It seems that nothing has focused the attention of Americans on the question of appropriate responses to terrorism more than being sexually frisked at an airport.

Especially if it involves your children or elderly parents. The anger of Americans at having their genitals manually checked by airport security officials is turning into a social media protest movement.

These You Tubes (below) are several just recent examples.


Putting aside the lurid and questionable responses that are among those appearing, it is becoming obvious that molestation in the alleged pursuit of underpants bombers or the like is unacceptable in a society that until recently has seemed gripped by terrorists hysteria.


This report appeared earlier in the Crikey email bulletin.

US security procedures for passengers who refuse body scans by machine are now being given pat downs that would bring a charge of sexual molestation or indecent assault in most criminal jurisdictions.

The open hand procedures mandated for America’s totally out of control Transport Security Administration involve manually determining the orientation of the penis and testicles in order to determine whether they are in fact explosive devices as well as pressure to female genitalia.

These procedures also apply to children. All conducted by officers who have been commonly categorised in the US media as poorly educated, semi-fluent morons. It means, in plain english, that parents are powerless to stop a security official engaging in physical contact with their children in a manner which would be unthinkable, offensive and actionable in criminal law if it was something they did, to a stranger not just their kids.

We have laws about feeling up strangers and especially minors.
In the US, its legal in airports. Part of the tableau of madness
that pervades that society.

The choice for visitors to the US is bleak. The body scanner machines reveal sexually detailed images of the person being scanned, and generate background radiation which while insignificant even for frequent flyers, is potentially harmful to pilots and airport workers who may require scanning more than a dozen times a day as they move between the airside and landside sections of terminals which are divided by security and border protocols.

If the scanner is declined, it’s hand on, in the presence of another TSA official as witness, or might that be participant.

Last night the US Airways pilots union joined the American Airlines pilot association in recommending that its members refuse the X-ray scanners on health grounds, noting that the TSA has already blocked the use of dosimeters by its employees as ‘unnecessary’, and that they request the presence of a non TSA witness at the invasive hands spread over light clothing sexual organs and cavity region searches essential to keeping Americans free–or shackled to fear and hysteria.

There is a detailed story about this situation here, which also publishes the US Airways pilot union memo on the situation, which expands on the recent alleged sexual molestation of one of its members by TSA officials.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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