Wednesday, November 24, 2010

TSA Sex Assaults: Your Tax Dollars At Work

Little commentary today, but it's worth checking out the ACLU database of passenger travel stories under the new TSA regulations. Many of these events would not be allowed on broadcast television; they violate FCC standards, but not the TSA's. Here's a sampling of some of the less-offensive stories:

For the menfolk:
While in the "private room"... the agent inappropriately touched my genitalia (more than once) and made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. The agent also pulled down my shorts (about halfway), and I had to ask the agent to let me pull them back up. I was inappropriately touched, groped, rubbed, massaged and sexually harrassed. The procedure was violating, degrading, invasive and humiliating.
- Scott in New Mexico
In all of these years and the thousands of flights and millions of airlines miles I have never been so humiliated. If my choice is to risk having my genitalia spread all over the internet and my body exposed to unknown radiation or to have my testicles bounced and my buttocks stroked I will not fly any commercial airline.... our humanity and our dignity are being violated. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!
- Dennie from Texas

3 or 4 TSA employees came over, basically surrounded me and very loudly proclaimed what a jerk I was for refusing the scan, were laughing at me, repeatedly berating me. The "supervisor" then spent 15 minutes examining every part of my body - it was intrusive, humiliating and without a shadow of a doubt, intended to punish me for electing to not be irradiated.
- Aaron from New York

The TSA agent squeezes my thighs and runs his hand up until they touched my testicles on both of my legs. This was done in full view of everyone in line. This was very uncomfortable, humiliating and seemed very unnecessary. If given the choice, I will do everything in my power to drive rather than take any commercial flights if this is the new standard of TSA screening.... I do not feel safer. I feel violated....
- Max, North Carolina
And let's not forget America's admirable commitment to women's rights:
I was wearing a sanitary napkin, so the agent notified her supervisor that I had a "foreign object." It took about 10 minutes for her to walk 70 feet, speak with the supervisor, and return. Then she collected my carry-ons and began swabbing items in each of them. This process took a verrrrrry long time.... It was obvious to me that this was punitive for refusing the body scanner.... Finally I was told to remove my sanitary napkin. By the time I got to the gate the jetway had been removed and I was not able to board.
- Suzy in California

The TSA agent used her hands to feel under and between my breasts. She then rammed her hand up into my crotch until it jammed into my pubic bone.... I was touched in the pubic region in between my labia.... She then moved her hand across my pubic region and down the inner part of my upper thigh to the floor. She repeated this procedure on the other side. I was shocked and broke into tears.
- Mary in Texas

In the 4 times she explored the area where my inner thigh met my crotch, she touched my labia each time, and one pass made contact with my clitoris, through 2 layers of clothing. I told her I felt humiliated, assaulted and abused.... In my work as a nurse, if I did what the TSA did against a patient's will it would be considered assault and battery, and I did not see how the TSA should have different rules.
- Chris

I was shaking and crying the entire time. I was begging them to hurry up but they kept stopping and telling me to calm down. It is impossible to gain composure when a stranger has her hands in your underwear. A crowd gathered and watched and I never felt so humiliated. After it was over, I ran into the ladies' room where I vomited and cried until my plane was boarding.
- Melissa, Massachusetts

This new procedure was absolutely humiliating. She touched my limbs, my torso, my breasts, and rubbed my vagina with her fingers three separate times. I might have understood one rub. Three rubs was NOT acceptable. My pants were thin cotton.... As soon as I left the security area, I began to cry. My husband and I had spent one of the best weeks of our lives together for our honeymoon, and it was destroyed on the way home.
- Tiff, North Carolina
This is what the American government now stands for.


Blogger James Hanley said...

If I may advertise, here's my take on the issue.

But I'm afraid my flying days may be over. We're taking the three daughters from Michigan to L.A. next year for the grandparents 60 anniversary, but damned if I'll subject my wife and three teen and pre-teen daughters to the indignities of being photographed naked or sexually assaulted in the name of security. (And won't the pictures of naked children count as child-porn? Oh, I forgot--child-porn, like everything else, is ok as long as it's the government that's doing it.)

6:17 PM  

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