TSA Security Grope

01-05-11—311

Today, traveling to Tulsa to visit my family for Thanksgiving, I was thankful to be groped by the TSA.

As we all know, the TSA randomly1 selects people for screening in the backscatter scanner. I don’t personally care whether or not TSA people are looking at pictures of my junk down to the micron level; I care that backscatter machines give me a not-inconsiderable dose of radiation that I don’t think is necessary for any kind of security measure. So, I opted out2.

After opting out, I was escorted to the screening area by a man who explained in great detail about how he was about to feel me up. He was careful to explain that he’d be using the back of his hand on various parts of my body, and precisely how he was going to run his hands up my legs until “resistance is encountered”3. He then proceeded to examine my collar, my belt and run his hands over pretty much all of me with the exception of my feet and my head4.

I won’t go into detail about my personal opinions about the TSA, I’ll only note that noted security experts don’t believe it is contributing to an actual increase in security. Billions of dollars are being dumped into a system that is by definition always behind the latest plot. It was interesting to me that when I opted out of the backscatter machine, I had to walk through the regular scanners before being searched. And my bags didn’t go through any additional screening beyond the normal xray.

With all of the furor over budget cuts and deficit spending, sinking the budget into the TSA that we seem to be may not be the best application of our tax dollars.

  1. It’s not that random at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson. If you don’t get in one of the lines that leads to the backscatter machine, you don’t get selected, according to my observations. So, terrorists, make sure you get in one of the other lines, and you’ll be ok. []
  2. Actually, I said, “No, thank you,” and the TSA person didn’t even bat an eye, just pointed me over to the holding bin. []
  3. As I tweeted earlier, when I was being escorted to the screening area I told the guy, “This better not be as invasive as what I’ve seen on the internet.” He responded with “What do you mean?” I am still flabbergasgted that he either didn’t know what I was talking about or, that he was being disingenuous. []
  4. there’s a lesson there somewhere. []
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One Response to TSA Security Grope

  1. Pingback: Traveling with an Infant | The Evil Eyebrow

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