Rape Survivor Devastated by TSA Enhanced Pat Down

An area Wiccan discovered first hand what most of us are still unaware of – many flyers are now being forced to choose between allowing a TSA agent to see them naked or to have their genitals touched and squeezed as part of what the TSA terms “enhanced pat downs.”  Celeste, a survivor of rape, described her experience with the new TSA procedures as devastating.

Celeste is a seasoned air traveler. She estimates that she flies upwards of 60 times a year for her job and she knows all the ins and outs of most airports in the USA. Want to know which airport has the best sushi? Celeste can tell you. What she, and most other people didn’t know, was that on October 29th the TSA changed their security guidelines. “I flew to Chicago with no problems.  Everything was the same as before.  It was when I attempted to fly back to Minnesota that I found out about TSA’s new rules.  What they did to me, in full view of everyone else in line, was like being sexually assaulted all over again.  I was in shock.  I hate myself that I allowed them to do this to me.  I haven’t been able to stop crying since.”

Previously, flyers walked through a metal detector and some persons were randomly selected for a pat-down that avoided the face, genital areas, and hair.  This was the procedure that Celeste was familiar with.


AIT image, Photo credit, TSA website

Then came the full body scanners, a device that uses powerful advanced imaging technology (AIT) to allow TSA agents to see the naked bodies of travelers. Not only have people expressed concern over being seen naked and having their photos stored in the machine, there are also health concerns from the scanners.  Captain Dave Bates, president of the Allied Pilots Association, sent a letter to all 11,000 American Airlines pilots urging them to decline the full body scan, ”It is important to note that there are “backscatter” AIT devices now being deployed that produce ionizing radiation, which could be harmful to your health. ”

Celeste is opposed to the AIT devices, “I knew there were more and more of these scanners coming on line at airports.  I try to pick a line where there isn’t one installed yet, but this is getting harder to do.  I fly often and I don’t want the extra doses of radiation and I hate the thought of people looking at me naked.  Why should I have to let people see me naked to get on a plane?    This is my body, I’ve worked many years to re-establish the feeling that I’m allowed to have control over my body after being raped. Even the thought of that leaves me feeling dirty and vulnerable again.”

About 500 scanners will be operational by the end of this year.  Five hundred more in 2011.  Ultimately, the new machines replace metal detectors at all of the roughly 2,000 airport checkpoints.

Coming back from Chicago, Celeste, like increasing numbers of travelers, was forced to make a difficult choice – either allow strangers to see her naked or allow strangers to touch and squeeze her breasts and groin in full view of other travels and TSA agents.  “This was a nightmare come to life,” Celeste says, “I said I didn’t want them to see me naked and the agent started yelling Opt out- we have an opt here.  Another agent took me aside and said they would have to pat me down.  He told me he was going to touch my genitals and asked if I wouldn’t rather just go through the scanner, that it would be less humiliating for me.  I was in shock.  I couldn’t believe this was happening.  I kept saying I don’t want any of this to happen.  I was whispering please don’t do this, please, please.”

Since Celeste didn’t agree to go through the scanner, the enhanced pat down began.  “He started at one leg and then ran his hand up to my crotch.  He cupped and patted my crotch with his palm.  Other flyers were watching this happen to me. At that point I closed my eyes and started praying to the Goddess for strength.  He also cupped and then squeezed my breasts.  That wasn’t the worst part.  He touched my face, he touched my hair, stroking me.  That’s when I started crying.  It was so intimate, so horrible.  I feel like I was being raped.  There’s no way I can fly again.  I can’t do it.”

The TSA has said that travelers will receive the pat downs by same sex TSA agents, but both Celeste and other flyers have refuted this.  (See linked stories below)

She said that fellow travelers, after seeing what happened to her, were more willing to go through the full body scanner.  She noticed some, with small children, left the security line, refusing to put their children through the scanner or allow an adult to touch them that way.  “What they did to me was criminal.  I feel they are doing that demeaning of a body search to coerce others into going though the scanners.  They made it as horrible as possible as a lesson to others, let me see you naked or I will touch you like I touched her.”

In an article for The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg  seems to agree with Celeste’s assessment that those who refuse the scanner are made into object lessons: 

The second lesson is that the effectiveness of pat-downs does not matter very much, because the obvious goal of the TSA is to make the pat-down embarrassing enough for the average passenger that the vast majority of people will choose high-tech humiliation over the low-tech ball check.

Consumer Traveler also agrees that this type of pat down is meant as a punishment:

However, when meeting with privacy officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA later that month, I was told unofficially that there were two standards of pat-downs. One for the normal situation where passengers are going through metal detectors and a different pat-down for those who refuse to go through the whole-body scanners.

