If you want to know what to expect when flying and going through TSA security checkpoint you had better read this.
I entered the screening line and opted out of the full body scanner – for reasons why see below.
After politely opting out of the Full Body Imaging the lady working the line told me to wait at the gate for a pat down. My wallet, shoes, belt and laptop was already through the imaging machine which was out of my sight and control for approximately 15 minutes. I watched several people leave the area with their belongings while mine (as I found out when the TSA agent finally collect them) was sitting in the open at the end of the conveyor belt with no TSA agents in plain view of my items. I told the lady at the gate that my wallet and laptop was sitting there with no one watching and unsecured. Yes I was worried about my laptop, and wallet with personal Identification, money and enough credit cards with limits to make the most discerning thief very happy. She stated that they have cameras watching; I told her that I wanted my belongings secured which she refused to take action. The only thing the female agent had to say was that there were cameras in the area – each time she stated that “this is your fault for refusing the body scanner”. I finally demanded to speak to a supervisor, at this point the TSA agent sitting at the carry on screening machine spoke up and in a very annoyed tone and loud voice said the supervisor was already called. This agent, a stocky balding man whose name was later identified as Detras will enter this series of events a little further down.
The supervisor who finally showed up (later identified as Schmidt) can be described as light completed with freckles about 5’9” with large stretched holes in his ear lobes from what appears to be gauging; they were large enough that light was passing through the holes. Officer Schmidt took me to get my belongings (again which were un-secure and out of my sight and control for 15 minutes) which he picked up and had to carry them as if they were now somehow secure. It is totally incompetent to allow my belongings to be accessible to strangers for 15 minutes than all the sudden they are somehow secure and I cant touch them. I was led to the open area downstream from the scanners. He explained that he was going to do a pat down which he did. This person with the freaky earlobes touched my scrotum 4 times and continued to run his hands all over my body. After the search he did a test on his gloves which he said came back as positive for something. The TSA agent with the freaky earlobes collected a printout from the testing machine and attached them to a book which appeared to be kept near the machine. I asked to see the results. He said that that I could not see them and they were only for the TSA to see. He then said that they had to do a more thorough pat down. The supervisor got the TSA agent sitting at the far right (Detras from before) and started whispering to him, then I heard this agent Detras say “I can do that” smiling and happily volunteering as if there was something in it for him. At this point I couldn’t help but think this was payback for refusing the Full Body Scanner. Given the fact that Detras was annoyed before and Schmidt who would not show me the results lead me to believe this was definitely payback.
At this point Detras led me to the area which was at the far left (as an entering passenger would view it) and taken behind a cube that was made of white frosty glass. The officer described that he was going to do an enhanced pat down which would be even more intrusive than before. I asked again to see the report that came back from the first pat down which was suppose to be positive, he said that was classified and then corrected that it was not classified but for TSA only. Detras described the enhanced pat down and mentioned he was going to feel my groin with the back of his hand. Apparently there is an enhanced pat down for refusing the scanner and another more enhanced pat down when the gloves fail the test. I then asked if he was going to touch my penis, he got very angry and ordered me to sit down in the chair and said that he was not going to put up with this and was going to call an officer and threatened that I would be physically removed from airport property, arrested and I would miss my flight. At this point I told him that they were violating my rights, he stated that I gave up my rights when I bought a ticket. My comment was “I never gave up any rights”. At this point I felt that the only way to end the ordeal was to allow this person to “feel my groin area”. Then the pat down started. With my arms extended (as was demanded) I stood there, Detras dropped to his knees and felt and rubbed my penis 5 times as part of the pat down. This was extremely humiliating and a sense that something was totally wrong rushed through my mind (and later that night and still today). How is it that in order to get on an airplane to make my business trip I have to let a stranger touch my penis? Why is it that anyone else doing something like this is considered sexual assault? After they tested my items (which strangers has access to for 15 minutes) and checked their gloves again which were good I was allowed to leave. The gloves tested positive at first now they test good. How could this be?
