Good touch, bad touch: How to explain TSA pat-downs to kids?

If you’re getting ready to travel with your kids for Thanksgiving you may want to have a little discussion about pat-downs before you arrive at the airport security line.

We spend a good portion of our parenting time telling our children not to let strangers touch them, yet they may have to allow a stranger (in theory with good intentions) pat them down if they want to fly to see Grandma. picked up from the LA Times explanations of the TSA rules involving screenings and pat-downs: (There is more info on the LA Times link.)

“1. A child under 12 who opts out of the body scanner will undergo “a modified pat-down search.” Children over 12 who opt out of the body scanner get the regular pat-down. Citing security reasons, the TSA has declined to say what the modified pat-down entails.

2. If an alarm goes off during a screening (as with the aforementioned 3-year-old), even children under 12 will be subject to a full pat-down.

3. To prepare kids, explain the procedures they may encounter ‘including the possibility that they may be touched by TSA personnel as part of a pat-down. Parents won’t necessarily be with their kids as they pass through the scanner or get patted down,’ according to The Los Angeles Times.

4. You might also check out the TSA’s advanced imaging technology web page to show your kids what the full-body scan entails.”

Here is more information on traveling with kids though the safety checkpoints from the TSA.

Here is more information on pat-downs and body scans in general, as well as holiday travel, from the TSA main Web page.

Here is the latest statement from the TSA Administrator John S. Pistole.

I have never been patted-down at the airport but Rose was when she was a 1-year-old at a small airport in Colorado. It was a little more than a year after 9/11. I just remember them patting down her diaper and we kind of thought it was funny at the time. I guess if she was older and aware of them doing it I wouldn’t haven’t been chuckling.  In fact, now that she’s developing if anybody tried to touch her I would probably go ballistic. I’m glad I’m not flying for the holidays.

So what do you think: Should the TSA be patting down kids? Would you rather them go through the full-body scans or be patted down? Will you have a discussion about the pat-downs prior to flying? What’s your plan if it happens?

- by Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania blog

141 comments Add your comment

Elizabeth Hayes

November 22nd, 2010
1:00 am

Absolutely not. No. No way. Nope.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 22nd, 2010
1:03 am

You won’t explain it or you won’t let them be patted-down?

Annie Norton

November 22nd, 2010
1:12 am

There will be no TSA groping of my children. Ever.

We will not be flying until this policy is officially ended.


November 22nd, 2010
1:14 am

It is interesting that a country like Israel who is in the middle of conflict and who surrounded by nations who would like t destroy it does not subject its airline passengers to the same degrading tactics as the TSA. What does that say about the TSA and homeland security?


November 22nd, 2010
1:14 am

Why should anyone have to be patted down?

I understand security. I knew several 9/11 victims’ families. I know the risk and the threat.

But, if we keep taking security up and up and up (from shoes off to coats off to pat downs to full body scanners), we’re letting the terrorists win by instilling fear in our country and taking our liberties away. By no means am I suggesting to remove all security, but to remember that there’s a risk in any medium, but that doesn’t mean we should be subjected to an increasingly intrusive search. Where does it stop? Sign me up for a full body scan or x-ray or what have you, but I draw the line at touching– especially when it involves children. Let them be scanned and unaware (but tell the parents).


November 22nd, 2010
1:16 am

I am completely opting out of all flying until this invasive, anti-American and violation of the 4th amendment is done away with. how about we go defeat the enemy? or try profiling? Can’t take their efforts seriously if they won’t profile. And are they screening cargo carefully? I think not. And yet the people, like sheep, tolerate this.

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November 22nd, 2010
1:25 am

So I am supposed to explain to my kids that it is perfectly ok for this person to touch them? seriously? have you lost your mind? Why are we getting our kids used to pat downs? I don’t understand this at all. I fly with my children monthly but this has to stop. The moment someone gives my child an invasive pat down is the moment I will need a lawyer. It is too important, I work so hard to teach them that their body is theirs, people should respect that their “private parts” are private etc etc I am NOT going to have it screwed up. I was sexually assaulted, I am not going to back down on this philosophy. How are people ok with this? This advice is ridiculous, tell my children that this is ok.

