Administrative searching is what they are hiding behind. However the courts have ruled many times that this search (commonly known as a terry stop) must be both brief and minimal--usually confined to the person's clothing and pockets. That would not include a body cavity search as the TSA agent appeared to be attempting to do.
"Searches are not sexual assaults. Otherwise every citizen placed in prison could file sexual assault charges. Just because you got touched, does not mean it was sexual in intent."
One problem you have here--to be placed in prison or to even be put in jail and thus searched The officers must at minimum have probable cause, and usually you have to be charged with a crime to be put in jail or for prison convicted of a crime.
"If I go to the airport, and they tell me, I must be searched in order to fly, I turn away and leave. There is no threat of physical harm or arrest. There is no duress. Sure, I want to fly and I want not to be searched. But the fact is that is currently not an option."
You go ahead and test that theory of yours. Try to turn away and leave--people have tried this, many of them have been arrested and charged.
As far as duress and harm is concerned, you may have hundereds of $$ to blow on an airline ticket that you are unable to use and then even more on alternative transportation but many people don't so there is "harm" threatened at minimum financially.
"The TSA searches are invasive and a violation of our 4th amendment rights, but they are not sexual assault."
Except that what occurs meets every definition of sexual assault.
"Why don't you just make up some other bogus charges? Battery? Attempted murder? Kidnapping? Extortion? Why stop at rape? If the blogger can make accusations without worry that she has to back them up in court, might as well make a whole bunch of them."
Because none of that happened. What happened was a sexual assault under color of law.
You can chant it is not sexual assault all you want, but that does not change what happened. It was both an illegal search and sexual assault all wrapped up into one happy tamale.
Repeating water is not wet again and again does not change the properties of liquid H2O. If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, eats like a duck it is not likely it is a possum.
Prisoners have relinquished most of their civil rights including the search and seizure. There has to have been at minimum probable cause for a body cavity search on a citizen. Ms. Alkon is neither a prisoner nor was there probable cause for a body cavity search. Keep this on topic.
As far as consent goes...
Tell you what next time you go to the airport you go ahead and don't consent to the search and see what happens next--my bet is that you will be at minimum kept from flying likely will be arrested on a BS charge like disorderly conduct.
If person has non consensual contact with a person's sexual organs, even if they do not have sexual intent in the contact, they can still be charged with sexual assault. That is the truth.
Yes they are allowed to rape by their own statues at minimum it is sexual assault to put your hands on someone else' body. Forcibly inserting anything into a person's vaginal area (even shallowly) is rape. They do have back rooms, and they have strip searched people.
As far as us throwing our rights away--I am not the one defending a TSA agent who at minimum sexually assaulted a woman. We know that because the pat down was not disputed at all and a TSA pat down by definition includes sexual assault.
Taro it is obvious you have very little knowledge of what actually happens to women are are sexually assaulted and when and how often they call the police. You also obviously have not been following what happens when a passenger does ask the police for help at a TSA checkpoiny. Let me give you a hint the police very rarely take the TSA officer off to jail, but often do so to the passenger or force the passenger to be assaulted or be arrested. Go do some reasearch and then come back and chat.
She is assumed to be guilty because she is a member of an agency that has as a part of it's procedures that she "push the side of her hand into someone's genitals until she meets resistance"--now doing that on me with anything more than a feather touch would separate my labia and would enter my vaginal cavity. That is whey she is considered guilty because the very protocols she is following dictate that she invade this person's genitals. Which is at minimum wrong if not illegal. So she is being ostracized because of her chosen job--and someone's truthful description of her doing her job. If she does not like that she should get a new job.
"There is a HUGE double standard here because of the bias against the TSA. If you choose not to see it because you want to accept Ms.Alkon's account as absolute fact without the slightest need for evidence or prosecution, then you too are evidence that defamation has in fact occurred."
If defamation has occurred it was not done by Ms. Alkon's likely truthful description of the events surrounding that day. I am willing to believe Ms. Alkon because of the testimonies of hundeds of people at the hands of the TSA. If Ms. Alkon's statements were the only example I had of sexual abuse by a TSA agent, and I was basing my entire opinion only on her statements then yes you could argue that. However, I have read hundreds of statements of the rampant sexual abuse that occurs daily at TSA check points. I have great distrust and disgust for anyone who is associated with them. So if Ms. Magee has been defamed it was by her own choice to remain employed by an agency engaged in such abuse.
You can try to file a report but they don't always take one.
I have personal experience with this.....We were hit by a dump truck one time and though our car was messed up and we were injured and we had the description and license plate of the person that hit us the police would not report any crime. We tried to take them to court personally--guess what we were told "he said he did not do it--there was no damage on his truck (it was a Dump truck vs a car) and so we could not prove it." End of story. That was with our car being torn up and us having injuries. So according to your logic I can never say that I was hit by XYZ (don't remember the name now) dump truck because I could not "prove" it in a court of law....
Really that is what you are saying. That because some police officer would not take a report it never happened and I can't talk about it. Do you really want to live in that sort of a world where we are muzzled like that?
I would like to know what you want her to do to "prove" that this woman forcefully penetrated her? Unless a video camera was 3 inches from her crotch there is no way to prove that.
Rape is also an action. You state that rape is a crime--and in most places and in most cases it is. But not all places in this world is rape a crime--there are places where a husband can legally rape his wife. Should they not be able to use the world rape when describing what happened to them because it is not a crime.
The TSA agent is not disputing what happened. She is disputing how Ms. Alkon characterized the assault. So what if we call what happened to this blogger "forced entry into her vaginal cavity by a foreign object (the TSA agents hand)" Oh wait that is the definition of rape.
Unless the TSA agent is denying that she did indeed put the side of her hands up into the woman's vulva and separate the labia (and I did not read a denial of that fact,) then I don't see where there is any question of defamation. She did in fact penetrate this woman's genitals (commonly called rape)--now she may have the law for the time being on her (the TSA agent's side) and is thus immune from prosecution. So I see no defamation. Unless she is saying that she did not do that, she just does not like the bad press. Tough
For those saying "File charges"
If you think that the victim can easily file charges against a TSA agent then you have never known anyone who tried to. It is nearly impossible to do so. If you do, you can expect retaliation every time you try to fly--I say try because it is quite likely they will put you on a "watch list" and make your life as difficult as possible.
This is insanity. So the TSA agent not only wants to be able to under color of law assault people. (At minimum this is sexual assault). She also does not want anyone to be able to describe what they experienced at her hands in public.
Look TSA lady if you are fine with what your procedure required you to do say so and that is the end of it. You are not likely to be prosecuted and punished by the law--the TSA has claimed law enforcement like immunity from prosecution. Oh, well you don't like people knowing that you put your hands all the way up into someone's genitals--get a different job. If you are going to tell me "don't like it don't fly." Then I am going to tell you "don't like the publicity, get another job."