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Which would you choose: a full-body scan or a pat-down?

Airline passengers who object to any type of physical screening are not going to fly anywhere, the head of the Transportation Security Administration told a congressional committee Tuesday.

Consumer rights activist Ralph Nader has called the measures -- the pat-downs and the scanners -- "extremely voyeuristic and intrusive." An Ashburn man is organizing a national "opt-out day" for the day before Thanksgiving. He is urging travelers to decline to use the full-body scanners and demand enhanced pat-downs to increase awareness of the technique.

By Abha Bhattarai  |  November 17, 2010; 12:36 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I haven't flown in years and I don't intend to - not until flying returns to a civil, dignified activity.

Why should I have to endure either of these invasive procedures merely to have the opportunity to spend hundreds of extra dollars to travel somewhere in a closed, confined, cramped capsule? And usually with no food, to boot!

I'm not a criminal. I refuse to do business to the tune of several hundred dollars with any person or business or government that treats me as such. Period.

I will not be frisked. I will not be pornagraphically xrayed. I will not allow my image to be laughed at in some small room with employees that aren't supposed to be viewing the xrays, but do on a regular basis.

How 'bout you?

I'm sick of having my freedom curtailed, my rights taken away, because of Muslim terrorists. Let's just call a spade a spade, here.

We're worried about terrorists hijacking planes, blowing up planes, airports, and buildings, right? Were we worried about this before 9/11?

No.

So, we're not worried about the domestic terrorist, like Timothy McVeigh. It's doubtful whether their "plots" would involve hijacking an airplane, anyway. It's never been there "M.O."

We've been specifically worried about Muslim terrorists for the past decade. We're worried about Muslim terrorists coming into the country. Fine. We should be. So let's detain EVERY foreign Muslim entering our country until we can be sure they're not a terrorist. That makes sense. Are we doing that?

NO, we're not. Why not? Why aren't Republicans, who are supposed to be so concerned about national security, introducing a bill to this effect?

What about the foreign-born Muslims who are in our country going to school, working, or just living here? Are these the people the airport checks are supposed to catch? Fine. Then just pat and scan them.

But not me. I'm not Muslim. I'm not foreign-born. I'm not a terrorist.

It's ridiculous for people to say we shouldn't be "racially profiling" airline travelers! OF COURSE WE SHOULD BE! We're looking for Muslim terrorists. It's either target foreign-born individuals and Muslims, or target EVERYONE.

Which do you prefer?

I prefer targeting the individuals who are the most likely people to be Muslim terrorists. That would include all foreign-born individuals entering the country, Muslim or not, and all Muslims/their family/friends/etc.

Surely our government is capable of discerning which people this includes, thereby excluding the rest of us innocent, law-abiding citizens.

Until then, I don't fly. I'll take a bus, rent a car, take a train or boat, or otherwise find a way to my intended destination - one without being made to suffer these intrusions into my most private, well....privates.

To me, this is just shocking. Absolutely shocking, that Americans aren't more outraged and are just "taking it" like so many sheep.

No wonder Muslims think we're pathetic dogs.

BOYCOTT THE AIRLINES till govt. "gets it."

Posted by: kentuckywoman2 | November 17, 2010 1:50 PM

If you choose a pat-down, remember to ask the TSA employee if he or she is a gay man or lesbian woman. No sense getting a pat-down from a same-sex TSA screener if he or she is attracted to the same sex!

I'll just make some sad government employee have to look at my body. I bet every last one of them was fired from some government job where they were caught surfing porn at work.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 17, 2010 2:16 PM

This just shows how stupid people are. There is nothing pornographic about what the full-body scans show. The visual is very general. And besides, who really cares? We Americans are so hung up on our body appearances and sexualize everything. No wonder we have so many eating disorders and kids are getting plastic surgery. Grow up, people.

Posted by: Andrew53 | November 17, 2010 2:33 PM

kentuckywoman2 - "No wonder Muslims think we're pathetic dogs" This is racist. All Muslims are not terrorists.

blasmaic - "No sense getting a pat-down from a same-sex TSA screener if he or she is attracted to the same sex!" This is homophobic and ridiculous. Gay people don't want to molest you.

Posted by: jake14 | November 17, 2010 3:00 PM

It's pretty simple folks. If you find either or both of these security measures to intrusive, don't fly. And please don't hold up the line for the rest of us, we have places to go and don't want to hear your whining.

Posted by: wireman65 | November 17, 2010 3:05 PM

Oh boy...

I love how people choose to use Muslim and terrorist interchangeably. Oh wait, we can also throw Arab in there as well, right? How about people who practice Islam but not from middle Eastern countries? Terrorists too?
I found that rant ridiculously misguided, racist and unnecessary.

Now I'm not for intrusive means but this is the post-9/11 climate where paranoid and vigilant Americans believe in forfeiting every civil liberty for a bit of protection. Can't blame you, but it has grown to something excessive and unnerving. Who am I to say anything though? Saying something in that manner might make me seem...gasp...Un-American.

Posted by: wildstyler | November 17, 2010 3:12 PM

this question is badly worded, just like the other surveys. it should say *full body naked scanner* and *molesting pat down*. and these aren't all the options available, just surprise gift if you are lucky enough to be selected!

and the scanner is pornographic, the images the govt has shown us are purposely blurred because if people saw the real image they would think twice before getting in the machine.

Posted by: ntpierce9 | November 17, 2010 3:13 PM

Actually, I have a few questions about both procedures. They don't seem to add security. The scanner doesn't scan body orifices, so couldn't a woman terrorist just put something in her ladypocket and call it a day? A pat-down wouldn't feel that, either, unless the screener were getting to third base with the woman.

And what if a woman's wearing a pad? Would they have a way of telling the difference between a really thick pad and junk-explosives? If the woman says she's on the rag, will the TSA agent need to see evidence?

Finally, what does any of this have to do with the real errors in the underwear bomber case? The guy's father called up the State Department, he didn't have any luggage, he didn't bring a coat despite flying into Detroit in December, he was even on a watchlist, and none of this raised red flags with anyone. Wouldn't the same people who overlooked such obvious red flags also overlook any red flags they find while looking at nekkid scans and feeling up passengers?

Anyway, I would choose a pat-down as long as the TSA agent who'd do it was hot. Otherwise, I'd just go for the scan.

Posted by: dkp01 | November 17, 2010 4:42 PM

The counrty of Israel has been dealing with security checks and terrorists for decades, yet somehow been able to avoid requiring full-body scans of innocent-until-proven-guilty citizens going about their own business. What's their secret? Is it that their citizens don't hesitate to demand that expensive and stupid technology be scrapped?

Posted by: shadowmagician | November 17, 2010 4:48 PM

I'm choosing not to fly until someone can explain to me why a mom and her child boarding in Omaha on their way to Dallas must be virtually strip-searched or felt up. How many like persons boarding at these or similar airports have attempted to detonate an explosive device hidden in their crotches?
What problem is this solution in pursuit of?

Posted by: Davidd1 | November 17, 2010 4:51 PM

Strip search Muslims and leave the rest of us alone, please.

Posted by: NoWayNotNow | November 17, 2010 4:58 PM

I am an older woman. I agree to receive the same security screening as every Muslim woman wearing a full burqua with eye slits receives.

Posted by: GPFR | November 17, 2010 5:17 PM

Geeze! How STUPID!

The body scan can ACTUALLY forestall a terrorist disaster!

The scan CAN'T hurt you physically, and if you are hurt mentally by it, you are ALREADY emotionally maladjusted. Period.

Posted by: lufrank1 | November 17, 2010 5:17 PM

I gave up flying years ago. Pay money for airline employees to abuse me? Isn't that some kinky form of prostitution?

As for "security", if we were that concerned about killing innocent people then we'd put these security goons at the exit of every bar and stop drunk driving. That kills more than terrorists.

