Saxby Chambliss jumps into airport pat-down debate

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss says he’s written a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, demanding some reassurance that her Transportation Security Administration is striking a balance in its new pat-down procedures — especially when it comes to kids.

From his letter:

[C]onstituents question the increasingly invasive nature of these procedures given the heavy burden the traveling public is already facing. What are the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA doing to address these concerns? Has TSA undertaken any efforts to improve communication with the public on these more aggressive screening procedures? In addition, in light of recent news reports alleging inappropriate conduct by certain TSA employees when conducting pat-downs, what measures have TSA and DHS taken or plan to take to ensure the professionalism of its employees?

Furthermore, I seek clarification of TSA’s screening policy with respect to children. I understand from Administrator Pistole’s recent testimony that children under the age of 12 are exempt from many screening procedures. However, I have had numerous reports from families with children that have undergone very rigorous and potentially invasive screening in recent weeks. Can you please clarify the standard practice for screening young children?

Lastly, pilots and flight attendants have expressed concerns over the effects of these new procedures on members of their profession. Atlanta, GA, home to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world, is also the home base of many flightcrew members who are directly impacted by TSA policies and procedures every single day. Therefore, I ask you to detail the measures TSA is pursuing to expedite and improve the efficiency of the screening process for flightcrew members.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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82 comments Add your comment

AMB

November 22nd, 2010
1:01 pm

Good ‘ol Saxby…find the parade and jump in front.

Ramguy

November 22nd, 2010
1:06 pm

Yeah that’s about right AMB. Saxby take your meds and go to bed.

Cutty

November 22nd, 2010
1:12 pm

Has he ever done anything positive for this state while in office?

another Retired Soldier

November 22nd, 2010
1:14 pm

If we had a republican president, he would be all about the new security procedures and telling people it’s the harsh reality of travel in today’s world. In other words, Obama is president, so he has to oppose it. Period.

Oh the children! LMAO

Mr. KnowitAll

November 22nd, 2010
1:14 pm

Hey….Saxby is representing his constituents by basically asking: “What the hell is going on here? Isn’t this overboard?”.

Look…I am not a big Saxby fan…but give him a break! He’s asking what we all are. Why is this needed?

Keith Helms

November 22nd, 2010
1:19 pm

If, and that is a big IF, ever fly again, I can assure you that I will be patted down. The first reason is simple. Because of arthritis and cancer I have numerous metal body parts and am radio active. But I have the right to select the type of person who frisks me. No man may touch me under the penalty of death. No joke just the facts regardless of the lengths I have to go to to enforce it. My frisker will be female, less than 40 years old, look like Sara Evans, be butt naked, and be extremely frisky.

Why Fly Again?

November 22nd, 2010
1:21 pm

realitycheck

November 22nd, 2010
1:22 pm

Maybe if we had a Republican President we could do away with this PC nonsense and actually start focusing on potential bombers instead of going through with this politically correct dog and pony show the TSA is putting on to appease the terrorist lobby and their supporters. Maybe now some of y’all liberals that have to go through these new enhanced security screening procedures this holiday season will start to think that profiling isn’t so bad after all. Seems to work pretty well for El Al.

Logic 05

November 22nd, 2010
1:27 pm

Is this blog for left wing nut jobs only?
Saxby is doing exactly what he should be doing. Obviously, the TSA has overstep the boundary. If he did nothing, you would say he is out of touch.

Liberal/Conservative

November 22nd, 2010
1:28 pm

Neal Boortz actually asked the question whether TSA has every apprehended a terroist at an airport check point, implying that because it never has, then TSA must be incompetent. Are we really that dull as a nation — to have people like Boortz leading the discourse with such sophistry? What’s going on here? My guess is that the right wing fringe is leading this wacky charge to divert attention from the real evil which has taken control — banks doing business as usual after the public bailout, and corporate interests’ control solidified by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case. May God help us.

Dave The Wave

November 22nd, 2010
1:29 pm

This blog is not for left wing nut jobs only. All nut jobs get equal time …

Roy Barnes

November 22nd, 2010
1:29 pm

If you morons would have elected me Governor, this would have never happened…plus teachers would get the pay and respect they deserve.

