TSA just wants to intimidate not to opt out

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Kara Harkins, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Kara Harkins

    Kara Harkins Member

    Usually I refuse to fly because of the TSA. While annoying I can deal with the decreased service of airlines (food? legroom?) but this stuff they are doing to let the terrorists win is where I draw the line. Before the nake-o-skopes the TSA was just annoying, now they are power-mad ... especially since Obama supported the naked-o-skopes. So I simply refuse to fly, half out of my personal feelings, half as a sympathy protest for the people their policies affect the most (previously sexually assaulted, pre-operative/non-operative transgendered people, etc).

    Anyway, this weekend my in-laws and spouse wanted to visit their family for the weekend and were flying to do so. Against my better judgement I agreed to go along. Flying out from DC was no problem (just an x-ray) aside from the silliness of having to take off my shoes but flying back from Logan was when the 'fun' started.

    I noticed they were putting EVERYONE through the scanner so when they motioned me to it I said 'I opt out'. Immediately after I said so there was a shout from the agent "WE HAVE AN OPT-OUT!!" I was also directed to stand next to the scanner. Right next to where everyone would walk by me, an implied 'this is what happens when you do not act like sheep'.

    I informed the male agent that it was my right to be patted down by someone of the same gender (I could hear several female agents in the area). His reply to me ended with 'sir'. While most people would just brush this off as a lip of the tongue I am a transsexual woman. I could not help noticing the slight but also knew that I could not call the TSA on it as gender identity is not a federally protected class.

    Sometime after another woman opted out ("WE HAVE ANOTHER OPT-OUT!!") they finally found an agent who could do the pat-down. Really TSA? You are that short-staffed when I could see plenty of you around? She then got my things and led me somewhere else for the pat down.

    As people here probably know. The pat down was well beyond what the police do when they capture known criminals. In any other circumstance it would be a clear case of sexual assault. I was tempted to ask for dinner and a movie in return.

    Everything was not over yet. Leaving the area I got quizzical looks from my group why I had taken so long and explained I opted out as I refuse to go through their scanners. The reply was they wished I had said so ahead of time. Letting me see yet one more tool the TSA uses to encourage people not to opt out: peer pressure.
  2. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Yep, peer pressure is a powerful force, and the TSA exploits it in spades. Of course, the United Sheeple of America comply.
  3. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Hi Kara!

    I'm so sorry you had to go through this. Now you're among friends.

    There are several areas here on this site. This one: Aviation Passenger Security in the US has some great resources in it that you can use.

    There's a master list of crimes and abuses perpetrated by the TSA. There's a also some great stuff by Jon Corbett (he's also on this site) -- check out his video showing how the scanners don't work.

    If you decide to call/write to your congress people there's a lot of good info that you can use.
  4. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    Welcome Kara. I truly believe the "enhanced pat downs" are punishment for any passenger refusing to go through the Nudo-O-Scopes which requires less effort on the part of the TSA. We have heard story after story about passengers being told the scanners are perfectly safe regardless of any medical equipment they have or a warning from their own personal doctor. I also believe it is the TSA's ultimate goal to make the scanners mandatory for everyone except under very specific guidelines.
  5. Kara Harkins

    Kara Harkins Member

    Thanks all.

    Plus while I was standing there waiting the TSA person just waved another smurf around the scanner while jokingly doing a 'do I know you?' at him. Ok, maybe not technically against the rules but probably not good PR when they are scanning 100% of the passengers and they had him short-circuit the procedures. Actually, partially scratch out the rules bit ... as I am guessing the policy of anyone as neurotic as the TSA would be to officially suspect everyone.

  6. Ugh. Meanwhile the guy who got waved around the scanner could very well have had a passenger's ipad stuffed down his pants.
  7. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    And exactly how hard would it be to replicate a TSA uniform anyway?
    phoebepontiac likes this.
  8. Kara Harkins

    Kara Harkins Member

    I just thought of another amusing thing. While getting the pat down I was wearing the shirt from GBLT pride. Not as obvious what it was for this year, have to remember to do better next time I have no choice but to fly.
    phoebepontiac likes this.

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