Posted by: colonelpanic | November 17, 2010 5:54 PM

How does Israel keep their passengers safe? One never hears of a problem there.

Posted by: Crustycrab | November 17, 2010 6:12 PM

Great to see so many will be staying home. Lines should move MUCH faster. Does ANYone believe that folks really will stay home? Just asking. We need the security; I'm glad they're doing it; I hope it results in fewer fliers; but I know for SURE it won't result in ANY fewer fliers.

Posted by: dolph924 | November 17, 2010 6:37 PM

When I was little there was a Commie under every bed. Now we have a terrorist under every bed. The government needs to control by fear. They have succeeded because I am more afraid of the pat downs and radiation machines than I am of a real terrorist. I shan't fly again until the airlines treat me as the princess that I truly am.

Posted by: Dipsy1 | November 17, 2010 7:38 PM

i personally don't feel that these body scans and pat-downs are enough to keep us safe. i'm not going to get on a plane until they require ALL passengers to submit to a physical full body-cavity search.

the TSA is always one step behind these genius terrorists who continue to outsmart us: after the "shoe bomber," we have to take our shoes off for inspection; after the "underwear bomber," we get to have our jewels juggled. TSA needs to preemptively search for the inevitable "rectum bomber" and the "hooha bomber".

Posted by: joeboo1 | November 17, 2010 7:45 PM

I was present at the bombing of the World Trade Center. More recently, remember that the Christmas Day bomber had his bomb concealed in his underwear, and the only reason that plane wasn't blown to smithereens was that his fuse malfunctioned.

If the alternative is an untimely and painful death, I have no objection to a pat-down, a full body scan, or both. The only condition I would impose is that the person doing the patting or the scanning be of the same sex as the passenger being examined--and I wouldn't insist on that if the security people were short-staffed.

Especially after the Christmas Day attempted bombing, anyone who isn't willing to undergo patting or scanning is welcome not to fly--his policy of no invasive searches would endanger all of our lives.

Posted by: avi31547 | November 17, 2010 8:24 PM

Hygiene is also a consideration; and cleanliness standards are different from culture to culture. One may want to ask the TSA employee to change the gloves they are wearing, since those gloves have touched the clothes of countless people, including the intimate clothing areas of men and women, some women of whom are wearing skirts. Also, some people do not wear underwear, so the TSA employee may unknowingly have touched countless "undergarments", only to pass on bacteria from one person to another, and another, and another...

Posted by: BlueDogHistorian | November 17, 2010 8:33 PM

I am surprised more people are not questioning the efficacy of these scans; you can count the number of times there has been a bomb found on an airplane in 10 years. I think it's a grand total of two, not counting the guy who hid the materials on the plane just to make a point. What happened to that story?

While everyone is debating naked photos, the cargo stream is dreadfully vulnerable.

Let's add the question of safety. I don't know what a millimeter wave is. I know it's a form of radiation, which like every other form of radiation is perfectly safe, yes?

There are privacy issues. Let's say you're a top model (they fly a lot) or rock star. Well now, that should be fun. Trust me, everyone working the shift will know. Then there is the issue of scans of children and minors. Such a photo could land someone in jail for 10 years. Now government workers can look at pubescent and prepubescent young people with impunity?

From Wikipedia:

Claims on behalf of authorities that naked body scanner images are immediately destroyed after passengers pass through new x-ray backscatter devices were questioned after Indian film star Shahrukh Khan joked his image was printed out and circulated by airport staff at Heathrow in London. This comment appears to be a joke[8][9], but reports of full-body scanner images being improperly and perhaps illegally saved and disseminated continue to emerge.[10]

And for what exactly? You don't need a bomb or actual toxins to hijack an airplane. You merely need to be a good bluffer. Why haven't I heard this mentioned?

When I was boarding the Liberty Island ferry over the summer, the rather snide "security" workers took away a mini Leatherman from my photo bag. Someone said, "All you need is a small knife to hijack something."

I replied:

"All you need is a sentence."

We shall see where this is all heading. Wake up, people.

Posted by: PlanetWaves | November 17, 2010 8:58 PM

I just got back from Europe. The only counties terrorizing their own citizens are the United States and Great Britain. And both have to buy the technology from China and child-labor nations. Where is the high ground?

Posted by: BigTrees | November 17, 2010 8:59 PM

2,977 People lost their lives because of terror attacks on 9/11.

16,000 people have died from idiots texting.

34,000 people died from drunken driving accidents in 2008.

Nincompoops.

The people who want to shred he Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are cowards and traitors. The numbers don’t add up for any of their arguments.

Both those who make these searches and those who agree to them are nothing less than sex perverts who should be locked up, put on sex offender registry and be forced to live 1,000 miles from any kindergarten class in the USA.

Posted by: colonelpanic | November 17, 2010 11:00 PM

Get a grip, folks. This isn't about sex, as much as some of you would like to think so. It's as unsexy as can be. It's about security. Those of us who fly frequently understand and appreciate this.

If you freak at the idea of a bored screener looking at a blurred image of you just stay home, for goodness sake. And while you're at, cut the whining. It sounds pathetic.

Posted by: HydeParker | November 17, 2010 11:19 PM


I see the bigots are here in force tonight. Case in point:

"I prefer targeting the individuals who are the most likely people to be Muslim terrorists. That would include all foreign-born individuals entering the country, Muslim or not, and all Muslims/their family/friends/etc."
- kentuckywoman2

Several other comments by other bigots were made in a similar sick vein. Please grow up.


Posted by: bloggersvilleusa | November 17, 2010 11:31 PM

Bend over, Kool-Aid drinkers. It's time for your anal probe.

Posted by: Ken42 | November 17, 2010 11:31 PM

My guess is that all of you who say you'll skip flying until the scanners are gone never travel very far anyway. Take a bus? Say, from San Francisco to Chicago? Or New York to London? It's true that flying has become increasingly inconvenient, but generally, the airlines treat you worse than TSA does.

But let's face it, if you want to travel any distance and you have a schedule to keep, this is part of the price.

And, speaking as someone who has been through a scanner, it didn't seem at all about sex to me! Some of the comments about that are truly bizarre.

I was on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit (the same route as the Christmas Day bomber, but months later), and EVERYONE was patted down at the gate. I prefer a scanner to that.

Posted by: MikiS | November 18, 2010 1:02 AM

If you really don't want to undergo intrusive security screenings, go to Indonesia. I'm sure there's more terrorists as a percentage of the population there rather than here, and yet they fly safely with metal detectors, xray machines, and lax security personnel.

Why do domestic flights need so much scrutiny? Do we distrust each other SO much?

Posted by: antispy | November 18, 2010 1:48 AM

"Strip search Muslims and leave the rest of us alone, please."

I'd like to add while male Christians who have served in the armed forced to that, as they're the biggest risk of DOMESTIC terrorism.

Posted by: antispy | November 18, 2010 1:55 AM

Anyone who submits to an X-ray better worry about the long-term health effects. But most people don't worry, they just smoke, drink, and eat whatever nasty food they like. Don't cry when you get real sick. You brought it on yourself!

Posted by: Client_9 | November 18, 2010 4:53 AM

I'm going to try to not fly unless it's absolutely necessary. I understand why TSA wants to do this, but you don't even get thoroughly groped going into the Pentegon. The way these non government employees ar edigging around now looks mor elike a prison pat down.

Posted by: lidiworks1 | November 18, 2010 6:22 AM

I eagerly looked forward to TSA staff being arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
2012. No liberals. No exceptions.

Posted by: 1911a1 | November 18, 2010 6:52 AM

just got back from Europe. The only counties terrorizing their own citizens are the United States and Great Britain.
Posted by: BigTrees | November 17, 2010 8:59 PM

You must have been in some imaginary Europe (maybe you just watched a movie). The only full body scans I have been through were in Europe. I have been patted down more in Europe, asked to take my shoes off more - pretty much everything, including security confiscating bottles of drinks that were clearly purchased in Duty Free. I have flown in and around Europe repeatedly many times a year for the last couple decades. It's the same as in the States, pretty much, if not sometimes more intrusive.

