Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Don't Touch My Junk!
As airports are becoming more clogged this holiday week, some are protesting new requirements that subject travelers to full-body scans and thorough pat-downs that involve touching passengers' clothed genital areas. They want to make Wednesday "National Opt-Out Day," bringing the security process to a halt by encouraging everyone to demand a time-consuming physical search.
The issue gathered steam earlier this month, when a video of a man arguing, "Don't touch my junk" with San Diego airport screeners went viral. John Tyner refused to submit to a body scan. [The Post-Standard] Since then, some horror stories have emerged:
• In a video that's going viral on the Internet, a little boy's irritated father takes the 8-year-old's shirt off so he can be patted down at Salt Lake City International Airport, prompting watchers to mutter in disbelief. [CNN]
• In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a 3-year-old girl screamed "Stop touching me!" as she was patted down by security personnel. Her dad is a TV reporter and got the whole thing on cell-phone video. [YouTube]
• A Michigan man who uses a urostomy bag to collect urine after surviving bladder cancer says he was left crying and covered in urine after TSA agents ignored his warning that their pat-down could break the seal on the urine bag at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The man said agents also ignored his request to go to a private screening area. [MSNBC]
• In North Carolina, a flight attendant who is a breast cancer survivor was told to remove her prosthetic breast in a private screening area at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. [WBTV]
Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole said in a statement Sunday that the agency will strive to make screenings "as minimally invasive as possible," The Associated Press reported.
Why the scans and pat-downs? TSA points to the alleged attempt by a Nigerian man with explosives in his underwear to try to blow up a flight to Detroit last Christmas.
Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., who is set to become Transportation Committee chairman in January, is a longtime critic of the TSA. Mica said Sunday that the TSA needs to refine its techniques, Politico reported.