TSA: PRIVACY vs SECURITY?

November 22, 2010

More and more victims (females, males and children of all ages) of TSA procedures will and are coming forward as they are realizing that they have been victimized.  It is encouraged that all victims of the TSA to report and file appropriate charges accordingly.  I do have a distinct problem and issue with any media minimizing victimization that any individual may encounter with the TSA procedures now in place.

I completely understand the need to protect the United States from terrorism in our friendly skies but I do have a problem with the invasive, intrusive, ill-mannered reports that we are receiving from those traveling and dealing with TSA employees working in our airports.

We have all read and heard over the weekend how this invasion of privacy has been minimized by our media and even our President.  As far as I am concerned neither have concern for our privacy, compassion to others nor remorse because “they are just doing their jobs”.  Well, they are doing much more than their “J-O-B”.  I don’t give a flying flip about the projected percentage of travelers that “will not” be affected by these procedures or what airports have the scanners or don’t; I care about the individuals WHO ARE SUBJECTED to these procedures.  These individuals are the true victims of assault and it’s legal – go figure!  Not one government official will endure these procedures.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put down TSA pat-downs on Sunday, calling it an “offensive” security measure she wouldn’t want to experience herself.

“Everybody is trying to do the right thing,” Clinton said on CBS‘ “Face The Nation.” “I understand how difficult it is, and how offensive it must be for the people who are going through it.”

Asked if she would be willing to submit to an airport frisk, Clinton laughed and admitted, “Not if I could avoid it. No, I mean who would?”

According to every state in our country — and also under federal law – it is illegal for an individual to grab, grope or touch our bodies without the explicit permission from the person being… touched.  There is no choice, either we get scanned (your naked picture being displayed for TSA employees to view OR get a pat-down).

The detrimental effects of re-victimization is not to be discarded, shrugged off or ignored.  Unless you have experienced an assault and you were a victim and have transitioned into a Survivor…you have no clue or idea of the helplessness one feels.  Anyone that has been victimized will now be re-victimized by our government and TSA workers.

TSA and President Obama continues to refer to “the Christmas underwear bomber”, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route.  I would like to remind everyone that he boarded in Amsterdam and flew to Detroit, Michigan.  He didn’t board the plane in the United States. The most recent scare of packages found in cargo originated outside of the United States.  I pray that our government and TSA are making a sincere attempt to prevent flights coming into the USA as secure as they are making domestic and outgoing international flights from within.

Cathy Bossi, a cancer survivor flight attendant forced to remove her prosthetic breast during a pat-down.  Talk about stripping an individual of dignity.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) –  A Charlotte-area flight attendant and cancer survivor contacted WBTV after she says she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down.

Cathy Bossi lives in south Charlotte and has been a flight attendant for the past 32 years, working the past 28 for U.S. Airways.

In early August Bossie was walking through security when she says she was asked to go through the new full body-scanners at Concourse “D” at Charlotte Douglas International.

She reluctantly agreed.  As a 3-year breast cancer survivor she says she didn’t want the added radiation through her body.  But, Bossi says she did agree.

“The TSA Agent told me to put my I.D. on my back,” she said.  “When I got out of there she said because my I.D. was on my back, I had to go to a personal screening area.”

She says two female Charlotte T.S.A. agents took her to a private room and began what she calls an aggressive pat down.  She says they stopped when they got around to feeling her right breast… the one where she’d had surgery.

“She put her full hand on my breast and said, ‘What is this?’.  And I said, ‘It’s my prosthesis because I’ve had breast cancer.’ And she said, ‘Well, you’ll need to show me that’.”

Cathy was asked to show her prosthetic breast, removing it from her bra.

“I did not take the name of the person at the time because it was just so horrific of an experience, I couldn’t believe someone had done that to me.  I’m a flight attendant.  I was just trying to get to work.”

Since then, Cathy has contacted the Legislative Affairs Team, a group through the flight attendant union.  She says she wants to see a crackdown on these personal pat downs.

“There are blowers and there are dogs out there that can sniff out bombs,” she says.  “There’s no reason to have somebody’s hands touching your body parts.”

A T.S.A. representative says agents aren’t supposed to remove any prosthetics, but are allowed to ask to see and touch any passenger’s prosthetic.

T.S.A. says it will review this matter.

In the end……

the choice is to fly or not to fly.  I’ve taken my shoes off, adapted to rules and regulations about carry-on items (even had items thrown out because they were slightly over the size (begged them to take them home because of the items worth), walked through the metal detectors, had the wands used on me; however, personally I will not subject myself to an invasion of my privacy by going through a body scanner nor allow anyone to touch me WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.  You can’t even fight back other than to…….NOT FLY.

One last thought…..is anyone focusing or talking about security on our other means of transportation (Amtrak, buses and tunnels that have traffic backup)?

Take care and STAY SAFE!

 

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