Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report
March 3, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – The men and women in the ill-fitting blue shirts and tight black pants are running wild once again down at the main airport in the South Texas city of Corpus Christi.
A regular reader of Red Dirt Report contacted this website and shared her story of how she and her husband’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the Transportation Security Administration earlier this week while trying to board a Southwest plane flying from Corpus Christi International Airport to St. Louis, Missouri.
As the reader was checking in she made a comment to the Southwest employee that she was sick of the abusive behavior of the TSA. This was noted as the reader noticed about a dozen TSA employees heading to work and a dozen or so leaving.
The Southwest employee did not nod in agreement, rather the employee expressed surprise. Interestingly, it turned out that a TSA employee was nearby as the reader made her comments critical of the TSA.
“There was nobody in the airport except us,” the reader recalled. “And when we got to the security checkpoint we decided to ‘opt out.’
Of course when the reader and her husband “opted out,” the tyrants in blue yelled out “Opt out! Opt out!” as if to have all eyes on them as a way of humiliating them in public.
During our phone interview with the RDR reader, she expressed concern over the radiation exposure one receives while going through backscatter and x-ray naked machines at the airport. As a frequent traveler she said she prefers to “opt out” and get the pat-down as much as she hates them and feels they’re a violation of her rights as an American citizen.
This same reader shared another story where a few months ago, while traveling through the same airport in Corpus Christi, she was taken in a room, following an opt-out request, and the screener put her hands in her underwear, much to her shock. The reader also noted how she felt embarrassed for having to spread her legs out while she was being screened.
While she stood there, her rights being violated, she said she kept a close eye on her luggage which was being rifled through. The screener seemed surprised and the reader told the screener that she did not want anything to go missing. Of course incidents of theft among the TSA ranks is increasingly common, according to numerous news reports.
The reader also noticed that her husband was patted-down twice. When asked about this double screening, he was blandly told that it was “for training purposes.”
The reader then asked the screener why did they have to inconvenience and insult American citizens with two pat-downs when they could pat-down each other.
“I was told that they had to train in ‘real time,’” the reader recalled.
The reader then demanded a supervisor. Eventually a woman showed up – an unpleasant woman, the reader noted, who reminded her of the cartoon villain “Cruella DeVil.”
When the reader complained to “Cruella,” she was told that it was because of “9/11” and they “could do whatever they wanted.”
It is here where I should remind Red Dirt Report readers that this incident took place in the same same airport and involving the same TSA louts who “humiliated and embarrassed” a young Amarillo, Texas woman by pulling her blouse down and exposing her breasts and laughing at her. As reported in court documents the woman ended up receiving a “nominal” settlement in federal court.
The Red Dirt Report reader also said that when she mentioned how she did not want to go through the radiation-emitting naked body scanner, “Cruella DeVil” told her that passengers usually don’t opt out, rather they “love” going through the scanners. They “love it”!
And what do TSA employees “love”? Beyond just harassing people they love to overlook boxcutters, as noted in a disturbing USA Today piece this week. And waht of the TSA agent busted this week for letting a drug dealer skip security?
And in Georgia, as noted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, TSA loves to engage their “VIPER” program which mainly disrupts travelers at rush hour.
And what of the mobile scan vans that TSA plans to roll out soon, despite their denials?
These are all examples found in the news just this week.
The Red Dirt Report reader who brought this story to our attention reminded us of a recent Alex Jones radio program where the host noted how radiation can leak from the machines and irradiate nearby TSA employees over time. Wired magazine published a story, again this very week, asking “‘Nude’ airport scanners: Are they safe?” These radiation concerns are real even though the scanner manufacturers and TSA spokespeople say they’re super safe.
Luis Casanova, the TSA spokesman for Texas and Oklahoma who is based in Dallas-Fort Worth and has talked with Red Dirt Report about other TSA-related issues.
When Red Dirt Report shared the Corpus Christi airport incident with Casanova he said, “No, I don’t have a clue about the incident. I’ll have to look into it.”
When we noted the part of the incident where the reader’s husband was subjected to TWO pat-downs for no apparent reason, other than training some other TSA employee, he seemed surprised over the phone.
And regarding the thorough examination of the reader’s carry-on luggage while she was being patted-down, Casanova said, “It’s hard for me to comment on that. If they saw something and decided to run it again, I don’t know. Of course no one should be discriminated against for opting out. It’s their right to do so. I’m at a loss here. But I don’t know the details of the story.”
Casanova added that the passengers who were treated in this manner have a right to file a complaint with TSA.
“Nobody deserves to be disrespected in any way,” Casanova said. “We hold our officers to the highest standards.”
An attempt was made to get someone at Corpus Christi International Airport to comment on this reader’s experience. As of late Thursday we had not heard back from them.
Of course people are concerned about complaining to TSA. As noted by New Hampshire State Rep. George Lambert, people are afraid of complaining to TSA about anything because they don’t want to end up on a TSA “watch list,” an issue he recently addressed on The Intel Hub radio program.
And Lambert is doing his best at fighting against the injustices of the Empire. He is a brave politician who recently filed a bill which would make it where TSA employees who touch breasts and genitals without probable cause would face sexual assault charges, people are scared of ending up on a TSA “watch list.”
In a Manchester Union Leader article addressing Lambert’s bill, it notes that the purpose of naked body machines and intimate pat-downs are being done in order to “dehumanize people.”
It’s the dehumanization part that is starting to concern many Americans.
This article was posted: Friday, March 4, 2011 at 10:51 am