T Nation

6 Yr Old Gets TSA Pat Down


#1

Discuss.

I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I think it's excessive. On the other, as the father of a 5-year old, I'm having a hard time getting worked up over it and feel like the parents just want to get attention and that their reaction might have been the reason for the girl to cry later. Forgetting for a moment the necessity of the pat down, the agent conducted it with sensitivity and the child was clearly not traumatized - I think listening to her parent's comments and reactions traumatized the child.


#2

but, but....its for the chilrens.


#3

Why on earth would they honestly think they needed to pat down a 6 year old little girl? Especially given the amount of technology they have on hand.

More ridiculousness from the world's dumbest bureaucracy. This is a prime example of why we SHOULD expect the worst (whatever it may be) at any time. Because valuable resources and time are being pulled away from areas where they should be focused on and dissipated into wholly unlikely "threats" such as this.

I have two family members who have worked in the airline industry for years, one of them was a TSA agent for years. I have yet to hear anything from either of them that makes me feel the slightest bit safer for all the money that is dumped into that agency.


#4

The above is certainly fair in general. But to exclude children from the process would create a risk of terrorists and smugglers to use children (smugglers do). The kid got patted down in a gentle and professional manner. Was it really that traumatic? I think as a parent I would just explain the process to my son to reassure him and then keep it moving. Those parents obviously took a different tact. Was the child traumatized by the pat-down or the parents?


#5

No I don't think it was really a big deal. The bad taste in my mouth is more from my first- and second-hand experience with the incompetence and mismanagement that pretty much defines the TSA. I agree that the girl could be a cute little drug mule, just that it is highly unlikely that she is (especially as her clothes are not exactly the type that would normally be used if smuggling drugs). And I would just bet there were three or four more credible threats that shuffled right through security in the 20 minutes before they decided to take her out of line.

And again, yeah, the security check was done respectfully and gently, and the girl certainly did not seem traumatized.


#6

I think it's a message that they're trying to send: No one is safe! So beware terrorists. Frankly, they could do it differently and we'd be ahead of the game, but keep in mind that the government is running this so you have to expect incompetence manifested largely by pc behavior.


#7

How can anyone be okay with this?


#8

The more I think about it, the less I see any reason why they could not have done this in some other manner that did not require treating a little girl like a suspected criminal.

They have xrays, 3D body scanners, all manner of metal detectors, explosives detection equipment, drug sniffing dogs, and a bunch of other gadgetry on hand that could have almost certainly been employed in order to avoid putting a very young minor in this kind of situation in the first place. Yes, it was probably quicker just to pat her down, but it's not like the TSA is all about efficiency in the first place. A tiny bit of common sense might have gone a long way toward a preserving a bit of human dignity.


#9

I'm not sure I'd want to unnecessarily expose my child to x-rays and body-scanners. Pat him the hell down and let's make our flight. I just don't see the big deal. It's the world we live in now and our children might as well get used to it. Hell, you're patted down to enter most nightclubs where I'm from. Are they wasting time and resources patting down a young child? Hell yes. But how does that distinguish them from any other government entity? Or most private entities for that matter :slight_smile:


#10

Perhaps this will wake people up and finally Abolish the TSA


#11

One word: why?


#12

Well, there's an answer to that. Like many things they do here, it's usually just because they can.


#13

I think I would have a meltdown if a TSA tried to pat my kid down like they were about to be mirandized. Logical or not, that's just my visceral reaction to this. On a good day, I would've just grabbed my kid and missed the flight. On a bad day, which is 10x more likely just by being in an airport, I would club that screener like a baby seal.

(I'm still pissed they took ma toothpaste last year)


#14

Also good points. And this actually gets at the heart of my annoyance with the agency. Since its inception, it has always been RE-active against threats. A few examples I can think of: September 11 brought about the ban on box-cutters, metal utensils and related items. Then there was Richard Reid, who damn near brought down an entire plane but bungled the job. In response, to this day we have to take off our shoes before we walk through the x-ray (which, incidentally, happens almost exclusively in America). Then we had the guys trying to mix together the explosive liquids which also thankfully failed. Say bye-bye to your liquids. After that, the panty-bomber,whom L3 Communications and Rapiscan, among others, should honor with a commemorative statue on the front lawn of their corporate headquarters for blessing us with their infamous 3D body scanners.

And on and on. If I thought for a New York minute that the TSA were capable of doing anything more than grumbling and turning over before going back to sleep after each prodding I might have a bit more patience with them when I see stories like this one pop up. As it is, I honestly believe the massive, sweeping incompetence that does indeed define that agency is actually creating more dangerous conditions that make it all the more likely that a significant terrorist attack will occur in the near future. It is likely, even. All the terrorists have to do is plant a Patsy like Reid or the pantybomber, go through as many times as they need to to get him caught, wait for the uproar and the new focus upon whatever bodypart it was they decided to use, let the fervor die down, and then carry through with their real plan while the focus is, as it is, on the bullshit distraction they created.


#15

Lots of frustration there! I get your points. I'm tempered however by the belief that I tend to think they know more than we know (intelligence about threats) and given that planes are not dropping from the skies and that we are not finding potential terrorists left and right, that maybe they are doing a decent job.

I do agree that they are handcuffed by bureaucracy and PC bullshit (they should be able to "profile" - I'm not generally a fan of law enforcement but they were spot on when they said "profiling is policing" - I believe that.


#16

Hah! Can you tell I travel a bit?

Certainly can't find anything I disagree with here.

And I agree that there are probably many thwarted attacks that we do not (and should not) know about. I just don't believe that almost any of them occur at TSA security checkpoints.


#17

I would never argue a government agency is actually competent, but I don't think the girl (or any child) should be excluded from the processes.

Also, just because someone is carrying something doesn't meen they know, especially a child.

See below...

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-24760747.html

The Irishwoman who was duped by her Jordanian lover into carrying a bomb on board an Israeli aircraft has said she is prepared to give evidence to the British House of Lords to prevent his early release from prison, writes Liam Reid.

Ms Ann Murphy said her former fiance, Nezar Hindawi, had never shown remorse or apologised for his actions in 1986. He duped her into unknowingly carrying a bag with explosives on to the plane at Heathrow airport, on the pretence that he was taking her to the Holy Land to marry her. She was heavily pregnant with his child at the time.

On Wednesday the British Court of Appeal rejected a claim by Hindawi's lawyers that his human â?¦


#18

Enlighten us as to the proper attire, El Burro!


#19

Not that thin.


#20

Oh, I don't care. I hid the heroin in a condom and shoved it up his ass, they'll never find it there.... :slight_smile: