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Posted at 2:07 PM ET, 11/18/2010

TSA: Touch Sensitive Areas

By Jonathan Capehart

The website Mediaite dubbed it "The Junk Grabbing Photo You'll Be Seeing All Day Today." My buddies on "Morning Joe" had a good ol' time giggling over it, too. IT is the Denver Post photo of a Transportation Security Administration officer at Denver International Airport getting up-close-and-personal with a passenger during an enhanced pat-down.

TSANaughtyBits.JPG

Go ahead. Get your chuckle on. But what many people view as an invasion of privacy, I view as protecting my life and the lives of others. Yes, TSA must be sensitive to the growing concern that the enhanced pat-downs are so invasive that they might as well dim the lights and break out the wine. That being said, I'll exchange an uncomfortable examination of my naughty bits for being blown to bits anytime.

By Jonathan Capehart  | November 18, 2010; 2:07 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Well Capeheart, go get grabbed then. I will not.

My private bits are not to be handled by an 8$ an hour "security guard" from the TSA.

And, when next come the anal probes, bend over kind sir, and spread them. Remember, it's for your safety.

Bravo to the editor who wrote the headline.

Posted by: Greent | November 18, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Israel has successfully kept terrorists off planes from their airports for decades - and they do it without porno-scans or invasive groping.

People who bother to educate themselves have already known this for years. Passive sheep, of course, accept their fate and we all know where that leads.

If the country that's hated the most by standard terrorists is able to maintain true safety without violating human rights, why can't America?

Posted by: mdhpiper | November 18, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capeheart, how is this keeping you safer? Are you such a coward you really think it's worth irradiating people, virtually strip-searching them, and groping their genitals on the infinitesimal chance they're a suicide bomber? Pathetic. Completely and utterly pathetic.

Posted by: washington4 | November 18, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

So if you live in DC you are more likely to be killed on the street than by a terrorist. But we spent $300M dollars purchasing these machines, $300+M maintaining them yearly and need 5000 additional agents to run them. How many lives have been saved?

Posted by: Texan in the Snow | November 18, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan Capehart
Enjoy it :/

Posted by: njtou | November 18, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"That being said, I'll exchange an uncomfortable examination of my naughty bits for being blown to bits anytime."

You're an idiot, Capehart.

We all know you'd be using word like "police state" and "totalitarian" were this happening with a Republican in the White House.

Posted by: chambers14 | November 18, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Does Capehart have a 12-year old daughter or son? Is this what you are willing to sacrifice to feel more secure?

Are any of the screeners homosexual or does DADT apply to the TSA?

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | November 18, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Ben Franklin has some good advise for considering the appropriateness of these "Enhanced Pat-downs"

Franklin - "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

The value of spending valuable security resources on enhanced pat-downs is unknown. Although we have certainly seen that terrorists have found plenty of other weaknesses in our security measures to exploit (i.e. cargo shipments). What is undeniable is the intrusiveness of the these new scans and "pat-downs", which would be considered sexual assault anywhere else.

The question for me is this - When do questionable security practices go against our American values? We would never accept a regulation that that everyone who gets into a car should have to blow on a breathalizer. We should not allow this invasive fondle-down security to continue. Instead we should focus our security dollars on identifying real threats to aviation security.

Posted by: whthorse | November 18, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

capehart,

Do you really think the enhanced checkpoints really keep you safer from being blown to bits? What did the terror cells in Iraq target? The checkpoints. Do you think there are, on average, more people on a plane or in line at the checkpoint?

Posted by: cheno | November 18, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

You do realize that you aren't safer?

Give up your privacy for nothing. TSA keeps claiming these scanners & pat downs would have caught the underwear bomber, but the GAO and other security experts are doubtful.

Stop this nonsense about being safer. We won't have a 9/11 because the cockpit is secure. The main danger now is from explosives, and these new scanners are limited in what they can detect, and there are plenty of ways you can sneak stuff in if you spend 5 mins on the internet. Next bomb will probably be in someone's rectum like the guy in Saudi Arabia. None of these scanners & pat downs will catch that. You know what would? Intelligence & cross-communication between intelligence agencies so suspected terrorists get put on a no-fly list. Of course then we need the TSA to actually enforce the no fly list...

Posted by: pipet | November 18, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Mr.Capehart, how would you feel if this happened to your son or daughter! Your wife! Your mother of father!

In any other instance, the person doing the "fondling", would be arrested and labeled a pervert and required to register as a sex offender.

How can the TSA justify these extreme measures?

You say you are comfortable with the TSA's drastic measures. Try telling that to a young child after his/her parent has told her about improper touches! Explain that!

Posted by: bgrass2 | November 18, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"But what many people view as an invasion of privacy, I view as protecting my life and the lives of others."

The ironic thing is that if the TSA had adopted another approach to screening security, say based on profiling likely terrorists, I'm sure Mr. Capehart would be not nearly as supportive.

Posted by: jnc4p | November 18, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow. 100% of your comments on the last post were negative, and still you persist. How dense are you, man? You just keep going back to bat for these rent-a-cops? Is your career that disposable? Check which way the wind's blowing, you fool. This is America, not some Stalinist dictatorship, not a slave state like North Korea. We've got no use for your kind of sycophantic cowardice. You think it's funny? Gets you a little excited, makes you want to break out the handcuffs? You have a slave mentality. You like to see other slaves get taken out to the shed.

I'd like to know if the Post actually pays you to shill for the police state, or if you do it for your own pleasure. For all of our sakes, I hope you come to terms with your sexuality, get laid, and stop spewing this repressed and repressive BS all over the media.

