa-religion-offers-no-break-in-airport-...

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 11/17/10 - 10:17 am
0
0
I don't know how true it is

I don't know how true it is but I heard that the images are starting to show up on the internet. How can that be so if, as TSA says, the images are not stored?

seenitB4
98681
Points
seenitB4 11/17/10 - 10:19 am
0
0
We could use some dog

We could use some dog sniffers in certain areas...I know some good dogs with great noses......:)

burninater
9948
Points
burninater 11/17/10 - 10:33 am
0
0
OT, this article says that US

OT, this article says that US Marshals surreptitiously stored images from a courthouse scanner, but I haven't been able to find leaked TSA images. http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20012583-281.html
The article says that the TSA equipment CAN store images, but that the TSA claims that capability is not enabled.
The only images I could find that explicitly claim to be TSA images (as opposed to images posted with articles ABOUT scanners, but that don't actually look like scanner images) were posted by "Joan" on a site called "Right Celebrity". Are these for real? No idea.
http://www.rightcelebrity.com/?p=10882

ohhsweetconcord
3
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ohhsweetconcord 11/17/10 - 11:17 am
0
0
I'll only agree to the pat

I'll only agree to the pat down if its someone of the opposite sex doing it. No exceptions.

sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 11/17/10 - 11:23 am
0
0
The head of the

The head of the Transportation Security Administration is acknowledging that the new pat-downs are more invasive than what travelers were used to in the past.

11/24/10 National Opt-Out Day
Take a look at the government's invasion of privacy:
http://www.optoutday.com/

just a comment or two
0
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just a comment or two 11/17/10 - 11:29 am
0
0
Love your neighbor as

Love your neighbor as yourself. In this instance, it means scan me with the naked device if it keeps my fellow travelers safe. I was born naked and will rot naked in the ground when I die, but my soul will be with King Jesus in heaven forever.

Farnsworth
0
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Farnsworth 11/17/10 - 11:33 am
0
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Now you're all complaining

Now you're all complaining there is too much security and I'm clueless. Almost 10 years ago we all went through one of the worst air tragedies ever imaginable. To say that we should do away with all security checks is crazy. If you don't like them you know what? Drive or the the Amtrack...there are other ways to travel. I've flown since 9/11 and been patted down a couple of times. It doesn't happen every time or atleast the last time I flew it didn't they just choose random people as they handed you your tickets. I didn't enjoy it but I'd rather them pat people down for less than 30 seconds to make sure they have nothing on them. I'd rather them a billion x-ray suitcases than have to go through another 9/11.

You all know the first thing you'd say if something happened again if security standards were lacked would be "Why wasn't this prevented? IF YOU'D JUST HAD MORE SECURITY AT THE AIRPORTS...."

I don't see what freedom you're losing with this unless you are smuggling drugs or weapons in or something like that and have something to lose from being patted or having your bags screened.

Like I said...don't like it? Drive or go Amtrack or go by Ship. There are plenty of methods of travel and each has their own guidelines and safety procedures for good reasons.

Farnsworth
0
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Farnsworth 11/17/10 - 11:35 am
0
0
I consider flying a

I consider flying a privileged technology has given us, not a "right" so IMO if you want to enjoy the privilege with others than you must consider the "right" those other humans have to safely fly and you must pass threw the security that is deemed to help protect us ALL...the passengers, the staff and the poor suckers on the ground..they all outweigh the one person too embarrassed to have their tiny package touched, IMO :)

Riverman1
94350
Points
Riverman1 11/17/10 - 11:41 am
0
0
I bet flashers love these

I bet flashers love these things.

TheFederalist
1
Points
TheFederalist 11/17/10 - 11:44 am
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0
Methinks there is way too

Methinks there is way too much protesting over a non-issue. You can easily avoid the scans and pat-downs....don't fly! If you decide to risk it, then shut up and let the agents do their jobs, to keep everyone else safe. What a nation of whiners we have become! Let the first plane get blown out of the sky by a muslim woman in her flowing garb that refused to be searched on religious grounds, and I bet the whining sheeples would be eagerly lining up at the scanners, and happy to have them. Sorry...but this idiot had an attitude and wanted his 5 minutes of fame, and sadly, we all gave it to him. Pathetic.

ron_rlw
1
Points
ron_rlw 11/17/10 - 11:44 am
0
0
Farnsworth ... I don't think

Farnsworth ... I don't think any reasonable person would say we should get rid of all security checks. What folks are saying we should be reasonable about it.

The point here is whether the pat-downs that would be considered sexual crimes if other people did them are now allowed and demanded by the Federal Government. Even though we have technology available in the form of explosive and metal detectors. If the walkthough metal detector goes off, then it would be reasonable to use the handheld metal detector to find out where the problem is and then a hands-on search of that area of the body would be necessary. The method seems to be to not use the hand held metal detector and just assume that every square inch of the body is suspect ... this is not an exceptable method of security and should be stopped ... unless of course it can be shown that the metal detector is missing weapons that the hands-on approach is catching ... do we have any examples of this?

