Friday, May 27, 2011

TSA Responds

Last month, after being sexually molested by a Transportation Security Officer, I wrote to John Pistole, head of TSA, and to the TSA Office of Civil Rights and Liberites and the Department of Homeland Security Privacy office, and all of my congressional representatives, and to President Obama, objecting to this treatment.

I even applied for a Secondary Security Exemption and submitted copies of my driver’s license, passport and birth certificate for their investigation.  I thought that the birth certificate was the silliest of the requests. It is in a name I haven’t used for 44 years. It states that I weigh 5 lbs 11 ounces and that I’m 19 inches long.  It has no identifying marks, such as foot prints.  In other words it has nothing that would identify me.

Today I received a letter from Chad Bash, Assistant General Manager for Communications and Resolution Office of Security Operations.

It says in part that the “Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and DHS’s Privacy Office carefully examined the revised screening procedures to ensure that they adequately protected passengers’ rights and civil liberties.”

“During the standard pat-down, an individuals’s upper thigh is screened when the same gender TSA places a hand on the inside of the thigh and moves upward until resistance is felt where the leg meets the groin.”

“Standard pat-down procedures do not permit security officers to insert their hands inside a passenger’s clothing or to touch a private body part.”

“TSA personnel will never require a passenger to undress, nor are Transportation Security Officers (TSO) allowed to touch a passenger’s intimate body parts.”

“Passengers have the option to request a private screening and have a witness present during the screening process.”

I’m going to be carrying this letter with me when I board commercial airplanes.  No TSA person will touch me until we’ve gone over all these relevant parts.  I plan to highlight them in advance.

If you have a medical implant that triggers metal alarms, feel free to print this out and bring it with you.

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