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New TSA pat-down procedure expands nationwide | Money & Company | Los Angeles Times

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This new pat-down procedure comes close to sexual harassment. I am a frequent flyer and travel close to 100,000 miles every year.
I have an artificial hip and there for set off the metal detectors at every airport. This means pat-downs are a normal weekly occurrence for me and I never had an issue with it. Not even when I had to undergo a strip search in Miami half a year after 9/11.

An image of a TSA screener inspecting a servic...

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But this new grope up-and-down I had to undergo today for the first time was embarrassing. No only did I feel humiliated but also felt treated like a criminal.
As far as I recall there have not been any security issues for a long time and the established procedure was working fine. Why the change?

At this checkpoint there were no full-body-scanners, which I went through already several times at other airports and never had a problem with.
The TSA guy had his hands up and down my legs all the way up to the groin area almost touching my genital area. Then he had his hands inside my pants feeling around the waste band. I don’t know what he was hoping to find he would have not been able to feel from the outside.
It was embarrassing and I hope somebody does something against this very soon.
This is actually overdoing it for no obvious reason. If terrorists really want to hurt us they don’t have to resort to planes anymore. They just have to blow up malls, churches, hospitals or other public places with large gatherings. And they probably would do more harm and damage this way then blowing up a plane.
I live for instance very close to LAX and their is some view points from which one can almost touch the planes taking off and landing. Any one with the right equipment could shoot one of these planes down and disappear before anybody realized what has happened.

Shame to the TSA – shame to the Homeland Securtity Agency for providing comedial protection – shame to the government for not doing a better job in regulating these agencies and controlling how far they can go.

What’s next? Full body-cavity search?

On Monday (15. Nov.) I will be flying again from Los Angeles LAX to Montreal and I am not looking forward to what might expect me at the next “grope down”. I wish I could have somebody secretly film what they are doing so the whole world can see what is going on. I am wondering whether I should come just in a coat and my underwear and take the coat off when going through the metal detector. I think that would be less embarrassing.

Please comment and make your voice heard. How much do we have to accept on personal or private intrusion. No country has such invasive procedures and I have been to Europe, South America and Canada.

 


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About Oliver Schmid

Experienced IT executive with over 20 years of global experience and demonstrated success in driving IT value, business and IT, reducing overall costs, and quickly executing and delivering business solutions. Member of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP)

8 responses »

  1. Alethia Praytor

    God bless you Google, for finding this post 🙂

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Pat Me Down Blues | Listen to Free Music Online | TGDude – Blip.fm « Random Brain Spill's …

  3. Thank you for linking to my post. (And to your readers for coming over to read my post)

    I think the people need to stand up against this. Feeling up my leg until you “feel resistance” is sexual harassment. If that little wand doesn’t go off, there is no need to even frisk me. I’m a United States citizen, I’ve committed no crimes in my lifetime, I fly regularly, and I find it humiliating that I have to chose between some $9/hour employee looking at me naked or having his co-worker touch my testicles.

    We all know the real deal here. Some members of congress got their palms greased by sleaze balls selling those nasty new machines for $170,000 each.

    Reply
  4. You SHOULD have someone record this the next time it happens. Put it on your blog and show people what kind of degradation their tax dollars are paying for. This issue is exploding right now- and we have a chance to actually affect change by doing our part to increase awareness of these abuses. We can’t wait for politicians to save us- we have to work together, and put a serious economic hurt on the airlines themselves- so that they feel a financial cost associated with this. Only by targeting their natural greediness can we hope to create enough pressure to affect change. It’s sad that we can’t appeal to basic principles of decency and liberty- but those notions mean nothing to anyone in power these days.

    For my part, my family will just not fly anymore. I didn’t fly when I was a kid- and I can do it again as an adult. I’d rather do suffer that inconvenience than give up any more of my rights to the plutocrats who have taken over our government.

    Reply
  5. 1984 was a Declaration

    I read history books of WWII. I wonder how decent German people could of allowed what happened to happen. How does an ignorant German farmer become a Notzee? Just like a TSA employee. “Just following orders.”

    They are notzee’s and don’t even know it….sad.

    (BTW the ‘ovens’ are in Irak and are called depleted uranium)

    Reply
  6. Your statement about malls, churches, and hospitals is exactly how I feel (I’d add movie theaters to the list too).

    Air travel is now a tougher target and honestly there isn’t much stopping someone from walking into the pre-secuity section of the airport and causing a bunch of problems. The “curb to cockpit” safety notion is a myth. We have reduced the chance a plane can be used as a weapon itself but nothing much else. I would think attacking the checkpoints themselves would be very psychologically effective.

    The “intel” agencies think that currently passenger air travel is still the number one target due to whatever information they have (shrug) and also the likely belief that Al-Qaeda wants to link any current attack to nine eleven. But I think we are placing too much emphasis on that. The Yemen cargo bombs are showing a willingness to explore new options. Water will flow around the blockages/checkpoints and find the points it can to move forward.

    The “terrorists” are a desperate and warped group of people but they are not stupid.

    TSA “stepping up” their security practices seems like a hollow measure. I’m not saying we don’t need to be vigilant, alert, and try to stop credible possible attacks, but measures for measures sake are stupid. I for one will opt out and make noise about the manner in which I will be searched. My pregnant wife will too. We may just refuse to fly that day if “selected” for scanning/groping.

    We don’t need full body scans of our mothers, sisters, and wives. We don’t need to grope 4 year olds. We need to target individuals, clothing, behaviors, that look like an added risk. People call this “profiling” and yes, it is. It is also important to do some random checks and not be blinded by the higher risk profiles we set. Physical searches and scans should be a tool in our arsenal of defense but used in a smart way and used against credible threats.

    The TSA is playing with a very dangerous thing here. If you ill treat the people you are supposed to protect they will no longer respect or look to you for the protection you supposedly provide.

    They tend to start to protect themselves from your abuse.

    Reply
  7. Terrible. My husband and I were looking forward to going to L. A. again next year, but if this procedure is still in place, we will not, and we live too far to drive. Even my husband said he will not let those fools touch his private area! Too bad the federal government has to ruin everything.

    Reply
  8. I couldn’t agree with you more, this is an outrage for any flyer – frequent or not. I’m a fat, middle age white business traveler who logs 1K+ miles a year and I’m the last guy you would expect to want to blow up or hijack a plane. To be treated this way is demeaning and degrading and a violation of my civil rights. My family and I are planning a trip to Hawaii next summer for vacation and I will do everything in my power to rescind these new TSA regs before then because I WILL NOT ALLOW my wife and 3 young children to suffer this sexual assault in the name of “security!”

    Reply

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