I hope all of you who say you won't be flying realy mean it. It will be a relief to know that people like Kentuckywoman2 are not sitting next to me.

Posted by: milo13 | November 18, 2010 6:55 AM

"Pat-down"? Why don't we call it what it really is...a grope-up.

Posted by: creeper92 | November 18, 2010 6:55 AM

Being searched under any circumstance is insulting, but it beats dying with a bunch of other poor sods in the air and on the ground. Scans produce quick and effective searches. I find no comfort in being a "free man"on a plane that ultimately kills 3000 people by design, or be complicit therein by demanding a no search boarding policy. I gladly sacrifice one brief moment of my privacy to secure the lives of the innocents below.

Posted by: merrill1 | November 18, 2010 7:37 AM

This just shows how stupid people are. There is nothing pornographic about what the full-body scans show. The visual is very general. And besides, who really cares? We Americans are so hung up on our body appearances and sexualize everything. No wonder we have so many eating disorders and kids are getting plastic surgery. Grow up, people.

Posted by: Andrew53

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is not about being a prude, I have been to nude beaches, it is about the 4th amendment, basic human decency, and the fact this is all for show and will not make us any safer at all.

The terrorist are winning, I never feared them but now I fear what other constitution rights the government will ignore in the name of security theater.

Posted by: flonzy1 | November 18, 2010 7:43 AM

Folks, its all about keeping us safe. If somebody boarded a plane with a bomb or a weapon, most people would say "Where was the TSA? Why didn't they catch this guy?" Either accept the security procedures that are intended to keep us safe or stay home, period!

Posted by: dbruce1973 | November 18, 2010 7:56 AM

Some of the posters here are simply stupid racists. The bottom line is that the scan basically shows nothing that would arouse 99.9999999999999% of the people. The screener is at another location and will never see you and would be highly unlikely to even recognize you based on your scan. I find the body pat down far more intrusive. All in all I think the best bomb detection method is a third option, dogs. Studies have shown that they are far more effective than current bomb detection technology and far cheaper. Let the dogs sniff passengers.

And to all the simple minded bigots out there, while I agree profiling makes sense, to assume every traveler who "looks Muslim" should be searched and no one else you do not realize that every populated continent has significant populations that are Muslim. Bigots idiots!

Posted by: rcc_2000 | November 18, 2010 8:08 AM

With those survey results, maybe my line will be a bit shorter the next time. The sacan was rather quick and I much prefer them to the pat downs that take twice as long just for the TSA lady to explain (as they have to) everything they are going to do. Doctors have seen me fully naked, in color and face to face. Who care what some guy or gal thinks in a room off somewhere else.

Besides if somehing did happen all of these "privacy concern" people who no doubt be first in line to blame the TSA for not looking carefully enough and demanding more.

Posted by: schnauzer21 | November 18, 2010 8:08 AM

This won't win the so-called 'war on terrorism'.

Other countries have proven there are more more effective, less intrusive ways to stop terrorists from boarding planes.

Posted by: HillRat | November 18, 2010 8:13 AM

It is profoundly disingenuous of TSA Director John Pistole to suggest that most flyers would welcome the porno-scan or feel-up at the gate for reasons of their own personal safety on the flight. I'm 52 years old and I've flown on planes and I know that in my lifetime, even including 9-11, my own personal odds of being involved in any kind of criminal event while on an airplane are miniscule -- always have been, always will be -- body scan or no body scan. Whereas under this new policy, my odds of an intrusive and invasive search have become very, very, high. As individuals, we're trading a negligible risk of personal harm for a near certainty of losing a personal right.

By the same token, on a city street in our nation, our odds of being a victim of violent crime are far, far higher than our odds of ever being involved in a hijacking or sabotage, et cetera. Would we invite the police in a city or suburban neighborhood to put their hands in people's pants to prevent such crime, absent any reasonable suspicion — even with profiling, let alone in this random way? Naturally not — and in any case, our rights as citizens prevent it. That would be illegal.

The Obama administration has gone to court to prevent Arizona from stopping and searching people who the police feel may be illegal trespassers in our nation. But they're happy having citizens -- you and me -- subjected under duress to an otherwise illegal search because we have the temerity to travel within our own land. The heck with that. In the first case they're right. In the second, they are wrong.

If you personally endorse this policy for the reason Mr. Pistole advances -- a tradeoff between privacy and safety -- the only reasonable motivation is altruism, not self-interest. You are agreeing to an invasive personal search, not in order to be safe yourself, but in order to reduce the odds that somebody (anybody) will be hijacked. In personal terms, you have safety in numbers. Your own personal odds of being hijacked are already acceptable to you, or you would not be getting on the plane to begin with (duh). If this kind of thing is necessary in order to make you feel safe, you would never have flown under the old regime.

I'm opposed to this search, and my reasons for that are also altruistic. I find it very disturbing to see my countrymen reduced to a herd of shuffling monkeys who would welcome being treated like helpless children. I can hold on to my own personal pride, if by chance The Man decides to beat me down. But what is happening to my country now?

We foiled one of the 9-11 hijackings, my people -- and that was before the cockpits were locked. We can foil a hijacking without Uncle Babysitter. I have a pair of nuts (the Anthony McAuliffe kind) and I do not need them fondled in order to feel safe on a plane. Our leaders' rhetoric these days is founded in fear. For the nation's sake, I wish they would try grounding it in courage.

Posted by: pressF1 | November 18, 2010 8:20 AM

Wall Street and the national security extremists turned 9/11 into a profit center at the airports. And another excuse to discard the Bill of Rights.

The result is that Americans are repelled by the experience and avoid it.

As long as Congress continues to give our economy and security into the hands of paranoids and profiteers American industry and and culture will suffer.

Posted by: aahpat | November 18, 2010 8:31 AM

I am thinking it might be easier to just take my junk out and let them be envious.

Posted by: Rasmuncher | November 18, 2010 8:32 AM

Fly naked!

Problem solved.

Posted by: aahpat | November 18, 2010 8:34 AM

This is part of the sad state of American Culture WARS. Those who believe search everyone all the time is better then profiling,even intelligent evidence based profiling, vs those who are against unreasonable search as is in the constitution, as usual those hoping for a middle ground are left holding the bag

Posted by: hoover2 | November 18, 2010 8:37 AM

I'm not going to subject myself to that, but for those who have to, to get somewhere, I suggest that you demand the pat down and the moment hands are place upon you, start making little moaning sounds and muttering "Oh, yeah, baby. Higher. Yeah, that's it" etc.
And who is keeping the statistics on who gets pulled from the line? How does anyone know the randomness is actually that? Stand up, sheeple. Demand that the government use meaningful techniques to find terrorists--instead of treating everyone like a terrorist.
If they can't even read and apply the "No Fly" list, they're entitled to do this instead?

Posted by: Beckola | November 18, 2010 8:46 AM

Porno screeners===federal stimulus.

Posted by: EliPeyton | November 18, 2010 8:50 AM

I would rather live in a world where terrorist attacks do happen - although they are less likely than being struck by lightning - than live in a world where radiation or groping is guaranteed for air travel.

If you are so irrationally terrified of the terrists, stay home and don't fly. Flying is a priveledge, not a right.

Not being groped and not being subject to radiation are rights that IMO trump irrational fear.

Posted by: mikenimzo | November 18, 2010 8:52 AM

Whichever is fast should be a category! Thats how I determine which I want. I think the scanner is more secure as far as safety from would be bombers. But people who find it threatening could have a choice but pat downs should be through enough to catch that bomb in the crotch and I would prefer not to be touched that way by a stranger. That said it didn't bother me to be patted down when I flew thru Manila last year and they patted down everyone on the flight for some reason. I have a preference but am not going to get rabid about it.

