Terrorizing, Smuggling, and Assault: All in a Week's Work at the TSA

Recently by Becky Akers: Traumatizing Tykes at the TSA

The TSA’s had a banner week. It began with former Head Cheese, Kip Hawley – the guy who foisted the liquids-in-baggies nonsense on us – bleating that the agency is “broken” and it’s no wonder Americans hate it. As if to prove him right, screeners beat up on little girls – twice. And it was only Monday. By Wednesday, cops had arrested four screeners at Los Angeles International who took a break from pawing passengers to smuggle illicit drugs through checkpoints. Meanwhile, a Congressman alleged assault after a “very aggressive … pat-down.”

Hmmm. Seems there are several clues here that perhaps we might want to, oh, I don’t know, abolish this vile agency.

Four-year-old Isabella Brademeyer was flying out of Wichita, Kansas with her mother, brother and grandmother after a stint as flower-girl in her uncle’s wedding. Isabella successfully negotiated the checkpoint’s charade, but her grandmother wasn’t as fortunate, and the TSA ordered her aside for a groping. Isabella offered the lady a child’s best comfort: she ran to her and hugged her for a “few seconds,” according to her mother’s account on Facebook.

Or, in the TSA’s words, Isabella “had completed screening but had contact with another member of her family who had not completed the screening process.” Uh-oh. That shot across the Homeland’s bow galvanized the Warriors on Terror. Thank Heaven for their practice in neutralizing cupcakes and strip-searching octogenarians: these crack troops knew exactly how to protect us from affectionate grandkids. Isabella’s mother reports that they began “yelling” at the little girl, “demand[ing] she too must sit down and await a full body pat-down.” Indeed, they scared her so badly that she “did what any frightened young child might, she ran the opposite direction. … I will never forget the look of pure terror on her face.”

Ergo, the TSA declared Isabella a “high-security-threat.” But fear not: two Warriors chased this “not cooperating” “suspect” (their actual phrasing, per Ms. Brademeyer) while ordering her mother “to have no contact with my child.” Eventually, they captured Isabella, frisked her to ensure that Granny hadn’t slipped her a WMD during their brief hug, and allowed the family to board their flight. “It was an awful sight,” Ms. Bradenmeyer says in understatement as vast as the federal debt. “…My daughter is very shaken up about this, and has been waking up with nightmares.”

As should we all. What has the country become that we permit such savaging of children? Yet the TSA defended the indefensible, as usual: ”TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child.” Parents, take note: the TSA justifies traumatizing little ones as “proper screening procedures.” You may want to boycott flying lest concerned citizens sic Child Welfare Services on you.

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April 28, 2012

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

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