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Posted at 1:42 PM ET, 11/21/2010

TSA chief: Screening will be minimally invasive

By Matt DeLong and Felicia Sonmez

Sunday Rundown: A quick wrap-up of the Sunday talk shows.

UPDATED at 3:26 p.m.

The Associated Press reports that TSA administrator John Pistole has softened his position following his CNN appearance earlier Sunday, in which he said there would be no change in the agency's passenger screening policy.

The head of the federal agency responsible for airport security says screening procedures should be as minimally invasive as possible, shifting his position that there would be no change in controversial scans and pat-downs.
The head of the Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole, said in a statement Sunday afternoon that the agency is constantly evaluating and adapting security measures and there is a continual process of refinement and adjustment to ensure air safety.


CNN: STATE OF THE UNION - TSA chief: No change to pat-down policy

Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole acknowledged that new TSA screening procedures are "invasive" and "uncomfortable," but he denied that the agency is considering changing its policy. "No," Pistole said. "Not going to change."

Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, said he is "encouraged" by the results of last week's NATO summit in Lisbon. He singled out the agreement that the Afghan government would assume responsibility for internal security by 2014. Mullen said he is "confident" that a drawdown of NATO forces would begin in 2011. Mullen described the U.S relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai as having "had its ups and downs," and reiterated President Obama's comments that "we need to listen to him, but he also needs to listen to us."

Mullen described reports that North Korea has unveiled a new nuclear plant as "belligerent behavior" that "validates the concern we've had for years about their enriching uranium, which they've denied routinely." On a new U.S.-Russia START treaty that is currently facing Republican opposition in the Senate, Mullen said "here's an opportunity to get this done now. And from a national security perspective, I really believe we need to do that." Mullen said Marine Commandant James Amos -- who has said the military should not lift its ban on allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly -- would be in lockstep with the administration if the law changes.

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FOX NEWS SUNDAY - Clinton: Ratify START by end of year

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that last week's agreement among NATO leaders on an exit strategy for Afghanistan "was a great vote of confidence in President Obama's strategy for Afghanistan." On the issue of the new START treaty, Clinton said that the administration is "continuing to work with all of our Democratic and Republican senators to try to get to a point where we can hold that vote this year." Clinton also defended the civilian trial of Ahmed Ghailani, the terror detainee who was convicted last week on only one of 285 counts, saying that "more terrorists are serving time in prison right now because of Article III courts than military commissions." And asked whether she's done with elective office, Clinton responded, "I am."

Texas governor and incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association Rick Perry discussed the authority of the federal government. Perry said that it's important to "devolve power out of Washington, D.C., back to the states," which he called the "laboratories of innovation." Perry also took aim at Social Security, calling it a "Ponzi scheme," and charged that Washington "made a serious mistake" in bailing out failing banks and businesses. Asked about a study last week that showed millions of jobs were saved or created by the GM and Chrysler bailouts, Perry pointed to the fact that Texas created 850,000 jobs during the last decade. Perry also said that he disagrees with George W. Bush on "what Washington's role should be," and reiterated that he's not running for president, because "the action is down here in the states."


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NBC: MEET THE PRESS - Jindal says no to 2012 bid
 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the decision on whether to ratify the START Treaty "goes beyond politics; this should be nonpartisan, not just bipartisan." On Afghanistan, Clinton reiterated that the transition to Afghans taking the security lead "begins next year in 2011." Clinton also weighed in on the recent TSA screening controversy, saying that the "vast majority" of flyers are "law abiding citizens," but that "terrorists are adaptable;" she added that she's "absolutely confident" that the process will get "better and less intrusive." Clinton also again pushed back on the notion that she may one day run for president, saying that she's "out of politics."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said that he's not running for president in 2012, but he didn't rule out the possibility of serving as the Republican nominee's running mate. "I'm not gonna turn down something that's not been offered," Jindal said, noting that he's running for re-election as governor in 2011. Jindal sharply criticized the TSA's new screening process, charging that the Obama administration "rolled this out right before the busiest travel time of the year, never making their case to the American public." He also took aim at the administration's response to the Gulf oil spill. "The frustration was actually getting a response, actually getting moving assets on the ground," he said.