Posted by: tesnusxenos | November 18, 2010 8:57 AM

If we're only putting random people through the machines or subjecting them to "enhanced" pat downs, the majority are still going through the older metal detectors.

So Mr. TSA looks like a complete bafoon defending the new machines and standards. If it's that important to use these new screenings, why are only a fraction of people (randomly) subject to them??

We should profile people just like the Israelis do. Stop the political correctness - only Islamic terrorists have done what we are trying to prevent. USE INTELLIGENCE TO TARGET THE LIKELY OFFENDERS!! Duh. To treat the rest of us like criminals is insulting and un-American.

Posted by: thinker16 | November 18, 2010 8:58 AM

The private jet industry could really make some inroads if the cost of a ticket wasn't so extravagant.

Posted by: retiree11 | November 18, 2010 9:05 AM

I am not convinced that the $10 an hour screener and/or "officer" who pats me down has any idea what he or she is doing, other than feeling powerful in a rent-a cop suit, harassing passengers, and looking at semi-naked images of men and women. I do not know if the images are saved somewhere for their infantile amusement. All I know is that the TSA was thrown together hastily, underfunded, and has become the front line for safety in the air. It is a joke, the employees are sullen, and uninterested people who don't really like their job, and I for one don't like McDonald's rejects looking over my body and telling me I am safe to fly.

Posted by: fmamstyle | November 18, 2010 9:11 AM

Evidently all of you whiny now-non-travelers never took an international flight in the '70s, '80s or '90s. Pat downs are no big deal, and frankly the scanners have got to be much faster!

Posted by: contrarymom | November 18, 2010 9:12 AM

Why do people care so much about a little groping? They're not kneeing you in the nuts or giving you a tittie twister.

Posted by: Chigliak | November 18, 2010 9:14 AM

Muslims blow up planes, slaughter people

Obama's Democrats react by groping the testicles of non-muslim air travelers

Politically Correct solutions to a real problem always fail

TSA are union thugs, over-paid by the tax payer, whose dues money is then turned into political contributions to the democrats

Like with their ideological fellow socialists, the Blue Uniformed TSA are the Schutzstaffel of the democrat Party....

1935-45 saw that while those in that uniform may have had some "Good Germans" in their ranks......most were committed Nazis.......just like the TSA

Posted by: georgedixon1 | November 18, 2010 9:15 AM

I'm taking the train. The terrorist are always gong to be one step ahead so it's a crap shoot. They send some cargo bombs as test packages, then we openly publish a list of things to look for in a suspiscous package and bingo! Now they know how not to wrap the package. Duh!!!

They'll figure out a way around the body pat downs and scans too. That's the axiom of security, it's only as good as the last attack or breach that you know about.

We need to be more proactive in our methods. Body scanning and xraying every package, or shipping container that enter the US is just not feasable - too expensive, and too invasive.

In case you hadn't noticed their strategy is to slowly whittle away at our core values, and freedom. And they can seriously damage major industries in our country such as airlines simply by using our fear against us.

One very important thing to keep in mind is that the people in these countries have been warring amongst themselves for hundreds ,if not thousands of years. Warring over who controls a certain valley, or whether a certain prophet that they worship is legitimate, over a the "country", the "countires were created by us after WWII. They know that we tink every war should last 5 years max because that's what happened in the last great war. People think, jeeez it only took us 5 years to fight WWII and we haven't even found bin laden yet!?!? Where's the ROI on that?

These countries were created by the allies after WWII, you don't have to go back to far in history too find them pretty much living the way the have for thousands of years, literally. I mean, they stone people to death and the whole village joins in to celebrate. This is pretty much as babaric as it gets and conjures up images of Rome and the "games" they used to host in the coliseum.

We need to get off oil addiction and let them destroy themselves from within.

Posted by: Dudlio | November 18, 2010 9:16 AM

Are lead lined underwear allowed?
They are available.
If you wear them to hide your "junk" from scanner would you be forced to have a "pat down"?

Posted by: nychap44 | November 18, 2010 9:17 AM

I am thinking of cutting out an aluminium foil sign that says F**& You and pasting to to my leg.

Posted by: Rasmuncher | November 18, 2010 9:23 AM

What happened to the concept of public servant? We are now being treated like servants or inmates by our government masters.

In two years when Napolitano and Pistole lose their jobs, they will receive millions from X-Rated X-Rays, Inc.

Posted by: alance | November 18, 2010 9:31 AM

America lost a great deal with the passage of the Patriot Act. It's time we retook our civil liberties and rights back. This TSA policy is nothing but a waste of taxpayers time and money. It will not prevent a terrorist attack and anyone denying it is only deluding themselves. Pat-downs and scanners invade our privacy and it's time to fight it in the courts and in the airports. I hope the Thanksgiving weekend descends into chaos so that this issue gets more scrutiny.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | November 18, 2010 9:36 AM

As part of the pending renewal of the Bush tax cuts a provision should be included that those making more than $250,000 per year, NO, make that $1 million per year, should be exempt from scanners or being patted down at the airport. After all, what good is making a million a year if you have to be subjected to humiliating groping like the other 98 percent?

Posted by: mzf123 | November 18, 2010 9:41 AM

To all you whining morons: My security trumps your privacy every single time. So please don't fly anymore so the rest of us won't have to put up with your idiocy anymore. I will enjoy the extra elbow room.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | November 18, 2010 9:42 AM

KENTUCKYWOMAN2's comments are deeply disturbing... Hopefully hateful (and supremely ignorant) people like that are a tiny minority.

Posted by: DeepClue | November 18, 2010 9:59 AM

Lets see, get scanned, get patted, or get blown up? I'll take either of the first two. Thank you.

Posted by: kendallc2 | November 18, 2010 10:02 AM

Solution to this madness:
Dump Big Sis - Install William,I Did Not Have Sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky not once, ever, Clinton as the new head of the TSA. He could do a National preview of the TSA groping procedures and use the previously groped Kathleen Wiley as his aide!!! You Betcha!!

Posted by: bobcatbuzz | November 18, 2010 10:03 AM

I heard, this morning, if you tell the TSA folks you are Muslim and this is against your religion, you only go through the old regular screening. Doesn't sound fair to me, if this is true.

Posted by: smithcha1001 | November 18, 2010 10:06 AM

lol. Nobody's been able to say how this helps make anyone secure. Seriously, stick some powder explosive in a maxi pad, stick some components in a condom and put it up your hoo-hah. It's small, but it only takes a small explosive to drop a plane out of the sky.

Backscatter machines can't see inside body orifices. Pat-downs won't be able to tell the difference between a pad and some well-hidden powder explosive material that's stuffed inside one. It wouldn't bother me to be scanned, it wouldn't offend me to be groped, but it bothers me that we're throwing money after products that don't actually make us more secure. If they're $100k-$200k a pop, and we deploy say 300, then that's $30-$60 million for machines that can't see everything and that you can opt out of anyway. Instead, you can get a pat-down from an agent who again cannot catch everything, and can be easily fooled with the right materials.

Posted by: dkp01 | November 18, 2010 10:16 AM

I when for the screen in the survey, but if you get to pick the sex of your pat downer, then I might change my mind.
Seriously, I bet if they used Hooter Girls and Male Models for the pat downs, the number of complaints would go down.
Except they would have a new complaint, ...
he/she didn't touch my junk:)

BTW its true that the machines or pat downs will not catch everything, but a whole lot of these terrorists are not that smart to begin with and are not playing with a full deck. Many of the last attempts were just sad, and even the 9/11 plot had holes you could have driven a truck through if we had been alert to the threat in the 9 months leading up to the attack.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | November 18, 2010 10:27 AM

I really hope Glenn Beck Christians are having nightmares their TSA fondler will be gay!