Shawn

November 22nd, 2010
1:31 pm

Boortz is a great American.
Don’t attack Boortz.

Bill Clinton

November 22nd, 2010
1:33 pm

The increased security (i.e., pat downs) is the only reason I like flying.

Citizen

November 22nd, 2010
1:33 pm

I am sorry but I thought, we had a government of ‘Checks and Balances?’ Isn’t it the Senator’s Constitutional Duty to check and question on behalf of the citizens of Georgia?

realitycheck

November 22nd, 2010
1:46 pm

I’ll make this easy for y’all…….You are now in charge of the TSA, how do you propose protecting the public flying out of US airports while making such security arrangements as unobtrusive as possible????

Ric

November 22nd, 2010
1:52 pm

Oh please.
Like Chambliss has ever been concerned about anyone’s civil liberties.

Retired Soldier

November 22nd, 2010
1:54 pm

Ric-

And you base your comment on what?

Laurie

November 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

I read where a TSA agent actually put her hands down a female passenger’s pants to “feel around her underwear”. I’m so glad I’m not flying this year, and there is no way I’ll subject my 13 year old daughter to that crap just so she can see her grandparents. No way at all.

Mr. D

November 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

I would personally buy the TSA agent that gives Boortz a full on rectal exam a Christmas present.

Azazel

November 22nd, 2010
1:58 pm

Highly aromatic flatulence may be a useful deterent to some privacy intrusions in these cases.

NotSchooled-Elect Me!

November 22nd, 2010
1:59 pm

Lets agree that when the little old Granny who didn’t look “foreign” brings down a plane, or when the little girl in the cute jumper causes a tragedy, we all just say, “Stuff happens!” and keep on truckin. . .

No blame games, no finger-pointing, just an acceptance that terrorists might look just like us (McVeigh) and we just have to hope nothing happens this time, kinda like what we do when we drive 800 miles on the ultra-safe highways to avoid a patdown or a computer image that might show your “junk” (Not that anyone really wants to see it. Don’t flatter yourself!)

Laurie

November 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

Hey realitycheck, Israel has been dealing with terrorist threats much longer than we have. It would be more reasonable to adopt their security processes than what TSA has come up with. And no one complains about being groped by security agents over there. Yet somehow they keep security threats under control.

Last Man Standing

November 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

Mr. KnowitAll

November 22nd, 2010
1:14 pm
“Hey….Saxby is representing his constituents by basically asking: “What the hell is going on here? Isn’t this overboard?”. ”

Yes, it is overboard – but this is a primarily liberal blog and Saxby is more to the conservative side of center. Anything he says or does will be criticized by most here.

I agree with an earlier post and would go a little further. We need to be profiling in our attempts to promote safety. I can think of no incident where a 3 year old child or a grandmother has attempted to blow up an aircraft. Wasting time and effort searching these people leaves an opportunity for a real terrorist to board an aircraft with the necessary goods to cause a tragedy. “Political correctness” will spell doom for many people some day. Maybe then, and only then, will Americans begin to focus on our real enemies.

Dave The Wave

November 22nd, 2010
2:06 pm

This is all W’s fault!

(You have to blame someone – he is as good as anyone.)

catlady

November 22nd, 2010
2:09 pm

If Saxbee is for it, I am ag’in it. He and Nathan Deal made quite a pair, “representing” Georgia.

realitycheck

November 22nd, 2010
2:11 pm

Sorry Laurie, they do it without groping. They have just figured out that some “passengers” are a bigger threat than others and they don’t give a damn about offending somebodies tender sensibilities.

Ric

November 22nd, 2010
2:19 pm

Retired Soldier:

His votes in favor of the PATRIOT Act, among other things.

Retired Soldier

November 22nd, 2010
2:22 pm

So one vote means he doesn’t care about civil liberties. Does the same hold true for all the democrats that voted for the Patroit Act? and BTW how has the Patriot Act affected you directly? It hasn’t? My my.