Should I tell them the truth, here it is in language for my 2 year old who freaks if strangers touch him when he is tense. Here goes…. you have to be scanned, it will be a naked picture of you, don’t worry only this person who doesn’t know you will see it. If you set off an alarm for any reason this stranger is going to touch you in ways that mommy tells you is not ok, in ways that even your doctor has to ask you about and listen if you say no and the entire time mommy can’t touch you, if you say no they won’t stop and if mommy makes them stop we can’t fly, have to pay money and mommy will have to talk to the police or maybe go to jail? If I can’t tell my kid the truth I am not going to do it. I am fine telling them about bad people who blow up planes, bombs and terrorism because that is about bad people doing bad things. I will not tell them about situations where they have to have invasive things happen because we are scared of bad people.


November 22nd, 2010
1:38 am

There is NO WAY me or my kids are going to be put through this ridiculous invasion of privacy. It’s simple, I just won’t fly until they stop this knee-jerk policy that doesn’t solve anything. Trains, busses, cars and boats are all viable alternatives. I’ll trade a little bit of time to avoid this throwback to the middle ages!

T. Picarro

November 22nd, 2010
1:43 am

No one should be patted up and down or x-rayed without probble cause. This issue will probably have to be confronted in a court of law. I have a right to travel without this intrusion. And even worse is to come. Will a woman wearing a sanitary napkin have to endure even worse treatment? Will the lying Janet Napolitano decide that train and bus travelers must also go through these procedures? And my next question is how many terrorists have been stopped by TSA employees?


November 22nd, 2010
1:46 am

We’re not explaining it because it’s simply not going to happen. I’m not going to explain that this kind of touching is okay because it’s absolutely not.

We’re driving 17-23 hours to see my parents instead of flying as there are scanners on both ends – and our destination airport is SAN. We fly at least 6 round trips a year but we’ll either have to be more creative with airports or stop flying altogether if this is not changed. We recently picked up an annual pass for national parks, seeing we’ll drive close to 10-15 of them during our trip. Trying to see the bright side here…


November 22nd, 2010
1:58 am

If anyone touches my children’s private parts I will call 911 and have them arrested for child molestation. The head of the TSA should be fired immediately.


November 22nd, 2010
2:04 am

Please call 911 and report all TSA child molesters.
In school the government has taught our children that NO ONE should EVER touch them in areas that their bathing suit covers.

Andy Richter

November 22nd, 2010
2:14 am

I still cannot understand why someone would choose to get patted down as opposed to going through the machines. I would rather someone see my junk than touch my junk.

Andy Richter

November 22nd, 2010
2:15 am

If you sent your child through the machine, nobody will have to touch them. Enough said. Everyone needs to think for once. Sheesh.


November 22nd, 2010
2:18 am

Wake up people. There are no terrorists. This is all being done in an effort to instill fear upon you so you give up more of your constitutional rights and civil liberties. Your children will grow up thinking that it’s ok for the government to illegally search you, touch your private parts, enter your house and take your property. See this for what it is: a slow, generational conditioning of the masses to be so afraid that they beg for more security. Why do you think it’s so necessary to subject children to it?

Opt-out of TSA x-ray scans which mutate your cells and call for law enforcement if you or your child are inappropriately touched. Better yet, don’t fly. You have a choice in airports, don’t use those who have the scanners and/or use the TSA for screening. Boycott the airlines until they life this insane insane policy.


November 22nd, 2010
2:24 am

@Andy Richter: yes, because irradiating children – whose bodies are especially sensitive to radiation – is a brilliant alternative. To say nothing of a stranger taking an essentially nude photo of them.

The idea that these kids need this procedure explained to them is ludicrous. Any parent who subjects their children to either one of these procedures is off their rocker. I don’t care where they have to go in such a hurry – it is insane.