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ABC: THIS WEEK - Mullen: START ratification is a national security issue

Mullen said North Korean President Kim Jong-Il is "predictable in his unpredictability" and "constantly desires to destabilize the region." Mullen said North Korea has defied multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and described reports that the country has a new nuclear plant are "a huge concern for all of us." He added that "the assumption ... is that they continue to head in the direction of additional nuclear weapons." Mullen described the new START treaty as "a national security issue." He said he was comfortable with virtually all aspects of the agreement, but declined to accuse Senate Republicans of playing politics by holding up ratification of the treaty. However, "the sooner we get it done, the better," he said.

Mullen said he "absolutely" supports repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and said it "belies us as an institution." He said he would prefer that Congress pass a law to end the policy rather than leaving it to the court system.


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CBS: FACE THE NATION - Hoyer: Create civilian courts at Gitmo
 
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said "there is no doubt the START treaty is in the interest of the United States." She suggested that she is not surprised the treaty is facing opposition in the Senate. "It's always difficult to get these treaties through," Clinton said. "It always takes a lot of presidential effort." Clinton said Afghan President Hamid Karzai is "fully in support" of the NATO strategy in his country following the NATO summit. She said "the very legitimate questions" Karzai's raised with his recent criticism of the U.S. military's use of night raids is getting "blown out of proportion." She said the White House is listening to Karzai's concerns. Clinton said she would not submit to a TSA pat-down if she could avoid it. "I mean, who would," Clinton said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he thinks the government could create civilian courts at Guantanamo Bay and hold civilian trials there. He said bringing high-profile terror suspects to the United States for trial is "probably not going to happen" given the current political climate. Hoyer said he is willing to work with Republicans to reach an agreement on extending middle-class tax cuts. He said that he would have run for minority leader if Pelosi hadn't, and he thinks he would have won.


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CSPAN: NEWSMAKERS - Clyburn: Rangel was treated fairly

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the incoming Assistant Leader, said that it's not "essential" for the Bush-era tax cuts to be extended, because "you've got a big deficit reduction taking place, which is also a good thing." He said that he hoped both parties would soon reach an agreement on extending the cuts, adding that he is "not going to budge" on providing a middle class tax cut. On the ethics trial of Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), Clyburn said that he believes Rangel would agree with him that "for the past two years, things have gone along relatively fairly" in the trial; he also said that Rangel is being held to a higher standard due to his standing as former Ways and Means Committee chairman.

Clyburn also argued that Democrats lost the House by a total of less than 250,000 votes, and promised that many Democrats who were defeated earlier this month will be back. "I guarantee you that if we can speed up this recovery from 25 miles-per-hour to 55 miles-per-hour and we keep growing the private sector as we have been, we will have the wind at our backs two years from now, and a lot of these people will be back," he said. He defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling her a "very focused organizer," a "prolific fundraiser" and a "great tactician."

By Matt DeLong and Felicia Sonmez  | November 21, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: Michelle Obama names Schake as communications director

Comments

Oh God, here we go again. All of these conspiracy theorists, fear mongers and all the rest. Look, I travel every week and object to having to take my shoes off, sweater off and all the rest of what to me, is basically nothing more than theatre. Just the other day, a TSA agent approached me while I was in line to board my plane, beyond the security checkpoints, to "wand" my coffee and test its vapors -- as though I would be sitting there drinking a hot cup of poison. Whatever. As objectionable as the patdowns and all the rest can be, we all know that no matter what measures are put in place to screen, there are still places in the human body where terrorists can hide. If, however, all of this rigamarole makes my flight even just a little more secure, I'm ok with it. I've met stupid TSA agents, rude ones, but never any who have assaulted or insulted me. Yeah, there are all of these utube videos out there but I have to wonder how many of them are put or taken out of context for a purpose, as this morning's story about the shirtless little boy who was being screened. Turns out his father was just trying to be helpful. All of the fear based on hype and hype based on fear on these blogs largely by people who don't fly or rarely fly is insane. Thanksgiving protest? Go for it. I won't be there and those TSA agents have an 8 hour shift to fulfill no matter what. My guess is that at the end of the day, more passengers will be ticked at the "protestors" holding up or making them miss their flights than the TSA. The airlines aren't being hurt as evidenced by the many people who will be in line "protesting." I fully respect peoples concerns and opinions but jeez, let's get real. Who would you blame for the next plane that goes down because a handgun could have been prevented from boarding or something else with the same screening that you object to? I'm sure the hundreds of people who perished on 3 planes on 9/11 would have been a little more appreciative of the effort and a lot less interested in these cries of loss of liberty. Withough proper screening, these people affirmatively lost theirs.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | November 22, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

