TSA Director John Pistole: "Pat downs so thorough we can feel what's in your underwear!"


By Sam Foster & Left Coast Rebel

It seems that the TSA is only more brazen because of the recent spotlight, and, incredibly, doubling down in their Nanny Government Knows Best mentality.

Here's another point of just that all the way from the top, The Hill reports:

Pat-down techniques are so thorough that they would have thwarted the suspected Christmas Day bomber, who allegedly hid an explosive device in his underwear, the head of the TSA told senators on Tuesday.

In response to a growing rash of public ire about new pat-downs and in anticipation of the large amount of airline travel expected on Thanksgiving next week, John Pistole, the head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that the new search methods were an essential component to ensuring airport security.
One can assume that "so thorough" from the TSA chief means what we think it does - as in feeling-up breasts, genitalia and the general inhumanity of it all. And who's to say that groping would have stopped the Christmas panty-bomber, anyway? And even if it had, does that negate American's rights being violated?

The message from TSA top brass is clear --- no matter what all of you peons think as your rights and privacy are potentially violated...move along...shut up...it's for your own good!

On the other hand, at least TSA Director John Pistole didn't say that "Nobody likes to have their 4th Amendment violated but we're going to do it anyway."

Updated: We haven't even had the chance here at LCR to note the Gizmodo article that proves that the Feds are not destroying naked scanner images, as they promised they would do. A courthouse in Florida apparently stored 35,000 such images.

Here's video from Gizmodo:


  1. I get the whole libertarian argument here, but I'm still unpersuaded and slightly confused by the arguments.

    The photo of that hot looking babe and the x-ray eyes is concerning, but that level of resolution is FAR higher than most body images I've seen. In fact, in the video you attached the images are barely recognizable as human. I don't see why the images cannot be tweaked by software to make human anatomy unrecognizable.

    The side by side image of the woman and her image is a fallacious scare tactic. The TSA employees viewing these images of naked people are not simultaneously looking over to see who the images are attached to. If someone had a body scan image of me, but didn't know it was me, it would have absolutely no impact on my privacy or sense of modesty.

    These images are abstractions. If screeners are getting any jollies, it's about as significant as viewing hand-drawn cartoons of naked people.

    If government workers illegally retained images, then you punish them severely. There are many people in positions of power who can abuse that power. Cops grope women during LEGAL searches. Doctors grope patients. We don't eliminate police and surgeons as a solution to criminal behavior by a few. The fact they got caught indicates the checks and balances are working.

    In the past year I have flown through SFO, IAD, DEN, BOI, PHX, LAX, SNA, EWR, DFW, LAS, STL, and PDX and nobody has "grabbed my junk." I've probably had three or four pat downs in all those trips, and all of them were light sweeps, not groping. I've been through the body scanner only about three times. Am I missing all the "groping and peeping" airports?

    The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches. Given the history of skyjackings and bombings, I don't think airline security is at all unreasonable.

    Our good friend at Fighting in the Shade makes a very good case that terrorists can circumvent these security checks, but that is sophistry. The way to combat terrorism is to increase their costs and risks. The harder you make it for them to conduct easy, routine attacks, the more likely they will fail or be caught.

    The shoe bomber and underpants bomber got explosives on board a plane, but the security in place made it difficult for them to have a pre-assembled, ready-to-detonate bomb. It was precisely that reason why the bombs failed.

    I'm receptive to the notion that, perhaps, the evolution of airline security is a reaction to a series of events over many decades. But I suspect that shortly after eliminating or reducing current security, there WILL be another attack, and I don't want to be aboard that airplane.

  2. On the other hand, at least TSA Director John Pistole didn't say that "Nobody likes to have their 4th Amendment violated but we're going to do it anyway."
    But he may just as well said it!

  3. Nick Rowe, it's been noted that the Gizmodo images are low-res versions from a court house. Hi-res images are what the TSA sees.
    "These machines were from a courthouse in Florida and show lower-res pictures than those produced by the Transportation Security Administration's newer machines." http://boingboing.net/2010/11/16/us-marshals-forced-t.html


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