TSA has defended the groping of a 6 year-old girl, saying it followed policy. Yet in Nov. 2010, TSA vowed no ‘enhanced’ pat-downs for children under 12.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) contradicted itself, even to the point of outright lying, in responding to controversy about a 6 year-old girl who received a groping pat-down AFTER already being sent through a body scanner. The video went viral after appearing on DrudgeReport.com and many other sites. TSA typically explained away this unnerving experience that left the girl in tears by arguing that the action is perfectly normal, follows all procedures and keeps us safe from terrorism, all, of course, in the name of ‘safety.’
You see, the TSA rationalized in its latest defense that, “terrorists are willing to manipulate societal norms to evade detection.” Thus, TSA would have it, we must abandon societal norms [and laws] like not touching children in their private parts, and instead subject them to pre-crime inspections. According to the logic, no women & children, little old ladies or men handicapped in wheelchairs or implanted with modern medical devices, no body cavity or private part is safe from extensive probing by the “guardians” in government. As the Justice Department recently proclaimed, the TSA assumes the authority to literally strip-search people on demand.
So, the shocking video seen across the alternative blogosphere today was standard operating procedure, as the TSA pointed out in its most recent blog posting, ‘Screening of 6 Year-Old at MSY‘:
A video taken of one of our officers patting down a six year-old has attracted quite a bit of attention. Some folks are asking if the proper procedures were followed. Yes. TSA has reviewed the incident and the security officer in the video followed the current standard operating procedures.
Yet in a November 2010 posting ‘TSA Myth or Fact: Leaked Images, Handcuffed Hosts, Religious Garb, and More!,’ written in the hopes of dispelling ‘rumors’ about the new invasive pat-downs, Blogger Bob of the TSA claims that children under 12 are supposed to receive amodified pat-down.
Pat-downs Myths & Facts
Myth: All children will receive pat-downs.
Fact: TSA officers are trained to work with parents to ensure a respectful screening process for the entire family, while providing the best possible security for all travelers.Children 12 years old and under who require extra screening will receive a modified pat down.
So why did the little girl receive the full, invasive treatment, particularly after having already been screened via body scanner?
After all, the ‘modified’ TSA policy was even publicly announced back in November, as in the USA Today article, “No ‘enhanced’ pat-downs for kids, TSA says.” It cites comments from TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee who stated, “After a thorough risk assessment and after hearing concerns from parents, we made the decision that a modified pat-down would be used for children 12 years old and under who require extra screening.”
Further, the TSA blog deceives the public over the perception that pat-downs only occur for passengers who opt-out of the scanners, writing, “Only passengers who alarm a walk through metal detector or AIT machine or opt out of the AIT receive a pat-down.” However, the girl’s parents revealed what the video did not show– that their child had already been sent through the body scanners, and was then selected for a groping ‘enhanced’ pat-down. If the girl somehow alerted the scanner, the TSA did not disclose that fact to her parents when they asked why she was receiving the additional screening. In fact, the parents were given no reason, but were instead threatened non-verbally to comply with their daughter’s pat-down or face ‘trouble,’ as they told Good Morning America. Is intimidation part of the official policy, too?
Adding insult to injury, the TSA has previously lied about the fact that body scanners can store nude images of the passengers it surveys (and have done so) . Couple that with the controversy raised over the fact that body scanners violate many child indecency laws, or that numerous cases have arisen over perverted and/or criminal TSA employees abusing their power. These parents weren’t comfortable with an officer touching their child, and they shouldn’t be comfortable sending their kids through naked body scanners either. WeWontFly.com, an organization who helped launch the would-be protests against scanners last Thanksgiving, have initiated a campaign demanding an end to pat-downs for children. Second that, but for scanners, too – scanners are both invasive and dangerous, all the more so on both counts for children...
Busted: TSA lied about promise not to grope children
April 14, 2011