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TSA: Transport Security Administration, Or Targeted Sexual Abuse?

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The practice of body scanning in airports comes under another heavy round of criticism as a Dallas woman reveals that female passengers are targets of “peep shows” at America’s airports. The woman alleged that she was made to undergo three body scans and admired for having a “cute” figure by TSA workers.

Her words seem to be very true as an independent investigation by CBS 11 found more than 500 passenger complaints about TSA in Dallas alone.

The passenger, Ellen Terrel, is only one among a great number of women who are convinced that they were selected for body scans because of their attractiveness.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumaer has taken note of the consistent pattern of abuses and expressed on Sunday that he wants to introduce a bill to address complaints by passengers, and to install passenger advocates at airports.

As noted by a commenter FISHER1949 on the nydailynews report:

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This is what you get when you have a corrupt unaccountable agency whose workers think they are above the law. This has been going on since November 2010 and TSA hasn’t done anything to stop this childish and abusive behavior. They treat the passengers who pay their salaries like playthings and are routinely abusive and belligerent and harass us for amusement. Many scanners do not have privacy software that TSA is constantly hyping. The scanners at ORD, JFK, LAX, ATL, BOS, FLL, PHX and many other major airports these are x-ray and have no privacy software like some of the millimeter wave units. These scanners expose passengers to harmful x-ray and some male screener is still viewing the nude image of your wife and kids. This problem will persist so long as there is a naked image in the scanner or a cute female that they can watch being groped.”

While a report on Wired.com presented the part of TSA by a worker named Blogger Bob, who claimed that this is not possible as all scanning machines have been updated to provide only sterilized views, the TSA blogger also admitted that backscatter scanners with remote viewing rooms need to be upgraded in many airports.

In the same blog, another member named “Bob” made the following comment out of angst:

I too suffered sexual harassment by the TSA.  I didn’t file a complaint because I knew they were compiling a “domestic extremist” list of people who complained about the TSA.  I was randomly selected for pat-down after going through metal detector with no alarms.  Two female agents had finished the pat-down and were about to let me go when a large male supervisor came over and told the girls he needed to see them pat down my chest again.  He made them do the pat down of my breasts a third time standing directly over me while other passengers passed by, watching in horror.  He instructed one of the girls to feel under my breasts by cupping them in her hands, placing his hands on top of hers at one point.  The female TSA agents were visibly uncomfortable.  I felt completely violated.

Until now, female passengers, so targeted are without any clue as to how to approach the matter. However, the preponderance of complaints and their consistency raises questions that cannot be avoided by the lawmakers.

  • Rowan Wood

    I agree with Bob about that list. All posts on We Won’t Fly and other Facebook pages about the TSA automatically cross post to the DHS Facebook page. The TSA is not even being subtle about it. I am concerned for a friend who posts becuase she may need a security clearance, which she has had in the past. I won’t be surprised if a new clearance is denied because of her posts. So much for the First Amendement. It went down the toilet with the Fourth Amendment when we allowed our elected officials to make sexual assault and strip searching a requirement to air travel. Not to mention the ever growing presence of the VIPR teams for every other mode of transportation, including walking into stadiums.

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