With this latest announcement, TSA admits that it has been clandestinely punishing passengers for refusing to go through the invasive whole-body scans with an even more intrusive aggressive pat-down and that soon those more invasive pat-down will creep from airport to airport.

Celeste’s experience is not an isolated one.  Travelers, aircrew, and journalists are beginning to recount stories very similar to Celeste’s.

Interview with a traveler on Infowars

USA Today – Airport Screeners Get More Aggressive

Thousands Standing Around – a blog containing testimonials of travels experiences with the “enhanced pat down”

Celeste lost composure repeatedly during the interview.  When asked if she wanted to continue or stop the interview she said she needed to tell this story.  “People have to know what these new procedures are and how they affect people.  This has to stop.  It has to.  Contact your Congressperson.  Write to the President.  Get them to get involved.  Speak out about this, pass my story on to others.”

As for how this experience has affected Celeste, in addition to the emotional trauma she is still suffering, it may also take a financial toll on her life.  Her job requires her to fly and now she worries about her financial security, “What will I do now?  If I can’t fly, I can’t do my job.  Jobs aren’t exactly plentiful.  I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

The ACLU has set up a online contact form for passengers who feel they were abused while going through the airport screening process.  The form can be found here.

*editor’s note:  the photo that was in the original article, from a blog this article linked to, was changed to one taken directly from the TSA website.  There was some question as to the authenticity of the photo and it may not have reflected more current body scanning technology, which is purported to blur the lower genitals of the body.

180 thoughts on “Rape Survivor Devastated by TSA Enhanced Pat Down

  1. Just me says:

    I have to say… I will NOT go through the scanner and if they insist on being so intimate with me in front of others, I’m going to make it just as uncomfortable for them….. by pulling a Sally from the scene in “When Harry Met Sally” where she fakes an orgasm. We’ll see how they feel about that.

    I’m just sayin’… you wanna play? Let’s play.

    • Taylor says:

      Just Me – I’m with you. I fly over 60 times a year and I will not submit to being scanned. I had a T-shirt made that has Ben Franklin’s quote “They who would give up liberty….” on the front and 4th Amendment on the back. I intend to wear it every time I fly and recite the 4th Amendment as I’m being patted down. I will also contact my congressional representatives. Speak out, do not condone this activity.

      What Celeste was subjected to was sexual assault, plane and simple.

  2. Michelle says:

    Thank you for sharing this — Peaceful Blessings to you Celeste. I am actually speechless — I had no idea about this sort of treatment.

  3. Gordon says:

    The stroking method is more effective at finding hidden objects than the traditional patting method. Police have been using this technique for decades.

    But I can understand Celeste’s anguish. What is worse is that it’s not needed for security. There are effective methods for screening passengers, but the TSA is forbidden to use them because of concerns over profiling.

    Instead, we have long delays, humiliating searches, and a system that experts agree does not make flying safer. But hey, we do have tens of thousands of unionized federal employees, so at least union officials are happy.

    • Hez says:

      Actually, the unions aren’t happy. The largest union in the US, which includes several American Airlines pilots (largest carrier in the US), have objected to the enhanced pat-downs and are encouraging their members to refuse them.

  4. Brian says:

    “But I can understand Celeste’s anguish. What is worse is that it’s not needed for security. There are effective methods for screening passengers, but the TSA is forbidden to use them because of concerns over profiling.”

    Is this some really weird roundabout suggestion that we could solve all our security problems by pulling all of the brown people out of the line? Because the real tragedy here is clearly that this happened to a nice white lady.

  5. Gordon says:

    No, Brian, it isn’t. Because that wouldn’t solve the problem. What you need is people trained in behavioral observation who have a good view of the line. Retired police officers would be a good core group.

    This is how El Al handles their security. Their people can spot those in line who are behaving oddly. Those folks are pulled aside for interviews, and perhaps a more thorough search. It works.

      • Gordon says:


        Part of my information is from personal conversations with security specialists here and in the UK and Ireland. But a story about a test for such a program is here.

    • Shoshie says:

      Ignoring for a moment that El Al profiles and the problems with that, Israel’s security system probably would not be applicable in the US. It requires an extremely thorough knowledge of the entire country, including small towns and villages. For instance, El Al always asks where you’re going (at least, they’ve always asked ME where I’m going). If I say that I’m going to visit my family at Moshav Givat Chen (which is a little farming community) they’re familiar enough with it to ask me further questions. But if I’m going from Boston through O’Hare to eventually get to Elk Grove, IL, I doubt that means anything to my Massachusetts security personnel.

    • vhokstad says:

      The TSA spends $200 million a year on behavioral observation at airports. So they *are* doing that. However there is exceedingly little evidence that this works.

      In fact, it was recently announced that the GAO has written a scathing report about the lack of results from the $200 milllion TSA behavioral program.