Annie Norton

November 22nd, 2010
2:30 am

When you consider the dangers of long-distance road travel and the comments from those who say that they’d rather subject their children to that instead of violation of body integrity, you begin to get an idea of just how seriously the TSA’s invasion of privacy is taken.

Ironically, the TSA’s policies will almost certainly end up killing people- not from cancers by exposure to scanner radiation, but in traffic accidents, where drivers pulling 15 hour roadtrips fall asleep at the wheel.


November 22nd, 2010
2:40 am

I don’t know — how DO you explain to a child that “Gee, every person around you is a potential terrorist who would take great joy in blowing you to smithereens while you are flying, so because there are so many 5 year old terrorists in the world walking around with bombs, YOU have to let a perfect stranger feel you all over to make sure you aren’t a bad person. But don’t worry, the chances of a bad person being on our flight are pretty low, since there are SOO many terrorists flying to Cleveland . . . meanwhile, don’t trust ANYONE, because everyone is a bad person.”

Or, my version:

“This is an example of what happens when governmetn runs amuck, and overreacts by slamming the barn door shut after the horse has run away.”

Profiling, anyone? I mean, yeah, there are so many WASP 30 year old women carrying 3 year old bombers . . .

But the TSA chief is starting to back off on the intrusive searches. As with many frequent travelers, I’ve learned to dress appropriately before going through security — jewelry, no belts, slip-off shoes or sandals, etc. The thing that has made me the maddest about airlines charging for a bag these days is that it makes security lines SOO much longer because everyone is cramming steamer trunks into the overhead compartments. If I were the baggage handler union, I’d be suing the flight attendants union for job encroachment! Usually, if I wanted to bring my favorite lotions and shampoo, I’d just check the luggage and not worry about security. Not anymore . . .

My daugher was on the TSA “hit list” for several years — or, someone with her name was. I would always bring her passport with me when we flew, because checking her in usually took an extra 15 minutes while they went to research her, Yeah, that 10 year old wearing a Backstreet Boys t-shirt and a Walkman looked pretty damn dangerous to me, too . . . I finally had to call my congressman and get her off the list. It took almost six months. Sheesh!

I have very little patience with encroachment on civil liberties such as freedom of movement. Yes, I know I can move in other ways. But gee, there was a car bomb in Times Square — did that mean that anyone buying a CAR now is a suspected terrorist? There is a fine line between safety and intrusiveness — and the TSA has crossed it. Innocent until proven guilty is the law of the land, everywhere except TSA, where you are guilty until proven innocent.

I don’t feel safe, warm and happy after going thru security. I feel PISSED.


November 22nd, 2010
2:43 am

One last thing: I had to laugh outloud when one of the pilots who objected to the intrusive searches pointed out, quite reasonably — “Hey, we don’t NEED a bomb, we can steer the darn plane anywhere we want to,.”

Thus proving that, in the case of the TSA, common sense isn’t that common . . .


November 22nd, 2010
2:47 am

You’re exactly right, Robert. It’s the Overton Window in motion! (FYI: At any given moment, the “window” includes a range of policies considered to be politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, which a politician can recommend without being considered too “extreme” or outside the mainstream to gain or keep public office. Overton arranged the spectrum on a vertical axis of “more free” and “less free” in regards to government intervention. When the window moves or expands, ideas can accordingly become more or less politically acceptable. The degrees of acceptance[3] of public ideas can be described roughly as:


