Pat-Downs or Full-Body Imaging? TSA Airport Security Backlash

The TSA has crossed a line. Its new security procedures require employees to either touch passengers’ genitals or take pictures of them. The public backlash is loud and growing. My colleagues Michelle Minton, Brian McGraw, and Ivan Osorio have all covered the issue. Here are what other people around the country are saying:

Tim Carney reports that the CEO of Rapiscan, a scanner manufacturer, is an Obama donor and accompanied the President on his recent trip to India.

A group of activists has declared November 24 to be National Opt-Out Day. November 24 is the day before Thanksgiving, and will be one of the year’s busiest travel days. Since pat-downs take more time than full-body scans, the goal is to clog security until TSA removes full-body scanners from airports. I will be participating.

The proprietor of Our Little Chatterboxes, a blog about child development issues, recounts her encounter with the TSA’s new pat-down procedures. She writes, “[The TSA employee] felt along my waistline, moved behind me, then proceeded to feel both of my buttocks. She reached from behind in the middle of my buttocks towards my vagina area… She then moved in front of my and touched the top and underneath portions of both of my breasts… She then felt my inner thighs and my vagina area, touching both of my labia.”

The blogger at Insert Title Here tells his story, with video. He was threatened with a $10,000 civil suit.

The Chicago Tribune’s Steve Chapman wrote an excellent column, noting that “The U.S. Marshals Service recently admitted saving some 35,000 images from a [full-body scanning] machine at a federal courthouse in Florida. TSA says that will never happen. Human experience says, oh, yes, it will.”

Art Carden calls for abolishing the TSA. “The airlines have enormous sums of money riding on passenger safety, and the notion that a government bureaucracy has better incentives to provide safe travels than airlines with billions of dollars worth of capital and goodwill on the line strains credibility,” he writes.

The Drudge Report posts a picture of a TSA agent fondling a nun’s private parts.

Photo credit: cjdavis’ flickr photostream.