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 11/17/10 - 11:48 am
0
0
Don't like it, drive? So, if

Don't like it, drive? So, if your rights are violated, we are supposed to change our behavior? Ok.

You have no right to housing. If you get robbed one night, we won't send the police. Just get a Uhaul.

If no one stands for your rights, someone will take them off your hands, for sure.

I have been frisked before at airports, as I have two 9mm bullets and ten pounds of titanium in my leg. Its not fun.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 11/17/10 - 12:00 pm
0
0
Government is on a power trip

Government is on a power trip & out of control.

These sleepy-eyed govt employees are enjoying the "power" they have over weary travelers. Not to mention the folks who are leaking the nude photos on the internet. They are disgusting & abusive.

The airlines need to step up to the plate & jump all over the TSA. This will destroy their business - one that I'm sure is already struggling in this crappy economy.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 11/17/10 - 12:04 pm
0
0
taylorb Drive to Europe or

taylorb Drive to Europe or Brazil? What if you travel a lot for your job? What should you do then? Just let them continue to stick their hand all over your privates or risk your naked image being leaked to the internet?

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 11/17/10 - 12:06 pm
0
0
Chillen, I know. That point

Chillen, I know. That point was made so I left it out. I do not fly unless its work related.

Riverman1
94350
Points
Riverman1 11/17/10 - 12:27 pm
0
0
Taylor said, "I have been

Taylor said, "I have been frisked before at airports, as I have two 9mm bullets and ten pounds of titanium in my leg."

Taylor, you know how they say the elements in the human body are worth about 25 cents or something? In your case, that's not true with all that metal.

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 11/17/10 - 12:32 pm
0
0
Yep, that titanium cost me

Yep, that titanium cost me about $40,000, plus installation. I though my labor rates were high at the shop...

chascush
0
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chascush 11/17/10 - 12:43 pm
0
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Chillen, ‘These sleepy-eyed

Chillen, ‘These sleepy-eyed govt employees are enjoying the "power" they have over weary travelers. Not to mention the folks who are leaking the nude photos on the internet. They are disgusting & abusive.’
One big problem, there are about twice as many as needed to do the job. They get in one another’s way. I went to Bahamas a couple of weeks ago and their security was great, fast and with about ½ the people we have. TSA is what happens when you give a guvamint program a blank check. You think the TSA is over staffed and on a power trip just wait until Obamacare kicks in.

dani
13
Points
dani 11/17/10 - 12:53 pm
0
0
They can post my scan on

They can post my scan on youtube as long as they don't attach my name. The world needs a good laugh.

burninater
9948
Points
burninater 11/17/10 - 12:54 pm
0
0
HA! It's about Obamacare now!

HA! It's about Obamacare now! chas, you never let us down ...

(Message brought to you be Obamacare. Photons and electrons composing Obamacare message not to be confused with photons and electrons produced by inferior health programs. Some restrictions apply. See your Obamacare dealer for details.)

StartingOver
0
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StartingOver 11/17/10 - 12:55 pm
0
0
And what about the old person

And what about the old person who needs to wear Depends diapers, then must be subjected to a grope search? The humiliation will keep them home. Too bad, you say? What happened to freedom? What happened to common sense?

StartingOver
0
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StartingOver 11/17/10 - 12:58 pm
0
0
Has removing our shoes

Has removing our shoes stopped one bomber? Didn't think so. Why have no other countries adopted this procedure if it really helps?

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 11/17/10 - 01:17 pm
0
0
Quote from TSA administration

Quote from TSA administration Mo McGowan. "Nobody likes the 4th amendment being violated when going through the security line, but the truth of the matter is we are going to have to do it."

Anyone remember the 4th Amendment? It "guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. The amendment specifically requires search & arrest warrants be judicially sanctioned & supported by probable cause."

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 11/17/10 - 01:44 pm
0
0
Last week the Obama

Last week the Obama Administration gave TSA agents the right to unionize, all 50,000 of them.

Now we will have fire-proof, over-paid, over-pensioned goons groping us and humiliating us.

Yet another EXCELLENT decision by the community organizer & his "staff". Heaven help us.

Kitten35
0
Points
Kitten35 11/17/10 - 02:03 pm
0
0
Okay. First, you've had to

Okay.

First, you've had to remove your shoes and coat and belts for years. There is nothing new about this.

Second. The scanners show an outline of your body, not all the nooks, crannies, and wrinkles.

Third. They use these all over the world. We're one of the last countries to add them. We're also the only country where plane attacks are regularly attempted. Making the connection?

Fourth. It's not a constitutional right to fly and your "privacy" therein for your private parts is not included in the Declaration of Independence. If you don't like it, then take the train and stop complaining.

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