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Old 11-18-2010, 09:26 PM   #301
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Originally Posted by AliEnvy View Post
3. It doesn't make sense to just bow to every security "enhancement" the TSA proclaims to protect the country. If enough people believe the scanners vs sexual humiliation are harmful, then they need to go.
If you've read my posts you would know I'm not suggesting bowing to anything. But I do see the flaws in the current system, that seems fairly obvious to me.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:55 AM   #302
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My take regarding the debate regarding security checks on flights and the broader issue of safeguarding the safety of the populace - given the ongoing, and far from resolved, economic depression in countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal - the proximate terrorist threat may come not from Pakistan, Iran or Yemen but rather from closer to home.

Let me put it this way - there are a lot of very scared and angry people right now in some parts of Europe, and they are not necessarily all of the Muslim persuasion.
Exactly. By coming up with more ludicrous ways to try and keep us safe here or there, we are completely neglecting the problems that lead to terrorism occurring in the first place. By focusing on profiling one group over others (which doesn't seem to be associated with this latest measure in particular, but which has happened in the past), we ignore the fact that, not to make this sound like a "Nowhere is safe!" paranoia thing, threats can come from any group of people.

How did this country manage to survive and handle airport security in the pre-9/11 days, hell, in the pre-fancy-schmancy technology days? Can't we take elements of that mindset, that trust, and work it into a modern, post-9/11 setting without having to get so freakin' intrusive with everyone that wants to get on a plane? After Timothy McVeigh's terrorist attack on that federal building, how overboard did we go with security at other federal buildings? I know many federal buildings do have security measures in place, but have a lot of them gone to extremes such as this? If not, then why does that have to be the case here?

Certainly, the thought of being on a plane only to find out there's also a terrorist on board is downright frightening to me and I hope and pray that I'm never in such a situation, but personally, the idea of me being on a plane that crashes due to a malfunction of the plane itself is much more of an immediate concern, simply because that situation seems a lot more likely to happen. There's reasonable concern and safety, and then there's overreaction. And it seems like all we've done the last 9 years is overreact more often than not, only to find we haven't really solved anything in the end.

Angela
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:26 PM   #303
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I can only imagine what happens if you're a woman wearing a pad or a tampon (don't know if the scanner can see tampons). Maybe we should just take those out in the line too and put them in the bin?


So breast cancer survivors and handicapped people can be treated like that but we can't profile people, well cause that just wouldn't be right.



By Suzanne Choney
msnbc.com msnbc.com
updated 11/20/2010

A longtime Charlotte, N.C., flight attendant and cancer survivor told a local television station that she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down.

Cathy Bossi, who works for U.S. Airways, said she received the pat-down after declining to do the full-body scan because of radiation concerns.

The TSA screener "put her full hand on my breast and said, 'What is this?' " Bossi told the station. "And I said, 'It's my prosthesis because I've had breast cancer.' And she said, 'Well, you'll need to show me that.' "

Bossi said she removed the prosthetic from her bra. She did not take the name of the agent, she said, "because it was just so horrific of an experience, I couldn't believe someone had done that to me. I'm a flight attendant. I was just trying to get to work."

For Americans who wear prosthetics — either because they are cancer survivors or have lost a limb — or who have undergone hip replacements or have a pacemaker, the humiliation of the TSA's new security procedures — choosing between a body scan or body search — is even worse.

Musa Mayer has worn a breast prosthesis for 21 years since her mastectomy and is used to the alarms it sets off at airport security. But nothing prepared her for the "invasive and embarrassing" experience of being patted down, poked and examined recently while passing through airport security at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

"I asked the supervisor if she realized that there are 3 million women who have had breast cancer in the U.S., many of whom wear breast prostheses. Will each of us now have to undergo this humiliating, time-consuming routine every time we pass through one of these new body scanners?" she said in an e-mail to msnbc.com.

Marlene McCarthy of Rhode Island said she went through the body scanner and was told by a TSA agent to step aside. In "full view of everyone," McCarthy said in an e-mail, the agent "immediately put the back of her hand on my right side chest and I explained I wore a prosthesis.

"Then, she put her full hands ... one on top and one on the bottom of my 'breast' and moved the prosthesis left, right, up, down and said 'OK.' I was so humiliated.

"I went to the desk area and complained," McCarthy wrote. "The woman there was very nice and I asked her if the training included an understanding of how prosthetics are captured on the scanner and told her the pat-down is embarrassing. She said, 'We have never even had that discussion and I do the training for the TSA employees here, following the standard manual provided.' She said she will bring it up at their next meeting."

If she has to go through the scanner again, McCarthy said, "I am determined to put the prosthesis in the gray bucket," provided to travelers at the security check-ins for items such as jewelry.

"Let the TSA scanners be embarrassed .... not me anymore!" she wrote.

Sharon Kiss, 66, has a pacemaker, but also has to fly often for her work.

