June 27th, 2011

TSA security: searching grandma’s diaper

There must be a better way to protect us than this:

Jean Weber of Destin filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security after her 95-year-old mother was detained and extensively searched last Saturday while trying to board a plane to fly to Michigan to be with family members during the final stages of her battle with leukemia.

Her mother, who was in a wheelchair, was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search.

On the other hand, the TSA spokesperson was correct when she said that even the elderly need special checking if an alarm is triggered, because ““TSA cannot exempt any group from screening because we know from intelligence that there are terrorists out there that would then exploit that vulnerability.”

The entire thing puts me in mind of the ending of the excellent movie “The Day of the Jackal” (1973 version, not the remake). I’m talking about the following clip (MAJOR spoiler alert; if you’re not familiar with the movie, do not watch because this will give away the ending. Instead, I recommend renting the whole thing):

14 Responses to “TSA security: searching grandma’s diaper”

  1. John Says:

    And they want to join a union.

    TSA officers ‘desperate’ to unionize

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/11/24/news/economy/tsa_screener_union/index.htm

    That should work out well and provide travelers everywhere a sense of relief.

  2. RandomThoughts Says:

    I can’t even tell you how angry the search of this woman makes me. And I do not believe the TSA spokeshole’s “we know from intelligence” excuse.

    In Israel, they do not require terminally ill elderly women to remove their incontinent briefs. They don’t need to. They profile air passengers. But we’re far too politically correct for that; we prefer to humiliate our own citizens.

  3. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Had they begun a trusted travelers program in 2002, most frequent flyers and some not ao frequent flyers would have a special pass that would get them minimal security. (ID check and random further screens based on threats.) The other 30% of the passengers should be profiled (looking primarilly at men aged 15-45, ME residents, some women, and those who exihibit gulity behavior.), subject to the type of screens we have today, and the dreaded pat down would only be done in extremis.

    This circus that airportt security has become must give the jihadis a grea deal of satisfaction. They have turned us all (at leats in the minds of mour egalitarian masters) into probable terrorists and created huge dissension within our population. Every time I go through airport security, it is apparent that they are winning by turning us into a nation of sheep.

  4. betsybounds Says:

    Ah, yes. The old “The terrorists will have won” bit. Well, I think “they” may be winning, all right, but it’s not the terrorist “they.” No matter how many times I think about this, I can’t help coming back to the idea that someone has decided not to let a good crisis go to waste. It seems to me that maybe what’s going on is the government is working to get us used to being searched like this during the course of our daily lives–traveling, just moving about in the country (which, as it turns out, we are not so free to do as we once were). I don’t like it, and I don’t think for one minute that it’s a matter of protecting the traveling public from terrorists. It’s going to take some serious positive action, on a large scale, to get it stopped. I’m not sure we have it in us.

  5. SteveH Says:

    I say you screen only 3 people per plane and those 3 are chosen by secret vote of all that planes passengers at boarding time.

  6. rickl Says:

    That’s an interesting idea, SteveH.

    What are the odds that the passengers would vote for white children or grandmothers to be searched, as opposed to, say, young, swarthy-looking males?

    I think I like it. It lets the government and the airline off the hook for “profiling”. It’s democratic, no?

  7. br549 Says:

    I’d like to know just what it is the TSA is prepping us for, what they are trying to get us used to accepting and buckling under for. They sure aren’t looking for terrorists with explosive devices.

  8. rickl Says:

    That’s easy, br549. They’re conditioning us to obey authority, without question, at all times. Anyone who hesitates or resists automatically becomes a suspect, and can be put on the “no-fly” list.

    “If you have nothing to hide, what are you worried about?”

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    There must be a better way to protect us

    who says it has to do with protection and not delegation of power?

  10. Parker Says:

    TSA is a ‘welfare’ for the airlines & airports. It absolves them of any responsibility to fund a security force to screen passengers, check luggage, etc. By having the TSA assume responsibility for airline security any future terrorist attacks will leave victims (most likely their survivors) no one to hold accountable. You can’t sue the feds for negligence, loss of life, and so forth.

    Plus the TSA is branching out far beyond airport security. They are becoming another quasi-military branch of Homeland Security. Homeland Security has become a goon squad and should be disbanded. Airport security should be the responsibility of airports & airlines. They will hire private security which will do a much better job of focusing on potential threats, leave granny’s diapers alone, and stop fondling 6 year olds.

  11. texexec Says:

    I’d also like to closely follow the security procedures in Israel. After all, they have a lot of skin in that game.

    By the way, Neo, the 1973 “The Day of the Jackal” is one of my favorite movies of all time.

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    if an officer cant search you without probable cause, how can a employee of a company have powers delegated to do so?

  13. Oldflyer Says:

    Art, you have it completely wrong. TSA screeners are not the employees of a private company, they are government employees. They have the right, because we have no right to fly.

    My sister was part of the original TSA cadre. She had a background in law enforcement, and thought she was signing on with a respected federal security organization. After working Presidential inaugurals, and deploying to high volume airports on repeated occasions, to take up the “slack” during the holiday season, she was fired for missing something on her umpteenth recurrent testing–no second chances. Her husband just retired from TSA. He hated the new requirements placed on the screeners. It is an organization that has pretty well abused its employees from the beginning, and TSA employees are not happy campers.

    Given the family history I have observed TSA screeners with some interest. They run the gamut from pleasant and professional, to just a little tyrannical. I would say more of the former.

    All of the above notwithstanding, I hate the system and cannot believe that there is no better alternative. If nothing else, we should hire more Beagles. As a former Beagle owner, I am used to having my crotch sniffed by one. While not pleasant, compared to the current system it is a step forward.

  14. Ron Says:

    Next time muslims blow a plane out of the sky , im going to burn a koran and put it all over the internet. I say Ameericans burn their korans burn down there moquse and shoot muslims dead in the streets.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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