You know, I really wish they'd stop calling them "pat downs" -- because they're not. From Dictionary.reference.com:
pat-downIn reality, from recent personal experience, TSA agents don't just pass their hands over your body -- they grope you, and hard in the manner of Dictionary.reference.com's definition #6:
[pat-doun] Show IPA
an act or instance of passing the hands over the body of a clothed person to detect concealed weapons, drugs, etc.; frisking.
Slang . an act or instance of sexually fondling another person.I also take issue with TSA's promise of privacy and that no pictures will be taken:
The U.S. Marshals Service recently admitted saving some 35,000 images from a machine at a federal courthouse in Florida. TSA says that will never happen. Human experience says, oh, yes, it will.Here's all the proof I need that your parts can and may be exposed to the rest of the world: this CNN article photo. This quick Bing image search. Repeated photos from the scanners on Drudge Report banners. This quick google image search. Also, this Fox News report that shows images of not only the scanned image, but also identifiable images of the person scanned:
Sure, the TSA assures us that the image-saving capability "will be turned off" in these scanners, but they don't say when, and they don't say what has been or will be done with the gazillion images already saved.
Then there's this YouTube video describing the "pat down" for an "opt out":
Even if you agree to the scan, you still aren't out of the woods. I didn't opt out, and still got the so-called pat down, thanks to my bra's underwires.* The young lady in the video at least got groped in private. I got my breasts squeezed and twisted in full view of every single person in the security area -- and no, nobody offered to take me off into private to do it.
(Please don't tell me it's okay because I submitted. I had no choice. Neither did anyone else in line that morning, as we were all forced through the scanners or to submit to a pat-down if we wanted to fly that day.)
I'm a mature adult who's seen a lot, and still this was a humiliating experience for me. Imagine, then, if it's your grandmother or wife or teenager or tween or very young child who's always been told never to let a stranger touch them inappropriately. Whether its the public chest mauling or the full body scan or the private full body feel-up, it's wrong on just about every level.
Furthermore, the new procedures really slowed the security line down at O'Hare. Don't be even a little late for a flight, or these new procedures will likely make you miss your flight. And be prepared for gridlock at airport security if you're traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Neither of these forms of screening should be used until or unless there's a suspicion that a passenger may be carrying contraband of some sort. It should not be the primary screening method unless it's used for all airline passengers -- including the Head of Homeland Security, the President, the First Lady and the First Children. The TSA has gone way too far.
*The least the TSA could do is educate their screeners as to what an underwire looks like and why it's not a threat to national security.
Update: I've heard a lot of discussion on talk radio about this subject today, and a lot of people who experienced the old "pat down" with the back of the hands that came if you made the metal detector beep more than once or had a medical note due to surgical pins, rods, plates or replacement joints saying that TSA agents were "respectful" and that "it's not that bad" and that they were given a choice for their pat down to happen publicly or privately.
Trust me, things have changed. I can't wait to hear about your next experience with the TSA. That was then. This is now, and it's different.
Also, I just heard a United Airline employee assert that NONE of the airline food service truck personnel or bag handlers have to go through security of any type at O'Hare "because they're TSA employees." But pilots and flight attendants do have to submit to those indignities.
There's no logical reason why this is so.
If this photo from today's (11/15/10) Drudge Report doesn't convince you of the outrageousness of the TSA's procedures, nothing else will:
(And for those people who insist that they do the full feel-ups in private, this disproves it.)
Hey, Big Sis! How's that discreet thing supposed to work again?