"During a recent enhanced pat-down, a screener cupped my breasts and felt my genitals," she said in an e-mail to msnbc.com "To 'clear my waistband' she put her hands down my pants and groped for the waistband of my underwear.

"I expressed humiliation and was told 'You have the choice not to fly.' "

The remark infuriated Kiss, who lives in Mendocino, Calif. "Extrapolate this to we should not provide curb cuts and ramps for people confined to wheelchairs because they can choose to stay home ... This a violation of civil rights. And because I have a disability, I should not be subjected to what is government-sanctioned sexual assault in order to board a plane."

So far, the government is not letting up on the enhanced screening program. TSA administrator John Pistole said this week at a Congressional hearing on the matter that "reasonable people can disagree" on how to properly balance safety at the nation's airports, but that the new security measures are necessary because of intelligence on latest attack methods that might be used by terrorists.

Gail Mengel, of Blue Springs, Mo., is used to being patted down; she had a hip replacement five years ago.

"I admit that I was relieved when I flew last week and was able to spend a few seconds in front of the X-ray screen in Seattle and Denver," she said in an e-mail to msnbc.com. "I have heard medical experts say the level of radiation will not hurt us. And frankly I was happy to realize I won't have my body touched, patted and rubbed anymore.

"Unfortunately last weekend, I arrived at the New Orleans airport and learned that airport staff (was) still being trained in using the X-ray machine. Because my hip replacement sets off the security buzzer, I was faced with the new regulations."

While she is "used to" being patted down, "this experience was certainly much more personal, uncomfortable and embarrassing," she said. "Every part of my body was touched. I do not want to be harmed by radiation, but the experience was painless and quick compared to what I have faced over the last five years. I support security measures but I also hope we can be assured of safe procedures."

One man, from Nashville, wrote in an e-mail that "as a handicapped person, I am sick and tired of being 'raped' at the security line. I lose my crutches and leg orthotics to be 'nuked' by the X-ray machine. Then manhandled by the pat-down, followed by chemical swabbing for 'possible explosives.' ...Enough is enough."

Said Mayer, the longtime breast cancer survivor: "I am outraged that I will now be forced to show my prosthesis to strangers, remove it and put in the X-ray bin for screening, or not to wear it at all whenever I fly. To me, this seems unfairly discriminatory and embarrassing for me, and for all breast cancer survivors."
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:32 PM   #304
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I can only imagine what happens if you're a woman wearing a pad or a tampon (don't know if the scanner can see tampons). Maybe we should just take those out in the line too and put them in the bin?
Oh, no not yet. We have to wait for a terrorist to try and make a bomb out of a tampon.

Then, per their track record, the TSA will decide that menstruating women will have to go through special security procedures as well.

Meanwhile, the terrorists will be moving on to their next brilliant concept, and the TSA will follow one step behind, trying to close the barn door again after all the horses have escaped.

Tra la la!
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:38 PM   #305
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I'd love to just take it out and put it in the bin and see their reaction. I'd probably be arrested

Eye rolling at a 61 year old man who has to wear a urostomy bag-so very professional and sensitive

By Harriet Baskas Travel writer
msnbc.com contributor
updated 11/20/2010

A retired special education teacher on his way to a wedding in Orlando, Fla., said he was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an enhanced pat-down by TSA officers recently at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

“I was absolutely humiliated, I couldn’t even speak,” said Thomas D. “Tom” Sawyer, 61, of Lansing, Mich.

Sawyer is a bladder cancer survivor who now wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine from a stoma, or opening in his stomach. “I have to wear special clothes and in order to mount the bag I have to seal a wafer to my stomach and then attach the bag. If the seal is broken, urine can leak all over my body and clothes.”

On Nov. 7, Sawyer said he went through the security scanner at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “Evidently the scanner picked up on my urostomy bag, because I was chosen for a pat-down procedure.”

Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer. “After I said again that I’d like privacy, they took me to an office.”

Sawyer wears pants two sizes too large in order to accommodate the medical equipment he wears. He’d taken off his belt to go through the scanner and once in the office with security personnel, his pants fell down around his ankles. “I had to ask twice if it was OK to pull up my shorts,” said Sawyer, “And every time I tried to tell them about my medical condition, they said they didn’t need to know about that.”

Before starting the enhanced pat-down procedure, a security officer did tell him what they were going to do and how they were going to it, but Sawyer said it wasn’t until they asked him to remove his sweatshirt and saw his urostomy bag that they asked any questions about his medical condition.

“One agent watched as the other used his flat hand to go slowly down my chest. I tried to warn him that he would hit the bag and break the seal on my bag, but he ignored me. Sure enough, the seal was broken and urine started dribbling down my shirt and my leg and into my pants.”

The security officer finished the pat-down, tested the gloves for any trace of explosives and then, Sawyer said, “He told me I could go. They never apologized. They never offered to help. They acted like they hadn’t seen what happened. But I know they saw it because I had a wet mark.”

