Sunday, December 4, 2011

TSA Strip Searches In 2011

The report of an 85 year old woman being strip searched at JFK this week and left bleeding during the process raises some serious questions about the extent of the abuses in our airports. TSA quickly denied that strip searches are part of their screening protocol, which is obviously a lie in view of four similar reports this year.

If pulling down a person’s underwear doesn’t constitute a strip search, what does? And if no clothing is being removed why does the TSA website say “At any time during the screening process you can request a disposable paper drape for privacy”. Not only do they strip search an elderly woman, but callously record her humiliation on video.

They continued their assault on this woman even after the she was bleeding and only allowed her get treatment after they were finished. This is outrageous and the TSA workers and officials involved should be prosecuted.

This is at least the fifth TSA strip search of a passenger this year including the strip search of Shoshana Hebshi in Detroit on September 11th. In that incident the agent moved Ms. Hebshi away from the toilet during the strip search so the video would not fully capture her image.

The others include a 97 year old woman strip searched at LAX, another in Miami, and yet another in Houston. TSA is not only violating the rights of people, they now violate even most basic standards of decency.

How extreme must these TSA incidents become before Congress demands this be stopped? This is the same agency that has had 62 screeners arrested for serious crimes, including murder and 10 screeners charged with child sex crimes. This agency is clearly out of control and needs to be replaced.