Posted by: joshstrike | November 18, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

As a rule, I don't accept anything done to me, what I would be uncomfortable doing to others. But I have manners.

Posted by: whoo_whoo | November 18, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"But what many people view as an invasion of privacy, I view as protecting my life and the lives of others."

**************************

Baaaa! Baaaaa! Baaaaa!

Posted by: pmendez | November 18, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jan/04/new-scanners-child-porn-laws

Posted by: cartoongal | November 18, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

You know what works better than scans and groping TSA agents? Dogs. walk the line with the dog and if he signals, now you have probable cause and a reason to search. security and a respect for the 4th amendment.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 18, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"That being said, I'll exchange an uncomfortable examination of my naughty bits for being blown to bits anytime."

But you would rather be blow to bits anytime to prevent- profiling, or TSA from being a joke. or no fly lists, or patting down Muslim women, or tapping to overseas calls, or allowing water board, or an open discussion about Islam ala Juan Williams.

If handling your junk will make us safer I'll...... nah I rather be blown to bits.

Posted by: flyover22 | November 18, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"But what many people view as an invasion of privacy, I view as protecting my life and the lives of others."

Minors will be "randomly selected".
This would rightly be called sexual assault if I did it.

So you view the sexual assault of minors as a reasonable requirement for your security... really?

Would you grope kids yourself if you personally benefit; or are you happy to have the TSA getting their hands dirty so you don't have to?

Are you really willing to state openly that you believe that having kids groped so you can be a tiny bit safer is a trade-off you're proud of making? Go ahead and take a stand in favor of the sexual assault of children if you want... but don't expect me to approve.

Posted by: gekkobear1 | November 18, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

The theater at passenger security checkpoints masks the sad state of security elsewhere at many airports. I've had TSA and other airport staff tell me as much.

I'm physically unable to walk so I get patted down (in public) each time I go through security. If it's so important, how about a bit of privacy?

I've never had my wheelchair inspected. Hello?

The flimsy card I carry that says I have a medical device implanted in my abdomen could easily be fake (it isn't, but who's gonna check).

I'm not sure why the rest of us have to be part of this charade just so Mr. Capehart can feel better.

Posted by: MsJS | November 18, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Congress, the Executive (all) and the Federal Judiciary should be scanned and groped daily by the TSA. We'll see how long this nonsense lasts.

Posted by: Thinker1 | November 18, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

It was right when Franklin wrote it, and right today. I'd rather fight terrorists with my bare hands than be groped by the gloved hand of some government goon.

Posted by: Thinker1 | November 18, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Capehart - what an idiotic commentary. If you believe that this crap makes you safer, you are a sad, sad delusional case.

Posted by: Inspector_T | November 18, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart, while I don't agree with your conclusion, and I think you should concern yourself a bit about children and radiation, I have a more important point. These measures DO NOT make you safer. They are for show. They would not have detected the explosive in the Christmas bomber's underwear. But a couple of well trained dogs would have, without slowing down a single flyer.
Think about what the Israelis do. They look for bad people instead of bad things. As long as we put our scarce resources into nonsense that isn't effective we aren't looking at things that are.

Posted by: technoir | November 18, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

So I wonder what Johnny boy, who thinks sexual assault in the name of "security" is ok, felt about the Patriot Act. Probably thought that was the worst that could happen. Yes Johnny, knowing what your library book selection is, is way way worse than sexual assault by a bureaucrat.

Posted by: bandmom22 | November 18, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I'll opt for the fondling - grotesque as it is. If you are behind me in line, and a delay because of this causes you to miss your flight for a business meeting - tough. You need to quit being a simpering coward who thinks it's OK for TSA to grope my 13yr. old grandaughter. Grow a pair, and help stop this security theatre.

Posted by: 82ndairborne | November 18, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

When this situation comes up, and people insist on using the logical fallacy of saying, "It's either this or we're not safe," I keep thinking of our Founding Fathers, who were willing to die for freedom. Now our government says if we want to fly, we have to be ready to give up our rights, but it's the government's job to protect our rights as much as it is their job to protect us.

A few hundred feet from where I used to work every day a brave man stood up and said, "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?"

Apparently, Mr. Capehart, life is so dear that you would rather let the government grope you and tell you what to do. As for me, I agree with what was said over 200 years ago in St. John's Church: "Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Posted by: TangoOversway | November 18, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

wow, as if flying is a god-given right. Everyone on this list would be screaming bloody murder if a bomb or some other device got through and blew up a plane with a friend of loved one, saying we need to do more to prevent this.
You don't like it, get scanned.

And for the idiot who thinks this is less than what the Israelies do, think again -- multiple levels of security check, including cars approaching the airport (yes, every time you go do pick someone up or drop someone off, you are stopped and questioned) and profiling; and yes, you mess up the question or look nervous or look wrong, you are fully checked, both bags and, yes, body.

Either accept the risk of dying and not complain when it happens to those around you or accept the checks. That's what Franklin meant. You give up freedom for security but sometimes that freedom is the freedom to die.

Posted by: MadiganT | November 18, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Look for terrorists, not objects.

If Israel, the most targeted country in the world, can stop terrorists without having to resort to pat-downs, why can't we?

But in Israel (and Europe), airport security people are highly trained and respected security professionals. Here, we prefer to hire unscreened, less-educated people and have them follow dumbed-down bureaucratic procedures written in Washington.

Posted by: gdmurray186 | November 18, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Look at the legal definition of a sexual assault. Explain to me why TSA workers are exempt from being prosecuted criminally? I don't care what their supervisors are saying. These ARE sex crimes. If we allow this, what comes next?