This is where WE THE PEOPLE MUST put a stop to the politicians telling US what WE have to endure. I’m reminded of the days before the Nazi Germans required Jews to wear arm bands.
Also, we’re suppose to believe that the SAME government controlling agencies who said margarine was far better for us than butter, and fat is bad for us, and there is no safe radiation level, now say “Well, actually, this is the safe kind of radiation because it’s soooo low.” Where’s their proof on that? We’re not even ASKED if we have foul intentions, but first ASSUMED to have by being put under such scrupulous and invasive and ILLEGAL searches. I say, profiling is best. And if some unfortunate person even looks like a Muslim and gets extra security attention and he is innocent, he should chalk it up to doing a service for the USA who either, allowed him to be here in the first place, or proud to be an American. And if he has evil intent, tough luck for him–aw shucks, he got caught. I like the Israeli way, profile. Or better yet, create a step-through enclosed machine which detonates any bombs on contact. No trials to deal with there. Saves money. Seriously, people–WE the USA citizens of this GREAT country MUST NOT YIELD! The current administration WANTS us to NOT travel; wants us to succumb to this invasion of privacy. This involves a very BIG picture, not just the choice of flying vs bus or car. It’s very similar to Obama’s tactics of invading our Second Amendment rights-the right to bear arms. He can’t take the guns away (YET), but he sure knows how to limit the use/ownership by limiting the purchase ability of ammunition. God bless America–we sure need HIM!


November 22nd, 2010
3:01 am

Watch the videos all over the web, read the stories all over the web, see the pictures all over the web. Don’t go visit grandma this year, or for the sake of your children, drive or take a bus or train.
Chilren under 12 are being subjected to the pat down. Children are being held steady while the TSA gropes them, and in some cases removes their clothing.
Children over 12 do not need their newly budding pubescent bodies groped and manhandled by STRANGERS in the airport.
Please please please think before putting your children through this.
Consider the looks on their faces when a stranger touches them in ways they have always been told are bad touches, and would be bad touches coming from anyone else at all.
And please look up examples of the images those scanners produce. They are so clear you can see parts of the human anatomy that people would get arrested for exposing in public. Do you really want images like that, of your children, seen by ANYONE?
What are you willing to put your children through “in the name of safety”?
Men, women (even pregnant ones), children of all ages, cancer survivors, people with disabilities… no one is safe from the humiliation and assaults from the TSA.
Protect yourself and your children, DO NOT FLY until the scanners are removed and policies are changed


November 22nd, 2010
4:17 am

No way. My children and I will not be flying until they change this policy.


November 22nd, 2010
4:43 am


Perfect the imaging technology so that flesh isn’t visible & dangerous items are still detected or stop these violations of the Constitution.

There is no excuse for this addition. Check people at border gateway airports & leave interior alone.

Mercedes Lackey

November 22nd, 2010
5:45 am

Considering that there have been at least 3 people discovered to be pedophiles hired by TSA, there is no such thing as a “good TSA touch.”

Furthermore, these “TSA agents” DO NOT CHANGE THEIR GLOVES. They run their hands all over dirty shoes, diaper bags, and then stick them down the pants of people whose urostomy bag they just broke. Then stick the same gloves down YOUR pants and grope your “sensitive areas.”

But it’s that, or increase your risk for cancer.

I’m not flying.


November 22nd, 2010
6:12 am

This has to stop. Kids under 12 are exempt from sexually abusive pat downs. TSA forgot that 13-17 year olds are still minors, so kids in this age group will be molested and scarred for the rest of their lives. Pistole and Obama should both have their kids “patted down” by TSA screeners then once their private areas are touched this madness will end immediately.


November 22nd, 2010
7:20 am

If you want to “grab my junk”, as the popluar saying goes, I’m going to charge YOU a fee.

Seriously, this has gone far enough. I won’t be flying and I can imaging this is going to hurt the airline industry’s business. I used to travel for business, pre-9/11, and I feel sorry for that group now.

Tairy Greene

November 22nd, 2010
7:57 am

I need to get me a job with TSA. hopefully they won’t run a background check.


November 22nd, 2010
8:00 am

I fly all the time, as many of you know. It is something I have to do, if I want to stay in business.
Obviously, I cannot drive to Montana for the weekend and do a meeting.

Going through the security line and unloading everything is a real pain in the neck There is NO consistency to this procedure and some little airports seemingly would check the crud under your fingernails. If the big airports did this ( to everyone) we would never get on the plane.