Posted by: areyousaying | November 18, 2010 10:28 AM

Screen all "foreign-born individuals", says the idiot from Kentucky, crystal meth capital of the US. And how will we tell who is a naturalized citizen on domestic flights where one presents a driver's license? My senile bigot co-worker, who is as big an idiot as kentuckywoman, was born in Germany in 1929. Oops!
Saw an intersting interview last night with the former head of security for El-Al Airlines. The Israelis don't do anything like this absurd stuff. Instead of hiring former rent-a-cops at $10/hr, they train security agents to profile through targeted questioning of every single passenger while they are waiting on line for baggage check or whatever. Seems like it works for them, and if there is any nation more hated in the Muslim world than America, it's Israel.

Posted by: GreybirdK1 | November 18, 2010 10:34 AM

This entire debate is very depressing to me.

Clearly some people would prefer to avoid these full body imagers and the pat downs. There are no other viable options??

The chemical scanners that puff air on you are so much less effective than the full body imagers??

In LAX, I have witnessed "celebrities" being escorted around the security area to protect their privacy from the fawning public. What's next for us, celebrity terrorist bombers??

It would seem that TSA should have one intelligent employee who could figure out a better way.

Posted by: woodchucky8 | November 18, 2010 10:39 AM

I think we're wasting our time with these full body scans and pat downs. All we need to do is hire special TSA guards to perform Vulcan Mind Melds on each and every passenger. That way, we don't have to worry about anyone looking at--or touching--our wee-wees.

Posted by: jobro1 | November 18, 2010 10:45 AM

Kentuckywoman2, if you run for president I'll vote for you. Couldn't have said it better myself.

I vomit in my mouth when I hear my parents bleat about how "they have nothing to hide, scan away, otherwise a terrorist will kill everyone."

People today seem PROUD to just give up their constitutional rights. They're PROUD to get scanned and not complain. I'm just appalled.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | November 18, 2010 10:46 AM

Muddy_Buddy_2000, you're right that these terrorists are not always that bright, but the problems we've had in catching/stopping them seem to be problems with our own intelligence community. Like the underwear bomber's dad calling up the US government and telling us that his son is planning something, long before the man got on a plane. Hiring better secretaries to jot down important phone calls would be cheaper and more effective than either the scan or the pat-down.

I also agree with you that if the TSA implemented a no-uglies hiring policy, the number of complaints would drop. :)

Posted by: dkp01 | November 18, 2010 10:46 AM

We are victims of a "Colonized Mind". We are accepting less civil liberties and rights for a false since of security. The real issue is "money". There is lots of money at stake purchasing these very expensive machines, maintaining them and hiring a bureaucracy of people to manage and operate them.

The Long lines and crowded security checkpoints are a terrorist dream. They don't have to be on a plane to create massive casualties, all they need to do now is detonate their bombs at the very crowded security checkpoints the TSA has created. The best way to handle this is not to subject everyone to these pat-downs and "naked body scanners" but to use the, proven, Israeli model (properly) and profile.

Posted by: czlong | November 18, 2010 10:50 AM

This entire flying scenario is the biggest selling point to traveling by Amtrak. The boy king from Chicago strikes again.

Posted by: GordonShumway | November 18, 2010 10:51 AM

This is all about employment security and bigger budgets for the TSA. That liberal Carol O'Connor, posing as the arch-conservative Archie Bunker, had it right years ago when he said, "the way to stop hi-jackings is to give everyone a gun as they board the plane."

Posted by: magellan1 | November 18, 2010 10:52 AM

TSA = Terrorists Subjugating Americans

Posted by: _BSH | November 18, 2010 10:53 AM

If there is so much danger, so little separating us from those who would kill themselves to kill a planeload of others, so much need for escalating and intrusive searches, why aren't there people blowing themselves up in the middle of Grand Central Terminal, packed subway stations or crowded restaurants where there is zero screening? This is not a rhetorical question.

Posted by: rwassmer | November 18, 2010 10:58 AM

I have flown about once a month for the last 10 years. Most of these flights have been personal, domestic travel. I have always enjoyed flying, even after the decline in service, food, and security hassels. I purchased an expensive belt that would not set off the metal detector to make travel just a little easier. Taking the metal out of your pockets, taking your jacket off, removing your laptop from the bag, and finally taking your shoes off, was just about enough security.

Recently, I was selected for the body scan at RDU, twice. I have never seen a scanner at DCA. I guess the people running the government don't have time for such things. I am not a prude, but I do object to being treated like a criminal. These things are touted as being used in prisons. Well I guess so.

I am done flying between RDU and DCA. American Airlines will have one more overpriced seat available for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I will fly when I don't have a choice. I will be driving to DC in November and December. I expect to also drive in January and February. I'll be continuing to Springfield, MA in February as well. Those are ten flights I made last year.

When I do go back to the airport, I will insist on the pat down, by a female. I am not a homophobe, but I haven't been felt up by a woman in a while and I'm looking forward to it. I just hope I don't have to tip her.

In case no one has noticed, the terrorists in Yemen have figured out that no one is checking cargo. As for the personal would be bombers, they seem to have also noticed that whatever they need to do their business will fit neatly inside their bodies. Hey, if you are going to die, what the heck?

The real point I guess is that the terrorists have learned from past mistakes. TSA is too busy making people feel safe to actually do anything and address the next threat.

I just hope the stimulus money for those scanners stayed in the US and we can sell all those metal detectors for a few bucks.

Posted by: JustHarryToo | November 18, 2010 11:01 AM

Yeah, the next time I travel from the United States to Europe, I'll take the train. That'll show those Constitution-haters over at TSA how angry I am.

Posted by: jobro1 | November 18, 2010 11:11 AM

At this point, I'd rather take my chances on getting killed--it's less humilating than having naked pictures taken or being fondled by some GED-drop out on a power trip.

Posted by: map529 | November 18, 2010 11:12 AM

The perverts of the TSA can jiggle my junk all day if it drives the muslims crazy and off the planes.

Posted by: carlbatey | November 18, 2010 11:13 AM

Good grief! People are trying to kill us and now we're griping about being screened for our own safety. As one who actually flies regularly, I'm pleased that we have well-trained and adequatly paid federal screeners who are being provided with increasingly sophisticated equipment to help them do their job competently.

If you fear that government screeners might get a thrill from a fleeting glance at what ever is in your skivvies that you've afraid someone might discover the truth about, just stick to traveling in your pick up truck with the anti-government bumper stickers.

Posted by: MaryAnnEvans1 | November 18, 2010 11:13 AM

Next a corrupt TSA employee will be auctioning off images of Jason Bieber's willy to members of NAMBLA.

Posted by: areyousaying | November 18, 2010 11:13 AM

I opted for full body scan. But this is assuming I *have* to fly someplace. I hate flying.

The big thing that bothers me about airport security is that we are always looking at yesterday's attacks and being reactive and not thinking of future attacks. For example, all these new security procedures are making lines longer and longer. What's to stop some terrorist from packing a large carry-on full of explosives and setting it off at security (killing a bunch of people and shutting down air traffic--at that airport and maybe across the country). Nothing.

We've gotten so obsessed with adding more and more stuff to make things more "secure" that we are creating a new risk.

There needs to be common sense and intelligence to security, not randomness and illogical searches.

Posted by: mizzoutiger | November 18, 2010 11:15 AM

Other passengers have stopped terrorists more than the TSA's taxpayer-funded radiation toys have.

I have a feeling that the sheep who french-kiss every new security measure dreamed up by Bushbama will happily bend over and accept their boarding-probe once the "pat-down" involves a full cavity search. Well, maybe 1 in 10.

But these same people will b|tch about not being allowed to put an inflatable jesus out on their local courthouse lawn. I hope that you're flying to a clinic where you'll be sterilized. Wait, nevermind, the scanners probably do that to you anyway. In that case, how about you take a world tour?

