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New Jersey state lawmakers today demanded that Congress review the Transportation Security Administration’s new “enhanced” security screening of airline passengers that involves either an X-ray scan revealing a virtually nude image or a full-body pat-down that touches private parts.
And just as state Sen. Michael Doherty and others in Trenton announced resolutions calling on Congress to review the TSA procedures and complaints from travelers, a former top TSA official admitted on a Fox News Channel appearance what many passengers already knew: The procedures are legally questionable.
Mo McGowan was asked if the government could find a reasonable compromise that could detect terrorists without molesting adults and children.
“That’s a great question,” said the former director of TSA security operations. “I don’t think that there is. We’re not dictating these events that are occurring. Events are happening across the world … driving us as a society to have to go to these measures.
Join thousands of others in a petition demanding action against the intrusive airport screening procedures implemented by Janet Napolitano and send a letter to Congress, President Obama and others telling them exactly what you think about the issue.
“I mean, nobody likes having their 4th Amendment violated going through a security line,” he said. “But the truth of the matter is we’re going to have to do it.”
The statements are in apparent contradiction to a commentary in USA Today from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that defended the procedures.
Napolitano said Americans should provide “cooperation, patience and a commitment to vigilance” in the security process, because the machines that generate nude images “protect passenger privacy” and the explicit images “are viewed in a walled-off location.”
“Each and every one of the security measures we implement serves an important goal: providing safe and efficient air travel for the millions of people who rely on our aviation system every day,” she said.
Bunk, say lawmakers in New Jersey who announced legislation directed at the state’s delegation in Congress.
Doherty, from the state’s 23rd District, was joined by Sen. Diane Allen of the 7th District, Assemblywoman Alison McHose of the 24th District, Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle of the 37th District, Assemblyman John DiMaio of the 23rd District, Assemblyman Erik Peterson of the 23rd District and Deborah Jacobs of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey.
“We’re asking federal legislators to immediately take a look at these TSA screening procedures,” Doherty told WND. “They appear to violate the constitutional right to privacy (4th Amendment). Taking naked pictures of men, woman and children? We think there are a lot of constitutional violations. Americans should not be treated like criminals.”
His state, he explained, has specific laws against unauthorized touching of people’s private parts, “particularly when it comes to children.”
“This needs to stop. The government is way over the top on this,” he said. “It’s time for elected officials to stand up and say, ‘This is wrong. This needs to stop.'”
The resolutions, pending in the state senate and assembly, call on Congress to tell the TSA that the people must not be forced to give up their constitutional rights when they want to travel.
“What’s next,” Doherty asked. “Train checkpoints? Bus checkpoints. Checkpoints when you buy gas?
“Unless we stop this right now, we won’t be able to walk across the street without going through checkpoints,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said, the federal government has done very little to close off the nation’s southern border, through which terrorists easily could enter.
In addition to a highly publicized petition in which thousands of people are joining to demand action against the intrusive airport screening as well as a campaign allowing Americans to efficiently send a letter to Congress, President Obama and others complaining of the privacy concerns, there was a poll by Reuters.
Asked, “Are you less likely to fly because of stepped-up security procedures such as full-body scans and patdowns?” a stunning 96 percent (65,990 about of 68,809 respondents) said, “Yes, I will make alternate travel plans to avoid intrusive security scans and pat-downs.”
Three percent said no, and 1 percent remained uncertain.
“Who knew Amtrak would be so attractive?” wrote one respondent in a Reuters forum. “Why don’t we try just a smidgeon of profiling before we force everyone else on the planet to a groping by TSA wanna-bees.”
“I’m not flying anyplace!” added another. “If I can’t drive there I’m not going!”
“This is just Obama KILLING the airline industry. You are witnessing the end of air travel for the unwashed. Only those who are in the uppercrust of society should fly, the Obamas and the Pelosis, we peons will just have to take the train. If they really wanted great airport security they would adopt the Israeli program of selective interviews, it really works,” added a third.
The evidence suggesting actual sexual assault also is on the rise. On a website run by a blogger, a woman identified as Erin explained what she experienced in Dayton, Ohio:
She (the TSA screener) felt along my waistline, moved behind me, then proceeded to feel both of my buttocks. She reached from behind in the middle of my buttocks towards my vagina area.
