If We Can’t Molest Your Children, the Terrorists Win

This literally makes me sick to my stomach. And the nice words the TSA agent says to the child to make the experience less traumatic are exactly what a child molester would say to get his victim to go along. I sat on a jury in a child molestation case once, and the way this TSA agent touches the child is revoltingly similar to the way the child in that case described being groped.

Thanks, I guess, to Jennifer Abel for bringing this to my attention. Her post on this is spot-on.

And who could forget this classic TSA moment, when they actually half-stripped a little boy?

That’s why I am refusing to fly my family from Michigan to LA this summer for the in-laws 50th anniversary. It’s either the minivan or Amtrak, because there is no way I am taking a chance on putting my 13, 10, and 8 year old daughters through this kind of emotionally traumatizing humiliation.

I have absolutely no respect for anyone who would stay at a job that requires them to do this kind of thing, and I have absolutely no respect for anyone who would spend one second defending this. This is now how we keep our country free–this is the evidence that we no longer are free.

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About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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24 Responses to If We Can’t Molest Your Children, the Terrorists Win

  1. DensityDuck says:

    If you don’t want to strip-search everyone, regardless of age or gender or race, then you’re a racist bigot who’s just targeting brown people for harassment.

    Alternatively, we could pretend that profiling actually works; it would have been three-for-three in attack attempts thus far.

  2. Mark says:

    Don’t put up with this unconstitutional garbage! It’s all worthless security theater that does nothing to keep you “safe”. Boycott Flying ENTIRELY until sanity returns! Please join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Flying/126801010710392

  3. James Hanley says:

    Alternatively, we could pretend that profiling actually works; it would have been three-for-three in attack attempts thus far.

    That’s an astoundingly stupid statement, and not because of any issues of racism, but because it requires that there were only three cases of profiling, and those three just happened to be the three cases of attempted terrorism that have been thwarted. Want to take a course in probability and try again?

  4. AMW says:

    I want to get on Hanley’s ‘airline y” from several months (and blogs?) ago. The one where there’s minimal security and you take your chances.

  5. Jennifer says:

    And remember, Napolitano has already said she wants TSA to metastasize out into ALL forms of mass transit. If we don’t kick it the hell out of airports, there will come a time when such degrading treatment will be meted out to anyone who wants to ride a bus, take a train, get on a cruise ship — anything.

  6. James K says:

    Density Duck:

    If you don’t want to strip-search everyone, regardless of age or gender or race, then you’re a racist bigot who’s just targeting brown people for harassment.

    Alternatively, we could pretend that profiling actually works; it would have been three-for-three in attack attempts thus far.

    Alternatively we could only strip search people if we have probable cause to believe they are carrying a bomb. This has the advantage of being neither racist nor unconstitutional.

    Frankly I’m just waiting for Al Qaeda to work out they can kill more people by blowing up the security line.

  7. Matty says:

    Density Duck,
    What makes you think profiling based on race would even work? Could Al Quaeda not simply use people like <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12900460"this?

  8. James Hanley says:

    Matty, didn’t you see his beard and robe? Security is simple–we just strip-search anyone with a beard and/or robe who wants to get on a plane/train/bus/subway/taxi/public sidewalk. Then it’s not racial profiling, so nobody’s rights are being violated, and we’ll all be perfectly safe.

  9. Matty says:

    Ok, now who gets to tell the Archbishop of Canterbury he’s a Muslim?

  10. A Grouchy Wife says:

    There were 630 Million airline passengers in the US from Feb 2010 – Jan 2011. I just counted 68 passenger flights leaving Detroit this morning between 8 am – 9 am – Planes average anywhere from 50 – 300 passengers. So for simplicity I’ll say 100 passengers per flight. So in a 1 hour span at a single airport I’ve found the potential for 6800 folks passing through two entry points. That means 3400 folks in an hour that need to be checked or an average 56 people per minute. I don’t believe the odds of any one person getting selected for pat down in Detroit or any other large airport are much higher than the risks associated with driving cross country.

    I am totally disgusted by these videos and accounts and agree wholeheartedly that the physical searches by TSA are wrong morally and politically. I feel however your anger and fear is overblown and are you are trying to keep your family from flying based on this fear. If you can use statistics to look at the odds of a terrorist getting on a plane, or the value of voting – you should also consider the basic odds of your family being groped by a TSA agent as opposed to any other risky activity in their daily lives. Prove to me that the majority or even a significant percentage of the 630 million passengers that flew this last year were body searched, that those who were are children you win your argument that it is safer for your family to drive than fly. A few hundred complaints or videos out of 630 million passengers doesn’t cut it. If you’re really serious about how the TSA folks are behaving – you would quit flying yourself and not take trips or create classes that require folks to travel by air.