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | November 18, 2010 11:17 AM

I'm sorry but this is such a bunch of whining. Get over it. Nobody cares what you look like naked. Let's see...The right to board a plane without having some person in a different location who can't see me and doesn't know who I am look at an electronic representation of what my body looks like naked...vs the right to board a plane that doesn't have guns and explosives on it. I'll take the dollop of "fascism" and the safe plane, thanks.

Posted by: patrick94114 | November 18, 2010 11:18 AM

Why do so many have a problem with a full body scan? It's quick, easy, physically non-intrusive. Must be lots of morally-strict Puritans out there.

Posted by: LifeBeforePrinciple | November 18, 2010 11:23 AM

Even better, I'll SWIM to Europe. Darn TSA Fascists.

Posted by: jobro1 | November 18, 2010 11:24 AM

The poll is (as these polls often are) incomplete. I prefer neither - but when I have to fly I will presumably have to choose.

I already mourn the passing of a free people when I fly - that is, with the regimentation that was in place before this latest, absurd overreaction.

I have to fly 2-3 times a year (driving from Maryland to the West Coast is not an option, even if I thought my car was up to it). So I will have to temporize with these measures, unless the popular outcry gets them removed. But while I will not resist, I will never consent. I consider them a violation of the Fourth Amendment, imposed by the coercive power of the state, which the Constitution was supposed to restrain.

Posted by: paulhume | November 18, 2010 11:25 AM

ntpierce9 posted:
"...the scanner is pornographic, the images the govt has shown us are purposely blurred because if people saw the real image they would think twice before getting in the machine. "

Uh, sure. If all the images you have seen are the ones the government has released, how do you know that they are blurred? Do also believe that JFK is alive and well and is being held with Elvis in area 51 too?

Posted by: ahashburn | November 18, 2010 11:28 AM

Why on earth did you word the poll this way? The last question is a double-barrelled question (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-barreled_question).

If you're trying to get at whether or not the public supports the new policy, just ask what they find acceptable and then a final answer of none at all.

For example, I am strongly opposed to the new security measure, but work and family obligations mean that I can't swear off flying entirely.

Posted by: jwind | November 18, 2010 11:28 AM

MILO13 writes:
I have been patted down more in Europe, asked to take my shoes off more - pretty much everything, including security confiscating bottles of drinks that were clearly purchased in Duty Free. I have flown in and around Europe repeatedly many times a year for the last couple decades. It's the same as in the States, pretty much, if not sometimes more intrusive.
-----------------------
Gee, I just flew from CDG to ORD at the end of September. No shoe removal, no porn body scan, no sexuallly assaultive groping did I experience. Nor did I observe any such goings on anywhere nearby during my passage through security.
What Europe do you travel through?

Posted by: Davidd1 | November 18, 2010 11:29 AM

"To all you whining morons: My security trumps your privacy every single time."
- adrienne_najjar

So I suppose you wouldn't object to full cavity searches then? After all, it's the only way to be COMPLETELY secure, and security trumps privacy every single time, right?

Posted by: mikenimzo | November 18, 2010 11:30 AM


When a pat down or scan shows a women has a lump of cotton menstrual pad between her legs will it also be searched to see if it might be of dangerous materials?
Might it be better to have dogs at each line as they can smell dangerous materials even if they are internally placed? Most people like dogs and they cost less than scanners.

Posted by: darrenMeBoy | November 18, 2010 11:34 AM


When a pat down or scan shows a women has a lump of cotton menstrual pad between her legs will it also be searched to see if it might be of dangerous materials?
Might it be better to have dogs at each line as they can smell dangerous materials even if they are internally placed? Most people like dogs and they cost less than scanners.

Posted by: darrenMeBoy | November 18, 2010 11:35 AM

I just flew from HKG to SFO and after 3 searches we got on the plane only to be given a meal with FULL METAL UTENSILS including a knife. Does this make sense?

Posted by: darrenMeBoy | November 18, 2010 11:38 AM

"When a pat down or scan shows a women has a lump of cotton menstrual pad between her legs will it also be searched to see if it might be of dangerous materials?
Might it be better to have dogs at each line as they can smell dangerous materials even if they are internally placed? Most people like dogs and they cost less than scanners."

I like this more than the scanners. It costs less money, it's effective, and keeps lines moving. And unlike scanners which only look at random people, dogs would be able to quickly walk by and smell everyone in line. As an added bonus, dogs in the security checkpoint would reduce the risk posed by my scenario (a security checkpoint as a target instead of a plane).

Posted by: mizzoutiger | November 18, 2010 11:40 AM

It's all pointless propaganda and intimidation by an Orwellian government unless they look up our butts, too.

Posted by: areyousaying | November 18, 2010 11:44 AM

As a consultant, I have no real choice. I could get another job, but why should I, especially since this job is the best-paying job I've ever had? And I do not have the luxury of choosing which clients to visit; my company does, and most of them are not within driving distance.

Body scan or pat-down is not the choice. Abolish TSA and start over is truly the only answer, considering that these invasive procedures have caught NOT ONE terrorist--even the underpants bomber managed to get on the plane with explosives despite him being on a no-fly list.

Besides, real terrorists won't be planning the same type of attack twice. They are drama queens and attention wh0res. The underpants bomber was a copycat acting alone. The next attack will not be blowing up a commercial airliner. The last threat we found was unmanned cargo, not related to commercial passengers. I expect the next attack to be in the water or food supply.

Posted by: bucinka8 | November 18, 2010 11:55 AM

Oh, by the way, I have a serious question: Why can we not take the TSA to court? I'm not a lawyer, so I'm honestly asking this question to anyone who is, or anyone who knows Constitutional law. What has prevented us from mounting a legal challenge to these prcoedures, or even to the mere presence of the organization? Class action suit, anyone?

Posted by: bucinka8 | November 18, 2010 12:07 PM

I am not convinced that the $10 an hour screener and/or "officer" who pats me down has any idea what he or she is doing, other than feeling powerful in a rent-a cop suit, harassing passengers, and looking at semi-naked images of men and women.
--------
Word.

Posted by: bucinka8 | November 18, 2010 12:20 PM

It ain't really about security (although fear & angst are always big sellers in the USofA these days) - TSA has become a hugely profitable well connected business with lots of pretty good jobs for otherwise unemployable folk.
As of about 36 months ago and as a result of a run-in with ignoramuses manning these absurd systems I've quit flying for anything other than absolute necessity.
I know these weird ideas are not going to go anywhere - but still it is cathartic to propose more idiocy in the face of idiocy:
1. I'd gladly be first the first customer for a totally baggage free/ clothing absent airline.
2. Pigskin leather seats.
or 3. Failing that... one in which everyone was REQUIRED to carry an object that someone used once for a weapon of some sort - if you don't have one on you there are barrels full of nail clippers, scissors and pocketknives at every airport in the country. :-}
Does anyone now seriously doubt the "Terrorists have already won?"
We have turned our nation over to my Aunt Tilly (who has nothing better to do day and night than worry over what could happen).

Posted by: ravenroul | November 18, 2010 12:23 PM

To all you whining morons: My security trumps your privacy every single time.
Posted by: adrienne_najjar

To adrienne_najjar: your irrational fears trump my NOTHING. If you are too scared to live a rational life, stay home hiding under your bed.

Posted by: mikenimzo | November 18, 2010 4:30 PM

If I have to fly you bet I'll I will request the search every time to mess with them. If they touch my junk I'll file a sexual assault claim.

Posted by: Jeff the Cat | November 19, 2010 1:33 AM

If the scan were so non-graphic then why would the guy viewing them be in a separate room away from the scanner where you can't supposed be connected to the scan (as they tell us). and btw, security camera's record you while you are in the scanner, so i'm sure the two pic's could be matched up need be. its also the same reason they don't say "x-ray" on the scanner sign, because there would be too many questions and people wouldn't be so complacent to go thru.

Not sure about JFK, but Elvis is now a vampire.