Ric

November 22nd, 2010
2:32 pm

Yes, it does hold true for every Democrat and Republican who voted for it. (Why do people assume that by criticizing a liberal Republican’s voting record that you’re defending Democrats? I’m not.)
It’s not just one vote for the PATRIOT Act. He voted repeatedly to renew the PATRIOT Act and to uphold the warrantless wiretap provision. Moreover, he voted to confirm Eric Holder as Attorney General. When asked if he regreted voting for Mr. Holder, he said he stands by his decision. Do you think Eric Holder is doing a good job of protecting your freedoms, Retired Soldier?
He’s also a cosponsor of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Retired Soldier

November 22nd, 2010
2:39 pm

Holder? no, he is a terrible Attorney general. I asked how the Act has affected you or expand the question to anyone that you know. It hasn’t so I have never understood all the bellaching.

GaBlue

November 22nd, 2010
2:40 pm

The terrorists have already won, folks. They’ve turned us into a nation of scaredy cats who gladly cede our rights, privacy, and dignity to the government for a little security. (Very little, as our borders are still unprotected.) At the same time, we went from having money to borrowing trillions to fight two ongoing “wars,” neither of which has yielded justice for Bin Laden, while emptying our treasury into the pockets of “defense contractors” who stashed their profits overseas to avoid paying taxes, thus further bankrupting us. So yes, they are laughing their behinds off that a few guys with box cutters, a nut job with a firecracker in his shoes, and yet another mental case with something flammable in his little diaper, would bring this mighty nation to its knees. That we are ALL hating each other and ripping each other’s metaphorical throats out is just a BONUS! Aren’t you proud you’ve exceeded their goals and expectations FOR them?

Liberal/Conservative

November 22nd, 2010
2:44 pm

While all you rightwinger wackos are engaged in wild histronics about the TSA checkpoints why don’t you raise a question about the REAL invasions of your privacy being perpetrated under the so-called Patriot Act. Where’s Boortz on this question? Not a word about this off his rabid tongue.

Retired Soldier

November 22nd, 2010
2:46 pm

“the terrorists have already won” Really? When did they take over? GaBlue, the terrorists may have defeated you mentally, but I think they have a long way to go to defeat the United States of America.

DannyX

November 22nd, 2010
2:49 pm

We now bring in Republican airport expert Larry Craig, Former Republican Senator.

DX: Senator Craig, what do you think of the pat downs?

Sen Craig: I’m all for them. First I would have the men bend over to pick up some tp, you have to have a serious view. Then I’d open their stance up really wide. Then I’d give them a frisky frisk for the security risk.

DX: Would there be profiling?

Sen Craig: I think the biggest risk comes from big strong muscular 18 year old clean cut looking men with a boyish charm.

DX: Any hints for our readers?

Sen Craig: Yes don’t get “taptaptap-tappity-tap-tap-tap confused with “tap-tap-tap-tappity-taptaptap. They are completely different acts.

Ric

November 22nd, 2010
2:50 pm

Retired Soldier,
Whether or not it has affected me, you, or anyone I know is not important. If a complete stranger gets killed, does that make it okay just because it happened to someone you don’t know?
The fact of the matter is that plenty of law-abiding Americans have been placed on the no-fly list. Under the PATRIOT Act, countless law-abiding Americans have had their records searched by the government simply because they had cash transactions of more than $10,000 or purchased more than $3,000 in travelers checks.
But that’s not the important part. The important part is the precedent set by the PATRIOT Act: that we can ignore any part of the Constitution just because we want to.
I may be willing to overlook Saxby’s votes for the PATRIOT Act if it weren’t for his other liberal votes.

Wallis the dog

November 22nd, 2010
2:51 pm

This is all well and good Saxby but you have much more important work to do–we need to stop the ethanol subsidies now!