      Note that the program *does* produce arrests (for low level crime), but there’s little evidence that it produces any more arrests than random screenings would, because the number of secondary screenings that caused those few arrests is sky high.

  6. Michael says:

    The photo used in this article is a fabrication and has been proven over and over to be completely inaccurate depiction of the full body scanners. You cannot see hair with the scanners and physical characteristics like the breasts are not so clearly defined.

    What else is being exaggerated in this article?

    • caraschulz says:


      We are getting mixed reports of what the images look like and are trying to find the most up to date image. Some news organizations are reporting that the images have the lower genitals blurred, while others are saying they are not. We have removed the photo and replaced it with one from the TSA website. Thank you for your comment.

      • Scott K says:

        Blurring of the X-ray genital images pretty much defeats the whole point of the X-ray in the first place; That is, stop the next underwear bomber. The images need to be distinct or they don’t work.

        As for replacing the metal detectors with X-ray’s, that would make us less safe. Metal detectors and explosives sniffers are more likely to automatically catch dangerous items than a man who stares at naked people all day long. The tedium desensitizes them to the point they miss things, just like the luggage x-ray techs routinely miss prohibited items.

  7. Laurence says:

    “The stroking method is more effective at finding hidden objects than the traditional patting method. Police have been using this technique for decades.”

    This would be great and all, except the police generally don’t just pat you down for entering your car, for example.

    • Gordon says:

      Laurence, I didn’t say it was a good thing, or even a necessary thing. The reason they use it is that it’s more effective than patting. But if you’ve never been searched, it can be a surprise to find that they don’t do it the way Hollywood depicts. The point is that the TSA employee wasn’t doing it that way just for his own jollies.

      • Gordon says:

        I should add that from Celeste’s point of view, motive didn’t matter. The entire process was traumatic for her, even assuming the best of intentions on the part of TSA staff.

      • drunkenatheist says:

        Look, I don’t like using the “just following orders” bit, because I often think it’s simplistic. But seriously? How can you defend this ridiculous, intrusive shit on the basis of “just following orders?”

      • Marc says:

        No offense Gordon, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. First, in non-emergent circumstances, there is no reason a male officer should be doing a search of a female. Secondly, using a cupped palm on the breasts and genitals is completely inappropriate. Ask a cop or properly trained security officer, you’re supposed to use the back of your hand on sensitive areas.

        The TSA agent who felt her up is nothing but a state-sponsored pervert.

      • Vi says:

        “Just following orders” isn’t that exactly the same thing that Nazi war criminals say when they are caught and put on trial?

        This is just another reason not to fly.

    • reader says:

      me too… maybe they thought she might have gotten a folding plastic knife surgically put into her face…lol… but the whole things is shocking, gross, and has convinced me to get a back-up plan every time I have to fly….

    • Gordon says:

      Objects can be easily hidden in hair. One would not be admitted into a custodial facility without the hair being searched, or the prisoner being required to rake their hair roughly as the guard watched.

      I don’t know why they stroke the face.

      • H. says:

        Gordon: I expect they stroke the face to determine if one is wearing a mask. Like the young Chinese guy that disguised himself as an elderly Caucasian to fly to Vancouver. That happened on Oct 29 — the same day this article says the TSA regs changed.

        Not saying it’s a good idea; just speculating as to why someone might have *thought* it was a good idea.

  8. Lumie says:

    The lady interviewed in the article could perhaps learn how to fly a small plane or personal aircraft. It’s not particularly comfortable, but she may be able to avoid that humiliation again.

    • drunkenatheist says:

      Oh, okay, and I’m sure she’s got an extra $150K laying around. (source: http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/helicopterforum/index.php?/topic/12708-how-much-do-helicopter-cost-to-buy-and-run/)

      But you know, if not, she should just have to shut up and take it, right? She’s just asking for it, huh? I can’t imagine trying to perform my job only to have a massive flashback to a brutal sexual assault. Maybe you can’t either, which is why you gave the chock full o’ victim blaming response.

      • Jasmine says:

        I feel that was a bit uncalled for. That was not victim blaming. He or she never said that the victim could have or should have changed that situation, or done something other than what she did. The suggestion of trying to find alternate transport after this terrible experience is not a bad one. Besides, I know a few people with personal aircraft and they are definitely not rich. Restrictions could be just as bad, though. I don’t know.

  9. Gordon says:

    One of the original points was that the TSA employees might be making the body search process as humiliating as possible. The purpose would be to make the body scan “acceptable” compared to the alternative.

    I wouldn’t put it past an agent, or group of agents in a particular location, to have that motive. I doubt it’s a national policy, written or unwritten. It would be pretty hard to keep such a policy hidden, and a deliberate “we’re gonna make you suffer” plan for travelers would be a PR disaster.

