Up to now, TSA has been saying that only men will do the "enhanced pat downs" on men, and only women will do them on women. They are lying. Rape survivor Celeste was flying out of O'Hare when TSA did this to her
Since Celeste didn’t agree to go through the scanner, the enhanced pat down began. “He started at one leg and then ran his hand up to my crotch. He cupped and patted my crotch with his palm. Other flyers were watching this happen to me. At that point I closed my eyes and started praying to the Goddess for strength. He also cupped and then squeezed my breasts. That wasn’t the worst part. He touched my face, he touched my hair, stroking me. That’s when I started crying. It was so intimate, so horrible. I feel like I was being raped. There’s no way I can fly again. I can’t do it.”
A stranger stroking your face and hair, just like a lover or a husband would. And you are powerless to flee, or even to push him away, much less strike out to defend yourself.
Welcome to TSA.
The barbarism was widespread.
(11/6/10 ): In BOS, a male screener told me there was a 'very long wait' for a female screener and it 'would be better' to let him do it. I told him I would wait and that he should put my things where I could see them. He asked me which belt they were on. I was stupid and pointed. He then moved to stand so that I couldn't see the belt at all and kept repeating that it 'would be better' to let him screen me. I told him that if he got one inch closer, I would scream my head off...he backed down and eventually a female came. I tried to file a complaint, but never got any response. A (rather small-busted) friend told me that a male TSA at BOS tried to frisk her, shouting that she couldn't possibly be female. No idea whether it was the same guy or whether she filed a complaint.
(11/5/2010 ): Video clip of woman describing a "pat down" that was quite invasive. What's interesting is that it was a MALE TSA doing this genital groping on the woman giving the narrative (Michelle). After he was done with her, he tried to pat down her two girls (2 and 8) and Michelle demanded a female TSA for their children.
From the New York Times (11/19/10):
But there are far too many reports of T.S.A. agents groping passengers, using male agents to search female passengers, mocking passengers and disdaining complaints.
Here's the official TSA agitprop:
If you are asked to undergo a personal screening you will be provided a security officer of the same gender except in extraordinary circumstances. In some cases you may have to wait for a security officer of your gender to conduct the screening. You will be advised if the wait will be more than a few minutes.
I suppose that every time a TSA man has groped a woman's breasts, her vagina, and stroked her face and her hair there were "extraordinary circumstances".
Funny thing: I could find no reports of TSA women giving adult male passengers the "enhanced pat-down". I did find this however:
En route home through Charlotte, our 6 year old son was subjected to an aggressive pat down by a female TSA employee. He was pleading for me to help him and I was admonished for trying to comfort him. His genitals area was groped. He walked down to the plane in tears. When the stewardess asked why he was crying, I explained my frustration and I was further admonished for not being more compliant. My wife was in a wheel chair so she also recieved the pat down by another very unfriendly TSA worker. She felt violated afterwards. We were not given the choice of a full body scanner but would have preferred it over this humiliating experience. The scanners are still intrusive, but at least my 6 year old son would have been unaware of the intrusion. And just to be clear, I am NOT endorsing the scanners either. Both methods are too intrusive on our rights as American citizens.
And there's something else creepy going on: In every report I found of TSA men searching women, the women who reported being searched by men were traveling alone, or in the company of young children.
By the way, the TSA policy encourages this sort of thing by giving (as it appears) male agents the ability to stress that a search by a female agent will cause a delay of unknown length. This angle is what was used apparently by the agent in the instance noted above where the female passenger had to threaten to scream if he touched her.
And even if it is not a male doing the search, there is evidence that young attractive women even those under 18 are targeted for groping. One hideous example:
On November 9, 2010 at Miami airport I witnessed the following. A white female TSA agent in her mid to late 50′s pulled aside a young European tourist, perhaps 14-16 years old, who was traveling with who appeared to be a sister. The American TSA agent had obviously a lot of pride in her ability to speak Italian and seemed to pick this girl on purpose. She was taking lots of time to talk in between “pats” or rubs of the girls body. She was making conversation and then running her hands along another part of the girls body. The girl was wearing a thin pajama type outfit common for young travelers. It was obvious by her near shouting that the TSA agent was trying to show off her horrible heavily accented Italian. Then the TSA agent pressed her hand directly up into the girls crotch. I was sitting very near by putting my shoes on when this happened. Then, when she was done the agent said to the girl in Italian, “you are very pretty.” The girl was silent and the agent repeated it.
Note here the girl was traveling with her sister, but not apparently her parents, making her a vulnerable target just like the women traveling alone or with small children.
Oh, and as Columbo would so, there's just one more thing.
Apparently TSA thinks they have to touch your face (second report I've read to this effect):
(11/11/10) I was just at the Las Vegas airport last weekend and witnessed a woman, in a crowded security area, having her breasts separated and cupped, her shirt lifted, her waistband pulled aside, her hair combed through, her face touched, etc.
Dream for a moment about a lover caressing your face.
Now imagine a stranger forcing the same thing upon you.
Oh, and by the way, I cannot find any report that a man's face was stroked. This appears to be done only to women.
I hope this diary is painful to read, because it's the only way that these atrocities can be stopped.