While the title may sound a little far-fetched, one might not think so after reading the article and the source. Traveling by air since 9/11 has included screening by the Transportation Security Administration. Since its inception, passengers have gone from passing through a metal detector, having their carry-on baggage x-rayed and sometimes searched, and enduring the occasional hand scan and “pat-down” to passing through the “naked body scanners” and enduring groping molestation searches upon seeing something suspicious or an individual refusing to pass through the naked scanners. Children have been traumatized by these “pat-downs.” Women have been humiliated by these procedures. And, individuals with health problems have been humiliated, embarrassed and uncomfortable throughout their flight by having their medical devices malfunction because of the pat-downs. But, this will be minor compared to what will occur with the new search procedures.
According to Bloomberg:
While few have noticed, U.S. airport security workers long had the option of using five different types of physical pat-downs at the screening line. Now those options have been eliminated and replaced with a single universal approach. This time, you will notice.
The new physical touching—for those selected to have a pat-down—will be what the federal agency officially describes as a more “comprehensive” physical screening, according to a Transportation Security Administration spokesman.
Denver International Airport, for example, notified employees and flight crews on Thursday that the “more rigorous” searches “will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before.”
“I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn’t involved will notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved,” TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson said Friday. The shift from the previous, risk-based assessment on which pat-down procedure an officer should apply was phased in over the past two weeks after tests at smaller airports, he said.
The TSA screens about 2 million people daily at U.S. airports. The agency doesn’t track how many passengers are subject to pat-down searches after they pass through an imaging scanner. People who decline to use this screening technology are automatically subject to physical searches.
The particular audit by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General that resulted in these changes found “airport officers failed to detect handguns and other weapons.” Moreover, passengers who enjoyed using the PreCheck procedures will now have that option revoked. Airline crewmembers, pilots and in-flight service attendants, will be required to submit to the new policy ending their enjoyment of limited scrutiny. Random searches may also vary by airport.
The TSA has all pat-downs and searches performed by officers of the same sex as the traveler; and, allows for the passenger to request the pat-down search be conducted in private with a witness present or in public view. Naturally, the TSA did not address if the new procedure included the “mandated touching of a passenger’s genitals.”
If anyone is unfamiliar with the pat-down received by CNN’s Angela Rye, her story, in graphic detail, can be read here as well as watching the video of the pat-down. When CNN reached out to the TSA for comment and/or clarification, the paraphrased response amounted to “we are looking into the complaint and will reach out to the individual passenger involved to address her concerns.”
Now, the question that burns in the forefront of my mind is “how were handguns and other weapons getting passed the security screening procedures with all the x-rays, detectors, manual wanding and pat-downs?” I find it interesting this was excluded from any news article. Could it be it wasn’t contained in the report? Were passengers getting weapons and handguns passed the security screening by carrying these items in their vagina or rectum? Or were these items being transported in checked luggage, which is placed in the cargo area of the plane and inaccessible to passengers? How much more invasive can these pat-downs get if they are already touching vaginas, penises, and rectal openings? And, these officers are not even changing gloves in between touching areas that could introduce bacteria where it shouldn’t resulting in the passenger getting an infection. More importantly, the officers are not changing gloves between passengers, meaning passengers are exposed to contracting an infection from another passenger’s bacteria.
It brings a new meaning to “Have a nice flight.”
So, will the TSA go from “touching vaginas, penises and rectums” to probing vaginas and rectums? This is a valid concern for passengers. These “pat-downs” now traumatize adults and children and are considered molestation in any other venue. Any more in-depth “pat-down” would be considered sexual assault. But, Americans were willing to submit to a violation of the Fourth and Ninth Amendments after 9/11 for an illusion of safety. With the previous administration importing unvetted Muslims and refugees into the republic, safety and security during an airplane flight seems moot when potential terrorists are already within our midst. Obama and his administration’s ignoring the united States borders, allowing anyone and everyone to enter, negates any supposed security measure conducted at airports in the US.
Going back to the Bush administration, the implementation of these violations of American citizens were totally unnecessary since the perpetrators used the planes as weapons, instilled fear by using box cutters that should have been detected by x-ray and metal detectors to inflict injury and presence in numbers, and relied on individuals on the plane to comply with instructions. It was an excuse used to implement tyranny, control and strip away individual rights when traveling by air. Not surprisingly, a scared segment of the populace called for government to enact a solution to the 9/11 terrorist attack. As citizens have seen since 9/11, the increased ways in which the government violates the Fourth and Ninth Amendments have expanded as citizens continue to capitulate to the rhetoric of “safety and security” peddled by those in government.
Now, the price citizens will pay for their illusion of security will be sexual assault by a same sex member of the TSA. Parents will have to explain to their children why a stranger was allowed to violate them in a manner that would be considered a crime elsewhere. And, before someone brilliant utters the insane commentary of “this is legal and mandatory if you want to fly,” remember that while things may be legal, they may not always be lawful. In Nazi Germany, it was legal to sterilize and/or euthanize individual considered mentally ill and/or disabled. It was also legal in Nazi Germany to imprison and kill Jews. Are we to adopt the mentality that if someone working for the government engages in an act considered criminal elsewhere, it is legal because of poor legislation? If it is illegal or criminal in other areas, it is illegal and criminal in all areas. No one should be absolved of a crime because of where they work, who employs them, or a poor law. Heck, the TSA might as well employ individuals convicted of sexual assault and/or molestation if these “pat-downs” and searches are more invasive than they are now.
Granted, these more extensive pat-downs and searches occur if you refuse to go into the naked body scanner or are selected for a random search. But, as other articles have indicated, TSA employees laughed while looking at individuals through the naked body scanners and reported the scanners didn’t work. In fact, while using these scanners, agents targeted attractive women developing “code names” to alert one another while appear to maintain an air of professionalism. If you do an internet search using the terms “TSA agents laughing while looking at naked body scanners,” you will return at least 10 pages of results. The realization these individuals were actually actively engaging in voyeurism by targeted attractive women is vulgar, unacceptable, and humiliating for women. It is traumatizing because the government considers this legal while prosecuting voyeurs under other circumstances.
It is time Americans wake up to realize that selling liberty and freedom for an illusion of security provides no security at all; and, confirms the opinion held by Benjamin Franklin that a people willing to do this do not deserve liberty or freedom. The questions we as citizens must ask of ourselves are “Is the illusion of safety worth the violation of our children under the guise of legal molestation to ensure safety” and “Is the illusion of safety worth the humiliation, embarrassment, and trauma inflicted upon ourselves through the guise of legal molestation, assault and voyeurism?” As long as we capitulate by continuing to fly, we are silently consenting and answering yes to these questions.