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  • Pat-Downs and Pumpkin Pie

    Pat-downs and body scanners seem to be keeping some from getting in the Thanksgiving spirit this week.

    As if the security lines weren’t bad enough during the busiest time of the year to fly, travelers are now faced with the invasive screening measures. Seniors speculate how to get out of their wheelchairs to walk through scanners, and parents wonder if their toddlers will be selected for additional screening. The bottom line is that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is currently treating every traveler as a threat.

    Last week Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano set out to ease traveler concerns in an op-ed in USA Today. “Our best defense against such [terrorist] threats,” she wrote, “remains a risk-based, layered security approach.” There is a real threat of terrorism out there, yet most Americans fail to see the risk posed by the three-year-old in line.

    Simply throwing the phrase “risk-based security” around is not enough. Risk-based security means focusing on those who pose the greatest threat. That isn’t what TSA is doing. Rather than treating all passengers as equally suspicious, TSA should be focused on “finding the most efficient and effective way to keep terrorists off planes.” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should seek to move from the current “suspect everyone” security model to one that focuses our resources to the areas of greatest risk. Heritage has suggested efforts such as Secure Flight, which allows TSA to check passenger data and identify dangerous individuals before they board the plane, and improving watch-listing procedures. Allowing airports to more readily opt out of using the TSA screening force should also be on the table.

    Instead of wasting time and resources on screening low-risk individuals, DHS should focus on using intelligence gathering and information sharing to keep high-risk individuals away from the terminal. If TSA doesn’t want talk around Thanksgiving dinner to be about bad travel experiences, they’ll dish up some common sense and reassess their screening practices.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Pat-Downs and Pumpkin Pie

    1. Bobbie says:

      Government perverts are devaluing and disrespecting human dignity. Public schools teach what a 'bad touch' is and now government mandates the bad touch by using the term "love pats." Get these less than human, infantile, ignorance out of position of authority. Civil lawsuits.

    2. Roger Baxter. Batavi says:

      Could not agree more. Profile, profile, profile.

      Screening kids is not only a waste of time, but pretty much puts the rest of the public at odds with the TSA.

    3. Susan West Bend says:

      The scanning of anybody and the pat down is ridiculous. One of my friends has titanium in his hips after both were replaced . What about people with pacemakers or have artificial limbs. Will they scan and pat down babies?

    4. Dorine in Florida says:

      It seems awfully odd that the underwear bomber attempt was a year ago, yet suddenly after the mid-term election the President's beauracrats decide to punish the 'stupid' voters with humiliating and dehumanizing airport pat downs… and naked scans They are all dispicable and I can't wait to vote out even more of them in 2012… Hope and Change has been transformed into Hope & Grope….

    5. Chris says:

      The liberties of all US citizens have been sacrificed. Fear has lead both government to completely disregard the rights of American citizens and visitiors intent on flying without the US and abroad. We have sacrificed our rights to the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure for fear of some unreasonable threat of another terrorist attack originating on a commercial airliner. 1 man with a shoe device prompts millions per year to remove their shoes daily before getting on a flying bus, 1 person. The US government has completely lost touch with their role in society and their failed attempts to protect Americans. they failed on 9/11 and have subsequently killed far more innocent American and foreign civilians than the cowards on 9/11 and since.

      I just saw a photo of a "law emforcement officer" TSA agent with his hand in the crotch of a young boy on Drudge Report. Since when is child molestation or voyerism in the interest of national security?

      It's time to get things straight. No government should be premiered to abuse it's people; event under the disguise of national security. Sexual assault is a crime and should not be selectively enforced- a person wishing to fly is absolutely no different than getting on a airport shuttle. Air lines are run by public companies . They have an obligation to secure their passengers and property – it is BY CHOICE that they choose to have the ill equipped TSA running the security operations.

      Without rambling, the government has over stepped its bound further than ever. The chances of being affected on a commercial flight by any sort of terrorist is more than 1,000,000 to 1 – I'll take those odds of either being required to expose myslef in public or submitting to sexual assault any day.

      We have the final say. Do not submit yourself to these degredations. If you do; you are a part of the problem by allowing your rights to be sacrificed for some unsubstantiated threat. Stand up for your rights… Without that sentiment we wouldn't be who we are – Amricans.