Someone putting their finger, tongue, mouth, penis or an object in or on your vagina, penis or anus when you don't want them to;

Someone touching, fondling, kissing or making any unwanted contact with your body;

Someone forcing you to perform oral sex or forcing you to receive oral sex;

Someone forcing you to masturbate, forcing you to masturbate them, or fondling and touching you;

Someone forcing you to look at sexually explicit material or forcing you to pose for sexually explicit pictures; and A doctor, nurse, or other health care professional giving you an unnecessary internal examination or touching your sexual organs in an unprofessional, unwarranted and inappropriate manner

Posted by: vickipolin | November 18, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Look at the legal definition of a sexual assault. Explain to me why TSA workers are exempt from being prosecuted criminally? I don't care what their supervisors are saying. These ARE sex crimes. If we allow this, what comes next?

Someone putting their finger, tongue, mouth, penis or an object in or on your vagina, penis or anus when you don't want them to;

Someone touching, fondling, kissing or making any unwanted contact with your body;

Someone forcing you to perform oral sex or forcing you to receive oral sex;

Someone forcing you to masturbate, forcing you to masturbate them, or fondling and touching you;

Someone forcing you to look at sexually explicit material or forcing you to pose for sexually explicit pictures; and A doctor, nurse, or other health care professional giving you an unnecessary internal examination or touching your sexual organs in an unprofessional, unwarranted and inappropriate manner

Posted by: vickipolin | November 18, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan: I sincerely hope that you will be the first to volunteer for a full body cavity search as well. After all, the strip search machines and "enhanced pat downs" cannot see inside body cavities. Moreover, this method of concealing contraband has already been used by a suicide bomber in Saudi Arabia-- and also by drug couriers.

Seriously, when the body cavity searches come, I hope you're first in line for the KY'd TSA finger. After all, if it makes flying safer, you're all for it right? BTW, does this include active profiling protocols? I'm guessing not, because your commitment to political correctness greatly exceeds your commitment to privacy or dignity more generally. The 4th Amendment is so passe!

Posted by: sicvolo | November 19, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

TSA has never stopped a single armed hijacker and has never found a single bomb intended to down a plane.

How is it that Germany, France, Britain, Japan, China, Russia, etc. manage to run civil aviation without assaulting their passengers?

Posted by: lemondog | November 19, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

What protected you and your bits (your word, not mine) last week?
It's not one for the other, it's an illusion of safety. Of course the more we check the better, but seriously, would body cavity checks be ok with you? Why aren't you more upset by the lack of actual security?

Again, what about Tysons Corner? Why don't we go through all this to get in? Because there has not been a bomb there, yet? Is that common sense?

We have kids bringing guns/weapons to school and some go through a metal detector? But what if those dudes wanted to grope my kids EVERYDAY, would that be ok? Why can't we just be adults, see the common thread and concentrate on them. I would even be willing to be pulled out "at random" but EVERYONE in AMERICA is a possible terrorist? Really? Then why let me drive your kids to school on the bus? Why let me do brain surgery on you? Why let me prepare your food?
CRAZY

Posted by: dcjayhawk2 | November 19, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Some people will justify the nanny state no matter what indignities we suffer. That it is a pointless, insanely expensive exercise in political correctness is now missed by no one. Sexually assaulting three year olds to fly is insanity, and the way the rules are written, refusal to permit your child to be molested makes you subject to tens of thousands in fines. The inmates have taken over the asylum.

Posted by: hdc77494 | November 19, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Pity the poor fools who think any of this makes them safer...Remind them all that TSA has no technology that will detect explosives reliably...and what bags are screened are screened by Xray only...on screens viewd by the same $8 an hour crew...who have no concept of the literally millions of possible configurations of a modern bomb...Here TSA cites priorities and probabilities...and renders themselves a miserable joke. TSA' decision here is just a search where the light is britest approach to providing the illusion of safety...Equally obviously, many of our fellow citizens commenting here need thatb illusion desparately...The real danger is in the baggage department...not their underwear...

Posted by: Naptowner2010 | November 19, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

A few questions come to mind,

1. Are these TSA employees volunteering for these tasks or how are they "selected?"

2. Considering that people exist that function barely above the animal level, say rarely bathing or changing clothes, wafting sickening smells or being heavily infected with STDs,
a. What keeps the molester from gagging, etc. in these cases, should they be wearing gas masks? Or could this be a sick way of skipping the pat down?
b. What prevents germs being transferred to the molester, who may get what he deserves, or worse to the next victims? "I got herpes from the TSA" could be nasty.
c. How often do these molesters change their gloves and clothing?

Posted by: jw765 | November 19, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

If I were a TSA employee, I do not think that I would look forward to my workday. Have any of them refused to participate in these patdowns?

Posted by: tomg1216 | November 19, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"Go ahead. Get your chuckle on. But what many people view as an invasion of privacy, I view as protecting my life and the lives of others. "

That's why you're an idiot. Go read up on our Founding Fathers like Benjamin Franklin who said a person who sacrifices liberty for temporary safety deserves neither.

Posted by: rnatalli | November 19, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart feels so safe now that genitals are being examined. Was he so worried before this? Have there been so many cases of bombs in the underwear that we now have to search every person flying on a plane with this most invasive grab?

Posted by: hugmekatie | November 19, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"I'll exchange an uncomfortable examination of my naughty bits for being blown to bits anytime."

Well won't you look the fool when you're blown to bits by a rectum bomber, after having your naughty bits uncomfortably examined.