    I remember when flying was fun, service was great and the food was usually bad. Now it’s an ordeal just to get to the airplane, and the service onboard is minimal. The food is available (and still bad), as is a blanket, for a tidy surcharge.

    It must be really, truly awful for folks like Celeste who have to travel every week for work.

  10. Melissa says:

    “The TSA has said that travelers will receive the pat downs by same sex TSA agents, but both Celeste and other flyers have refuted this.”

    Even if that were true, how does that make it any better? Survivors of same-sex molestation and rape are just SOL when it comes to their rights?

  11. Jeff P says:

    It’s important to keep in mind that there is no amount of ionizing radiation that is safe. The government is NOT revealing the amount of photons per unit area and time that the backscatter machine is exposing the surface of the body to.

    • H. says:

      The amount of radiation from the full-body scanners is reported to be LESS than one gets from air travel. So I don’t quite understand the objection on the grounds of radiation exposure unless they start installing the scanners at bus and train terminals.

      I can more easily relate to objections on the grounds of personal privacy/humiliation. But with that, one is violated whether one gets scanned OR groped at the airport.

      The sad part is that none if this makes anyone safer. Install metal detectors at airports, terrorists use plastic explosives. Body-scan airplane passengers, terrorists switch to bombs in cargo. Scan cargo planes, they’ll probably move on to trucks. When they put bombs in passenger cars and (try to) blow up a busy highway interchange we can kiss the last bits of our freedom goodbye. Everyone will need a full-body scan just to get in their own car. For our OWN SAFETY of course, from terrorists who want to take away our freedom. Ironic, innit.

      • P Edmon Graham says:

        The “you get more radiation via air travel” is a lie perpetrated by Mike Chertoff and the manufacturers of the naked cancer machines.

        You’re getting doused with backscatter x-ray. The TSA employees can’t wear any protective equipment or even a radiation meter to test their exposure because they are worried about the public panicking. X-ray exposure can cause ovarian and colon cancers and other fun things to have. I’m waiting the class action lawsuit from the TSA workers.

      • J. says:

        The government also reports unemployment is only around 10% and inflation isn’t all that bad (when you remove energy and food prices). Yup, I trust the numbers and information the government gives me because they don’t have any vested interest in lying or making things appear rosy.

      • Eric says:

        The amount of total radiation may be less than the amount you receive in-flight, but it is *artificially focused at the top layers of your skin*. If you take the amount of radiation and consider the small volume of…you…into which it is going it becomes a different story than what the TSA is telling.

        Further, you must remember that the scanner radiation is *in addition to* what you’ll still be getting on the flight.

  12. Jeff P says:

    In response to this: “The lady interviewed in the article could perhaps learn how to fly a small plane or personal aircraft.”

    Unfortunately the TSA has its sights set on general aviation. Go to your favorite search engine and type in “tsa and general aviation” and see for yourself.

  13. Kay says:

    Is there a website which posts which airports have the new scanners & enhanced techniques. How many airports have smaller airports close by we could fly into? (e.g. Midway vs O’Hare)

    Lets make it clear to their pocketbooks how we feel about the enhanced searches.

    • Michael Z. Williamson says:

      As some of the comments in other articles say, “I support anything that makes us safer.”

      They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.

      But sooner or later there’s going to be a rectal plastic explosive. Will the TSA be agreeable to fisting everyone? Will passengers be agreeable? A line has to be drawn somewhere, but where?

      I’d go back to 1970 protocols, but I get called an “extremist,” by the same people who insist this is too far.

      The problem is, once one agrees there’s an acceptable level of intrusion, moving the line is just a matter of negotiation.

  14. pinguino says:

    reading that sorta made me wanna cry. ugh. I fly a bunch too; I can’t believe they can actually do stuff like this and authorities don’t have a problem with it.

    • Russell says:

      and what happens if you have a child with you? can you charge the machine operator for looking at child porn or the person doing the “pat down” with child molestation?

      • caraschulz says:

        Here’s what was posted on a travel board


        As to what happened. We were flying from Nashville to Orlando to go to Disney for my son’s birthday. My son is 9 years old. Nashville has installed the new backscatter scanners, aka “naked” scanners. Now I am not a modest person and for me myself I don’t care. To be honest, I had not given it much thought. We were given no option to opt out of the scans that I could see, no signage or instructions. I later found out you can opt out and choose the pat down instead. Well, we all three went through the machine. Husband and I were fine. They scanned the kid and then informed us they had to pat him down. I asked why, they said he moved. So I am thinking run of the mill pat down, wand over his body and light touch. He is 9 years old for the love of Pete but that was not the case. Had anyone but a physician doing a necessary medical exam touched my child in the places the TSA agent put his hands, I would have filed charges. He groped the inside of his legs and touched his genitals. He put his hands around my son’s neck in a choking position, felt all the way down his chest area and his buttocks. He placed his hands inside my son’s pants waist band and felt around his waist. The agent was loud and intimidating even for me, a 36 year old women. He barked at him to “hold up your pants” and “spread your legs, shoulder width.” All I could think was my son looked like he was being frisked and how humiliating this was for him to be stared at by everyone as they passed by us. Now, this whole scenario was out in the open, we were not given the option of privacy. My son was scared and humiliated. I am not a momma hen or a wacko and we fly regularly and have never minded the security measures needed but this was a shocking experience. Shocking enough for us to forgo air travel (which we have always loved) until these new security rules change and come closer to something akin to reason.