One thing to remember, this is the government and NOT necessarily the airlines. Neal Boortz was all over this last week and he said THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE AIRLINES….it is our government. He is a pilot and also a lawyer, so in my book…he knows more than many of the rest of us about this topic.

To me, this is kinda like when they banned smoking in restaurants in Gwinnett County and if those who smoke said I WILL NOT EAT A A RESTAURANT …I WILL PUNISH THE RESTAURANTS FOR ALLOWING THIS. Did the restaurants choose to do this? NO IT WAS OUR GOVERNMENT.

I am laughing at those who say they will raise cane on Wednesday…one of the busiest days of travel and perhaps one where more NON BUSINESS travelers are flying. Guess what…you may not be going to Grandma’s if you pitch a fit and miss your flight as the airlines cannot accommodate everyone whenever they feel like showing up. Even if you are obeying the seemingly ridiculous rules and the majority of those say in Detroit are not…if the airline holds their plane to get THEM on board, it would be late here to Atlanta and then late to perhaps miss your connection Salt Lake City and then you will not make it to say Idaho.

I have learned that airline passengers are often thinking only about themselves and not the others who also have itineraries.

I laughed once at a neighbor passenger who was ranting and raving when we pulled into Hartsfield as our flight was late and he feared he would miss his connection. We sat on the tarmac and waited, in line to get to the gates. We pulled toward the gates and he was yelling…
“I see all sorts of places….just pull in and park…”

REALLY? I told him that this was not WAL MART and that those gates are assigned. Passengers inside the gate were told to go to that gate to GET ON OUR PLANE. There is a method to the madness! Airplanes do not just pull in to whatever seems close or available nor do they whip over to take off whenever a passenger is screaming directions to the pilot.

To those who prefer to drive to Grandmas…please do.

FYI…this is not the card I use but if you use the Delta American Express, it allows you to check one bag for FREE for each of 6 people who fly on the same ticket. That translates into 6 people times $50 r/t for checked baggage FOR FREE. If you fly Delta and with your family, this is a perk you may need to know about. Or, I think you can fly with no baggage fee on Southwest. I am Medallion, so I do not have to pay for bags but thought I would mention it to those who still would travel and wanted to save money.

FACTS for me…air travel is a pain….I have to do it to stay in business…many other folks are in the same boat…not much I can do about it if I want to stay employed….


November 22nd, 2010
8:06 am

TWG…my comment is gone


November 22nd, 2010
8:07 am

My kids are 12. Are they under 12 or over 12? But seriously, my husband said our flying days are over and I am with him on that. The TSA has gone entirely too far. If anybody touches my kids like that, that person better look out for “mama bear”.


November 22nd, 2010
8:08 am

Agreed with Annie: there will be NO GROPING of my children EVER. I will not fly till they change this. Period.

I am NOT gonna start amending the rules that I have teaching them their whole lives: No one touches any area that would be covered by a swimsuit. Only exceptions are mom, dad, or doctor. End of story. And overweight, underpaid, undertrained, uneducated TSA agent with a power trip does not make the cut.

I am whatever you say I am

November 22nd, 2010
8:16 am

I concur with Annie Norton.
Though I want to fly , I don’t think I will be doing so until this policy has ended.
In the past, when I was pregnant I opted for the pat down to avoid the X-Ray Scanners and the method that I went thru was less advasive.
I feel now though, with the new regulations, TSA agents are go ho and taking it to another level.
I think that this is really blown way out of poportion.
Why don’t we work on the issue of planes having to revert back to Atlanta due to some sort of Mechanical.
Every other day, Delta is usually the colprit.


November 22nd, 2010
8:22 am

@ I am…or Delta could just fly the broken planes and see what happens…maybe the folks on the plane from NYC to Moscow would have preferred that yesterday. Do you fly every other day?
I flew about once a week, from September 8 until November 7 and this never happened to me during that time period.

That issue would actually be one for the airlines not TSA or our government.


November 22nd, 2010
8:30 am

So if Ray McBerry does it, it is illegal – but if TSA does it, it is legal???