All these people complaining are full of it. If they ended up on a plane with a bomb that had been hidden in a passeneger's underwear, they would be the first people to complain (and probably sue) that the Government hadn't protected them. All you guys with the small pee-pees need to get over and just go through the machine or take a bus or train.

Posted by: davidlhanegraaf | November 22, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

The TSA has already changed its policy, one of them at least. Notice the timing of the recent announcement that pilots won't need to be screened. The pilots have been clamoring for years for this exemption, but only now the TSA relents.

Why now? It is because the TSA is attempting to "divide and conquer": they don't want the flying public and the pilots united in opposition to the policy of "either be irradiated or be groped."

Posted by: RC11 | November 22, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

“We cannot forget that less than one year ago a suicide bomber with explosives in his underwear tried to bring down a plane over Detroit,” Mr. Pistole said. But apparently YOU can forget that the flight originated in Amsterdam, not New York, that the would-be bomber was a radical Muslim of military age, that he was not a US Citizen, and that his parents had reported him to the CIA as a potential terrorist before the flight. All that and you still failed to keep him off the plane. How will groping kids in America keep the next foreign Muslim radical off a plane bound for the US, Mr.Pistole? This is the wrong technology directed at the wrong target. We want real airline safety, not the illusion of safety your radiation -spewing toys provide. We want Israeli-style behavioral profiling and we want it yesterday! less

Posted by: Jindokae | November 22, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

National Opt-Out Day

Wednesday, November 24

Stand up for your rights.

Opt-out of the scanner.

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | November 22, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Just subject all of Congress & especially TSA administrator John Pistole to the same body scans they want us to put up with and see how quickly things will change.

Of course these "elite" are exempt.

How about the people that fly on private planes??

Posted by: bkarpus | November 22, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

I can't imagine a better target for attacks than a line of people waiting to go through a security checkpoint at an airport.

Never mind the complete disregard for the 4th amendment, never mind the personal privacy concerns, the virtual strip search or the type of a pat down you'd expect as a felon entering prison. Those are horrific in and of themselves.

It is the fact that these screening methods are there to ensure our security. That they actually increase our danger hasn't ever been reported that I've seen.

A potential attacker doesn't even have to pass through the metal detectors to have a target of opportunity larger than what any one plane load of people could offer.

With the Christmas and Thanksgiving travel season upon us, there will be plane-loads of people waiting to pass through these systems. A perfect target hanging low enough on the tree to just reach out and pluck.

Posted by: AndersonLail | November 22, 2010 4:54 AM | Report abuse

....and when that plane goes down in flames....PLEASE let it be full of liberals yelling 'why are we so stoooooopid'

Posted by: JWx2 | November 22, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse


TSA officials pat down young boy without shirt caught on camera


http://www.fox13now.com/news/local/kstu-tsa-officials-pat-down-young-boy-without-shirt,0,469553.story

"SALT LAKE CITY — TSA officials patting down a young boy with his shirt off was recorded by another flight passenger on his cell phone.

The video is gaining national attention after it was posted on Youtube and even Congressman Jason Chaffetz chimed in saying the TSA is "out of control". The 39 second clip shot at Salt Lake's International Airport shows a young boy with his shirt off as a TSA official with gloves on patting him down. The video was posted on Youtube by University of Utah student, Luke Tait. He describes what happened before he began recording.

"The father assisted a little bit and he stood by his son and held his arms out, trying to help the TSA agent kind of perform the pat down. He did that twice, had to hold his son's arms up," Tait said. According to Tait, the young boy did not set off the metal detector. "The father got a little upset and he tore his son's shirt off and gave it to the TSA agent and at this time, the TSA agent was yelling sir, sir at the man, the father of the kid," Tait explained.