        And yes, we have contacted the authorities and other to complain about this situation. We also contacted the airline to tell them why we were cancelling and to let them know that these kinds of things will impact their business. To each his own and all are free to travel as they like but I am not convinced treating my child like a prison inmate progressed the cause of national security one iota.

  15. Ms Anon says:

    I was pulled aside for a pat down in Phx’s Sky Harbour Airport in October. They pulled me aside because I was wearing an ankle-length skirt. The agent told me that the TSA cannot specifially tell people what they can and cannot wear, but they will do pat downs on every person wearing ankle-length skirts on planes. The female agent told me I had two choices: I could go to a room and strip NAKED in front of a TSA officer, or they could pat me down in full view of the other passengers. She said the pat down would require her to touch my genitals. Well, gosh – be groped in public or naked alone in front of a stanger? Such options. When I said neither option was great, she said I wouldnt be escorted from the airport if I didnt comply. Duress much? I have to give you my full name, my birthdate, my gender and now I HAVE to let you humiliate me in public (or oogle my naked body in provate)?? Wow. This cant be the only way.

  16. Brad says:

    While I can see her point of view, flying is a privilege, not a right and if you want to fly then you have to play by their rules, which are geared toward the general safety. She could have refused all scans, turned around, left the gate, rented a car, and drove home. Choosing whether to fly again or not, being her prerogative.

    • Victim as Well says:

      You are not nor ever have been a victim of assault obviously. Your comment was insensitive and offensive. She had the choice of possibly being fired (thus losing her means of living, and all of the logical snowball effects) or having to suffer through a truly humiliating, emotionally scarring process.

      While yes it is a priviledge for some, it is a requirement for others. So before you make another comment like that one, I would suggesting truly thinking before you type.

    • Richard says:

      Oh really? The internet is a privilege too. Feel like getting an anal cavity search today to use it? We gotta make sure you’re not a hacker from a terrorist organization planning to take out a server.

  17. drunkenatheist says:

    I am truly sickened by this account. I really don’t even have the words to express how angry and disturbed I am by it.

  18. JB says:

    I’m surprised no one has figured out what this is really about. They are getting us acclimated to having no control over our bodies, our selves, our environment, our lives, our society, and our world. They are doing this in multiple ways, and this is one more way to break us down until we no longer have our own will. Until we feel nothing but helplessness. We are becoming prisoners of our own government.
    Just for our own good, of course.

    • H. says:

      Exactly! It’s certainly NOT about safety, because none of this makes anyone safer. Imagine you’re the underwear bomber, confronted with the scan-or-grope choice. You’d probably either leave the terminal and make other plans rather than risk discovery, or just detonate your explosives on the spot, killing yourself, some TSA people and countless innocent passengers, and doing lots of damage to an airport. Mission of Terror accomplished!

      So the real reason for all this has got to be to make Americans (and anyone who travels to/in America) comfortable with the idea of giving up real freedoms in exchange for imaginary safety. The TSA is doing the terrorists’ jobs for them (assuming that a terrorist’s job is to cause terror and deprive people of freedom).

      • Gordon says:

        While I can’t argue with the net results (not safer), I think the reason is less, um, conspiratorial. I think that government is rather lousy at doing most things, and this is one of them. For fear of offending a few (by using behavioral profiling), they’re instead offending everyone else.

        Used to be the airlines were responsible for screening. Then we had four planes turned into weapons, by people using items that previously had not been considered dangerous (box cutters). The airlines pleaded imminent bankruptcy from their failure to protect their passengers, so the government passed a law indemnifying the airlines. Congress (the taxpayers) ponied up a big compensation fund for the families of the dead.

        Then the congress decided that only they could protect us properly, and TSA was born. TSA is a political entity, and politics has led us to this.

        It can be changed, you know. There’s a lot of new lawmakers, and plenty more who had the fear of tea put into them. They’re listening a lot more closely than they have in the past.

        We’re not subjects. We’re citizens, and it never hurts to remind the powerful of the difference.

