Take on the terrorists

Instead, TSA agents are declaring war on our rights and dignity

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Conservative commentator Bill Kristol wondered blithely Sunday whether there's really a national outrage over airport screenings and pat-downs.

Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo
Transportation Security Administration screener Marlon Tejada (left) watches as Randy Parsons, the TSA’s acting federal security director, goes through a full-body scanner at Los Angeles International Airport.

He needs to get out more.

Unfortunately, the East Coast media apparently don't believe what they haven't seen for themselves.

Well, now they've seen it.

And felt it.

A female ABC News employee reported that an airport screener actually put her hands down the ABC employee's underwear, and that, in her words, "it was basically worse than going to the gynecologist. It was embarrassing. It was demeaning. It was inappropriate.

"The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around."

Makes you wonder: Are Transportation Security Administration employees as well-screened as airline passengers?

That woman's ordeal -- as much as it helped the media see there's a problem -- may not even be the worst that's being visited upon passengers by the out-of-control TSA. One 61-year-old cancer survivor, Thomas Sawyer, had his urostomy bag's seal broken by a TSA agent, covering the man with his own urine.

When he warned them about the delicate medical equipment attached to his body, he says "they said they didn't need to know about that."

"They never apologized," he said. "They never offered to help. They acted like they hadn't seen what happened. But I know they saw it because I had a wet mark."

That evidence was also evident to others in the airport when he left.

The TSA also ordered a longtime flight attendant, a breast cancer survivor, to take off her prosthetic breast.

"If this country is going to sacrifice treating people like human beings in the name of safety," Sawyer said, "then we have already lost the war."

More than that, we're losing our constitutional rights and our human dignity.

And all in a lost cause: The government, in an all-out effort to avoid profiling, is hoping to keep us safe with pure luck -- by randomly searching Americans, including young boys and nuns and retired teachers with medical conditions.

As the big pre-Thanksgiving airport deluge begins today, Americans who actually agree to fly will have a choice: be seen naked and absorb radiation the government says is safe, or acquiesce to pat-downs that increasing numbers of fliers say are akin to assaults.

Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asked if she'd want a pat-down, said, "Not if I could avoid it. No. I mean, who would?"

A grassroots Internet protest called "National Opt-Out Day" is encouraging travelers to "opt out" of the full-body scan and request pat-downs today -- in order to clog up the airports with delays not even the busiest travel day of the year has ever seen.

We're not sure what the point of that is; it will only further inconvenience a flying public that is already under siege from its own government.

Instead of fighting each other, why don't we take on the terrorists?

Comments (56) Add comment
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grouse
1635
Points
grouse 11/23/10 - 11:50 pm
0
0
Old Ben Franklin's words
Unpublished

Old Ben Franklin's words about security and freedom come to mind. Exactly how many terrorists have been stopped by these procedures? You can put all the locks on your house you want, but if someone is determine to break in, he will. These heavy-handed tactics only inconvenience the law-abiding citizens. There's got to be a better way than accosting Americans physically and electronically.

Farnsworth
0
Points
Farnsworth 11/24/10 - 12:33 am
0
0
If people actually took time

If people actually took time to look at the scare stories the news media has been giving us about the TSA they'd see we are being lied to completely or some things were just blatantly taken out of context. Like the YouTube video of the child being strip searched. Come to find out the father was with him...THE FATHER removed the shirt and put it back on...both father and son were checked because their actions(for whatever reason) were deemed suspicious enough to warrant the check. Terrorists are not stupid. Profiling won't work and they know it. If were start profiling every man, woman, and child with dark skin wearing turbans they will just recruit outside of the profile. Flying isn't anyone's right. It's a privilege. You don't like the security measures than don't fly. I've flown and I haven't had any of the hassle that any of the news media has said to expect.