Posted by: john65001 | November 19, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

So if you live in DC you are more likely to be killed on the street than by a terrorist. But we spent $300M dollars purchasing these machines, $300+M maintaining them yearly and need 5000 additional agents to run them. How many lives have been saved?


Posted by: Texan in the Snow | November 18, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, God love you, my fellow Texan. These are the kind of amusing questions that make my day.

Just how many have been saved? Please, do tell.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | November 19, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Let's have two separate lines at airports: one for the likes of Capehart who don't mind being grabbed or fondled or cavity searched for an illusion of "absolute" security. And the other line for people like me who realize that nothing in life is risk-free and would like to take our chances while keeping our dignity.

Posted by: Jainr | November 19, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It would seem to me that Capehart simply doesn't have any junk to touch. Others of us have the balls to not live in such fear.

Posted by: alrob8 | November 19, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

So because some people don't understand that you have a 1 in 400 billion chance of being on a plane with a bomb I have to get felt up? Screw yyou we will fight this till it is gone and you can't do anything about it.

Posted by: flonzy1 | November 19, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

TSA has been incompetent in stopping terrorists from getting on planes. If they had just looked at the darn do not fly list, the failed underwear bomber wouldn't have gotten on.

Regardless, I agree dogs would be much better. Most people are already used to the fact that dogs like sniffing crotches and I'd feel much less abused by a sniffer than a grabber, or nudy pic.

So far, the only thing enhanced security has done that I can see is cut down on drug smuggling.

Posted by: hebe1 | November 19, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan - this is not your finest hour.

If you think this intolerable outrage has any affect on your risk of being a victim of terrorism, you are quite mistaken. I am not a big fan of Charles Krauthammer, but his column today is spot on.

As a citizen and taxpayer I am deeply offended by this policy. You can be sure if any Cost-Benefit Analysis went into this at all, it was run by the Chertoff Group (former DHS Secretary), which is just a front organization for Rapiscan (manufacturer of the backscatter scanner). If there are any journalists left around WP, they might want to look into THAT connection.

Posted by: pt200386 | November 19, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Well, Capehart, unless they start looking up our butts,too,it's all for naught.

How about another juicy sole source, no-bid contract for Halliburton to build butt washers and disposable anal probes?

Then you will be safe flying but not from pervert TSA agents who get their jollies by feeling you, your mother and your kids up.

A small price to pay to pander to Lord Cheney's eternal "War on Terror" that is so ever so good for our economy, defense contractors and upper class RepuBPlicans.

Posted by: areyousaying | November 19, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Orwell was a prophet and Bush family friend Bin Ladin wins again.

Posted by: areyousaying | November 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

EVERY US airport should have at least ONE US Marshall at each screening position so that if the passenger (customer) has an issue with the way the TSA agent is conducting the 'pat down' or body-search, the US Marshall is there - to ARREST - the TSA employee for sexual assault. ON THE SPOT.

The time for these expensive, insane games is done. Let the Mossad or whom ever it is at El Al we need to get and train these TSA clowns what they need to know - just do it!! We should be getting something in return for the BILLIONS we seem to pour into Israel with nothing in return to show for it !!!

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | November 19, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The scanners are not good at detecting liquids, gels and powders, only high density objects like knives which are 1] easily detected by magnetometers 2] no threat at all to the integrity of the aircraft. In the meantime, air cargo is largely unscreened and catering/cleaning personnel swarm all over the aircraft between flights. The body scanners represent more money down the drain, and more power for a bloated bureaucracy.

Posted by: thermo | November 19, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Security screening should be performed by the airlines and not by the government. That way, those who value the safety benefit of intrusive screening could fly on "Frisky Air" which provides that service, and those who would rather assume whatever risk is involved in only using the old-fashioned metal detector can fly on"Risky Air" instead. Of course, the extra cost involved in operating "Frisky Air" should be added onto the ticket, as should any extra insurance premium required to operate "Risky Air".

Personally, I'd happily fly on "Risky Air". But I'm willing to respect Mr. Capehart's right to make a different choice along with those of like mind, if they'll only respect my right to do the same.

As another benefit, I'd be willing to bet that the security screeners hired by "Frisky Air" would be much more professional and polite than those hired by the TSA. The airline would have a strong incentive to provide its customers with good service, while the TSA with its monopoly doesn't have to care.

Posted by: Burgundy | November 19, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

It's not even (just) about privacy. It's about radiation. And about the fact that Michael Chertoff profits from the sale of these machines.

Posted by: Itzajob | November 19, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety"....Benjamin Franklin.

Posted by: EricFeazel | November 19, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety"....Benjamin Franklin.

Posted by: EricFeazel | November 19, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for a little sanity. People are hungry and out of work and the MSM is obsessing on this story.....from Olberman, to Fox, to CNN. This is red meat for them. Think of the pics. Think of the rumors. Think of the faux outrage. Think of the ratings.

If some of these folks start trying to block screening during the holiday, they had best be ready for the wrath of their fellow passengers. If you cause me and my kids to miss my plane to the grand parents, be ready to have your lights punched out.

Like you I say they can touch my little treasures anytime if it will help prevent my plane from being blown up. I particularly love the hyperbole about three year olds and grannies in wheel chairs. SOME people don't want to be scanned, don't want to take their shoes off, don't want to pull out their laptops, don't want to be body searched. the list if long. Of course, if the TSA pulls back and a plane does blow up these same people will scream bloody murder that the government is not doing its job. God, what a nation of whiners we have become. And our prudishness about our bodies.....oy vey, don't get me started.