GaBlue

November 22nd, 2010
2:56 pm

Retired Soldier,

They changed our lives forever without all that much effort. I “get” that you feel compelled to dispute anything I say because you don’t like me, but if you want to deny that our lives have changed in the ways I posted earlier, then please share some of the happy bud you’re smoking (if not with me, with the people around you). A little happiness is needed amid this fetid swamp of blame and paranoia.

Bubba

November 22nd, 2010
3:00 pm

Let’s just all protest by striping to our skivvies when we enter the security lines and see how they like the sight of all our rolls of fat. TSA would back off within 24 hours.

Retired Soldier

November 22nd, 2010
3:15 pm

GaBlue-
I have no feelings toward you one way or another. I certainly disagree with some of your opinions. Our lives are in a constant flux, terrorists or no terrorists. One day we say that the actions of Chinia have changed the way we live.

We have tens of thousands of our citizens giving it their all every day to protect us and maintain the freedoms most people in the world only dream about. I would never disrepect them to say the terrorists have won. Nor should have Sen Reid on the senate floor.

Terrorists will have defeated me only when our voices are silent. No sir, they haven’t won the war, they haven’t even won the battle. America will prevail has it always has and will continue in future generations.

Capitol Avenue Cal

November 22nd, 2010
3:17 pm

Can anyone tell me how many terrorists have been caught at the gate by TSA since its inception?? Anyone? Anyone?

Tell The Truth

November 22nd, 2010
3:45 pm

Hey Laurie,
Do you really want to do what Israel does regarding security? They not only profile, they also strip search. If we were to implement Israeli security practices, we would have even more intrusive acts on individuals and our civil liberties. TSA is trying to develop a balancing act between security & civil liberties. This is not as easy as people would like to make it out to be.

Liberal/Conservative

November 22nd, 2010
3:47 pm

Capitol Avenue Cal — Are you for real? Please ask a question that does not reflect so poorly on your grasp of rational discourse. For example, ask how may people have flown on commercial aircraft since the TSA’s inception without a terroist incident. Or ask how may commercial aircraft flights have successfully been completed since the TSA’s inception — without a terrorist incident. Or ask how may deaths from aircraft terrorism have been prevented since the TSA’s inception. In other words, ask a question that demonstrates at least a modicum of intelligence.

Tell The Truth

November 22nd, 2010
3:50 pm

Capitol Avenue Cal,
You’d be surprised to know how much TSA prevents on a day to day basis. TSA is an umbrella agency that has more than just screeners working to secure our airports. The reason why you don’t know is because TSA determined that you don’t have a need to know. Just because your not told what happens doesn’t mean nothing happens.

[...] the Politics Insider. [C]onstituents question the increasingly invasive nature of these procedures given the heavy burden [...]

First Sergeant

November 22nd, 2010
3:57 pm

If you don’t want to be manually screened, then go thru the scanner; Otherwise, get in your damn vehicle and drive.

Rafe Hollister

November 22nd, 2010
4:02 pm

I don’t think Saxby was strong enough with Big Sis. He should have asked her why this perversion is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment and how much longer does she intend to continue this police state tactic.

If these screenings are effective, she should give names and dates of people discovered through screenings to have contriband and motive to commit an act of terror. If she can’t name at least one incident, she should be strongly advised to return to the metal detectors and to leave peoples junk alone.

Name (required)

November 22nd, 2010
4:12 pm

First Sergeant….guess you’ll be first in line when someone tries to shove a bomb up their ass or a woman sticks one in her vag and TSA suddenly claims they need to do full cavity searches?

Since you enlisted, you likely weren’t smart enough to go to college, and probably can’t think for yourself, but if you turn on your internet machine and search “US Constitution” you’ll see that ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is a guarantee our legal system is supposed to offer.

Retired Soldier

November 22nd, 2010
4:15 pm

Name-

Shame on you for talking to a First Sergeant like that. You obviously never served, perfering others to do your job for you. That’s ok though, we are used to useless people like you.

Dave The Wave

November 22nd, 2010
4:21 pm

I am starting a company named “Security Thongs”. Approved by the TSA, you can strip down to one of these and cut out the pat downs. It comes with pink sticky dots with a flower design for the ladies.