Monday, January 3, 2011

How To Ensure A TSA Sexual Assault

Have a knee replacement. Yep, that seems to do the trick alright. It doesn't matter if you come up to the security area in a wheelchair, or using a cane, the result is the same: a sexual assault in front of God/dess and everyone. It doesn't matter if you say, "Hey, I had a knee replacement. Let me roll up my pants' leg and show you my half a foot long scar." Nope. All that gets you is a "Step over here, please, and put your arms out while I run my hands all over your body, including your buttocks and up into your crotch."

And note to TSA: it does not make it the least bit better for your employees to tell you what they are doing to you as they are doing it, whether it is with the back of their hand running over my butt, or the front running up my pants' seam. It is still a stranger running her hands all over my body in public.

All because I have bad knees, and am trying to rectify that situation by getting them replaced. Wow.

I suppose I should be thankful that the TSA employees who had their way with me changed their gloves. That seems to be a problem with some of the agents. And guess what that can get you? Oh, it's a long list, as several doctors have tried to highlight to Congress:
[snip] Syphilis, lice, gonorrhea, ringworm, chlamydia, staph, strep, noro and papilloma viruses all are part of the possible fringe benefits when airline passengers next go through a full hands-on pat-down by agents of the federal government's Transportation Security Administration, according to doctors. [snip]

Oh, yippee!! And all of this is included in the price of an airline ticket? Wow!
But wait, there is more:
[snip] Now two doctors - and several others - have confirmed that there is the definite possibility that passengers will be able to catch whatever someone in front of them in line was suffering from via the latex gloves TSA workers use.

"There is no doubt that bacteria (staph, strep, v.cholerae etc.) and viruses (noro, enteroviruses, herpes, hepatitis A and papilloma viruses) can be spread by contaminated vinyl or latex gloves," Dr. Thomas Warner of Wisconsin told WND in a letter to the editor.

"If a traveler has diarrhea and is soiled, as can and does happen, the causative agent can be spread by this method since bacteria and viruses in moist environments have greater viability."

He continued. "The traveler readjusting clothes can easily get the infectious agents on their hands and therefore into their mouth, nose or eyes."


"Anything can be transmitted. If there are open wounds and they [TSA agents] are not aware, there's syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, chlamydia, lice, ringworm."

Worse yet would be for people whose immune systems are compromised by treatments they may be having, including cancer patients, she said. (Click HERE to read the rest.)

Isn't flying just great these days?

Obviously, this does not affect everyone, but there are many of us for whom, unless these procedures are changed, will be subjected to this kind of invasive - and believe me, it is invasive - pat down just because we want to are travel and have had surgery. If the agents were willing to accept a visual confirmation; or to use the good ol' standby, the wand; or to have a wipedown of our hands put in for testing of hazardous materials, that would be one thing.

But that isn't how it works. So all because I had a knee replacement, I was forced to stand alongside everyone going through security, with my arms outstretched, treated like a potential terrorist, while undergoing an embarrassing, offensive pat-down.

Do we need security procedures? Absolutely we do. But there has to be some middle ground between standard x-ray machines, walk through scanners, and full body - and I do mean full body - pat downs. A wand would have highlighted to the TSA instantly that, yes, indeed, the area was confined to my KNEE, not my butt, not my crotch, and not around my breasts. But, no - that is apparently too old school for the TSA these days. They prefer physically invasive, open handed pat downs instead of the easier, as well as quicker, solution of using a wand or opening their damn eyes.

So, yes - I, an American citizen, was forced to endure the new government-sanctioned TSA procedures of physically invasive public pat-downs as my partner, a friend, and I traveled in and out of the country, a wonderful trip for which we had planned long in advance, all because of a knee replacement. Presumably, unless this is changed, something toward which I will have to be subjected every time I fly.

There is something seriously wrong with this picture...


Anonymous said...

Silly...all you need to do is dress like a Muslim and you will get a pass! Break out the burqa, baby, and you'll be golden!


Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Oh, Nunly - you are back in form! :-)

I swear, it is just unbelievable - the people who are being targeted are primarily those of us who have had some kind of surgery, are older (though some kids have been targeted, as well). Talk abt adding insult to injury. It's just insane.

We have plans to take a cruise out of Miami at the end of Feb., and just decided to drive down rather than go through that again. It was horrible...

SFIndie said...

It's disgraceful that you had to go through that EVERY time! I heard you tell the TSA agents that you'd had knee surgery, and I heard you offer to show them your scar. But no, they had to do the pat down. Just disgraceful. I don't blame you for deciding to drive down to Miami next month so you don't have to go through that again. Talk about adding insult to injury. And just WHY couldn't they have used the wand??? Sickening. Next trip to Montserrat, we'll have to charter a plane and bypass all that crap.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, SF -

I continue to shake my head in disbelief that rather than just LOOKING at my scar, or using a wand, both of which are MUCH faster procedures, they insisted upon making me wait for someone to come assault me. It was truly disturbing on so many levels, it took a while for them all to surface, you know?

I have been thinking, too, how the hell are we going to get to Montserrat again without flying?? Chartering a plane sounds good, as long as we don't get assaulted for choosing that route...

Hmm - maybe a boat?,

SFIndie said...

Hey, I love the idea of a boat! Don't they have cruises to Antigua? What a fantastic idea....I'll have to look into it.

I'm so sorry you had to experience that. No one should have to.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Sorry, SF - just saw your comment!

Well, you know, I am a far cry from the only one. I saw this story in today's Daily Caller: "TSA perverts keep handicapped woman off airplane because of her butt — Tammy Banovac gets hassled every time she goes throw TSA security, she claims, because she is in a wheelchair. Last November, to expedite the hassle, Banovac arrived at the airport in her wheelchair, but wearing a bikini. She assumed this would give TSA agents more confidence that she was not a terrorist, and perhaps prevent a dreaded “enhanced” pat-down. She assumed wrong, and was denied entrance to her terminal after being interrogated for an hour. Lo and behold, the story gets worse. “As she tried to board a flight — fully clothed– for the first time since the earlier incident,” writes Raw Story, “the TSA informed Banovac they had found an ‘unusual contour’ around her buttocks which they couldn’t explain.” Banovac offered to take her clothes off (something she’d done for the TSA before), but was instead simply kicked off her flight. Again."

At least I wasn't kept off the plane.

WTH is going on with our gov't??