Posted by: tarryh | November 19, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Why can't they just make this go away! For goodness sakes the President has daughters. Please don't make me send my girls through this "enhanced" process, until the President has sent his.

(Mr. Capehart has no children. Just a false sense of security.)

And I'll bring my own box of latex gloves for "their" safety - thank you! (no telling how many germs they will spread from one person to the next.) I actually had a TSA guy hand search my "feminine products" at a gate once - AFTER they'd been through the security check point.

I was so disgusted - I just tossed them.....

QUIT REACTING and THINK AHEAD of the next threat. The only ones benefitting are the manufacturers and contractors who put the machines in and maintain them.

Posted by: anonymouslurker | November 19, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

And to continue, I am tired of hearing about giving up basic human right.... bull pucky....I have a right to life, bucky.

And Israel..... give me a break. I listened to a senile old Israel security guy on Olberman the other night say all you need to do is interview people.... at the entrance to the airport, at the ticket counter and at the gate..... sure, if you only do a few thousand passengers a day...at one or two air ports. How about hundreds of air ports and hundreds of thousands of passengers a day. We would need to hire and charge passengers for thousands of new TSA folks. As many experts, including Israeli experts, have said, there is no one size fits all and the Israeli model simply is not SCALEABLE to high traffic areas.

Posted by: tarryh | November 19, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Let's drop all security at the airports. 9-11 was so long ago. Do you really think that TSA workers enjoy patting down obese fliers? Get real.

Posted by: rcvinson64 | November 19, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, news flash, you were safe before. Really, you were. This isn't needed.

Posted by: Nymous | November 19, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

And to continue, I am tired of hearing about giving up basic human right.... bull pucky....I have a right to life, bucky.

And Israel..... give me a break. I listened to a senile old Israel security guy on Olberman the other night say all you need to do is interview people.... at the entrance to the airport, at the ticket counter and at the gate..... sure, if you only do a few thousand passengers a day...at one or two air ports. How about hundreds of air ports and hundreds of thousands of passengers a day. We would need to hire and charge passengers for thousands of new TSA folks. As many experts, including Israeli experts, have said, there is no one size fits all and the Israeli model simply is not SCALEABLE to high traffic areas.

Posted by: tarryh | November 19, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart, you go right ahead and trade your privacy and rights for a false sense of security but don't ask me to do so as well. Unless there is reasonable suspicion that someone is a threat, people have rights that protect against unreasonable searches.

Posted by: tmarshallva | November 19, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

That being said, I'll exchange an uncomfortable examination of my naughty bits for being blown to bits anytime.

============================================

What's sad and pathetic about your point of view is that there's no concrete evidence that you would be any safer. If I may quote from your (much smarter) colleague Charles Krauthammer:

"We pretend that we go through this nonsense as a small price paid to ensure the safety of air travel. Rubbish. This has nothing to do with safety - 95 percent of these inspections, searches, shoe removals and pat-downs are ridiculously unnecessary. The only reason we continue to do this is that people are too cowed to even question the absurd taboo against profiling - when the profile of the airline attacker is narrow, concrete, uniquely definable and universally known. So instead of seeking out terrorists, we seek out tubes of gel in stroller pouches."

Posted by: bbface21 | November 19, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

TSA pat downs are used in case of Chinese Stars. Temperature and vibrations can indicate Catana use. Or Chinese Stars...

Tyrants' as depoted in the Major Writ, come in various forms-a tyrant and a tyrant as depoted in the Major Writ are two ubiquitous terms.

To fall under the Tyrant' class such as Mafia Untouchables, Evil Villains with superpowers, Tzars whom apply for citizenship desperately and Ninja Chinese star collectors.
Avid chinese star collectors always assume the most absolute secrecy and shroud. They need total quiet in order to concentrate.
Burglary, using the Ninja Claw and grappling hook-rope are used to deploy and scale buildings,or family vacation houses, to precipitate the look of authentic- breaking and entering.
These are hard to find. Flea markets use the secret dragon-shade tequnique in which the avid collector steps beside the curtain and follows the Fence so as not to draw attention to the smuggling.

TSA pat downs are viable in this atmosphere as they cannot be used against property owners under the kingship clause of the Major. Normally they are used against property owners in discrimination
frisks.

Posted by: kadija1 | November 19, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

On flights recently to Egypt, we found US procedures pretty routine--shoes off, metal objects in a tray, quart bag of small liquids, etc. Las Vegas, Chicago, and London all were like this.

Egyptian procedures would best be described as 'loose'. From Cairo to Luxor on Egyptair, we put all our bags through a metal detector at check-in but the attendant couldn't get the detector turned on - we still had water in our carry-on. At least the belt was working. They said not to worry if the names on the tags weren't ours, nor if our boarding passes had different names, nor about seat assignments, just take any open seat. Everyone on the plane was on a tour but 'extras' could have crept in.

We flew back to Cairo on Egyptair's discount airline, Memphisair. At least our bag tags, boarding passes, and seat assignments matched our names. We still carried lots of bottled water, hair spray, etc.

From Cairo to London on British Midland, I don't know if checked bags went through any screen. We put our carry-on through a machine when we entered the 'secure' area but our bottled water didn't ring any bells. When we got to our gate we had to put the bags through an attended machine (all attendants were army personnel). My wife's went through but he made me take my bottle of water out--either he didn't see my wife's or he didn't care.

