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Holiday bind expected as passengers continue to defy TSA security checks

by Jorge Hernandez on November 22, 2010

Though less invasive security procedures are currently in the works, the Transportation Security Administration won't have any revisions ready in time to quell the protests passengers have scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend.

The controversial X-ray technology being employed at several U.S. airports creates a digital read of passengers' naked bodies, and the process has incited a nationwide mutiny as those who opt out of the screening are subjected to somewhat less invasive but more time-consuming pat-down procedures. Passengers across the country are organizing a "National Opt-Out Day" on Wednesday, raising the expectation of substantial delays on the busiest travel day of the year.

TSA chief John Pistole said there would be no "short-term" changes to the procedures as the agency works to make screening "as minimally invasive as possible." In the meantime, he urged passengers to comply with the checks lest they "tie up people who want to go home and see their loved ones."

American Society of Travel Agents spokesman Paul Ruden warned that it only takes resistance from one or two passengers to cause a major disruption.

According to airline experts, only as many as 20 percent of passengers will be asked to do a full-body scan, and relatively few normally need pat-downs, though it would take 6 hours to pat down 100 passengers as opposed to the 15 minutes it would take to scan them all, reports the Associated Press.

According to the BBC, Pistole told NBC's Today show on Monday that the TSA is "going to look at how can we do the most effective screening in the least invasive way, knowing that there's always a trade-off between security and privacy."

Polls have found that a majority of Americans support the security checks, reports BBC.

{ 1 comment }

Rwolf November 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm

TSA Forced Invasive Air Passenger Body Searches—Prelude To Locking Down America?

It is problematic TSA for reasons of national security will at some point, Force Citizens boarding trains and buses, to submit to invasive body scans and searches; routinely search Americans and their vehicles at highway checkpoints, before allowing passage.

TSA announced it will arrest air passengers as suspected terrorists that refuse both invasive pat-downs and body scans? Passengers no longer—will not be free to leave. How long before TSA’s invasive body searches/scans; threats of arrest and $11,000 fines are extended to Citizens boarding buses, trains and cruse ships? What choices will Americans have that are stopped at a TSA roadway vehicle checkpoint—problematic in the future? Will Citizens be allowed to turn their vehicle around or like air passengers, be forced to submit to invasive body searches/scans or be arrested as a suspected terrorist? Could Americans soon lose their right to travel freely in their own Country?

Another problem with TSA strip-searching and scanning Citizens, is that it can be used by the government in power to selectively target individuals that lawfully speak out or write against U.S. Government, harassing targeted Citizens at every mode of transportation with relentless body searches, pat-downs and X-ray scans. At some point many Americans would be reluctant or afraid to travel anywhere by plane, bus or drive their vehicle on the street because of TSA Check Points. In Northern Ireland, not many years ago, Irish Catholics traveling, were intentionally harassed by British troops and police at highway check points, forced to submit to humiliating searches; political activists were delayed or taken away so they could not drive to a political meeting or speak at an event that opposed British polices. Could U.S. Citizens be similarly targeted e.g., Tea Party Members, Anti-War Activists and others should TSA extend its body searches and scans to passengers boarding trains, buses and at vehicle check points? While U.S. Government might state otherwise, that would effectively Lock Down America.

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