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?

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “TSA Chief Pistole: Maybe We Can Stop Petting Your Children”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Donnicton says:

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.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: 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….

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 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….!

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

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.

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

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!]

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...