TSA Chief Pistole: Maybe We Can Stop Petting Your Children

from the but-probably-not dept

There are things in this life that are difficult to figure out.  Quantum Physics, for instance, just ain't easy.  Hell, I'm 29 years old and I still don't don't understand the very basics of neuro-regenerative surgery.  So perhaps we should all take a moment to stand up and applaud TSA boss John Pistole for deciphering the it's-probably-not-okay-to-touch-our-children code.

At a recent meeting of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Pistole relented:
"We have changed the policy to say that there'll be repeated efforts made to resolve that without a pat-down."
This was in response to outrage over a YouTube video in which a six year old girl gets groped by a TSA employee, including having the inside of the waist of her pants checked (video embedded below).  As he was specifically discussing airport gropings at this meeting, it's as yet unclear if this policy change will also apply to the TSA Flashmob Security Theatre Troupe that they have roaming around other transportation hubs throughout the country.  Besides which, it's hardly a firm admission that strangers sticking their fingers down our children's pants may not be the best of ideas.  In fact, at the same meeting, Pistole went on to say:
"Unfortunately, we know that terrorists around the world have used children as suicide bombers."
This is the kind of thing that drives me crazy.  What we have is a few rather isolated incidents of bad things happening on the other side of the world and we somehow go from that to what can only be described as overreactionist policies on our side of the ocean.  Have terrorists ever used a baseball bat to commit their crimes?  Probably.  There goes the national past time.  I'm pretty sure they've used cell phones too.  How could we possibly allow these combination sexting/bomb-making devices to enter an airplane?  It's said that bin Laden had a stash of porn at his Pakistani safehouse.  Why haven't we arrested Jenna Jameson yet?

Senator Rand Paul appears to think the threat posed by American child-terrorist wunderwaffe is overblown as well:
"This isn't to say we don't believe in safety procedures," Paul said. "But I think I feel less safe when we're doing these invasive exams on a 6-year-old. It makes me think that you're clueless, that you think she's going to attack our country, and that you're not doing your research on the people who would attack our country."
Indeed.  Why are we spending time converting our airports into Mr. Rogers' land of Make Believe, where children are a threat and the good guys are the ones twisting our naughty bits?  And, perhaps as infuriating, why are we paying for it?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Donnicton, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 11:49am

    Jihadists have also tried to surgically implant bombs inside of dogs and rig them to explode while they're being shipped overseas.

    The dogs of course inevitably died of complications before that could happen, but that obviously means we should start slicing open granny's labradoodle to make sure they don't have any bombs in them. It's for the safety of the passengers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    I'm glad others are trying to inject humor into this as well, because when I see video of a little 6 year old girl getting her waistband rubbed by a grown woman in a position of legal authority, my eyes roll back in my head, I begin gnashing my teeth, and I usually wake up an hour later having found that I'd been randomly punching things the entire time....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Kingster (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 11:59am

    The TSA

    FUCK EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS.

    That is all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re:

    your sure thats what you were doing...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Kingster (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re: The TSA

    (meaning, by the way, fuck everything about the TSA, not them figuring out that what they are doing is stupid, albeit slowly).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:09pm

    What that really means is...

    What he really meant by this comment:

    "We have changed the policy to say that there'll be repeated efforts made to resolve that without a pat-down."

    Is that the TSA is going to continually pester the parents to force the child through the Nudo-scope. If the parents continually decline, they will eventually be forced to grope the child because the parents do not want naked pictures of their kids being taken.

    Their policies are not changing. They are a government agency, nothing ever changes. They only get worse.

    So still, the only options for parents are :1) have naked pictures of their kids taken. 2) have their child molested by an "authority figure" 3) be fined by the TSA and put on the no fly list.

    Some choice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, who can tell anymore. Perhaps I'm strapped to a bed in an asylum and this is all a bad dream....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Re: What that really means is...

    I think you mean Nudo-radscope.

    Irradiate them while they're young, and the tumors are more likely to metastasize!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    AJ, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: The TSA

    I'm really not sure I'm understanding your position on this issue... either your wanting to do something sexual to a government agency, or your upset that it's taken them too long to figure out that what they were doing was wrong.... am I on track here?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: What that really means is...

    You're right. So option 1 should read "1) Have naked pictures of their kids taken while giving them cancer"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The thought that there are actually people in authority that believe this is right "for the good of society" is more disturbing than any asylum.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    D. Hope-Ross (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    What's it called when a government perpetrates terrorism against its own state?


    /not a joke

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Altaree, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Not about security.

    It is about covering your ass the next time congress wants your head. If you don't respond to every think tank what if scenario, it will be dug up when one the the 10 million scenarios actually happens. A lot of gov't fears the "One strike and your out" rule of employment at the upper levels.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Honestly, I don't know how it got this far. If I were Emperor, the conversation would have gone something like this:

    DHS: So here's the plan, Emperor Helmet. We're going to start screening passengers, including children, by taking nude pics and patting down their privates--

    DH: No we aren't.

