Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

TSA Abuse

TSA, Transportation Security Administration, civil liberty, privacy, airport security

Among the rights-trampling bureaucracies, many and various, the Transportation Security Administration is far from the most beloved.

Millions of Americans, in the course of trying to catch flights, experience TSA agents up close and personal. 

Some of these official gropers are way too “handsy.”

One report comes to our attention from Charlotte Ann Kimbrough, former law enforcement officer. 

When she told TSA agents that she had had two metal hip replacements, she expected to be wanded. Instead, “The woman groped my crotch — twice. She went underneath my dress. I knew I had to be calm for the man I was traveling with. . . . But he could see the look on my face. He started yelling. They got the woman who was groping me out of the way and brought in a boss, who tried to stop the situation from escalating. I do have anger at myself, that I let her do it to to me. . . . I keep getting feelings of guilt.”

Some TSA workers may be uncomfortable with what they are “forced” to do to innocents. Others enjoy the power they have to humiliate people. Still others — whistleblowers — do speak out against abuses.

But they face retaliation from higher-ups for doing so. All of these employees are subject to abuse by TSA bosses. 

A government report details alleged misconduct that includes sexual harassment, verbal abuse of employees, and obstructing investigations into misconduct. 

We should not be surprised. As Reason magazine puts it, “this isn’t an agency with a great track record when it comes to treating people well.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob. 


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  1. Pat says:

    My rule:  Travel plans must require crossing the Mississippi River or the Atlantic Ocesn before I will even consider booking a flight. Otherwise I drive.

  2. Karen H says:

    The average salary of a TSA full time employee is a bit over 40K a year. Not exactly an income that is going to attract a security specialist. So it’s a mixed bag of employees.

    As I am sure most people can attest, there are really courteous & efficient TSA workers. I find that most attempt to be gracious. However, I can site a few examples that I either witnessed & cringed at or experienced myself. Like the time that a TSA worker mistook my Asthma Inhaler for a gun & went running through the security plaza with my purse, wide open, its contents spilling everywhere. What he was looking for or who he was taking my purse to, I have no idea. Meanwhile I had 2 uniformed officers with M-80s trained on me as I explained to them that it was an inhaler. No apology was received when it was discovered that I was telling the truth. Another time, when traveling with my dog, the TSA worker insisted that she had to look up my dog’s butt. She asked me if the dog would bite her as she was doing this. I told her that I thought Mia would be so shocked she would be frozen. She lifted my dog’s tail & looked at her anus. I kid you not. And yet another time I had a TSA worker comb with her gloved fingers through my updo. It thought this was so bizarre, I quipped, “Didn’t know that Security would include a scalp massage.

    As funny as those things may be to you, I have seen horrific things like the Gulf War Veteran, in a wheelchair that was subjected to a very demeaning search because he couldn’t get out of his chair. This in full view of other passengers in Austin, TX. I was not traveling with this man, but I was so insulted for him, I demanded to speak to a supervisor after I got through. We’ve all seen our fair share of elderly that have been subjected to incredibly humiliating searches.

    Again, I believe most of these people to be doing their jobs as best they can. I blame TRAINING & management for the spectacle that goes on daily in airports. And until we do some profiling in this country like they do in Europe, Israel, etc. this nonsense will continue. In the meantime, I recommend TSA Precheck. It’s worth every penny.

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