Tait said he was later approached by a man in a black suit who did not identify himself and asked to delete the video. "When he approached me, he obviously thought there was something I had that was incriminating to TSA," Tait said...."

Posted by: dottydo | November 22, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

TSA are SIEU members...a thug union which beat up voters at a democrat rally in St Louis last Summer

TSA are the SS of the politically correct democrat party

TSA thugs should be opposed in every civil manner

TSA = Democrats in action...political correctness in your pants to avoid irritating a muslim

Posted by: georgedixon | November 21, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: abulaw | November 21, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

This is such a great story and a catastrophe for the White House. Every media outlet in every media market has reason to cover it with a local story this coming week. Literally hundreds upon hundreds of disgruntled passengers will take their stories into the media. Editorial writers from coast to coast have opportunity to write about it. Next will come a wave of 4th Amendment Law Suits, ADA law suits and a debate about skin cancer. Pistole is so clueless. He will gone by Christmas.

Posted by: carlin80 | November 21, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

This is such a great story and a catastrophe for the White House. Every media outlet in every media market has reason to cover it with a local story this coming week. Literally hundreds upon hundreds of disgruntled passengers will take their stories into the media. Editorial writers from coast to coast have opportunity to write about it. Next will come a wave of 4th Amendment Law Suits, ADA law suits and a debate about skin cancer. Pistole is so clueless. He will gone by Christmas.

Posted by: carlin80 | November 21, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

This is such a great story and a catastrophe for the White House. Every media outlet in every media market has reason to cover it with a local story this coming week. Literally hundreds upon hundreds of disgruntled passengers will take their stories into the media. Editorial writers from coast to coast have opportunity to write about it. Next will come a wave of 4th Amendment Law Suits, ADA law suits and a debate about skin cancer. Pistole is so clueless. He will gone by Christmas.

Posted by: carlin80 | November 21, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The fastest way to secure this Nation is to make Obama and Congress fly around like the rest of us.
The whole premise of the USA is that no one is above the people, but from us, as part of us.

They should be as "safe" as we have to live.
That is the fastest plan to close the borders and sort out who is here.

Posted by: dottydo | November 21, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

The fastest way to secure this Nation is to make Obama and Congress fly around like the rest of us.
The whole premise of the USA is that no one is above the people, but from us, as part of us.

Posted by: dottydo | November 21, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Someone should ask this jerk how many terrorists he has caught so far with his enhanced search techniques. Where do they get these guys? From Gestapo training school?

Posted by: jibe | November 21, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Getting used to being Pistole whipped?
No thanks!

Posted by: rluchetta21 | November 21, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

With TSA agents now strip searching and fondling little boys as if they were protected by the Pope, theocons must demand these agents be screened for homosexuality.

Mormons know how to do this and even invented an arousal meter at BYU when they showed suspected gays including minors (in violation of State and Federal laws) both gay and hetrosexual pornography. Those who were aroused inappropriately were electroshocked to "cure" them.

Theocons who wail about gays taking showers in the military now must demand all TSA agents who will be touching people go to Provo, Utah, and let the Mormons screen them with their invention.

www.patentstorm.us/patents/5782778/claims.html

Posted by: areyousaying | November 21, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

TSA screening is going to be minimally invasive...and yet another video showed up in the past day or so of TSA people feeling up a small child, this time a 5-year-old boy. Sorry, but groping is not minimally invasive.

Maybe the TSA chief should have amended his statement to say that the screenings will be minimally invasive for Muslim women. The Obama administration is looking at exempting Muslim women wearing the hijab from most of the screening requirements.

For everyone else, however, groping is the rule.

I wonder if a groper in court for assault could argue similarly that his actions were "minimally invasive"?

What the TSA is conveniently ignoring in all of this is that virtually all of the recent threats to airplanes have come from locations that TSA screenings do no check. A flight from Amsterdam? No TSA gropings to get on that flight. Cargo loaded in Yemen and routed through Britain? Again, no TSA anywhere to be seen.

In other words, threats aren't coming from in the United States. They are coming from people outside the U.S., where TSA rules have no effect. These TSA procedures would not have stopped the underwear bomber because he never went through a TSA screening.

