from the TSA:-where-the-'A'-stands-for-'Assholes' dept
Apparently, the intensive training [waits for laughter to subside] TSA agents receive before hitting security checkpoints sends them the message that the more humiliating the search is for the passenger, the safer our skies are. TSA agents can find cash, but not bombs. They can find water bottles, but not weapons. And they can damn sure search the hell out of anyone with a medical condition because those citizens are the most terroristic citizens of all.
Here’s the TSA getting into a wrestling match with a 19-year-old woman with a brain tumor on her way to treatment. Here’s the thuggish agency searching a three-year-old with a rare cardiovascular disorder. Here are the boys in airport blue splattering the contents of a urostomy bag all over themselves and the person wearing it. Here’s the thin blue line between us and air insecurity deciding a portable defib carried by an 85-year-old must be a bomb. Here’s the agency deciding agents’ inability to read a card informing them about breast implants’ ability to set off scanners — handed to them by a breast cancer patient — is just part of the TSA’s proper screening processes.
And here we are now, recoiling in disgust as yet another person is humiliated and invasively searched because their body didn’t fit the profile of “non-terrorist.” (h/t Amy Alkon)
Heather Bowser says she travels several times a year and this is the first time she was asked to go through this type of security procedure.
She was at the Minneapolis/ St.Paul International Airport when she said she was told agents would have to swab the top part of her prosthetic leg. “They swabbed the bottom of my leg and my hands,” Bowser said. “Then they said they needed to swab the top of my socket.”
She said she told the agent no. “I said if you have to swab the top of my leg that means I have to take my pants down and I don’t want to do that,” Bowser said. “That’s part of my body. I felt that was dehumanizing.”
Under threat of arrest, Bowser complied. The TSA agents actually told her she could be arrested for their stupidity. Since they couldn’t wrap their minds around the concept that a prosthetic leg is just a necessary prosthesis, rather than a weapon of plane destruction, Bowser was forced to comply with their stupid, futile “search” or face losing her liberty on top of her dignity.
Bowser has filed a complaint with the TSA’s redress black hole. Meanwhile, the agency has released a defensive statement ahead of the “proper procedures were followed” statement due to arrive sometime in the near future.
TSA is aware of an allegation made by a passenger who was screened at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport over the weekend. We are looking into the matter to ensure that our screening protocols were followed. We encourage the passenger to reach out to TSA so we can work with her directly to address her concerns.
Loosely translated, the statement says two things. First, the agency will say all protocols were followed. We know this because that’s the conclusion it’s reached in every other screening debacle. Second, it says the TSA would prefer humiliated victims of TSA searches file complaints that can be ignored, rather than force it confront its failures in public.
Revel in your air safety, fellow Americans. All it’s cost us is our freedoms and dignity.