The only difference between the first enhanced pat down (because of the supposed glove test failure) and the 2nd more intense pat down was 1) this one was conducted out of public view, 2) the pat down now included specifically touching my penis 5 times. All other body areas were handled exactly the same. And for a definition of “touch your groin”; this means for males (including little boys) that they are going to feel your inside buttocks and penis and for females (including little girls) they are going to feel your inside buttocks, vagina and breasts. Why couldn’t the re-testing be done on the same exact areas that supposedly failed the first time? If those areas failed the first time they were obviously the areas of concern. Why was my penis the only body part added to the enhanced, enhanced pat down? For me the answer is clear, they were using this as a means of intimidation for refusing the full body scanner.
UPDATE: on 7/26/2011 I was finally able to contact a Police Officer with the Phoenix PD to file a report. I was told by the Phoenix PD that they do not take sexual assault reports from incidents with TSA. With that in mind think of the free for all given to TSA agents. This opens the door for them to do anything they want to anyone they want including kids. The TSA is the perfect job for a sexual deviant / pedophile. There are a endless supply of children that can be picked out for enhanced pat downs which include “touching the groin area” see above for the real definition of “touching your groin”.
Comment on 7/27/2011: I bet word is spreading about this windfall throughout the NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association).. Hope this scares the hell out US citizens! By the way this group really does exist and is even on the web – google it..
And the perverts really do exist at TSA full body imaging and grouping sites. Here is a Federal Indictment of a TSA agent that worked at the security checkpoint. http://www.justice.gov/usao/pae/News/2011/Apr/gordon_indictment.pdf
Here is another recent TSA agent that is a child molester: http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/flyer.do?personId=71608 and the full story is here: http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/orange_news/013110_TSA_agent_arrested_for_molestation-
These are the people that can touch you and your children’s private parts and view nude images. Ever hear of the magnification mode on Full Body Scanners? They have this function. When our goverment allows this kind of abuse nothing but bad things will happen.
Here is the sworn statement I sent to the Phoenix PD on 7/27/2011. It was sent even they do not want it as stated before.
Update on 8/2/2011: My next business trip is to Chicago. I had the flight, hotel and rental car booked. After weighing all my options: Take a 45 minute flight and get sexually assaulted or drive 6 hours and not get sexually assaulted. I canceled my flight and rental car and drove the 6 hours.
About me: 40ish professional male, well groomed, blond hair, dress business casual – even on this day. Love this country. I regularly fly the American flag. Rode my motorcycle in the Run to the Wall ride honoring all Veterans. Served in the military. Disgusted with politicians and the erosion of our rights – getting tired of TSA and other agencies pissing on the graves of veterans that gave their lives in the name of freedom.
Why I opted out of the Full Body Scanner:
There are many reasons I have for refusing the extra dose of radiation and violation of privacy. Being a very frequent flier (on the A list) I do not want dose, after dose, after dose of radiation. The ionizing effect of back-scatter radiation has been classified as a carcinogenic. There have been testing on live biological species (mice and rats) which have been determined to cause cancer. I have never heard of this so called “low dose” back-scatter testing on live biological studies – I have not heard of event one reference to this type of testing or the results and I have looked extensively. I have heard reports where it was never done. Post up if there is any info on this. I certainly do not want to be the quinine pig only to find out that I have lymph node, testicular or skin cancer.
What is absolutely comical and a total lie to the public is the chalky white images that are shown on TSA press releases some of which feature Janet Napolitano standing next to the image. Many of the companies selling Back-scatter X ray machines report “photo like quality images” on most of their equipment but their Full Body Imaging machine statements avoid any statements about image quality all together, nothing about a chalky white image only and nothing about “photo like images”. For the cost of these machines and the available technology being used it only makes sense that they can take photo like images. Common sense should dictate here.
The next time you accept the full body scan think of what that little girl or boy that will have a pornographic picture taken of them. Think your rights are not being violated? On 7/19/2011 as a result of a lawsuit brought by EPIC, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the TSA violated federal law when it installed body scanners in airports for primary screening across the country without first soliciting public comment. The list of violations goes on.
The next time you go voluntarily go through a full body scanner or are exposed to the enhanced pat down think about those little girls and boys out there that have to be exposed to this. You are doing a dis-service to the rest of Americans – young, old and disabled. Think about that.