So who is the TSA protecting us from again? Apparently from no one. Not even from gropers.

Posted by: blert | November 21, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Since other western countries manage to run civil aviation without assaulting the passengers prior to getting on the plane it is pretty stupid for Pistole to insist that assualting passengers the only way to do this.

In any event it doesn't matter. This little twerp is not the dictator of the United States and Congress and the White House will straighten him out.

Posted by: lemondog | November 21, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I heard Al Qaeda is training white, blonde, blue eyed men and women of all ages as terrorists.....bwahahahaha!

What will happen to racial profiling then?

Posted by: obeeone | November 21, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I heard Al Qaeda is traning white, blonde, blue eyed men and women of all ages as terrorists.....bwahahahaha!

What will happen to racial profiling then?

Posted by: obeeone | November 21, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I heard Al Qaeda is traning white blonde hair, blue eyed men and women of all ages as terrorists.....bwahahahaha!

What will happen to racial profiling then?

Posted by: obeeone | November 21, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

This is not the increased security that the public agreed to after 9/11. We agreed to reinforced cockpit doors, air marshalls and metal detectors not groping and full body scanners. This is classic government overreach and we should not stand for it. There is no Constitutional Right to fly without risk.

Posted by: tulsa_dave | November 21, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

What if Al Qaeda trained a little old lady from Pasedena to wear a suicide bomb, or fooled her into having one... then what?

Posted by: obeeone | November 21, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/744199---israelification-high-security-little-bother

Please read the whole article...this is how it is properly done!
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/744199---israelification-high-security-little-bother
No hassles, and no body gets blown up. The TSA should be dismanteled(which won't happen, because it is now to large), or be forced to abandon it's present ineffective (they only react to each new incident with more layers of nonsense) methods.

You may think they are making it safer they are not. While we have underwear bombers, shoe bombers and others the past 8 years get through the security Israel has had one in 30 years using their non-intrusive methods...and they didn't grope a single granny or little kid.
Think about it.

If you belong to a group, contact the leadership and members you know and press them to support a national 'No Fly Day' once a month. It would be even better if those health groups and survivor groups whose members are having to remove prosthetic breasts and such would demonstrate en masse at some of the airports. You can bet your bottom dollar Obama and Napolitano would suddenly announce having a 'revelation' that told them to fix the mess.

In the meantime when confronted by a TSA 'patter-downer', look them squarely in the eye and ask them this: "Are you a registered sex offender?". You might be delayed a few minutes, but the redface and bulging eyeballs will be priceless.

If you agree with what I just said, spread it around.

Posted by: didereaux | November 21, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse


That was a LIGHTNING FAST FLIP FLOP!

I still hope he has to answer in a court of law for the CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS already committed, at his directives.

Posted by: chicago77 | November 21, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

We could apply a speed limit of 10 miles per hour on highways - safety with no compromise!

A more common sense approach is to actually track people who are likely to present a security risk. It certainly is not the "little old lady from Pasadena". The shoe bomber and the underwear bomber would have been flagged.

Posted by: rluchetta2 | November 21, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

We could apply a speed limit of 10 miles per hour on highways - safety with no compromise!

A more common sense approach is to actually track people who are likely to present a security risk. It certainly is not the "little old lady from Pasadena". The shoe bomber and the underwear bomber would have been flagged.

Posted by: rluchetta2 | November 21, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Even Bush was not as scaredy as Obama.... Obama turns out to be a complete coward.

What will the TSA do when terrorists are found with bombs inside anal cavitys or surgically implanted semtex in buttocks, boobs and inside stomach?

Posted by: obeeone | November 21, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It is obvious that Henry Kissinger is an adviser to the Obama Administration, DHS and the TSA:

"The illegal we can do right now; the Constitutional will take a little longer".

- Henry Kissinger

Posted by: alance | November 21, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Well flying anymore is like riding a Greyhound Bus, now with a bunch of very strange folks playing with the passengers. Perhaps we should just hire El AL to do airport security, it certainly could not be any worse and looks like a better deal all around.

Posted by: Ronn_Greek | November 21, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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