TSA Critic, Senator Rand Paul, Prevented By TSA From Getting On His Flight To DC

from the he-might-be-a-terrorist dept

Senator Rand Paul has frequently criticized the TSA and its security theater at airports both for being intrusive and (more importantly) for not being effective. He's made the point repeatedly that it's a mistake to simply assume everyone may be a terrorist. So it's interesting to note that Paul himself was unable to board his flight to DC today after the TSA refused to let him through security. Apparently the scanner machine spotted something, and Paul refused a pat down. There was some dispute over whether or not he was "detained." The TSA denies "detention," which actually is an important issue, since you cannot detain elected officials on their way to Congress, according to Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution:
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
While the TSA says this wasn't a detention, it does raise questions over whether or not Senator Paul was "questioned in any other Place" while "going to..." his "respective" House. The White House put out a statement that kinda misses the point:
"I think it is absolutely essential that we take the necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe, and I believe that’s what TSA is tasked with doing."
Sure, it's essential. But does anyone think that patting down a US Senator has anything to do with ensuring that air travel is safe?

Filed Under: detention, privacy, rand paul, tsa


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  1. icon
    Eponymous Coward (profile), 24 Jan 2012 @ 7:55am

    Re:

    The initial scan showed an 'anomaly' in an area on one of his legs. Senator Paul then proceeded to lift up his pant leg to show them the area highlighted by the scan, basically saying "Oh, the man-sized microwave says there's something weird right here? Let's look right here then." TSA was not appeased by his showing them bare skin in the EXACT SPOT where the scan claimed there might be something dodgy, and instead wanted to give him the third-base treatment. When Rand replied, in essence, that he was saving himself for marriage, they took umbrage and detained him, making him miss his flight.

    Paul went beyond a pat-down, baring skin to show the TSA that there was nothing there, and yet they still wanted to touch his naughty bits.

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