    6. Andrew, VA says:

      I agree that the groping is a serious intrusion of government. But profiling won't work because terrorists and nutcases come in all shapes and sizes.

      Would proflilng stop a Tim McVeigh — a clean-cut Army vet — from blowing up the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995?

      How about "Jihad Jane," a middle-aged petite white woman from Phily who actively trying to recruit people for violent jihad? She's now in prison facing charges.

      You may have heard about that brief hostage situation at the Discovery Channel's DC HQ in September. That was done by James J. Lee, an armed Asian man who was militant about the channel's stance on…overpopulation. I don't think he would have been on anybody's "radar."

      Then there was the Fort Hood shootings. Yes, the suspect Nidal Hasan is of Middle Eastern descent. But, until he started shooting, he was a major in the U.S. Army. Would he have been profiled if he was in line at the airport in his Class-A uniform? Doubt it.

      Groping is bad. But picking out people in line who "look like a terrorist" is worse.

    7. ThomNJ says:

      Profile…oops, sorry, I just offended muslims. Anyone recall a single bombing that occurred since 1993 that WASN'T committed by muslims? Anyone recall any other terrorist attack since 1993 that wasn't carried out by muslims?

      The terrorists have won – and the foolish Napolitano and obarmy will be insituting these machines at AMTRAK sttations next, I suppose. He is using his chicago thug style to punish us all for the democrats losing the election. Heck, the TSA has never prevented a single event – but htye damn sure can search the disabled, grandma and children. I feel so safe. If I were a terrorist there are numerous other ways in whihc I coudl sow terror, and an airplane need not be invovled. Plus, when looking at most airports, it would be pretty easy to just drive a truck full of explosives right in through the glass walls.

    8. Harry Schell, CA says:

      I want to know where all the civil libertarians so irate about AZ SB 1070 are hiding.

    9. Andrew, VA says:


      In 1995, Timothy McVeigh — a clean-cut, white military vet — killed 168 people, including 19 kids, when he blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City.

      In February 2010, Andrew Joseph Stack — a 53-year-old white man — crashed his single-engine plan into the IRS office in Austin, Texas. He killed himself and one agency employee.

      The Earth Liberation Front has been doing eco-terrorist activty for years in the West and Northwest. They haven't killed anyone — yet — but they have caused millions of dollars in property damages thanks to fires and mass vandalism.

      Terrorists and nutcases come in all shapes and sizes. That's why everybody is scanned.

    10. Julianne, Lancaster says:

      Ben Franklin said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Where is the outrage of the governed over the ineffective, legalized invasion of an individual's person. Is this not a most heinous warrantless search and yet another taking of our fundamental liberties?

    11. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      I am 78 YO and would love to go to Florida to see 3 of my sons and daughter, but I will not go since I don't have the time to drive and I will not subject myself to unneeded radiation nor groping by a TSA agent. We are not talking about racial profiling, we are saying that if a person is traveling to areas known for their connection to terrorism on a frequent basis, meeting with suspicous persons here at home, connections to known cells here and abroad, then these people need to be x-rayed, patted and their luggage searched. All packages need to be screened coming from foriegn countries or even from private persons here. USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex etc need to have the ability to screen these packages. There are some other things that can be done to alert HLS as to activities, wasn't in in the last 18 mos. that homegrown agents were uncovered, can't cell phone companies aslert as to increase in calls to these countries. How about all disposable cells be sold after showing ID and those numbers be watched, sure beats being groped and prodded just to fly to see your kids and grandkids.

    12. Dan, Salt Lake City says:

      How about we pat down everyone coming from Amsterdam first? Seems those coming INTO the country on commercial airlines are the threat – not grandma on her way to Cleveland.

      Missing ingredient in this nut-ball-soup = Wisdom

    13. Carol,AZ says:


      I just returned from Europe two days ago.

      The treats there are real, and spoken about openingly in Germany on all news media throughout Europe..

      The holidays are the keystone for terrorist activities and all Americans who do not fly, or maybe fly rarely should understand and also know, that the security used in Europe is far more overt and intense than here, leaving the USA.

      Who cares if a scanners X ray, that rendesr you headless, scans your body looking for expolsives, and your seen in the viewer as skeletal.How IS that invasive?