As I said on my site last week: I am the only person who gets to see my wife nude. PERIOD.

When it comes to kids, I’ll show these guys Muslim mercy: If you touch my kids, I will cut your hand off – and if I don’t have a blade on me, I’ll RIP it off.

I’m not one normally prone to advocate violence or even lawsuits, but this has to stop – by any means necessary. If ANYONE takes a picture of you nude without your explicit consent, they have committed sexual assault. If ANYONE touches you in your genitals without your explicit consent, they have committed sexual assault. If ANYONE does these things to your kids, they have committed any of a number of felonies, including sexual assault of a child, sexual exploitation of a child, statutory rape, and many others. Cops should be called and the criminals should be hauled off to jail – no matter WHO they work for.


November 22nd, 2010
8:51 am

What Annie Norton said…No way, no how. My daughter turns 13 the day after Christmas, so I guess our flying days are over.


November 22nd, 2010
8:55 am

Here is my comment from the travel blog regarding this:So all you have to do is board a plane from an airport that does not have these scanners, and connect through Atlanta, and voila, you can avoid these “precautions” and “security” measures. You can still blow up anything you please. Nice. And since everyone is not scanned with these, or the pat downs, you are not ensuring security at all….sooooo, umm, wtf is the point? C4 will not set off a metal detector and you can breeze right through. Why not save all the money on TSA and scanners and invest in drug & explosive sniffing dogs? At least they can’t steal stuff out of your bags while you are not looking.

So, from a parenting aspect….NO, I will not let this happen to my children, and I certainly will explain the idiocy of this to them and how it is a violation of their rights.


November 22nd, 2010
9:01 am

“If you sent your child through the machine, nobody will have to touch them.”

Andy – That is NOT true. The article states that if they see something on the machine, the child will then be subject to a FULL patdown, regardless of age (not just the modified ones that they get for opting out). So it makes more sense to go ahead and opt your child out, so they can get a modified patdown (whatever that is). Otherwise, you get your child microwaved and then there’s STILL a chance they could get a FULL patdown afterwards! How STUPID!

Like most parents, I’ve been teaching my 3 year old about good touch/bad touch. And it’s a difficult concept for them to grasp. You have to keep repeating the lesson. I’ve drilled it into her that only 2 people can touch her private area – me and the doctor. Period. End of story. So now, what? I have to add “government employee with rubber gloves” to that? This gets very slippery. My daughter gets upset when we talk about this; she’s a very inquisitive child. “Who would touch me there, mommy? Why?”

Look folks, I’m a veteran. I served in the middle east after 9/11. My husband serves and has been to Iraq twice and is preparing to head to Afghanistan for a year. I get it. 9/11 still continues to impact my family in a very, very direct way.

But I’m drawing the line. And I’m drawing it here.

We cancelled our flight plans for Christmas. We will either stay put, or drive.


November 22nd, 2010
9:08 am

BTW: Its crap like this that actually makes me GLAD I live in the middle of nowhere (Albany Ga). At least in Albany, I’m 3 hrs from my parents and 3 hrs from her grandparents – the two places we go for holidays, though in opposite directions.

On the bright side, maybe people will start getting more time off/out of school for the holidays again, to allow for driving time?


November 22nd, 2010
9:12 am

First of all, you or your child will have to set off the metal detector before being subjected to either the pat down or the scanner – so, why all the consternation about something that may not even be done to you or your child? I have been patted down, scanned and waned for the past 12 years – ever since my first knee replacement surgery. And I will continue to be “handled” since I have these artificial joints to carry me around for the rest of my life.

I was one of the first to be “groped” (as many of you are calling it) a couple of weeks ago when the new process started and the scanner was broken at the Atlanta airport. Nobody grabbed me inappropriately or fondled anything – most of you are making rash judgments and do not understand the process AT ALL – seems like many have taken TWG’s phobias to heart and are afraid of everything that MIGHT happen…

Cindy Davis

November 22nd, 2010
9:27 am

My 4 yr old daughter was randomly singled out by security in Dallas in 2003 for a wand search. I had to stand 10 feet away from her, but I could talk to her and tell her it was ok and that it was like a game. I would have been FURIOUS if the agent had actually touched her by hand! TSA needs to perform quality background checks on its agents, provide more than adequate training, and use different methods such as profiling. Four year old white girls are not hijacking airplanes.