Americans are a bunch of spoiled, arrogant, anal retentive, whining babies for the most part. Ever since WWII, we've become so arrogant and demanding, thinking everything should be perfect because if it's not, we just may not make it. The thing is, if these TSA agents relaxed on the security checks and if a terrorist attack did take place, the same complainers in this story would be FIRST to complain over lack of security.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 11/24/10 - 01:03 am
0
0
Perhaps TSA could offer a

Perhaps TSA could offer a medical check in line appropriately screened for people with medical body attachments and prosthesis. Hand pat-downs would be annoying for sure. But it's had to figure the general public objecting to full body screeners unless you're a frequent flyer and receiving radiation exposures often. Otherwise the scanner is probably less radiation dose than a dental x-ray. Just flying in a commercial airplane exposes you to increased radiation. People's modesty is hard to understand when our society has nudity everywhere in the media and entertainment. Who cares about your nude carcass anyway? It'll be little noticed nor long remembered.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 11/24/10 - 01:14 am
0
0
Wonder if it's illegal to

Wonder if it's illegal to finish the check in, take a few steps, drop your drawers and moon them? Freedom of expression is a constitutional right isn't it?

sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 11/24/10 - 01:34 am
0
0
This is no different than the

This is no different than the NSA at Ft. Gordon eavesdropping in on Americans' conversations or the AZ show me your papers law. They are all unconstitutional and anti-American all done in the name of "security". You see where this slippery slope we've been standing on has led us and where we are heading? Yes, the terrorists are winning because we are allowing them to do so out of fear. Here's a thought for those of you for these government porn scanners and groping, what's to stop terrorists from putting C-4 up their rectums or from blowing themselves up at an airport security check point with hundreds of tightly packed people? Nothing. And they will still get the results and fear they desire. Quit giving up your freedoms to them.

sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 11/24/10 - 01:55 am
0
0
Truth from a commentor at

Truth from a commentor at Jezebel:

They came first for the Muslim’s junk,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Muslim.

Then they came for the black’s junk,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t black.

Then they came for the women’s junk,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a woman.

Then they came for my junk…

…and I kicked up a huge fuss and demanded that they cut it out because it was infringing upon my freedom and you should listen to me because I’m a white dude and I and I alone have domain over my junk

gijoe7898
0
Points
gijoe7898 11/24/10 - 03:33 am
0
0
I had to laugh when I heard

I had to laugh when I heard Obama, this week, say that these new security measures were in response to the underwear bomber's attempt. That was last December. Ah, the reractive speed of govt.

Farnsworth, profiling is far more than a person's physical appearance. Take for example the underwear bomber.
- one way ticket
- no luggage
- paid for ticket with cash

The Israelis have the system down pat. Screw the PC crowds. However, don't think that the TSA is capable of Israeli style security. Israeli screeners are college graduates, fluent in at least 2 languages and receive extensive training. They are a professional group along the lines of the FBI, US Marshalls, etc.

They are routinely tested by undercover trainers and fired on the spot for failures. Think TSA's union would go for that?

Our roughly 30,000 screeners could have been flipping burgers or parking cars last week.

Here's a good article on TSA turnover and power abuses.

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/why_have_67000_tsa_employees_l/

orgpsych
0
Points
orgpsych 11/24/10 - 04:34 am
0
0
It's funny is a sad way that

It's funny is a sad way that a Republican administration signed into law the Patriot Act which opened the door to the infringement upon the most basic of Constitutional liberties: personal privacy. When the "Liiibberrrrals" protested that it violated the Constitution they were told that their attitude was unAmerican. After all, it was for a good cause since we were under attack.

It doesn't take a genius to see that any change like this doesn't just go back to the way it was when the crisis is over. The infringement of and assault upon personal liberties has begun and will continue until America either becomes the totalitarian regime that is possible or the people revolt.

Now those measures have gone the predictable way and we have full body scanners, just like in the movies. The problem is that these just go to the skin and we essentially display our bodies to be recorded and photographed at will. How long before those images find their way to the internet? Sounds preposterous, right? Not really. Of course, there is an alternative.

So now we have a group protesting the alternative to being scanned... the intrusive pat-down. Suddenly the Conservatives among us are disbelieving of the reasons for why these measures are in place and complaining about the intrusive nature of the "inspections." After all, these measures are for "THEM," not for us. WE'RE not the problem.

Unfortunately, many of us ARE the problem as home-grown groups seek to use "second amendment solutions" to show their displeasure with the way things are in this country right now. For the doubters please remember Mr. McVeigh and Oklahoma City. He was not as isolated an incident as we would like to believe.

BTW, I've seen Arabs from a number of countries up close and personal. Many are indistinguishable from anyone in America. It's only a matter of time before our enemies understand this and use it to their advantage.

