'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'
There's been a great deal of controversy in the news regarding the new security measures the Transportation Security Agency has put in place at airports across the nation. The TSA has a blog post about one part of the new procedures, entitled "Enhanced pat-downs".
Here's one commenter's question and comment:
Very simple question: Does TSA pat-down training involve placing of the hands in any position where contact with the breasts, vagina, penis or scrotum will occur?
Regardless of intent, if the screener does not ASK and OBTAIN verbal or written permission prior to making contact with the genitals, a sexual assault has taken place. That is the law in all 50 states.
You see, while there is a blog that one would think might explain the procedure, it essentially just says "yeah, so this is the thing we're doing. Don't worry. We're cool." Others may disagree.
The following is a response I wrote for the TSA blog "Enhanced pat-downs". I thought I'd post it here just in case it didn't get approved by the moderators. Oh, and I'm not making up the name Rapiscan - that's the ACTUAL name. Wonder if it's pronounced "rape-i-scan".
TSA needs to give a VERY SPECIFIC, step-by-step description of the new "enhanced pat-down" procedure on the official TSA website. I want to read the truth of what one can expect if one "opts out" of the Rapiscan in explicit detail. It might read something like this.:
First, we will have you stand with your legs spread. Then, we will touch the inner and outer areas of your ankles, calves, thighs, buttocks and genitals. We will continue by touching your torso, including your breasts. If you have big breasts, we will lift them up so we can feel under them. We may squeeze your breasts "for the sake of security" as well. We will intimately touch your face and hair. We don't know why in the hell we have to caress your face, but the boss is making us do it, so there you go. If you are a child, you are not exempt from our touching you intimately.
We will essentially touch you in ways that, were we someone else, anywhere else, we would be arrested for assault. However, we are above the law here at the airport security line, and cannot be charged with sexual assault.
Furthermore, if you refuse to let us fondle your "private" areas, you will not only be unable to proceed to your flight, you are also required to not leave until we allow you to do so. And even when you leave with some of us escorting you, we can fine you.
Really, we just want everyone to be safe. We don't care if you are traumatized. We don't care that you are losing your freedoms as an American citizen. George W. Bush put this in place so 9/11 could never happen again, and even though technically we really haven't stopped any terrorists with these procedures we will keep tightening security until the airlines go out of business because no one wants the hassle and the indignity of going through security. And in that way, we will ensure our safety. No operating planes means nobody can hijack planes. So see? We WILL win the war against terror! Huzzah!
So what do YOU think of the new scanning machines? Of the enhanced pat-downs? Have you seen any of the footage of the toddler getting a pat-down? How do you feel about the prospect of you or someone you love getting essentially sexually assaulted?