Humiliated, upset and wet, Sawyer said he had to walk through the airport soaked in urine, board his plane and wait until after takeoff before he could clean up.


“I am totally appalled by the fact that agents that are performing these pat-downs have so little concern for people with medical conditions,” said Sawyer.

Sawyer completed his trip and had no problems with the security procedures at the Orlando International Airport on his journey back home. He said he plans to file a formal complaint with the TSA.

When he does, said TSA spokesperson Dwayne Baird, “We will review the matter and take appropriate action if necessary.” In the meantime, Baird encourages anyone with a medical condition to read the TSA’s website section on assistive devices and mobility aids.

The website says that travelers with disabilities and medical conditions have “the option of requesting a private screening” and that security officers “will not ask nor require you to remove your prosthetic device, cast, or support brace.”

Sawyer said he's written to his senators, state representatives and the president of the United States. He’s also shared details of the incident online with members of the nonprofit Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, many of whom have offered support and shared their travel experiences.

“I am a good American and I want safety for all passengers as much as the next person," Sawyer said. "But if this country is going to sacrifice treating people like human beings in the name of safety, then we have already lost the war. "

Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network executive director Claire Saxton said that there are hundreds of thousands of people living with ostomies in the United States. “TSA agents need to be trained to listen when someone tells them have a health issue and trained in knowing what an ostomy is. No one living with an ostomy should be afraid of flying because they’re afraid of being humiliated at the checkpoint.”

Eric Lipp, executive director of Open Doors Association, which works with businesses and the disability community, called what happened to Sawyer “unfortunate.”

“But enhanced pat-downs are not a new issue for people with disabilities who travel," Lipp said. "They've always had trouble getting through the security checkpoint."

Still, Lipp said the TSA knows there’s a problem. “This came up during a recent meeting of the agency’s disability advisory board and I expect to see a procedure coming in place shortly that will directly address the pat-down procedures for people with disabilities.”
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:38 PM   #306
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After reading the various arguments on this thread, I have to conclude that we are going about this all wrong.

I agree that we need to model our security on Israel's. The key is that it is WORKING, without the unnecessary delays and humiliation that our system has. There always be potential for abuse, racism etc no matter what system we have in place, but it seems clear that efficiency and safety should be able to go together.
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #307
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People with special circumstances, colostomy bags, etc should have an option of going to special private pre-screening room, where they can receive a pass with their picture on it.

Israel is a very small country where they lock up people with little or no evidence. Not all citizens of Israel enjoy equal protections. I would not expect them to model many of their practices after ours. I also think the number of people that are upset with the current situation, well there would be multiples of that number if we went to the Israeli procedures.
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:26 PM   #308
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I agree that we need to model our security on Israel's. The key is that it is WORKING
This may sound good in theory but Israel's busiest airport is probably akin to a moderately busy American airport, nevermind something like LAX or JFK or O'Hare and especially nevermind the country as a whole. You simply cannot implement their procedures in a large country in a productive way.

On a side note, no business people I know will fly on El Al because of the constant delays and the onerous requirements to be at the airport extremely early. It just doesn't work outside of the Israeli setting. I certainly would go by way of ANY OTHER AIRLINE than them because I don't have 3-4 hours to squander at the airport in order to comply with their procedures. This is to say nothing of the fact that I don't care to submit to their type of questioning.

Sean, my point is that it is effective but contrary to your post it is anything but efficient, IMO.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:40 PM   #309
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Young Boy strip searched by TSA

I am sure we will see a lot of these vids over the next few days.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #310
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I am sure that having that child strip made us all safer.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:54 PM   #311
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I am sure that having that child strip made us all safer.
but doesn't it make you feel safer?
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:04 PM   #312
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there is a lot we don't know, looks like the kid was dressed in oversize baggy clothes
and he was (may have been) acting odd,

do we just want to wave kids in baggy clothes through?
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:07 PM   #313
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this kid is packin'


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Old 11-21-2010, 09:20 PM   #314
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This may sound good in theory but Israel's busiest airport is probably akin to a moderately busy American airport, nevermind something like LAX or JFK or O'Hare and especially nevermind the country as a whole. You simply cannot implement their procedures in a large country in a productive way.
This objection does make sense, though I'd like to see a cost/efficiency-effectiveness comparison of the two systems from an expert source before siding with it. What further "enhancements" might TSA add in response to future plots or attacks? Anyhow, what I'm more wary of are arguments to the effect that we simply shouldn't change anything relative to "the way things used to be" on the grounds that becoming the victim of a terrorist attack is statistically less likely than [fill in the blank].
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:31 PM   #315
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These stories are disturbing. I still don't see anyway around the new scanners at this point but these pat downs are ridiculous and the stories just get worse every week.

Apparently there is a clause that airports can opt out of using TSA as their security and hire private firms. Some airports are looking into this already, for obvious reasons.

And of course the conspiracy theories have already started, saying that the new pat downs are designed to get TSA out of the screening business... but it will be interesting to see how the opt out works.
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