Enforcing the TSA’s Monopoly on Airport Molestation

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Until recently, Carol Price was an employee of the Transportation Security Administration. As a member of the TSA’s blue-shirted legion of gropers, Price enjoyed plenary immunity to touch air travelers in any way she chose. When passing through airport security at Southwest Florida International Airport on April 20, Price was on the receiving end of the treatment her agency routinely inflicts on the public, and she didn’t like it at all.

After enduring an act of public molestation in which a TSA agent palpated her chest and inner thighs, Price demanded to see a supervisor. Understandably angry and offended, Price performed the same procedure on the TSA supervisor. The supervisor herself was outraged by the assault, and demanded that Price not touch her — a perfectly understandable demand mere citizens aren’t permitted to make.

Price was arrested and charged with battery and resisting an officer. She is not the first to face prosecution for doing to a TSA screener as that agency’s employees routinely do to us.

In 2004, 62-year-old Appleton, Wisconsin resident Phyllis Dintenfass was selected for “secondary screening” at the Outagamie County Airport when something she wore set off the metal detector at the Outagamie County Regional Airport. Mrs. Dintenfass put up no resistance as TSA supervisor Anita Gostisha used an electronic “wand” to scan for metal objects. But she understandably rebelled when Gostisha used the back of her hands to check the area beneath Dintenfass’s breasts. According to Dintenfass, her reaction was to mimic the unwanted and uninvited physical contact while exclaiming, “How would you like it if I did that to you?”

Gostisha’s version of the event, predictably, was melodramatic and self-serving. She claimed that the middle-aged woman — described by all who knew her as mild and not prone to violence — “slammed her against the wall.” Leaving aside the fact that this would be an entirely justified response to a sexual assault, Gostisha’s version was disputed by her victim and not corroborated by any other witnesses.

However, since Gostisha is a member of the Regime’s punitive caste, her person — unlike that of her victim — is sacred. Accordingly, Dintenfass was arrested and charged with “assaulting” a federal official. She was found guilty of that purported crime and sentenced to a year of probation and 100 hours of “community service.”

Victorious federal prosecutor Tim Funnell insisted that Mrs. Dintenfass “punished Anita Gostisha for doing her job.” U.S. Attorney Steven Bispukic piled on, protesting that TSA officers, who perform a “vital function,” are “entitled to protection from assault” — that is, they’re entitled to “protection” from the same treatment they inflict on their betters. It’s difficult to find a better illustration of the principle that government is simply a criminal syndicate that has achieved impunity.

At the time Mrs. Dintenfass was molested in Appleton, the treatment she endured was exceptional. Eight years later, it is quite commonplace as an alternative to being irradiated by the TSA’s porno-scanners. TSA functionaries are now instructed to use open hands and fingers “to go over one’s body, including the genital area and breasts,” in the words of a protest letter filed a couple of years ago on behalf of a group of airline pilots disgusted with the expanded checkpoint ritual.

The charges filed against Carol Price, and the official persecution of the rightly aggrieved Phyllis Dintenfass, demonstrate beyond rebuttal that each time a TSA drone places hands on a captive air traveler, he is committing an act of criminal assault. This fact was further underscored by the bizarre case of  “Dr. Berlyn Aussieahshowna” — a Boise resident who supposedly offered to perform various cosmetic enhancements on women whose breasts she had examined during conversations in local nightclubs. As it happens, “Dr. Aussieahshowna” is actually an individual named Kristina B. Ross, who is not a doctor of any kind. The story is complicated even further by the fact that Ross is actually a man, albeit one who “identifies” as a woman. Following a 2003 conviction for aggravated battery, Ross served four years in a men’s prison, although he (assuming that the pronoun fits) was not housed in the general population.

As Judge Kevin Swain pointed out, Ross — who is not a physician — was “a male touching women’s breasts under the guise of being a female doctor.” On at least one occasion, Ross allegedly persuaded a victim to disrobe in order for him to “examine” her, supposedly to evaluate her suitability for cosmetic surgery. Others were reportedly felt up through their clothing. All of this was done on a pretext by someone seeking to gratify prurient interests, albeit of a convoluted variety.

Ross was accused of practicing medicine without a license, which is a felony. However, if authorities were at all interested in applying the law equitably, the police would conduct wholesale arrests at Boise Airport, where scores of TSA employees routinely physically molest innocent people, while forcing others to be virtually disrobed by way of backscatter scanning devices.

None of these federal employees is a licensed physician. All of them are committing sexual battery of some variety. It’s reasonable to believe — especially in light of the grimy institutional history of the agency that employs them — that the desire to satisfy prurient interests explains the presence of least some of the people palpating the intimate anatomy of strangers.

Since the Boise Police weren’t sent to arrest every member of the local TSA molester squad, the charges against Ross should have been reduced to “practicing airport security without a license.”

(Adapted from an item that first appeared here.)

11:56 am on June 20, 2012