She did not tell me that she was going to touch my buttocks, or reach forward to my vagina area.
She then moved in front of my and touched the top and underneath portions of both of my breasts.
She did not tell me that she was going to touch my breasts.
She then felt around my waist. She then moved to the bottoms of my legs.
She then felt my inner thighs and my vagina area…
She did not tell me that she was going to touch my vagina area…
“I asked to speak to a supervisor immediately. I had a very unpleasant conversation with him that lasted 20 minutes. I moved to the back of the security area, made a few phone calls, including to my lawyer. He did some quick research, and learned that I had indeed been sexually assaulted because she did not follow the SOP (standard operating procedure) for the new search,” she reported. “I also spoke with the Dayton police, the Dayton airport police, and left a message for the TSA manager for the Dayton airport. I intend to request the TSA to arrange for counseling services to be provided to me, so I can deal with the aftermath of the sexual assault that took place, caused by the specific touching actions and failure to inform me of the policies by the TSA agent.”
She continued, “I am speaking out against the TSA and share my sexual assault case to ensure that this does not happen to anyone else, anywhere. I will not be a silent victim of sexual assault by a TSA agent. Total Sexual Assault.”
One TSA agent, however, wanted to remind people that the policies come from Washington, including, as WND reported, President Obama. The individual agents, including Christians, the agent said, are as helpless and upset as the passengers.
“Over the years TSA has certainly become more invasive in its SOP procedures. First the changes regarding liquid carry-ons, and now the implementation of Standard Pat-Downs along with the roll out of Advanced Imaging Technology. As each and every change has been handed-down and implemented I would cringe anticipating an understandable negative reaction from the general public (not to mention myself),” the agent said.
“Attack the system,” the agent asked. “Out the misguided bureaucrats … but spare our Christian brothers.’
The admission by McGowan and justification from Napolitano followed by just a day a case that appeared on YouTube.
In that case, 31-year-old John Tyner refused a “groin check” by the TSA. In a comment that already probably is on bumper stickers, he said, “If you touch my junk, I’m gonna have you arrested.”
Over recent days WND reported as dozens of other airline passengers shared their real-life horror stories of close encounters of the TSA kind, including a 70-year-old whose fudge “contraband” was discovered, a Los Angeles passenger who was “groped” four times and a man who was the target of a TSA screaming fit when he chose to opt-out of the “porno scan.”
WND also reported on the growing movement by activists and citizens to push back against Napolitano’s plans for “enhanced” screening at airport checkpoints.
A petition has been launched to tell President Obama, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and members of Congress all about the problem.
The petition targets the decision-makers in Washington who could bring the invasive procedures to a screeching halt.
“We, the undersigned, call for the immediate suspension of the enhanced security screening procedures and an apology to the American public by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for directing the implementation of this ill-advised program,” says the petition.
Concerns over the invasion of privacy by TSA scanners, described as voyeurism by critics, along with the “molestation” of the associated “enhanced” pat-downs and the health concerns from the blasts of radiation have now reached a critical mass.
As WND reported, groups have formed to organize passenger boycotts and prepare protests at airports, calling for a “National Opt-Out Day” on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
The options now are to have a full-body scan that essentially produces a nude image of the passenger or opt out of that procedure and endure a full-hands-on body pat-down that includes private parts.
The procedures have been the focus of warnings even by the networks:
George Donnelly, who with James Babb has launched the “We Won’t Fly” website delivering a message directly to airlines, told WND the customer revolt is taking off faster than he could imagine.
His website says, “We do not consent to strip searches, virtual or otherwise. We do not wish to be guinea pigs for new, and possibly dangerous, technology. We are not criminals. We are your customers. We will not beg the government anymore. We will simply stop flying until the porno-scanners are history.
“We will not be abused simply for the privilege of purchasing your services. We demand the airlines make their maximum lobbying effort in support of our, your customers’, rights and liberties. We are eager to fly again, but only when this invasive threat has been contained.”
WND previously has reported that such imaging also is taking place on U.S. roads and highways.