As you progress through lines at the airport like cattle towards the security checkpoint, you will face a tough question. Will you step into the body scanners and smile with your arms above your head while a government-issued Peeping Tom leers at your naked body in a remote location, or will you opt out and choose the groping session from a friendly TSA agent and their latex glove? I know –both options sound so appealing!
The backlash against the TSA’s new security procedures has been mounting daily and with good reason. What is being sold as a procedure vital to enhancing airport safety has nearly led to nearly an all out revolt by airline pilots, passengers, and airport operators. It is almost like nobody wants their junk seen or touched. Isn’t that a shocker!
Living in post 9/11 world, security is certainly on every American’s mind, especially in an airport. The last thing Americans want is jetliners being used as missiles in another terrorist attack. Therefore, if body scanners can be implemented in security procedures to prevent all types of weapons and explosives from ever making their way onto an airplane, why not use them? If only that were true.
At best body scanners pose as an enhanced metal detector. As people grudgingly step forward to be digitally stripped searched, the Peeping Tom will see a very detailed picture (which apparently can be inverted to color) of your exposed body. If you are stupid enough to carry a gun, knife, or some sort of explosive with metal parts you will pretty much be caught with your pants down. However, if you were to hide something within your cavity or possess liquid or power substances for ill intensions (like blowing up an airplane) the body scanner will most likely not reveal anything more incriminating than your junk. And in that case who cares about radiation exposure.
Are you a bit shy about posing nude on a closed circuit television in front of a stranger for your first time? Worry not, because there is an alternative. It may cost you some embarrassment and a little bit of dignity though!
The TSA has made it clear that you are able to opt out of the body scanners. In lieu of the digital strip search you will instead meet with a friendly TSA agent waiting to give you the government hand job special. It works much like a typical pat down, or “love pats” as Senator McCaskill described which comprises of a TSA agent’s hand running up your leg until they touch the crotch area. Then they are to inspect the waistband of your underwear. Women will experience a little extra groping around their breasts. But, in the case of this young boy the shirt was completely removed:
While the whole story behind the shirtless boy isn’t clear, I have to say that “ridiculous” is right! Add “humiliated” to that and it describes what some others feel, like the cancer-surviving woman who was forced to remove her prosthetic breast. A woman from Ohio claims to have been “sexually assaulted” by a TSA screener during aggressive pat down procedures. Another woman had her blouse unbuttoned by a TSA agent, exposing her breasts to the on looking crowd. Men are not immune to humiliation by the TSA. Consider the man who had his urostomy bag broken during a private pat down (which by the way are free of charge) causing urine to leak down his leg and on his clothes.
Is this what Americans should get used to at the airport from now on? Big Sis and the TSA say yes, but Americans are fighting back! The shock of being “partially molested at checkpoints,” as Senior Vice-President of Southwest Airlines stated, is going to create issues. Those issues are including lawsuits, which some by passengers, states, and even pilots are pursuing. Airports are looking to opt out by replacing the TSA with private security firms. New York City lawmakers are even considering banning the invasive body scan machines all together.
If you have a flight in your Thanksgiving travel plans you may be making the decision of whether to allow a government employee take a peek at your goods on a computer monitor or to allow a TSA agent to make it to second base without the common courtesy of asking for your phone number for a call back.
It is a tough decision to make, but you must make it wisely. Once you start the security check process you cannot leave without completing it or you could be slapped with a $10,000 fine. Enjoy your flight!