      • Cassandra says:

        Hanlon’s Razor:
        “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” (or, here, incompetence)

    • Bo says:

      JB, you nailed it on the head. I already knew what this was all about. It’s not about safety, but getting us USED to this Orwellian society we will soon be facing. They started off slow, and this is only a baby step in the direction they’re headed. All the people who suggest writing to their congressman etc etc just don’t understand. These measures are here to stay, and the “Opt Out” option will NOT be around much longer. It’s either going to be get radiation, or stay where you are.

      It’s the same way with public schools these days. Cameras in every hallway, clear backpacks so all of their property can be seen at all times, and having to use a card to buy lunch are sll to get the kids USED to how their life will be like as adults in the United States. Like England, expect cameras and random searches. The NWO is moving forward fast, and they don’t care about us. I’m just glad the TSA workers at the full body scanner are getting radiation, too. Pig bastards.

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  20. ruthiechan says:

    Gordon is right. Public policy is NOT permanent. We can raise our voice, we can STOP flying, we can encourage employers that require flying to use Skype, or some other means, instead of in person meetings until this is stopped.

    Our political system is DESIGNED so we can speak up and say HELL NO. If enough of us do it, then policy makers have to pay attention or not get re-elected. We have power. We need to use it.

  21. winner says:

    What’s truly ironic is that our ‘policy makers’ up top don’t have to go through any of this nonsense. They fly on private jets that play by a different set of rules. I have very wealthy friends that own jets and it is amazing to fly! Hard to go back to commercial airlines after that experience. Just another example of the deepening separation of class in the good ol’ USA. Roboticizing the flock a la 1984…

  22. Chris says:

    This is a ridiculous lie. This did not happen. There is no “cupping” or “squeezing” or opposite sex pat-downs or naked images…ALL LIES.

    • steelmagnolia says:

      I hate to tell you, but it is happening. Sometimes there is a random incident. You didn’t get assaulted…Good!! It is absolutely happening. Get some education FAST. When you ARE assaulted, and if you fly you will eventually be assaulted, you at least will know the truth…or if you are a male with girlfriend, wife, child…

      Have you ever read the sickening history of how the Jews under Hitler’s regime treated the people? They were shamed, raped, cut in the genitals, their children were the same. The ones NOT caught in it only heard about it after the fact.

      We are standing at a precipice and many are nay saying. It isn’t what you say…and we are dying in many different ways.

    • Victim as Well says:

      Let me guess big boy…you work for TSA or some other government position?

      Because otherwise, you sticking your head is the sand is denial is not only sad but useless.

  23. AnonymousThisTime says:

    @Chris, you’re wrong. I was just at the Las Vegas airport last weekend and witnessed a woman, in a crowded security area, having her breasts separated and cupped, her shirt lifted, her waistband pulled aside, her hair combed through, her face touched, etc.

  24. Justice Now For U says:

    TSA to turn normal citizens into new millionaires
    Make sure you file a complaint with the police department if you feel molested during your pat down. This will protect your rights should the TSA employee be arrested in the future as a child molester or a sexual predator. Should a report be filed and the individual that did the molestation actually be found guilty, you may be able to sue the police department and TSA for exposing you and endangering your children for failure to catch this predator.
    The legal risks to local and state police departments for closing a case on someone who is later found guilty due to a future arrest is not something to be taken lightly.
    If you or your child was groped by said agent, and you filed a complaint with the Police Department after the incident at the airport, you may be entitled to a large settlement.
    When you opt out, and experience what you may believe is a molestation pat down make sure you ask for a police officer to be called and file a complaint immediately. Follow up to make sure you have the Police report number. Protect your legal rights now. Create a record and a paper trail showing negligence in background screening and investigation follow up. The odds that you are being violated are greater than winning the lotto.

  25. PeterSW says:

    The TSA should have to pay for her counseling and a big fat pain and suffering payment to focus their minds on the job at hand – ensuring public safety in the skies not feeling up passengers.

    The class action lawsuit that results from all of this will bankrupt many Airports and agencies. The TSA is shameful and frankly would not be tolerated here in Australia. We would revolt and start thumping the bastards that tried to touchup our wives and daughters. The politicians that brought this about should be the first to be humiliated and driven naked through the streets at the front of bullwhips. In the traditional manner.

  26. frustrated says:

    Does anybody know what they do for infants if the parents refuse to let them through the scanners? I refuse to take my daughter through one of those scanners, but I also will not let any TSA employee touch my daughter, nor will I take off her diaper in someone’s presence to show that she’s not hiding something in there. I want to fly to visit family in the future, but I am considering changing our plans.

  27. Dan says:

    Gee! This is ANOTHER of the benefits of Islam. And to think that our beloved leader is over there right now kissing their ass. All I need to know about Islam I learned on 9/11.

