America has a message for President Barack Obama and the Transportation Security Administration – “don’t touch our junk!”
Obama and leaders of the the TSA – which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – have been standing by the federal government’s “enhanced pat-down” procedures for airline passengers, which basically amount to taxpayer-funded groping.
That’s right … to get on a plane in America these days you either have to submit to a full body scan (i.e. show the government your goodies) or get your private areas fondled. This policy has been in place since March, but the TSA implemented more “thorough” pat-down procedures beginning in November.
Those new measures are rubbing thousands of passengers the wrong way – literally. In fact, they’ve sparked a wave of anger – and more than a few lawsuits. Meanwhile, many TSA employees are also reportedly livid about the sort of searches they are now being asked to conduct.
The impetus for the new searches is Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – the al Queda terrorist who attempted to detonate a homemade bomb hidden in his underwear during a flight bound from Amsterdam to Detroit last Christmas.
Obama has described the enhanced security measures as “necessary,” saying that such methods “are the only ones right now that (counter-terrorism officials) consider to be effective against the kind of threat that we saw in the Christmas Day bombing.”
That explanation isn’t satisfying passengers – who will be boarding planes in record numbers this week.
Nor is it satisfying victims’ rights advocates.
“I completely understand the need to protect the United States from terrorism … 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,” says Anny Jacoby, a victims’ rights advocate who has been urging passengers to file charges against the agency.
On Monday, Obama’s TSA director – John S. Pistole – told CNN that the agency would review its new pat-down procedures but that there would be no “short-term changes” to the offensive policy.