Monday, November 21, 2011

In Time For the Holidays: TSA worker, Arrested for Sexual Assault

ABC News reported that another TSA was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Manassas, VA, making this the tenth screener arrested for a sex crime this year. “The suspect, Harold Glen Rodman, was wearing his uniform and displayed a badge to the victim, a 37-year-old woman. Police arrested Rodman on Nov. 20. He is charged with aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration, forcible sodomy and abduction with intent to defile.”
TSA employs 55,000 workers whose daily activities include viewing naked images of travelers and making contact with their genitals. They allow male scanner viewers to view the nude images of men, women and children and do not have privacy software on the 250 x-ray scanners installed at many major airports, including LAX, JFK, O’Hare, Orlando, Boston and Phoenix. TSA has also stated that their employees conduct pat downs on 60,000 passengers a day and make contact with genitals and breasts, including those of children, as a required component of that procedure.
Predictably, when a Federal agency sanctions digital strip searches of women by make workers and requires its workers to rub the genitals of strangers in public many of these workers will come to consider sexual assault acceptable behavior. This culture of arrogant disregard for the privacy rights of passengers attracts those predisposed to these tendencies and erodes their workers respect for the rights of others.In the last twelve months there have been 11 TSA screeners arrested for sex crimes, 10 of which involved children. In all, there have been 62 TSA screeners arrested this year, a rate of one very six days.This level of criminal activity is unacceptable for any Federal agency and is particularly outrageous for one charged with providing airport security.
Congress must investigate this agency and institute the necessary reforms as soon as possible and TSA management held accountable for this breach of the public trust. The traveling public and airline industry can’t afford to wait while TSA gains the needed skills through a series of mistakes and crimes by their personnel.