I guess my point is: You asked for it ... You got it. Stop whining and take you radiation or intrusive groping like a true American would. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 11/24/10 - 06:26 am
0
0
I'm pretty sure that they can

I'm pretty sure that they can wand someone and it can pick up most things. I know for a fat that it will pick up surgical metal embedded in bone. I registers most things that we are looking for at the gates of military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sellout
0
Points
Sellout 11/24/10 - 06:49 am
0
0
Yes, this is all thanks to

Yes, this is all thanks to the Patriot Act, which should be unconstitutional due to the Fourth Amendment. Slippery slope, folks, slippery slope.

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 11/24/10 - 07:28 am
0
0
For all the naysayers who are
Unpublished

For all the naysayers who are whining about their rights being stepped on, what will you say if these procedures stop, and a terrorist gets a bomb on a plane and blows it up with 200 people on board? As for "We haven't caught a single terrorist yet," doesn't that little nugget of info tell you it MAY be working? You can have total freedom, or give up some rights and be safe. You can't have both. "If you aren't safe, you aren't free."

Mad Hatter
0
Points
Mad Hatter 11/24/10 - 08:04 am
0
0
There is a point where you

There is a point where you get absurd to insure safety. Do you believe that cars should be made as safe as they could? At first thought you might say "yes." But that means that we would mandate a 5 point harness and helmet, and outlaw all cars that can drive faster than about 15 miles per hour. Americans, and others sacrifice some safety for the sake of sanity. When the rules get absurd, such as randomly searching people when you KNOW what most terrorists look like, but you won't single them out because it's politically incorrect, then you need to rethink your rules.

Riverman1
84946
Points
Riverman1 11/24/10 - 08:09 am
0
0
As someone above said, lots

As someone above said, lots of this has been fabricated. It's coming out that some people are exaggerating to put it mildly. It's kind of like when the news about Toyotas accelerating on their own came out. Suddenly, Toyota owners started imagining things.

As Gunny on the A&E Channel might say. Stop sniveling. This is war. Deal with it before I make you all stand in formation naked with people wearing latex gloves checking you out.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 11/24/10 - 08:18 am
0
0
It's already been proven that
Unpublished

It's already been proven that profiling doesn't always work. Terrorists are smarter than you think. They don't just recruit people from middle eastern countries, they have ventured out to recruit caucasians, orientals, etc. - these pat downs are not ideal, but we have to do SOMETHING!

justthefacts
22198
Points
justthefacts 11/24/10 - 08:29 am
0
0
Just asking for some common

Just asking for some common sense, that's all. I know, it's the gov't. So, first, privatize it and it will immediately improve and be less expensive. Truken, where has it been proven that profiling doesn't work? Works pretty well in Israel.

TheFederalist
1
Points
TheFederalist 11/24/10 - 08:30 am
0
0
More liberal stinking

More liberal stinking thinking. Pat downs and scanners do not detect body cavity explosives, and would not have detected the underwear bomber's device, so what exactly is the point? Further, the very same civil liberties group that usually decries every form of intrusion, has obviously decided that nude scans and groping of one's private parts is ok?

This is not about safety people. It is about politics and money, like everything else.

Mad Hatter
0
Points
Mad Hatter 11/24/10 - 08:37 am
0
0
Where are all the white

Where are all the white terrorists, truckin? Give us some names.

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 11/24/10 - 08:47 am
0
0
Timothy McVeigh? D.B. Cooper?

Timothy McVeigh? D.B. Cooper? The Unabomber guy?

Anyway... These procedures are a clear violation of constitutional rights, and that cannot be argued. Period.
If you are in Atlanta Airport tomorrow, there will be 25 people protesting these procedures (we would have more, but they limited the number). They are members of the Libertarian Party of Georgia. We have taken our stand, let's see who else shows up.