      The hands-on pat downs , were certainly done with respect.

      Since I've been back, I have heard the stories and the whines on mainstream media and frankly I couldn't understand the hype..

      But a group of tourist On the Island of ST Kitts, were under attack and rob at gun point.

      The mass grave of tourist murdered by the Catels in Cancun has just been discovered.

      Packages of suspicious( ? ) are now being searched at Boston's Logan airport, today..

      Are we all so disconnected with "self" after hundred of aborted attempts that we can't understand that :

      Terrroism is a real threat both here and abroad.

      . That terrorism has invaded our border and our Border States. And yes, there are people who really do hate us around the world and have already killed many Americans.

      So if you fly international and.love yourselves, get scanned and stop the complaining, please.

      Make the world safer for everybody.

    14. Chris says:

      This is a travesty in this country!! What have we come to, when we are violating the basic human rights of our citizens!! And our Children!!?? This is ridiculous?? Doesn't there have to be reasonable cause to search someone in this country??? We the People are being violated in the name of security, yet they say that Muslims are exempt because of their religion!!

      I am a Christian and I know God never intended for Christians to be violated this way!! There is a website our there now, for this very purpose. Its for Christians to stand together against the craziness that is happening in this country. The violations of God law and order for us. If you agree, please join the growing numbers of people who are committed to making this a better America for us all.

      This Thanksgiving week, check out the site and join the cause. If we stand united, our voices will be heard. http://www.PatrioticChristiansToday.com
      Get the wristband that unites you with all the others who are fighting to get our country back on the right track.

    15. mac arvin says:

      Chris said it better than I. These pat downs and strip screeners are wholly contrary to the 4th amendment, let alone de-humanizing. These are the same tactics used by the Nazis back in the 1930's. Wake up America before it's too late!

    16. Bobbie says:

      They're going as low as a Muslim terrorist would go!

    17. Ted in San Leandro, says:

      I believe that this Transportation Security Administration (TSA) action to strip ordinary law-abiding citizens of their rights to privacy, dignity and respect as they travel is nothing less than the American Citizens' 9/11. In this action our ruling elites have essentially "thrown down the gauntlet". They are challenging us to resist their relentless campaign to neutralize the rights guaranteed to us by the United States Constitution and to impose their will upon the American people in utter disregard for the peoples' wishes. Once rights are taken away, it is extremely difficult to get them back. Therefore, I believe that it is critically important for the American people begin resisting this campaign immediately, by all legal means. Otherwise, we risk a slide into totalitarian rule.

      Over the past two years, I think that it has become abundantly clear to anyone who is paying attention that the current Administration and the Congressional Majority have been utterly contemptuous of the will of the majority of Americans, and that they regard the United States Constitution as merely a collection of pesky rules that need to be circumvented; especially those rules having to do with citizens' rights. But I think that most Americans do not agree with them on these points, as evidenced by the trouncing that they received in the 2010 elections. And now the TSA has unleashed this latest outrage upon the American people, shortly before a treasured American holiday, as if to say to the American people, "Here is what we think of your Rights! Oh, and by the way, Happy Thanksgiving."

      Undoubtedly, some people believe that the new airline passenger screening rules are truly necessary. I certainly respect their opinion, but I disagree. As far as I know, no other western country indiscriminately subjects airline passengers to this treatment, not even the Israelis who are certainly no strangers to terrorism. Other people might be highly uncomfortable with the new rules, but will be tempted to rationalize their acquiescence. To those I say, don't acquiesce or you will likely regret it.

      We clearly need a change in Government. The 2010 elections were a good start, but we need to finish the job in 2012. We need to put some new people into the government who know that they serve us, and not the other way around. That way, we hopefully will no longer need to be constantly looking over our shoulders to see if someone is creeping up to take away our rights.

      Oh, and by the way. Happy Thanksgiving!

    18. L Peters, Ohio says:

      Can we even trust the gov't to come up with civil common sense ways of detecting suspects?

    19. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      Use the Israeli form of checking passengers. They do not touch them, nor x-ray them. Their way is very effective!

      If it were not for the possibility of my brother dying, I will never fly again. I'll just keep on riding my motorcycle! At least I feel Free that way.

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