Susan Manning

November 22nd, 2010
9:33 am

I think it is scary if you don’t explain it to your child. I don’t think that you need to get into weapon types and bad people!
I think that these procedures keep us safe. Yes, they are intrusive but it’s better than being blown up. There are terrorists in our world. TSA isn’t doing this for fun.
Susan Manning


November 22nd, 2010
9:33 am

I won’t be flying again for a very long time, if ever.

I wonder, though, will they down Muslim women in Burkas????? I think that penalty is death isn’t it?


November 22nd, 2010
9:34 am

Will they *pat* down Muslim women?


November 22nd, 2010
9:34 am

Just don’t opt out of the body scan. It’s not like these things are x-ray specs.


November 22nd, 2010
9:37 am

Susan: NO, they are NOT keeping us safe. All this is doing is giving us a fall sense of security. Next time, the terrorists will just shove an explosive in their butts. So what’s next? Cavity searches??? NO!!

We have to draw the line here! We have NO freedoms worth protecting if we are giving up our dignity and privacy.

From Neal Boortz today...

November 22nd, 2010
9:38 am

“Someone tried to blow up an airliner wearing explosive underwear. So .. we’re going to step up security to make sure someone else doesn’t try this and get away with it.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Every time someone sets off a metal detector we’re going to give them an enhanced pat down.”

“What’s an enhanced pat down?”

“That’s where we run our hands over virtually every square inch of their body.”

“Will that tell you what set off the metal detector?”

“No. It won’t. We’re looking for a non-metallic explosive, so we’re not really concerned with what set off the metal detector.”

“Then why do you concentrate your groping – and that’s what it is – on people who set off metal detectors?”

“Because they set off the metal detectors, you moron!”

“But you’re looking for something non-metallic,right?

“Yeah. That’s why we run our hands all over them.”

“But what if they have some bomb .. and it’s made of metal .. but it’s hidden inside a body cavity or something. Why, it might ever be surgically implanted!”

“Why would anyone do that? That would be terribly painful and uncomfortable.”

“What do they care? They’re going to kill themselves anyway!”

“Well, that’s just not part of our security protocol right now.”

“What about those wands? You could use those wands to locate the metal, couldn’t you?

“We don’t use those any more.”

“Why not?”

“Because we’re looking for non-metallic explosives.”

“But you search everyone who sets off the metal detector, right?”


“And at the end of that search you have no idea in the world what set off the metal detector, right?”

“That’s right, we don’t.”

“If you were trying to get a non-metallic explosive on to an airliner, would you try to make sure you didn’t set off the metal detector so you wouldn’t get searched?”

“Of course!”

“Then doesn’t that make it more likely that the person who is carrying that bomb is the one who is walking right on by while you’re pawing a woman with a hip replacement that set off the metal detector?”


“But you’re not paid to think, are you? You’re just do what you’re told and grab your lunchbox at the end of the day and head home, right?”


November 22nd, 2010
9:39 am

I am glad my daughter got married in Puerto Rico LAST Christmas, because I would not have been happy about this.

Folks, I am afraid we “asked” for this. We have ceded so many of our rights over the last 20 years or so, it’s hard to stop a train moving downhill with few whimpers. (secret courts, no-knock warrants, monitoring of our phone/email conversations, waterboarding, holding people without charges, and on and on). It is hard to un-ring the bell.


November 22nd, 2010
9:39 am

Easy: so the govt is assuring us that those x-rays are safe. Guess what, they used to think that Agent Orange was safe too.

For the record: I am a flaming liberal, but this has just simply gone too far! Racial profiling should be the way to go. Period. The israelis do this and they have no issues with terrorists.