Mad Hatter
0
Points
Mad Hatter 11/24/10 - 08:57 am
0
0
Ok, Taylor B. You named 3

Ok, Taylor B. You named 3 whole people (the 3 I figured you would have mentioned). Now....how many of them were recruited by Islamists?

curly123053
4748
Points
curly123053 11/24/10 - 09:10 am
0
0
We all know who is carrying

We all know who is carrying out these acts of terrorism against Americans. These groups are the ones that should be undergoing the scrutiny of the TSA. But the politically correct illness sweeping the country will not allow for TSA or any security groups to work in a rational manner. And we are seeing a lot of that now. Meanwhile the ones who want us all dead are most likely shaking their heads and chuckling at the furor going on over here.

justus4
103
Points
justus4 11/24/10 - 09:17 am
0
0
George Bush created this
Unpublished

George Bush created this monster. Remember the Patriot Act? Remember (R)s going on & on about terrorists and fear? Remember informed citizens fearing civil rights being threatening? Remember the supporters thinking Bush was "protecting the country"? Remember the ACLU winning in the courts? Remember the Bush regime IGNORING the legal rulings and violating law after law? Remember the op-eds saying
"The Bush administration has violated the US Constitution and possibly committed war crimes." So now, years later people are upset because they're being touched "inappropriately." Ha! Get over it! This is what you,(The American People) wanted for protection from terroristic threats. You asked for it - You got it....Grin and bear it.

justthefacts
22198
Points
justthefacts 11/24/10 - 09:21 am
0
0
Intelligent people can see

Intelligent people can see this is an apples/oranges argument. What, no racial angle could be made here? Posters who are one trick ponies should stick to their one trick.

CATFISHSTEW
14
Points
CATFISHSTEW 11/24/10 - 10:01 am
0
0
If this is that much trouble,

If this is that much trouble, for poeple to be sreened or patted down,why not just stop it altogether. Then everyone can board their plane and allof the complaining will stop. By the luck of the draw,a plane blows up....but it was not yours. Whats 200 more lives? at least you made it to where you were going. Would really hate for you to be inconvenienced.And WOW, look at all the money that would be saved.
Have a safe trip and enjpy yourself.

ozarkalien
0
Points
ozarkalien 11/24/10 - 10:02 am
0
0
What happens when a terrorist

What happens when a terrorist detonates a bomb inside a security screening area. We are packing hundreds of people in a small area with very little way of escape. If they want casualties and to engage fear, that is all they have to do. Forget the planes the don't need that.

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 11/24/10 - 10:18 am
0
0
You could kill more people at

You could kill more people at an athletic event than on an aircraft with a bomb. How about a large church? A school? A shopping mall on friday?

ozarkalien
0
Points
ozarkalien 11/24/10 - 10:19 am
0
0
curly123053 I wish it could

curly123053 I wish it could be that easy but it's foolish to think that profiling is the answer. The TSA does have people trained to observe peoples actions and demeanor to stop terrorists. There are people of all races and there are people that can pass as different races, how about the 20 year old man that had a 70 year old looking mask that passed though security a couple of weeks ago
I'm against this foolish security action at the airports and around the country it has gotten out of hand.

justthefacts
22198
Points
justthefacts 11/24/10 - 10:29 am
0
0
taylor, exactly. Restaurants

taylor, exactly. Restaurants are a favorite of terrorist. Hotels. Are we going to strip search patrons of those establishments as well. It's lunacy. What posters like Catfishstew keep missing is the issue of strip searching of everyone. Why would a businessman, like myself, who flies 80K miles a year, has a proven travel record, lives in the same place for 10 yrs, has a wife and kids, and is a US citizen, subjected to the same scrutiny that a 22 yr old individual traveling on a Saudi passport for the first time would get? Does that make sense to anyone??

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 11/24/10 - 10:47 am
0
0
Pilots are getting searched.

Pilots are getting searched. I'm pretty sure that if a pilot wanted to down a plane, they could without use of a bomb.

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 11/24/10 - 11:13 am
0
0
The pat downs may be a result

The pat downs may be a result of the Patriot Act, but Obama had said he wasn't going to extend the Patroit Act.

CATFISHSTEW
14
Points
CATFISHSTEW 11/24/10 - 11:15 am
0
0
Justthefacts...if everyone

Justthefacts...if everyone took the WHY ME point of view, then what would be the point of searching ANY person, If you got a better plan,lay it on the table. I know that it is a hassel,and airports are not the only places to blow people up, any and all ideas would be welcomed, I'm sure. You know as well as I, that Common Sense went out the window
a long time ago.

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