  11. DensityDuck says:

    “Alternatively we could only strip search people if we have probable cause to believe they are carrying a bomb. ”

    The problem with that is that you have to prove that you had “probable cause to believe” that a person just standing around might be carrying a bomb.

    And, according to some people–such as the author of this blog–there will never be sufficient proof. Even someone wandering around the airport with wires and batteries plugged into a lump of clay should be given the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it’s just a T-shirt she made for an electronics class project. Maybe it’s some kind of “viral advertising” for a TV show. Whatever, man, you can’t assume anything.

    I do have to say that it’s hilarious to see a self-described intellectual having a strongly-emotional reaction to a half-described situation presented without context and without access to independent reports or the original source material. How very Republican of you.

    Besides, if you aren’t going to get on a plane, then ipso facto you can’t carry a bomb onto one. TSA: Mission Accomplished!

  12. Jennifer says:

    If you can use statistics to look at the odds of a terrorist getting on a plane, or the value of voting – you should also consider the basic odds of your family being groped by a TSA agent as opposed to any other risky activity in their daily lives. Prove to me that the majority or even a significant percentage of the 630 million passengers that flew this last year were body searched, that those who were are children you win your argument that it is safer for your family to drive than fly.

    Here’s one thing I can prove: since TSA has yet to catch a single terrorist, 100 percent of all people groped by the TSA were innocent. The bladder-cancer survivor who wound up drenched in his own urine after a TSA goon broke his colostomy bag — innocent. The Army woman groped after she submitted to the scanner, but her sanitary napkin obscured the outline of her vulva — innocent. The Alaska state legislator and breast cancer survivor singled out for a groping after agents saw her mastectomy scars — innocent.

    And if you are disabled, or have any sort of medical prosthesis, your chance of being singled out for a mandatory groping is close to 100 percent.

  13. Jennifer says:

    I would also suggest that if you are such a solipsistic coward that you can’t feel safe on public transit unless you know some authority figure has looked and/or felt inside the underwear of every single one of your fellow passengers — stay home curled up under your bed, where you can feel safe from the big scary terrifying world beyond.

  14. James Hanley says:

    The problem with that is that you have to prove that you had “probable cause to believe” that a person just standing around might be carrying a bomb.

    Yeah, that Constitution thingy is such a problem. Why don’t we just get rid of it? Then we’ll all be really really safe.

    And, according to some people–such as the author of this blog–there will never be sufficient proof

    You might want to review my commenting policy. Lying about my arguments is a quick way to get banned as being too much of a pain-in-the-ass to have hanging around. If you can demonstrate where I have said nothing could ever constitute sufficient evidence for probable cause, you win any prize you can name.

  15. A Grouchy Wife says:

    Jennifer – I agree 100% that TSA is in the wrong and nowhere did I excuse their behavior or blame the victims. The point I made is that millions of folks still choose to fly because for the majority of passengers flying remains a safe and reliable option. It doesn’t mean we agree with TSA policy with DDuck. I am in complete support of TSA facing charges for the instances you listed as well as others filing suit. I won’t however buy into being guilted for wanting to fly based on even a couple thousand complaints unless someone shows me that my children are statistically in more danger passing through an airport gate than in engaging in other risky life activities. My math and my gut tells me they are not.

  16. Jennifer says:

    I won’t however buy into being guilted for wanting to fly based on even a couple thousand complaints unless someone shows me that my children are statistically in more danger passing through an airport gate than in engaging in other risky life activities. My math and my gut tells me they are not.

    I’m guessing Anna Drexel’s parent made a similar calculation before their daughter got molested. But I’m more appalled by your implication “So long as me and my children aren’t the ones personally made to suffer at the hands of an out-of-control government, why the hell should I care?” Remember what Pastor Niemoller noted: he never spoke up when they came for other people, and by the time they came for him there was nobody left to speak on his behalf.

  17. Grouchy Mother says:

    Jennifer – Ah yes once again bring up the case of this child – what horrible awful parental decision making. Thanks again for trying to make me and millions of other parents out to be ignorant and unconcerned sheeple. I do care about this but there are many ways in which to deal with the issue (it is happening in the courts, in the media and in Congress). You seriously believe it is more ethical to force my kids to spend 6 days on the road instead of with family who love and adore them in order to boycott the airlines on the slight chance that something bad might happen? What do you expect me to choose? A boycott of 5 won’t change anything. It won’t make me morally superior, it won’t help those who have suffered. What good does it serve? It will hurt my pocketbook, my family, and it isn’t helping my marriage either but sure go ahead make me out to be the villian I can take it.

  18. Jennifer says:

    A boycott of 5 won’t change anything. It won’t make me morally superior, it won’t help those who have suffered. What good does it serve?

