The TSA: Brazenly Strip-Searching and Just as Brazenly Lying About It

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by Becky Akers: From
Democracy to Dictatorship



As usual when
musing about a particular sample of the TSA's evil, it's tough to
decide which detail most infuriates.

The Case of
the Strip-Searched Seniors offers a perfect example. What angers
you most: the TSA's shaming frail, elderly invalids by compelling
them to disrobe for a governmental goon's inspection; its lying
about these atrocities; or its "apology" that continues
smearing the grannies as prevaricators?

You remember
Zimmerman. She's the 85-year-old resident of Long Island, NY
the TSA strip-searched at JFK International Airport before her flight
to Florida in November. Only Our Rulers could have mistaken this
lady for a recruit to Al Qaeda: she probably weighs less than her
walker, and for sure its legs are thicker than hers. As Ms. Zimmerman
herself noted, "I really look like a terrorist." She wears
a defibrillator and suffers from a hunched back.

True to its
Nazi mentors, the TSA preys on just such weak and helpless people.
When Ms. Zimmerman asked for a pat-down to avoid the porno-scanner
at the checkpoint, two deviants "escorted her to a private
room and began to remove her clothes.

"u2018I was
outraged,' said Zimmerman, a retired receptionist." Who wouldn't
be? But of course, the time when indignation could have achieved
something was 40 years ago, when the Feds first meddled with aviation's
security. Government-mandated and –managed checkpoints specifically
designed to disarm us should have outraged everyone to rebellion.

At any rate,
Ms. Zimmerman's story hit the headlines. And the TSA responded as
it always does: with flat-out falsehoods. "'…TSA
does not include strip searches
in its protocols and a strip
search did not occur in this case,' the agency said in a statement."

Whoa-ho! A
barrage of stones from those who live in glass houses! No wonder
Ms. Zimmerman came out swinging. Instead of agreeing that yes, we
need the Gestapo to protect us, as too many of the TSA's victims
do, she thundered, "They're
lying to protect their a–
because they're afraid of being sued
u2014 and they will be sued … Why would I make up this story? … In my
wildest dreams, I couldn't think of such a thing happening. … They
took me into a private screening room and pulled my pants down and
then pulled down my underwear … If that's not strip-searching, I
don't know what else you'd call it."

Our money's
on Ms. Zimmerman. As if to rebuke any skeptics out there, two other
women immediately stepped forward with stories so similar only the
TSA could possibly pretend they, too, were fibbing. Ruth
Sherman, 88, "told CBS News she
felt u2018invaded' after screeners
at [JFK] took her to a private area to check the bulge caused by
her colostomy bag. u2018This is private for me. It's bad enough that
I have it,' she told the station. … u2018I had to pull from my sweat
pants and I had to pull my underwear, my underwear down.'"

The TSA had
barely denounced Ms. Sherman as a liar, too (with the exact boilerplate
about "protocols" it used with Ms. Zimmerman), when yet
another strip-searched witness delivered the details of her travail
at Kennedy Airport. "Linda
Kallish, 66, … was scheduled
to be on the same flight as Zimmerman.
Because she is diabetic, she has a glucose monitor that checks her
blood sugar every five minutes strapped to one leg and an insulin
pump strapped on the other. After she set off the metal detector,
a female TSA officer ordered her into a private room and told her
to take her pants off, Kallish said. She said the officer didn’t
touch her. u2018So I took my pants off and showed it to her,' Kallish
said. …"

Maybe the
TSA figured the third time was the charm: it once again floated
its denial — though it now took care to include wiggle-room: "The
TSA says no improper strip
searches were conducted — in that
none of the women were improperly touched [Ms. Zimmerman made short
work of that: "They
didn’t touch me,
but they told me to pull my pants down … My
blood pressure after the incident was 189 over 90, and it shouldn’t
be that high”] — and all standard protocols were followed. … The
TSA declined to say whether there are instances where it requires
passengers to remove clothing items."

Those of you
still braving aviation's gulag may want to keep that last tidbit
in mind. At any time, for any reason, the pervert molesting you
could order you to titillate him further by undressing.

the TSA added fuel to the fires. Not only did it continue its stubborn
denials, it snidely dismissed the trauma by implying that it was
only the old bat's perception: "TSA
contacted the passenger
to apologize that she feels she
had an unpleasant screening experience [sic for u2018gate-rape.'
Emphasis added]." Its sociopaths also insisted that "screening
[sic for u2018sexual assault'] are conducted in
a manner that treats all passengers with dignity, respect and courtesy."
There may be a way to "courteously" denude a victim ("Ma'am,
would you please remove your blouse? Thank you. The trousers, too,
please, and now the underwear, if you don't mind"), but there's
no dignity or respect. The entire point of strip-searching is to
humiliate and degrade.

Crimes this
infamous naturally attracted politicians eager to capitalize on
all the publicity. A senator in New York State's Assembly joined
the megalomaniacal U.S. Sen. Charles "Up-Chuck" Schumer
(D-NY) in moaning and wringing hands over abuse Up-Chuck could easily
prevent. (Psssst, Up-Chuck: abolish the TSA. Problem solved.)
Then they proposed yet more make-work courtesy of your taxes: the
TSA should station "passenger advocates" at airports.

And yep, the mainstream media duly reported this lunacy as though
it were a solution instead of a ploy for PR.

The state-senator
also lodged a formal complaint with the TSA, whose under"worked"
wingdings kicked it over to their über-bureaucracy,
the Department of Homeland Security. DHS finally answered the state-slug,
sorry, senator with what the corporate press characterizes as an
but which is nothing of the kind. Josef Goebbels-sorry, "Betsy
Markey, Assistant Secretary
," prattled, "TSA determined
that there is no evidence to support the claims that TSA employees
conducted strip searches of any passenger."

Note the subtle
shift from the TSA's categorical denials. Now it isn't that our
trio lied, it's that there's no evidence supporting their stories.
And we'll just have to take the TSA's word for that since it's never
released any of the relevant "CCTV footage" it "reviewed."
Josef does concede that the TSA's savages made some minor mistakes
— they X-rayed Ms. Zimmerman's back-brace and "visually inspected"
Ms. Sherman's "colostomy device," neither of which are
"standard procedure" — but there's "no evidence"
of far more grotesque insults.

Josef closes
her cheery little screed with this assurance: "TSA and DHS
take privacy and civil liberties concerns very seriously."

Whew! Imagine
if they didn't…

23, 2012

Akers [send her mail] writes
primarily about the American Revolution.

Best of Becky Akers

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