Posted by: ntpierce9 | November 19, 2010 4:09 AM

I don't feel any safer with all these "security" options. But I try to avoid flying, not because of the "security" but because airlines have made it such an unpleasant experience, trying to wring every drop of profit from their customers.

Posted by: robison1948 | November 20, 2010 9:15 AM

The full body scan is ok. The TSA viewers can't see me and the images are erased once I'm cleared. Its the pat-downs that are overly intrusive and an assault on human dignity. I saw the video of an elderly woman in a wheelchair being molested by TSA agents. I wonder if she'll ever fly again? I'm also outraged that Americans with illnesses and disabilities are being subject to humiliating pat-down searches. It's not only objectionable but an incompetent use of precious resources. Our tax dollars pay for this? What's the likelihood that these people would be terrorists? .00001%? I also have to wonder if Americans don't up and say, 'you can't do this to us! We'll hit you at the polls!' The pat-downs are not only an assault on human dignity, they are ridiculously directionless. Some Americans are very obviously NOT terrorists!

Posted by: jlrhoover | November 22, 2010 8:55 AM

We have no intention of flying until some measure of sanity is restored to the air travel industry. As an ultra liberal democrat, I am quickly taking on the mood and attitude of a tea-party activist. The stupidity of TSA searches, given the easy ability of terrorists to use internal or body cavity locations for explosive material, is beyond comprehension. By such draconian measures, then when there is another attack, by some other means of course, the Government can say, "We did all we could." So the terrorists have won. We give up our freedoms and allow violations of our constitutional rights so that the politicians can tell us how they are protecting us. Obama, I am talking to you! That was not why we put you in office.

Posted by: billaldridge | November 22, 2010 8:57 AM

How about a bit of levity in all of this? I can remember, back in the sixties, when air passengers could joke without being arrested :-). You know, like yelling, "Hi Jack" to your friend, Jack. Or telling the well-known joke about two men on an airplane, one sitting next to the other. One said, "do you feel safe." The other said, "absolutely safe, because I always carry a bomb in my suitcase." "What" said the other. "How can that make you safe?" He then explained, "The odds of one bomb being on an airplane are about a million to one. The odds of two bombs on the same airplane are a trillion to one." So I am much safer.

Posted by: billaldridge | November 22, 2010 9:13 AM

"You must have been in some imaginary Europe (maybe you just watched a movie). The only full body scans I have been through were in Europe. I have been patted down more in Europe, asked to take my shoes off more - pretty much everything, including security confiscating bottles of drinks that were clearly purchased in Duty Free. I have flown in and around Europe repeatedly many times a year for the last couple decades. It's the same as in the States, pretty much, if not sometimes more intrusive."
Posted by: milo13 | November 18, 2010 6:55 AM
_________

What "Europe" were YOU in? I've been (an American) living in Europe for the past 5+ years, traveling extensively, and nothing like you describe has happened to me. Who does "full body scans" in Europe? No one I know of or have ever heard of. Only in the US (and I fly back to the States at least 3-4 times a year) are you treated like a likely criminal...even before these new absurd TSA procedures.

What's next from the TSA...hospital gowns to be worn by all on the planes? If we don't protest now, it's a virtual certainty that some TSA bureaucrats will ultimately impose even more invasive procedures on the sheep who blithely accept this absurdity. Nothing can make flying 100% "safe"...nothing. Why are we accepting degrading "handling" just to satisfy some bureaucrats? Where is any evidence that these new procedures make us "safer"...where?


Posted by: Rigged | November 22, 2010 9:17 AM

I have no problem if someone wants to 'see' my 64-year old flub. What I'd like is for the 20% of the population that objects to not be allowed on the planes I fly on. I think if you gave people a choice--fly with those who were scanned or not--no one would want to fly with these fussbudgets.

And for the record in 1972, when I was 25, I was patted down in Delhi by a sari-clad female soldier with a rifle slung over her shoulder before I got on an Air India flight. One of Robert Kennedy's sons had been on a plane involved in an attempted hijacking and they'd stepped up security. Really not a problem--get over it folks.

Posted by: commonsense101 | November 22, 2010 9:50 AM

Wise up people! You are highly unlikely to even encounter one of these scanners. This is a media generated story to get you to watch TV and goose their ratings. Don't be so stupid. You receive more radiation going about your daily activities than you will flying, what, ONCE maybe TWICE a year?!?! Don't believe the hype!!!

Posted by: Misty630 | November 22, 2010 10:15 AM

What I'd like is for the 20% of the population that objects to not be allowed on the planes I fly on. I think if you gave people a choice--fly with those who were scanned or not--no one would want to fly with these fussbudgets.

==========

Commonsense101,

You might be surprised. And I think your idea actually has some merit. Let's have separate flights for people who object to relinquishing their 4th amendment rights for no discernible increase in security. The lines would be shorter and faster, and I'll bet many folks would opt for less-intrusive security measures if it made air travel faster and easier. They would be wildly popular and statistically just as safe.

Let's call it the Patriot Club and I'll be the first to sign up. The rest of you Ben Dovers are free to get unconstitutionally probed like the bunch of mindless sheep you so obviously are.

Posted by: Freestinker | November 22, 2010 10:35 AM

I do happen to have to fly due to the work that I do. I amazes me that there isn't a better solution to provide for the safety of people that fly in the greatest nation on earth! I have often wondered if everyone endures the TSA prescreening at airports. Do those who fly on private aircraft get scanned or patted down? How about politicians or anyone else considered celebrity? I also wonder if the enormous cost of the TSA really justifies the itself. IE: how many times has the TSA stopped a bomber? Why are the airports always at level orange in threat status? Prior to the 911 bombings, air travel was considered the safest form of travel, and it seems that number of people that have died from plane crashes over the last 10 years has demonstrated the likelihood of dying from an air disaster is as likely as being killed by a tsunami that hits Manhattan.
If we cannot figure out how to ensure the safety of air travelers while not infringing on the civil freedoms that our ancestors fought for, then we must concede victory to our enemies.

Posted by: fmkennedy | November 22, 2010 10:38 AM

So why is Congress exempt from this?

Posted by: clintatl | November 22, 2010 10:48 AM

We are told that because a religion, founded by a pedophile, has evolved into an international cult of homicidal intolerance, we must offer up our children to either pornographic photography or physical groping by the Obama administration.

If Americans no longer have a right to keep the government's hands off our private parts, we need to stand up and fight to secure the rights our forefathers surrendered their lives to give us.

Posted by: peterd | November 22, 2010 11:27 AM

the solution is for everyone to fly nude.

Posted by: bozhogg | November 22, 2010 11:43 AM

The results of this poll seriously undermines the CBS poll alleging 81 percent approve of these new security "measures." Looking to these results, only 50 percent are in favor. The media needs to stop disseminating the faulty 81 percent figure and should do a new poll.

Posted by: steveholcomb1 | November 22, 2010 1:16 PM

I love all these utterly selfish sheep crowing about their own 'security' and 'convenience' Anyone who supports the TSA (Terrorism Support Agency) and its policies are sniveling cowards. If you're afraid of terrorists you should lock yourselves up in your homes. Time to abolish the TSA.

Posted by: centurian11 | November 22, 2010 1:56 PM

I think the proper way to protest these "Gate Rapes" is to show up at the airport buck naked. Hey, they're going to see you anyway, right?

Posted by: FergusonFoont | November 22, 2010 2:17 PM

The terrorists are winning! We've become so scared that we're playing into their hands by sacrificing our liberty & compromising our ideals under the false pretense of keeping us safe!

We should stop this idiocy now and realize that in a post 9-11 age no terrorist is going to be able to take over a plane or light his shoe or underwear without getting beat down by passengers!

Get rid of the radioactive back-scatter scanners that I'm sure we'll find out in 20-years cause more damage than advertised, and shut down TSA & Homeland Security gravy train. Hire dogs and take some lessons in profiling & intelligence from Israel and let's get back to CIVIL aviation!!!

