I think it’s true. The TSA retaliates against travelers for disobedience, a “bad attitude” or for not showing sufficient deference, especially in certain big city airports. Having a bad attitude can just mean being “a female optout” to begin with, requiring someone (of the right sex) to come from afar to do the invasive pat down. Last time,although the person doing the pat down was a woman, they asked if it was ok for these two men to watch. TWO! Perhaps they were in training. They were intensely interested. I couldn’t see why these guys should be watching my pat down, but I figured I’d be further punished if I objected. I have never worn a dress during the era of scanners, but wonder how horrible that would be. I may try it. So far the worst I’ve done (aside from engage in futile arguing in Europe once when they wouldn’t let me opt out) is bring copies of materials on the risks of the whole body scanners, leaving copies for others.
The whole body scanners have recently been banned in Europe by the way, for reasons of safety. Here’s part of a recent article:
While traveling through Las Vegas, deForest chose to opt out of a naked body scanner and was told to wait in a glass holding box.
“A bulky young TSA agent came over to pat me down,” deForest told author Christopher Elliott. “He told me to turn around. He was using his command voice, barking orders. I told him that I wasn’t comfortable turning away from my luggage, which had already been screened, and wanted to keep it in my sight.”
The agent issued more orders — “Stay there, I didn’t tell you to move!” and “Empty your pockets!” — and deForest says the federal screener seemed irritated that he didn’t obey him without hesitation.
And that’s when deForest says he was punished. The agent knelt in front of him to conduct a pat-down.
“As he raised his hands he was looking at me,” he says. “Then he gave a quick flick and smacked me in one of my testicles.”
“I can’t over-emphasize the feeling of humiliation, rage, and frustration,” said deForest. “I believe I have a better idea of what a woman feels when she is groped, or worse. I was deliberately assaulted by someone who knew that he could get away with it.”
It seems as though Americans have a choice of punishment when they opt out of the body scanner – either have their genitals squeezed or allow TSA agents to steal their valuables and money.
Last week we reported on TSA screener John W. Irwin, who pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny after he stole $520 dollars from a man as a punishment for the man complaining about his invasive pat down.
The TSA had admitted that it punished travelers who opt out of the body scanner with more invasive pat downs.
As Consumer Traveler’s Charlie Leocha reported, “When meeting with privacy officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA…. I was told unofficially that there were two standards of pat-downs. One for the normal situation where passengers are going through metal detectors and a different pat-down for those who refuse to go through the whole-body scanners.”
During the height of the national op-out day backlash against the TSA in 2010, the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg was told directly by a TSA agent that pat downs were made increasingly invasive not for any genuine security reason, but to make the experience so uncomfortable for the traveler that they would be forced to use the body scanner.
As we reported last month, a TSA screener admitted to a woman traveling through Houston Airport that she was prevented from boarding her flight for retaliatory reasons as punishment for a bad attitude rather than any genuine security threat, after the woman refused to allow TSA agents to test her drink for explosives.
Back in May, Fox News host Geraldo Rivera described how he was “manually raped” by a TSA agent who touched his “junk”.