    • Richard says:

      That is awfully narrow minded of you. Clearly you’re unaware of your history. Ever heard of the crusades? How about forced conversions? Don’t attack followers of Islam just because a few people that share their religion are extremists. The percentage of extremists is incredibly small compared to the number of peaceful people.

  28. Anne says:

    Enhanced pat down has always sounded to me like a euphamism for rape. How horrifying am I to find out it’s even more similar than I thought. Many condolences

  29. Tom says:

    There was some question as to the authenticity of the photo and it may not have reflected more current body scanning technology, which is purported to blur the lower genitals of the body.

    If the scanner blurs the area around the genital, how does this justify its use? Surely the agents can see into these areas otherwise there seems absolutely no reason to use them

  30. Al Brown says:

    Has there even been one incident where a US citizen has ever assisted a foreign terrorist to commit a crime on a US airline?

    And if absolutely no one can be trusted, how can we trust our pilots not to fly the plane into the ground or the folks loading the cargo not to place a bomb on board?

    This is absolutely ridiculous.

  31. Mike says:

    I do not trust the body scanners yet. I certainly do not like the pat-down procedure.

    The reason we have checkpoints, searches, limits on carryons, and so on, is because there are people who have been trying to detonate explosives on planes. That threat is real.

    The question people wonder about is how effective is the TSA at catching bad guys? They now x-ray or pat down something like 500,000 passengers a day. Can someone walk through a checkpoint with an undetected device?

    TSA has decided that the body scanners and pat downs are more effective than what they have been doing.

    I recall that EL AL an Israel-based commercial airline, has had a security checkpoint for decades. Their security has been very effective all during that time. Have they had body scanners and pat downs? No, they’ve been chatting with people.

    Some of the israeli procedures work because there are fewer passengers than what the US handles in a day (5000 flights). Talking to people on a larger scale apparently requires way too much training for too many people, may involve too many languages, and would cause lines to become very long.

    I would like TSA to dial into more effective security methods; the current process seems pretty darn awful.

  32. Michael Z. Williamson says:

    “The TSA spends $200 million a year on behavioral observation at airports. So they *are* doing that. However there is exceedingly little evidence that this works.”

    Translation: It does work, but not when implemented by $10/hr semi-literate drones cashing a government check whether they produce or not.

    • Gordon says:

      I suspect it’s something like sales. You can teach a person effective sales techniques, and they will indeed improve their sales numbers. But there are some folks who just don’t have the knack for sales, and the will always sell less than someone who does.

      As I wrote above, an excellent pool for behavioral screeners would be retired police officers. They’ve spent 25+ years learning to read subtle visual clues.

  33. TB says:

    He ? Did a man pat down this poor lady ? I can’t believe this actually happened !

    Alright, I’ll say it. This is a crime being committed in the name of policy. This is a criminal policy by the govt of a nation and should be changed now.

  34. Volker Hergetz says:

    Is Wikileaks releasing TSA scanner pictures soon on the web? How did they get them? Is there a TSA insider who sent them to Wikileaks? I guess when the next wikileaks stuff comes out we will know and soemone is going to have alot of explaining to do

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  36. Kim Cherrine says:

    Women, If you don’t want to go though the scanners and know you are going to be subjected to the “enhanced groping” by security officers…Then ths is what our family has decided we are going to do as far as the women….We are making full length to the hip corsets with full steel boning in them with multiple lines directly over the breasts and we will be wearing homemade extra extra thick, extra long femine pads (like three or four inches thick we figure we can take them off once we get on the plane) attached to very tight fitting underwear. We then will also be wearing over top of that full to knee extremely tight girdle again with steel boning directly over the butt crack an then finally a layer of extra large extremely baggy old fashiond victorian pantaloon….I want to see them really feel me up good trying to grope me or mine genitalia after trying to get through all those layers…If everyone other lady got smart and did the same I think it would not be long before they gave up on this rediculious invasion of our bodies..they want to invade our bodies then fight through my lady armor I will now to wearing to get to it…..Maybe steel chastity belts for your daughter will have to be the next step…Will be for mine if this does not work……..Anyone up for joining us? My husband is demending I make him a extra padded cod piece and something for is nether region along the same lines Any men going for that?

    • Michael Z. Williamson says:

      And all they’ll do is hold you, make you late, and require you to strip naked to prove you’re not carrying contraband, or leave without flying.

      There is NO WAY to win in a confrontation. The only way to beat it is to not fly, push a political response, or accept the delay and try to swamp them with searches.

  37. Jaffo Terrera says:

    You know what these guys at TSA do when they’re done sexually assaulting women they feel up?

    They keep the gloves they use and trade them for each other to sniff, catching scent from the women whose crotches they fondle.

    They stand around during breaks, sniffing them and laughing. Don’t ask how I know but it is NOT heresay. This is FACT.