Posted by: starpopper | November 22, 2010 2:27 PM

Totally a false choice. Would you prefer a slap in the face or a kick in the pants?

Posted by: BenFlynn | November 22, 2010 2:29 PM

It's pretty simple folks. If you find either or both of these security measures to intrusive, don't fly. And please don't hold up the line for the rest of us, we have places to go and don't want to hear your whining.

Posted by: wireman65 | November 17, 2010 3:05 PM
=======================

DUDE if you want to give up your Constitutional Rights you can..

IF you want you body searched, patted down like a criminal, phone tapped, spied on daily and that does not bother you..

Have at it

BUT
Don't you Dare Take away MINE..

AND
you better not whine about it because I still have my Second Amendment Rights.

AND
I will fight for all my Constitutional Rights

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | November 22, 2010 2:30 PM

Actually I've got an even better solution. If vast numbers of the middle class begin joining fractional jet ownership programs we could lower the costs to affordability and totally avoid commercial flight altogether!!!

NetJets here I come and while I'm at it I may as well pick up some Berkshire Hathaway stock too!

Posted by: starpopper | November 22, 2010 2:34 PM

I opt out of the scanner (not due to the naked pictures -- I'd bring full nudes of myself to the airport if I thought it would get me through faster) but rather due to the fact that the allegedly safe dose of radiation for a full body scan is not actually directed at the full body. Instead it's focused only at the skin and thus delivers a higher than advertised dose of radiation to your skin, eyes and reproductive organs -- or "junk" as the San Diego passenger put it.

Since I've never heard of anyone getting cancer from an over-clothes grope, I think I'll stick with that.

Posted by: Left_of_the_Pyle | November 22, 2010 2:34 PM

I flew on 7 different flights back in September/October. On only ONE of these (Dulles to Frankfurt) did I have a body scan. Nothing in Germany, Turkey, Italy, or Switzerland. Only in the USA.

Quoting from another poster:

"Commonsense101,
You might be surprised. And I think your idea actually has some merit. Let's have separate flights for people who object to relinquishing their 4th amendment rights for no discernible increase in security. The lines would be shorter and faster, and I'll bet many folks would opt for less-intrusive security measures if it made air travel faster and easier. They would be wildly popular and statistically just as safe.
Let's call it the Patriot Club and I'll be the first to sign up. The rest of you Ben Dovers are free to get unconstitutionally probed like the bunch of mindless sheep you so obviously are."

I completely agree. I'd be first in line for the Patriot Club. These scans are never going to stop a determined terrorist and they wouldn't have prevented the underwear bomber. Ridiculous, foolish, wasteful, intrusive, and illicit.

Posted by: linguist64 | November 22, 2010 2:47 PM

sad to see how many people are willing to trade their (and our!) freedom, civil rights, and privacy just so they can "feel" safe. This isn't to say they're *actually* safer, just that they FEEL better.

If you're afraid to fly without having your fellow citizens groped, shamed, and embarrassed, DON'T FLY...and don't expect the rest of us, the ones who refuse to give into fear and give away our freedom. Don't expect US to stand by and watch while YOU encourage the government to greater and greater insult and intrusion simply so YOU aren't inconvenienced.

Only a coward would trade freedom for security. Go hide under your beds, cowards.

Posted by: WilyArmadilla | November 22, 2010 3:01 PM

We've gone from Security Theater, where it's more important to look like you are doing something than to actually increase security, to Security Theater of the Absurd, where it is more important to make passengers feel indignant than to make them secure.

Posted by: AxelDC | November 22, 2010 3:08 PM


Until this nonsense is overturned, we will drive whenever possible from now on.

Posted by: chicago77 | November 22, 2010 3:49 PM


"If vast numbers of the middle class begin joining fractional jet ownership programs we could lower the costs to affordability and totally avoid commercial flight altogether...
NetJets here I come..."
Posted by: starpopper


This may become a viable option in the very near future.

Many more people are NOW willing to pay more for some sanity in air travel.

Posted by: chicago77 | November 22, 2010 3:57 PM

We are planning a trip to Europe in late 2011. We have scheduled a round trip cruise across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2 rather than flying.

We last flew in January 2001. Even then, well before 9/11, it was a very unpleasant experience. Now, I shudder to think.

Posted by: wpittman2 | November 22, 2010 5:18 PM

The underwear bomber was being escorted by agents and bypassed any screening. I am really going into tinfoil hat land and have been wondering if this was a setup by Chertoff and company to sell those machines. That package that set off a huge scare in the Namibian airport with the German airline? That was a "test" package that was made by a U.S. security company. Interesting how they waited a couple of days to say, "Oh yeah, it was a test." I wonder how many people did not get past that initial flurry of panic and are now clamoring to get more invasive scanners and agents.

I understand how mathematics work and how risk works. The odds of my plane being blown up are vanishingly small, lower than the chance that someone will get hit by lighting on a cloud free day.

This was the land of the free and the home of the brave. But now people are such cowards that they'd rather be stripped of their privacy than face that .000001% chance that the guy in the next seat is going to set fire to his junk.

I'm disgusted. What a bunch of babies we've become. The Founding Fathers set up a Constitution to give us liberty, privacy and freedom and cowards have been letting themselves get gulled by corporate interests and jackbooted thugs who revel in the complete and total authoritarian control of a sheeplike populace.

Posted by: felisrufus | November 22, 2010 6:06 PM

Under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, all searches and seizures by the government must be reasonable. There have been hundreds of cases, in every jurisdiction in this country, where convictions of drug dealers, murderers and thieves have been overturned because the police did not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to even perform much less intrusive frisks of criminal suspects than the ones the TSA are performing. Why are criminals's rights subject to more protection under the Constitution than those of law-abiding Americans? The TSA should be subject to the Fourth Amendment, just like every other law enforcement agency in the U.S.A.

Posted by: steveholcomb1 | November 22, 2010 7:16 PM

I cannot believe all of the people who don't fly. I fly at least 3 times a year because I feel like I have cabin fever if I don't get out of my city often. I live in the middle of the country so I fly every year to either the west or left coast and every other year out of the country.
What a sad, boring life it would be without travel. I will continue to fly and have no problem with the scanners.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | November 23, 2010 12:41 PM

The rabid conspiracy theory wing nuts are out in force tonight! The Patriot Act was passed by the full Congress both Republican and Democrat. If it were as simple as choosing a scan over a pat down, one could make the choice and be done with it; however, many airports do NOT have the full body scanners and the grope is mandatory. It's demeaning and nasty--and I doubt the workers want it any more than the passengers do. I fly all the time on business and want to throw up every time I go through the experience--and i do not believe I am one bit safer than before.

Posted by: weavemaven | November 24, 2010 12:13 AM

I don't like radiation, so I'll refuse the scan, and I'll refuse the groping, but I'll counteroffer with full nudity. That's right-- I can take my clothes off so they can inspect all they want, but nobody is laying hands on me unless it's a Thai masseuse.

Posted by: alarico | November 24, 2010 4:14 AM

If I get the pat-down, will they let me have a cigarette afterwards?

Posted by: JackESpratt | November 24, 2010 10:30 AM

Would an exhibitionist ask for both? One to get themselves excited and the other to finish themselves off?

Posted by: CalmTruth | November 24, 2010 11:27 AM

they forced this on the American people during Thanksgiving travel holidays because that was the plan..to not give us a choice just like they didn't give the American people the choice with the bailout.

This is a fucking joke what this Gov is doing. Brainwashing the American people of the sick crimes our own Gov created to justify increased airport security?? WE are not the criminals!!! the Gov & big corp banks are the goddamn criminals.

i will travel & I will not walk thru a radioactive scan & I will not have anyone pat me down..you are violating our rights...I will cause the biggest goddamn scene and set another example to get the people uprising...& we will uprise

Posted by: pistoleasswipe | November 27, 2010 1:29 PM

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