Children going through airport security will no longer be subject to the aggressive pat-downs that have riled some passengers and will instead face less-intrusive hand searches from screeners, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.
“After a thorough risk assessment and after hearing concerns from parents, we made the decision that a modified pat-down would be used for children 12 years old and under who require extra screening,” TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee said in a statement.
The TSA last month began “enhanced” pat-downs on passengers who decline to enter body scanners that create graphic images of people under their clothes and are viewed in a private room by screeners. Some passengers complained the pat-downs were intrusive, while others have protested the body scanners as a privacy invasion.
The TSA decision to ease screening for children came as the agency was sued Tuesday by two airline pilots seeking to block the use of body scanners and enhanced pat-downs. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by Michael Roberts, an ExpressJet Airlines pilot who created a minor stir last month when he refused to undergo a body scan and a pat-down at Memphis International Airport, where he was trying to board a flight to his base in Houston. The other plaintiff is Continental Airlines first officer Ann Poe.
The larger issue behind this notion that we must submit to “unreasonable search and seizure” in order to fly home to see Grandma at Thanksgiving is not what the TSA is doing, but rather, what they are NOT doing. Which is examining cargo. Now, I’m inclined to think the entire Yemen episode was bullshit, but the notion that something could be brought into the country hidden in freight destined for your local Wal Mart is certainly plausible.
But folks like Wal Mart don’t give a shit. Enhanced security costs money, takes time, and reduces the profits of any company receiving goods from abroad, which is of course nearly all of them, since our “free market” took the short cash and sold our manufacturing base for pennies on the dollar.
Same folks who collapsed the world economy, and got the US taxpayers to pay for the experience. Same folks who imported millions of tons of poisoned products from China because they were cheaper to sell at the Dollar Store. Same folks who spent nearly 90 million dollars assuring that health care reform would never happen. Same folks who get fatter while millions sit idle. Same folks who are going to steal your money from Social Security while stopping the income cap from being removed.
There is no free market in this country. There is only socialism for the rich. And because capitalism has sucked the very marrow from our bones, unimpeded, we all suffer. And pretty soon somebody is gonna die while we fret about TSA goons diddling children and saving scans of hot chicks. Our national security and our outdated notions of a free market are simply two acts in the ultimately fatal kabuki that is our nation.