Monday, April 25, 2011

It Was Only A Matter Of Time

Before we saw this headline: "Airport passenger Screener Charged In Distributing Child Pornography." Unfortunately, that is.

And what a story this is:
A passenger screener at Philadelphia International Airport is facing charges that he distributed more than 100 images of child pornography via Facebook, records show.

Federal agents also allege that Transportation Safety Administration Officer Thomas Gordon Jr. of Philadelphia, who routinely searched airline passengers, uploaded explicit pictures of young girls to an Internet site on which he also posted a photograph of himself in his TSA uniform.[snip](Click here to read the rest.)

I am certainly not implying that all TSA screeners are despicable lowlifes like this guy is, not at all. That there are a number of hard-working, adequate TSA personnel is not in doubt. Still, there are surely a number of people who should NOT be working for this government agency. This man is most definitely one of them. Kinda makes one wonder about the TSA screening of the screeners, doesn't it? It sure does me.

Really, though, who is surprised by this story following the extremely disturbing, offensive, and gratuitous recent pat-down of a 6 year old child (Pat Racimora did a great piece on this very subject)? Not me. Her parents detail what happened in the video below:

This little girl is by no means the first young child to endure this horrific procedure, one about which I have written several times, having been subjected to it myself (joint replacement will do that for you). But I am an adult, and as horrific as it is for me, how much worse is it for a child, a young, young, child, like this?

One lawmaker, Congressman Jason Chaffetz, is preparing legislation to change the procedures so that parental consent would be required prior to traumatizing a young child. Rep. Chaffetz has his own reasons for this, beside having seen the video: "They claim there is a modified pat-down for 12-year-olds and younger, but when you see those videos, you realize that just isn't true," Chaffetz said.
[snip] The proposed legislation would require that a parent must give their consent before a child receives a pat-down, and that the child must remain with the parent while the pat-down is performed.

"I am personally outraged and disgusted by yet another example of mistreatment of an innocent American at the hands of TSA," wrote Chaffetz in the letter addressed to TSA chief John Pistole. "This conduct is in clear violation of TSA's explicit policy not to conduct thorough pat-downs on children under the age of 13."


The congressman's family had its own run-in with the TSA not long ago when his 15-year-old daughter was whisked away from the family at the airport security checkpoint to have a private pat-down without a parent present.

Yikes. I hate that his daughter had to go through this, too. I wonder what SHE did wrong. (That was snark - I am sure she did nothing.)

I appreciate the Congressman's thought, and his own problems with this TSA pat-down. But this hardly fixes the problem. Having a parent consent to their child enduring such a horrific event will only further traumatize the child, in my opinion. How much therapy will the government pay for these children, anyway? Yeah, that's what I thought - none.

Robin Roberts gives a bit too much grace to the TSA, if you ask me. Yes, they are doing what Homeland Security demands they do to US citizens, but patting down a small child does absolutely NOTHING to keep this country safe, and everything to traumatize her, and her family. "Because of the world we live in now" is dangerous, to be sure, but to pick this child out randomly, without setting off any alarms of any kind, is reprehensible.

It seems to me that the TSA needs to be way more diligent about those in their employ than they are about 6 year old (even 3 year old) passengers. But that's just me...


Mary Ellen said...

It frustrates me to no end that the TSA insists on "equal treatment for all" even though those they are targeting are the least likely to be a terrorist. Targeting children and 90 year old women just shows how ridiculous they are.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

That's exactly it, ME - they bend over backward to not profile, and in so doing, violate the civil liberties of US citizens who are not the least bit of a threat to this country.

Seriously, the last time, I was taken into a storage closet for an even MORE invasive pat down because the screener used a machine that was faulty - all of the screeners KNEW it was, but she used it anyway. HOW setting off a metal detector equates to explosive residue is beyond me.

Just obscene and absurd...

Mary Ellen said...

Yup....they think a small child could bring on enough explosives to take down a plane? Really? How much can she pack in her toddler sized underwear or size 3 shoes? Ridiculous!

I never had the pleasure (snark) of being patted down, but if I do, I'm going to give out the loudest "orgasm" show that I can muster. It will be just like "When Harry Met Sally". :-)

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

LOL, oh that would be hilarious, ME. Of course, they will probably fine you, and not let you fly - EVER - but it would be very funny...

I realize that terrorists will use baby carriages and all that stuff, but there should be some cause for these little kids to be pat down beside some random check. But that's just me...