From London to New York was entirely different--no bottled water, quart (liter) bags, metal stuff in trays, etc. I set off the detector, because, according to the security guy as he wanded me and then patted me down in a not-too-invasive search, I had too many electronic-striped cards in my 2-inch by 3-inch by 1/4-inch card case! He put the case through the machine. My wife set off the detector, apparently because of her pendant. She got a full semi-intrusive pat down and then had to go stand in some sort of a scan area. It didn't seem to be a full body scan device but was electronic of some ilk -- hands raised, turn in a circle, the whole thing. We eventually passed.

Then going to Washington DC last week, I asked Las Vegas and Dallas TSA ID checkers, "What wonderful surprises do you have in store for us today?" BOTH replied that we didn't want to get the new pat down. The Dallas lady volunteered that she had to perform some the day before and SHE was revolted (imagine the revulsion by the recipient). It was the same drill from Dulles on back home a few days later, except the Dulles TSA were noticeably more aggressive/obnoxious in their 'instructions' than usual.

The ACLU and Libertarians agree full body scans and intrusive pat-downs violate the Constitution. Bob Barr, ex-Congressman (R) from Atlanta expounds upon this. An all-inclusive approach is stupid and time-wasting when also requiring random pat-downs even on old, white-haired, beardless men like me. We have entered la-la land. Even El Al doesn't go this far!

Posted by: jdrd58 | November 19, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I suggest that all those folks that are so sensitive to being searched that they would rather get blown up than have someone touch their goodies - please just don't fly anymore. Take the train or drive.

I don't want to suffer the consequences of your modesty.

Posted by: YadaYada1 | November 19, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm just waiting for the first story about an 80 year old grandma kicking a TSA agent in his "sensitive areas" after being subjected to one of these searches.

Posted by: afpre42 | November 19, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

More faux outrage! Thousands of people who stripped naked to shower in gym class in front of a bunch of other naked people suddenly cannot bear the thought of being electronically scanned or patted. Treat them the same way coach did. You don't strip down, you get an "F." You won't be scanned or patted, you don't fly.

Posted by: gasmonkey | November 19, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

afpre42, an 80-year-old anybody should be overjoyed that anybody is willing to touch them, or risk the expensive scanner.

Posted by: gasmonkey | November 19, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

What about the 4th amendment Capehart? Do you know what the 4th amendment is?
The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. The amendment specifically also requires search and arrest warrants be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. Search and arrest should be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer, who has sworn by it.

Posted by: sasha6 | November 19, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm just waiting for the first story about an 80 year old grandma kicking a TSA agent in his "sensitive areas" after being subjected to one of these searches.

Posted by: afpre42

=============================================

I hope it's posted on YouTube. More people need to see this idiocy firsthand.

Posted by: bbface21 | November 19, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

These machines have been purchased from California based Rapiscan Systems. The company is a client of the Chertoff Group, a security consulting agency headed by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff who has lobbied for the need for installing the machines in airports.

Posted by: sasha6 | November 19, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

You can view Mandy Simon a 3 year old being searched by a TSA agent on YOU TUBE. It is called, 'TSA molests 3 year old child at Chattanooga Metro airport'.

Posted by: sasha6 | November 19, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Remember to ask the TSA employee if he is a gay man before permitting the search.

Even those like myself who might permit a frisk that included the space just beneath the family jewels may not want a gay man to become sexually aroused while touching me, hand-condoms or not.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 19, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

This is all security theater. Why sacrifice your privacy for this?!

Posted by: Grozet | November 19, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

It's not funny to have strangers grabbing your private parts with impunity. It is public humiliation and I'm surprised there has not been legal challenges, suits and physical assault on the TSA employees. Personally, I would protest by taking my clothes off just to get them not to fondle me. LOL (Would I land in jail? Would I be charged for indecent exposure? What's the difference???)

Posted by: wastebasket | November 19, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

It's extremely sad how far we have fallen in 235 years. Patrick Henry gave a speech on March 23, 1775, which he ended with his famous quote, "... but, as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" Now, people like Capeheart say, "I'll exchange an uncomfortable examination of my naughty bits for being blown to bits anytime". In other words, "Save me, save me. Please take my liberties, I don't wanna die!"
We are not worthy of out founding fathers, nor of the soldiers who are putting their lives on the line right now in the middle east.

Posted by: DaveinCA | November 19, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

BLASMAIC Says:

Remember to ask the TSA employee if he is a gay man before permitting the search.

Even those like myself who might permit a frisk that included the space just beneath the family jewels may not want a gay man to become sexually aroused while touching me, hand-condoms or not.
GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Bet you are for keeping DADT too. You got sexual hang ups, bud. You musta hated gym class. All those fruity football players checking you out in the shower. Get over it! People just want to feel secure. No one, not even us gay folk, is interested in your body parts. Don't flatter yourself.

Posted by: tarryh | November 19, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

It's extremely sad how far we have fallen in 235 years. Patrick Henry gave a speech on March 23, 1775, which he ended with his famous quote, "... but, as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" Now, people like Capeheart say, "I'll exchange an uncomfortable examination of my naughty bits for being blown to bits anytime". In other words, "Save me, save me. Please take my liberties, I don't wanna die!"
We are not worthy of out founding fathers, nor of the soldiers who are putting their lives on the line right now in the middle east.

Posted by: DaveinCA | November 19, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

You, Mr. Capehart, have NO common sense. The enhanced pat down is just security theater. TSA is out of control. Sexual assault in the name of security is wrong. Period. And shame on the airlines for allowing this to happen.

