TSA strip searches 85 year old woman, then calls her a liar
UPDATE 2 (January 20, 2011): The TSA, which initially called the women liars and held that its screening procedures were appropriate, has backtracked. It has “apologized” to the two women, although still maintains that they were not strip searched. Has any government agency ever lied as much as this one?
UPDATE: A second woman in her 80s has come forward claiming she was also strip searched at a JFK security checkpoint recently. TSA at JFK is apparently the Herman Cain of airport security.
On Tuesday, November 29, 85 year old Lenore Zimmerman was traveling from New York to Florida. At the security checkpoint at JFK airport she declined to enter one of TSA’s naked scanners, fearing it would interfere with her defibrillator. She was then taken to a private room and strip searched by TSA agents. During the course of that search her walker collided with her shin, causing a cut and significant bleeding.
Zimmerman – obviously not a terrorist – is furious and thinking about suing the TSA. She should.
If you can stomach it, here’s what a TSA spokeshole had to say about the incident:
“Our screening procedures are conducted in a manner designed to treat all passengers with dignity, respect and courtesy”.
At the risk of rhetorically impaling myself upon Godwin’s Law, that kind of propaganda is better suited for the Third Reich than for a modern democracy, especially one with supposedly accountable institutions. Once again the TSA has shown itself to be tone deaf, ignorant of Americans’ civil liberties, and totally uninterested in replacing its security theater with effective, noninvasive screening protocols.
The story gets better. The TSA claims to have investigated the incident, and boldly asserts that no strip search took place. Zimmerman fired back via the media; in her words, “Why would I make up this story? In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t think of such a thing happening.”
At what point do we reject this agency in its entirety and rise up against the security deep state that has profited so handsomely since September 11th? While the feckless Occupy movement blathers on about banks and bailouts, we allow a government agency to virtually (and sometimes physically) strip search us, degrade us, and spit on our constitutional rights.
Why are we not occupying airport security checkpoints? Why are we not demanding this rogue agency and its leaders be held accountable for their un-American actions? This story hits close to home, as I have an aging mother who travels. While I have taught her how to avoid and opt out of the naked scanners, if she were treated like Mrs. Zimmerman my reaction would be swift and damning.
Imagine your own mother manhandled and assaulted by TSA agents. How would you react? Today Mrs. Zimmerman is the mother of everyone who cares about restoring sanity and dignity to airport security.