    It will guarantee that you and your children will not be added to the list of those who have suffered. It prevents your children from learning the warped lesson “If you want to go on a vacation, you must consent to having a stranger either look at or touch you in intimate places.” It also saves you from the risk of having your children one day be justifiably furious with you: “Why the hell did you subject me to that?”

    The thing about the TSA business is that it is NOT a situation where you can tell yourself “So long as I don’t do X, Y or Z, I have nothing to worry about.” TSA hasn’t even said what it was about Anna Drexel that made them decide to grope her. How can you be certain that you and your kids won’t cross whatever imaginary line makes TSA decide to feel up one or more of you? You can’t.

    Amazing. Earlier generations of Americans were willing to sacrifice their liberty, their property and their very lives to defend their rights. You’re not willing to sacrifice a family vacation outside of easy driving distance. And if you’re one of the lucky ones who make it through without being diddled, you can tell yourself the system works — so long as you and yours are okay, to hell with everyone else, right?

  19. Grouchy Mother says:

    No it doesn’t guarantee the safety of my kids at all. I can’t guarantee that my kids won’t be shot at school, I can’t guarantee they won’t be attacked by a crazy person because I let them ride their bikes down the street where I don’t see them. Evidently in my small town I can’t even trust parents to not molest their kids friends. Maybe I should lock them indoors, boycott taking them to the park or letting them go to friends houses so I will be 100 percent guaranteed of their safety at all times.

    Look I said if there was ample evidence that the odds were that my kids would be groped by TSA, I would consider another option but you haven’t done that. You’ve only used emotional and moralistic rhetoric. You don’t need to tell me what lesson my children will learn. They will only understand that all of their friends and family fly places. None of them have had a negative experience, but their own parents made them miss precious time with their grandparents, relatives, friends because they didn’t agree with Governmental policies and were worried about their well being because of it. Then they look at the facts and the odds of something happening to them, they will see that their parents were paranoid and chose to protest the government in a completely non-productive manner rather than take a miniscule risk to give them a little extra time with people they know who love and cherish them and they don’t often get to see. That would be more like it.

  20. Jennifer says:

    No it doesn’t guarantee the safety of my kids at all. I

    Are you deliberately misunderstanding me? I said nothing about guaranteeing perfect “safety”; merely guaranteeing your children would not be molested by a thug in a TSA uniform.

    Just out of curiosity: if your kids are singled out for a “patdown,” are you going to tell them to go along with it so you don’t have to miss your flight?

  21. DensityDuck says:

    “The problem with that is that you have to prove that you had “probable cause to believe” that a person just standing around might be carrying a bomb.

    Yeah, that Constitution thingy is such a problem. Why don’t we just get rid of it? Then we’ll all be really really safe.”

    I guess you missed the part of my post where I described situations which would most certainly be “probable cause”, at least deserving a second look, and yet the prevailing tone of the Internet was “what a bunch of idiots these security people are, this was CLEARLY something TOTALLY INNOCENT, ban the TSA for being un-Constitutional!”

    See, I don’t actually understand what the beef is here, beyond “won’t someone please think about the children?” If you want security, this is what it looks like. If you don’t want security, that’s fine. But you’re presenting this like the TSA is government-sponsored child molestation, like there wasn’t some confused schlub with a uniform standing there thinking “do I really have to do this? Well, according to the procedure, yes I do, and if I let this kid go and it turns out that she somehow had a bomb in her shirt, then I’ll have killed two hundred people.”

    “And if you are disabled, or have any sort of medical prosthesis, your chance of being singled out for a mandatory groping is close to 100 percent.”

    I’ve flown dozens of times since September 2001, visibly wearing an insulin pump each time, and the only time I got a patdown was when I forgot to take off my belt and the metal detector beeped me. The officer made a point of not contacting the pump, and when it was time for the explosive swab I was asked to touch it myself and they swabbed my hands. This is probably exactly because of the urostomy-bag situation mentioned earlier. (PS: It might be useful to look up the performance of those bags, to get some perspective. Results preview: They are notoriously leaky, whether anyone is touching them or not. It’s not as though the officer grabbed the thing and yanked it off; they damn near fall out if you turn your waist too fast.)

  22. Grouchy Mother says:

    No I wouldn’t allow them to touch my children. I would walk away regardless of the financial cost. Now you can go ride away on your high high horse. I’m still going to fly.

  23. Jennifer says:

    I’ve flown dozens of times since September 2001, visibly wearing an insulin pump each time, and the only time I got a patdown was when I forgot to take off my belt and the metal detector beeped me.

    The molestation patdowns have only been mandated since last November. How many flights have you taken since then?

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