Posted by: sue1047 | November 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I have never written this in a comment section before, so I do so with some regret, but you must be an idiot. Plus, you must know nothing about security at airports. Plus, you must not realize that this X-raying and groping will do very, very little, or nothing, to improve "security" in the skies. There are many alternative ways of providing security, even better security, such as the European model, but we (the TSA) rejects that for use here.

Something else needs to be said. Sometime in the future, maybe in fifty or a hundred years, who knows, we are likely to have a round of serious domestic terrorism in the US. Now that the cat is out of the bag on showing what terrorism can do, it seems almost inevitable that, sooner or later, we will hatch out a batch of domestic terrorists. It is apparent from your comment, and that of others, that the complete suspension of Constitutional rights will happen immediately in that event and be cheered on by millions. This is what you are setting us up for.

You can never reduce the chance of a terror attack to zero. Well, maybe if you ordered everyone to stay at home 24/7, you might stop it for a time. It seems that is what fearful fliers want: zero chance. This is part of the national panic reaction to 9-11, 2001, which was egged on for political purposes by Bush and his group. If the scanners could bring the chances close to zero, even I would consider supporting them, but they can't.

You, who are fearful, should first of all realize that there is never likely to be another hijacking from the air of an American passenger aircraft. Why? Because the pilot's work stations were fortified after 9-11. You can't get in there and no pilot is going to open the door under any circumstances, because they know the consequences.

If the naked scanners and rubbing between the legs are so important, then every passenger boarding every plane should have to go through them. Otherwise, you are now left with random, unselected mistreatment (one woman commented that she was given a rub up when the X machine detected a tissue in her pocket).

There is an alternative way that the TSA could have used these machines more effectively and selectively. (I am not going to enumerate it, because I don't want to give them ideas.) Instead, they are following the "everyone is a potential terrorist" concept of the Bush years.

The naked scanning machines and selective groping of passengers will not last. The TSA is facing a major embarrassment and a major waste of tax payer's dollars in pulling them back.

Please, investigate these matters and think before you publish such ill advised comments supporting this ignorant, wasteful and ineffective policy.

Doug Terry at terryreport com

Posted by: terryreport | November 19, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I have never written this in a comment section before, so I do so with some regret, but you must be an idiot. Plus, you must know nothing about security at airports. Plus, you must not realize that this X-raying and groping will do very, very little, or nothing, to improve "security" in the skies. There are many alternative ways of providing security, even better security, such as the European model, but we (the TSA) rejects that for use here.

Something else needs to be said. Sometime in the future, maybe in fifty or a hundred years, who knows, we are likely to have a round of serious domestic terrorism in the US. Now that the cat is out of the bag on showing what terrorism can do, it seems almost inevitable that, sooner or later, we will hatch out a batch of domestic terrorists. It is apparent from your comment, and that of others, that the complete suspension of Constitutional rights will happen immediately in that event and be cheered on by millions. This is what you are setting us up for.

You can never reduce the chance of a terror attack to zero. Well, maybe if you ordered everyone to stay at home 24/7, you might stop it for a time. It seems that is what fearful fliers want: zero chance. This is part of the national panic reaction to 9-11, 2001, which was egged on for political purposes by Bush and his group. If the scanners could bring the chances close to zero, even I would consider supporting them, but they can't.

You, who are fearful, should first of all realize that there is never likely to be another hijacking from the air of an American passenger aircraft. Why? Because the pilot's work stations were fortified after 9-11. You can't get in there and no pilot is going to open the door under any circumstances, because they know the consequences.

If the naked scanners and rubbing between the legs are so important, then every passenger boarding every plane should have to go through them. Otherwise, you are now left with random, unselected mistreatment (one woman commented that she was given a rub up when the X machine detected a tissue in her pocket).

There is an alternative way that the TSA could have used these machines more effectively and selectively. (I am not going to enumerate it, because I don't want to give them ideas.) Instead, they are following the "everyone is a potential terrorist" concept of the Bush years.

The naked scanning machines and selective groping of passengers will not last. The TSA is facing a major embarrassment and a major waste of tax payer's dollars in pulling them back.

Please, investigate these matters and think before you publish such ill advised comments supporting this ignorant, wasteful and ineffective policy.

Doug Terry at terryreport com

Posted by: terryreport | November 19, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

So far none of these enhanced techniques has caught a terrorist. While terrorist have shown little intellectual prowess, I suspect they'll actually be able to figure out that if they show up at the airport they will have to deal with this. We only had one shoe bomber because they adapted to the "enhanced" shoe surveillance techniques. They went to underwear bombs. Next will be the rather obvious ass bomb and I'm surprised it took this long to get there. I can't wait for the TSA adaptation to that.

Posted by: impressed1 | November 19, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

This is quite fundamentally an issue of constitutional rights. The Fourth Amendment protects "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches". If stripping our wives, daughters, mothers, and grandmothers naked with x-rays or groping their crotches in crowded airports is reasonable, then we don't deserve the freedoms our forebears died to protect.

Mr. Capehart wants absolute safety, and he's willing to surrender his constitutional rights and everyone else's to get it. That's not prudence--it's cowardice. Freedom is bought at the price of certain risks, and those risks can be kept at acceptable levels without surrendering our last ounce of dignity every time we board a plane. If we allow ourselves to stoop to this, Osama Bin Laden has won.

Posted by: McL1 | November 19, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I suggest that all those folks that are so sensitive to being searched that they would rather get blown up than have someone touch their goodies - please just don't fly anymore. Take the train or drive.

I don't want to suffer the consequences of your modesty.

Posted by: YadaYada1 | November 19, 2010 12:36 PM
================================
Wow, what a thought. You are asking people to act on their fears and boycott the airline industry entirely? Terrorist would rejoice and call it victory.