    DHS: No hold on. The reason we have to do this is because--

    DH: I don't care what your reasons are. We aren't doing that.

    DHS: But, see, there terrorists--

    DH: No.

    DHS: The thing is--

    DH: *Hits trap door to alligator pit button*

    DHS: AAAAAAAaahhhhhh....!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Haha, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: What that really means is...

    "...nothing ever changes. They only get worse."

    So they don't change, but they do. Got it, thanks!

    I'm teasing of course, I got your point :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    But what about..

    the child molesters who now work for TSA? What will they do? What other job can they get?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    For some reason, when reading this, the DHS's fall to his death sounded like the game character Abe from Abe's Odyssey. Maybe that's because the two people are about equivalent in intelligence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re:

    Tyranny? Dictatorship? Maybe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Matt (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re:

    "What's it called when a government perpetrates terrorism against its own state?"

    government

    /also not a joke

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Greg G (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Re: But what about..

    Carnies
    Birthday Party Clowns
    US Senators with cell phones

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    CommonSense (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Have you checked to see if your top ever stops spinning??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 1:50pm

    I used to help teach a self-defense course for kids which had a "reacting to inappropriate sexual touching by adults" segment. It involved starting out by trying to vocally deter your assailant while calling for help. Then, the children were taught to go for the assailant's groin or face and try to run away. (Obviously the idea was more to hope to startle the attacker into backing off just long enough for the kid to run for help.) For many of the kids, this largely served to reassure parents as the kids were too timid to be likely to act. (And let's face it, before the TSA turned pedophile, the chances of a child being sexually assaulted were minuscule) But there were a couple of the kids whose reaction I would really like to see if they were to go through TSA. I mean, what would the TSA agents do if a 6 years old was to try to gouge out their eyes during the pat down? On second thought, maybe I don't want to see that. The assholes would probably taser/shoot the kid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    That is just fking patethic and incredibly SAD! What have you become USA? USA has become a sad, sad country. I'd never visit it after seeing what TSA do to people there. How can Americans accept this? Unbelievable!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    Re:

    Heroic? Villainous? Luthoran?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Sean T Henry (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    "Have terrorists ever used a baseball bat to commit their crimes?" I believe that in there country its called a stick.

    When will anyone else realize that the TSA was named by a dyslexic and is actually AST Assholes Save Terrorists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Nick Dynice (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    The US Intelligence Community: they can track down and kill people in foreign countries but they can't be sure you child is not a terrorist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 2:38pm

    Wow, Pistole is almost getting to the point where he might be able to develop empathy at some point in the future. Realizing that shoving your hand into a six-year-old girl's pants might be seen as a bad thing to do is a major step forward. Hopefully, he'll keep working hard at self-improvement, and someday he'll be able to become an actual human being. Good luck, Pistole!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    DHS: So here's the plan, Emperor Helmet.

    Wasn't it "President Skroob"? Did he get replaced?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 3:30pm

    We, as a nation, continue to show the terrorists exactly what sort of underhanded treatment they can expect to suffer through, should they actually attempt to board another airplane.

    Take that, would-be terrorists! We're not afraid to treat an entire nation like recent parolees, each one more suspicious then the last.

    This is what you'll get when you mess with us.

    (That last phrase would sound triumphant normally, but under the circumstances, I can only hear Thom Yorke's voice echoing around my head, each syllable dripping with fatalistic dread and justified paranoia.)

    [Oh, and by the way, great post, DH. It's nice to see you back in the mildly profane saddle, on back-to-back days even!]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 3:41pm

    Re:

    We accept this, warrantless tapping and searches, and all the other crap Bush and Obama have perpetrated against us. The majority just don't care. They'll care when it's too late.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 4:44pm

    Re:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/28/eveningnews/main5347847.shtml
    September 28, 2009 9:08 PM
    Al Qaeda Bombers Learn from Drug Smugglers

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 4:50pm

    GRRR

    As someone that shed blood defending this country, I'm both disgusted, and saddened by what we've become.... pathetic...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 5:38pm

    You Know What Niels Bohr Said About TSA Policy ...

    ... if you understand it, that means it hasnít been explained properly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 10:41pm

    Who's Jenna Jameson?





    (pics are much preferred) ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    mattarse (profile), Jun 24th, 2011 @ 1:49am

    Re: Re: But what about..

    The catholic church is still hiring.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jun 24th, 2011 @ 3:26am

    Re:

    TSA = TSA Screwing Americans

    Repeat ad infinitum...

    Gotta love those recursive names!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Irving, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    Re:

    Business as usual?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re:

    That's the same reaction I have when I read one of your articles!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    dwg, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: GRRR

    NICE. great to hear from someone who fought who knows what it is we're fighting for. you win today's prize, which, unfortunately, is not a free pass for your kids through the security line.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    I don't understand why people still fly. Is it really worth the trauma and indignity?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Poogie, Jun 26th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    It should be everybody rather than random. Use the idle time waiting at the airport as the time to search everybody, because random searches will not save anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This