TSA Chief: Submit or Don’t Fly

Appointed Head of TSA Shrugs Off Senate Calls to Relax Screening

by Jason Ditz, November 17, 2010

As an appointed official, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief John Pistole doesn’t necessarily have to care about public opinion. One might have hoped, however, that faced with calls to back down by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, he might pause for at least a moment. Not so, however.

Instead Pistole lectured the Senators on the importance of his invasive searches, insisting that privacy complaints, whether coming from the American public or the Senate, would not change any of his policies.

He went on to field a complaint from Sen. Ensign (R – NV) that the searches offended religious modesty. Pistole responded that religious people were entitled to their beliefs but suggested that they shouldn’t try to fly, adding that anyone who refuses to submit to the more intrusive screening would be banned from flying.

The installation of new “full body” scanners has sparked a huge outcry, as the scanners produce graphic images of passengers. The alternative, termed an “enhanced pat down,” has been likened to overt molestation, with images of TSA agents groping passengers sparking public outcry. With the bureaucrats responsible for the policies so far removed from the political process, however, these objections are being met with more demands to obey, or else.

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