Blowing up one plane full of people is not the ultimate goal of terrorists. They are more interested in the economic chaos that follows due to tourists' fears (staying home altogether, etc.) That really satisfies them.

On 9/11/2001, we lost a lot of lives in several parts of the USA, but actually lost a lot more economically world-wide for many years afterwards in the tourist industry (hotels, air travel, both via lost revenue and jobs.) I believe the airlines that survived the economic impact of 9/11 took a long time to recover from the effect on tourists' fears or the decision to drive.

Posted by: wastebasket | November 19, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of disingenuous, dishonest garbage.

There is no correlation between safety and having your "naughty bits" fondled by a TSA employee.

This is nothing but security theater and you should know better.


Posted by: solsticebelle | November 19, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

You're not a forward thinker, JC, and you just fell in with the TSA's reactive mentality. What will you do when an anal-cavity bomb is attempted? You KNOW given past Pavlovian history TSA will want to start checking cavities. As soon as you and Ms. Napolitano jump up on the podium and utter how you went through it, and its not so bad, then we'll know you've lost your darn mind, and you always will be sheep.

There are some things in life we can control, and some things we can't. If the terrorist want to destroy what we've built here, they're going to have to do it themselves, we will not do it for them. (paraphrased from Deep Space 9 episode)

Posted by: bigduke62 | November 19, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I cannot help but note that the sexual/privacy aspect of the TSA pat downs and scans get almost all the attention, but the irradiation of travelers is rarely mentioned, and then only to be dismissed. Yet it is far more invasive, always harmful to some degree, and occasionally risky (e.g., if there is sudden power surge). Adults should be able to act like adults during a pat down, even though it offends, but there is nothing you can do to ameliorate the consequences of radiation. You can only keep the occasions for exposure as rare as possible. We need some actuarial studies on this issue with regard to TSA's nutty way of doing things.

Posted by: morphex | November 19, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I cannot help but note that the sexual/privacy aspect of the TSA pat downs and scans get almost all the attention, but the irradiation of travelers is rarely mentioned, and then only to be dismissed. Yet it is far more invasive, always harmful to some degree, and occasionally risky (e.g., if there is a sudden power surge). Adults should be able to act like adults during a pat down, even though when it offends, but there is nothing you can do to ameliorate the consequences of radiation. You can only keep the occasions of exposure as rare as possible. We need some actuarial studies on this issue.

Posted by: morphex | November 19, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

It is very! encouraging that so many people are expressing justified outrage at the ridiculous new "screening" procedures being instituted by the morons at TSA.

What happens when there is another terrorist attempt? Left to their own devices, TSA would then have us traveling in those "paper" hospital gowns, "checking" our clothing for retrieval at our destination.

As many have noted on this site, there is no such thing as 100% "security." The "terrorists" have already "won"...we're treated like potential criminals in our own country (just trying opening a new bank account, as well). Unfortunately, our spineless "leaders" can't manage to put two sentences of the truth together...or consider anything beyond their trying to protect own rear ends.

Posted by: Rigged | November 19, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

It's extremely sad how far we have fallen in 235 years. Patrick Henry gave a speech on March 23, 1775, which he ended with his famous quote, "... but, as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" Now, people like Capeheart say, "I'll exchange an uncomfortable examination of my naughty bits for being blown to bits anytime". In other words, "Save me, save me. Please take my liberties, I don't wanna die!"
We are not worthy of out founding fathers, nor of the soldiers who are putting their lives on the line right now in the middle east.

Posted by: DaveinCA | November 19, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

What a degrading job being a TSA groper unless you are gay or lesbian.

Posted by: mlemac | November 19, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

It pains me to see this get out under Obama, even Bush didn't do this.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, Mr. Prez?

Posted by: crislevin2010 | November 20, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The one thing most people do not realize is that the airport security system is nothing more than a dog and pony show. The system is only as good as the people that work it. TSA has under qualified under trained people and the “new technology will not fix the issue.
I fly over 100 flights a year for business and have seen many situations first hand that raise more than just concern about the TSA and the people working for them. A great number of people working for the TSA are eight dollar an hour entry level part time workers with little or no possibility for advancement and no long term future in the position they currently have. Is this the kind of people we want to trust our life with?
On the issue of the pat downs and full body scans. THE SAME PEOPLE ARE PERFORMING THE SEARCHES! I see TSA employees walk back and forth thru the security gates on a regular basis. Why aren’t they scanned or patted down like the airline personnel and every other person entering a secure area? This alone is a huge hole in the possible safety of everyone flying.
What the TSA and the media are trying to tell us is. We are to trust our privacy and safety to under trained low paid people in a dead end job.

Posted by: ronlt | November 20, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

You bunch of weenies. I got patted down so good in Germany one time I went back through the line 3 times! It was the closest thing to a date I'd had in 6 months. I don't understand German very well, but I think I got engaged on that third time through. She kind of looked like a prison matron, but I'm not complaining. Apparently at my age I have better odds of getting shot in the face by the vice-president than getting married.

Posted by: bikergrrl | November 20, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capeheart,

You obviously don't fly enough to understand how difficult TSA has made travel, and if you believe that probing my crotch is keeping you safe, then you are sadly lacking in the kind of intelligent thought that used to be required of all Post writers.

Posted by: KatherineGraham0 | November 21, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart,
Please do not leave you home if you wish to remain "safe." Your chance of being hit by lightening exceed your chance of dying at the hands of a terrorist, virtual strip searches or not.

Posted by: LHG1 | November 21, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

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