    Congressmen have to know this WILL happen to their wives! Their daughters! Their granddaughters. The TSA monsters are psychopathic sexual sadists.

  38. Jaffo Terrera says:

    Everyone who goes through a pat-down needs to urinate and defecate the second the TSA subhuman touches his or her gonads.

    • Michael Z. Williamson says:

      At best, you’ll be very messy and late for your flight. At worst, you’ll be detained and charged with battery with bodily waste–a felony. If more than one person does it, they will be charged with conspiracy.

      There is NO WAY to win in a confrontation. The only way to beat it is to not fly, push a political response, or accept the delay and try to swamp them with searches.

  39. EtienneG says:

    I have to fly to the US shortly, and I am still on the fence about whether or not I will opt out of the backscatter scan for the “enhanced” pat-down. I have never been sexually assaulted, I am generally fairly comfortable with my own body, so I think I can go through the worst depiction of the pat-down I have read relatively unscathed. And then, I will know for sure whether it is as bad as I have read or not.

    On one hand, it would be terribly inconvenient. On the other, this new backscatter-or-enhanced-pat-down policy is a circus a silliness and power abuse, and the line needs to be drawn somewhere. Otherwise, the TSA will just keep on escalating the security measures indefinitely.

    People have been quick to call out the “smurf” TSA agents on it, but when you think about it, they are being victimized by the policy just as much as the travelers, if not more. I have no doubt some sick fuck actually enjoy delivering the pat-down, but I still have enough faith in humanity to believe that most of them don’t. Yet, they are being told to grope other people’s genital in public, repeatedly, multiple time per day (I presume). This is dehumanizing, and could also be construed as sexual abuse. Except now, it’s their employer forcing them to do it, as I doubt the agent can opt out of delivering the “enhanced” pat-down. If I where in their shoes, I would feel dirty and shameful, and would certainly be looking for another job pronto.

  40. Casper says:

    I admire the way the USA handles their problems with repeat sex offenders. Getting them to reintegrate into society is hard, this is a very creative solution. Are there special queues for children too?

  41. Casper says:

    I very much regret my last post. This is way too serious for sarcasm.

    TSA Employees should be seriously consider if they want to keep doing their jobs. ‘Befehl ist befehl’ might have worked for in the 1940’s, but you cannot get away with the Nuremberg defense in this day and age.

    TSA Employees, please quit your job and get an honorable one.

  42. Crykit says:

    I’m honestly horrified.
    I’ve never been assaulted but I have major issues with people touching me in any kind of intamate way(stroking, caressing, etc.) and this really bothers me.

    I’m not sure if I’d go through the body scan, both for health and for privacy reasons, but I think it’s better than going through the “enhanced” pat down.

    Either way, this should not be happening. We need to have this stopped.

    • FreedomPlane says:

      I would like to inform you that you still can get enhanced pat down after going through the naked body scanner if they see something suspicious. So there is not really an option except RESISTANCE and SAYING NO.

  43. Canadian Visitor says:

    I am a Canadian who is unfortunate enough to have already booked non-refundable plane tickets some time back to take my family to Disneyland in the new year. Now my family is terrified to travel to the US. What is going on with you Americans? Do you not realize that you have a president who is both authorizing and responsible for a government run sexual molestation squad? The buck stops with Mr. Obama. Yes, TSA employees are the vile human beings who do the dirty work for him, but he is ultimately responsible for every single assault. Every American and every foreigner that is sexually molested by TSA personnel is one of Mr. Obama’s victims. Whether physically assaulted during the euphemistically named “enhanced pat down” or photographed in a nude scanner, one more person is molested. What we are seeing is not new. We’ve seen it in the Balkans’ wars, in African conflicts, and many other horrible situations around the world. Government figures and warlords that we often end up labelling with the “crimes against humanity” tag assemble squads to terrorize the populace using sexual assault as a weapon. Sometimes this extends to rape, maiming, and murder. One would hope Mr. Obama would not take things to those subsequent levels, but then again, who would have suspected he would operate the sexual assault program he’s already got in place. This is state sanctioned terrorism aimed at air travellers (for now) – call it what it is.

    You folks claim to live in the “land of the free and the home of the brave”, yet you are doing little to stop it. I don’t see freedom and I don’t see bravery. Do you not understand how evil your government has become? Why are you not in the streets protesting? The TSA is a government-run criminal organization. There is not a single employee of that organization that does not share responsibility for engaging in or facilitating terrorism. “I was just following orders” is not now nor ever has been an acceptable defense. Do something. And if you are a TSA employee with any fragment of humanity left in you, quit your job and make amends by helping to fight this.

    I expect this will be the last trip my family ever makes to the US. Your country is simply too hazardous a place to enter.

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