TSA’s new scans and body-pat-down procedures

The Wild Hunt has a stunning articleabout a Wiccan woman’s recent traumatic experience with the new body scanners and the accompanying opt-out procedures. It’s pretty clear that the ‘opt out’ is deliberately invasive and humiliating so as to convince others to go through with the x-ray scanner instead. Hey, what’s a little radiation? Any problems from it are in the future, not now.

What disheartens me is the number of people I see who’s response is “That’s it. I’m not flying anymore.”

One person even went so far as to say “The solution is to boycott the airlines. They are so financially crippled that they’ll *have* to listen and do something about the TSA.”  Sadly, no. They’ll just get govt $$ because they are a needed service. Or get more expensive.

The thing to do is to fly MORE and be very proactive and specific about complaining. I’m going to be doing a lot more traveling next year (domestically) and I’m contemplating carrying a recorder so that the entire experience is captured (at least the aural part), with me narrating the process (I need to check with my lawyer as to the feasibility of this). I will NOT be going through a body scanner — I don’t need more radiation than what already occurs when I fly. Of course, I’m also going to plan to be at the airport extra early.

The more we complain, the more they need to pay attention — we don’t need to be the loudest voice in the room, we need to be the most persistent. And the authorities will pay more attention to the person who says “I fly 1 million miles/ year and I do not want to have that much radiation. I also don’t want to be physically violated every time I fly.” than the person who says “I refuse to fly.”

Rosa Parks didn’t say “I won’t take the bus any more.”

4 thoughts on “TSA’s new scans and body-pat-down procedures

  1. Diana

    I was dismayed at the comments of a woman claiming to be a former TSA agent. She was dismissing anyone who thought the TSA could possibly engage in wrongdoing. (!)

    Something else a lot of people don’t realize:
    You can sue the TSA. A Google search on “Lawsuits against the TSA” reveals a first page full of different lawsuits against the agency. This is a case where it’s well worth looking into organizing a class action lawsuit.

    There’s no proof that the scanning increases security, and I believe there needs to be a wholesale re-examination of security practices since 9/11, and to weed out the ones that haven’t helped anything.

    I’m used to having my bags searched and X-rayed. I’m used to being scanned for metal. But no one is entitled to see my skeleton, and unless a compelling reason is made public, I say sue the crap out of the agency.

  2. lisa Post author

    I agree completely.

    One thing that occured to me: children, who are (now) taught not to let people touch them in certain places, may have to be touched by a TSA agent in exactly those places.

    The argument ‘just don’t fly if you don’t want to put up with the search’ is specious and blind.

    I plan on being very polite and very specific about my presence and my actions.

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