Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TSA screener terrorizes 3-year-old girl

Imagine taking your family to the airport and watching as Federal agents terrorize your 3-year-old child.

That is exactly what happened to little Mandy Simon.

She was first forced to surrender her teddy bear, and ended up getting flagged for further screening.

As the girl's mother held her, the TSA agent scanned her with a wand, and then proceeded to give the girl a more thorough search. As the screener searched her, the frightened girl screamed for the agent to stop touching her.

The girl's father, Steve Simon, works as a reporter for CW-39 from Houston, Texas, and managed to capture the encounter on his cell phone camera.

In the video, the girl is clearly traumatized as the TSA screener attempts to search her.

But the question remains - what is the TSA doing screening toddlers like this? Do they honestly think the little girl is concealing a bomb in her stuffed toy?

Terrorists have been known to use children in places like Iraq, but Houston does not have a history of bomb-wielding toddlers.

The TSA is charged with providing security on our airlines, but many are questioning their methods.

The Dallas Morning News reported last Monday that:

The TSA recently changed its hand-search policies. Before, the officers would use the back of their hand to check a person; now they are to use their open hand and fingers to go over one's body, including the genital area and breasts.

Mike Cleary, President of the US Airline Pilots Association, issued a statement which read, in part:

"Let's be perfectly clear: the TSA procedures we have outlined above are blatantly unacceptable as a long-term solution. Although an immediate solution cannot be guaranteed, I can promise you that your union will not rest until all U.S. airline pilots have a way to reach their workplace ... the aircraft ... without submitting ourselves to the will of a TSO behind closed doors.

"This situation has already produced a sexual molestation in alarmingly short order. Left unchecked, there's simply no way to predict how far the TSA will overreach in searching and frisking pilots who are, ironically, mere minutes from being in the flight deck.

"As we all know, it makes no difference what a pilot has on his or her person or in their luggage, because they have control of the aircraft throughout the entire flight. The eyewash being dribbled by the TSA in this instance is embarrassingly devoid of common sense, and we will not stand for it."

The agency is also under fire for the use of a scanner that can see through a passengers clothing. As reported by CNN Travel, passengers and pilots alike are up in arms over the scanners.

A group called National Opt Out Day is calling for travellers to opt-out of the screenings on Thanksgiving Day - traditionally the busiest flying day of the year.

After the incident with Mandy Simon, TSA officials said that screeners would undergo "sensitivity training" in order to deal with children better.

Perhaps the TSA should include a course on common sense followed by a course on the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures.

In the meantime, they should keep their hands off our children and our bodies and instead focus on keeping terrorists off of commercial aircraft.


No comments:

Post a Comment