I had an "enhanced" TSA pat-down, and I cried..

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posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 09:22 AM
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On June 7th I flew out of Houston Hobby Airport with my 9 year old and 21 month old sons. The anxiety I felt for the weeks leading up to the trip weighed heavily on my stomach. I had spent way too much time on ATS, You tube, and the internet in general watching videos and reading horror stories of people's experiences.
So at Hobby airport there was a really long line, but since I had a stroller and little ones I was able to go to the head of the line. That's when I witnessed firsthand, the behemoth scanning machines and the people being herded into them. It was like being in a stockyard. There was basically a fork with one TSA agent ushering people into the scanners and another one signaling people to walk through the regular metal detector. I didn't see any logic behind who was chosen for which security measure. I did know that I, nor my sons, were going through those scanner machines. Luckily, when it was our turn to go the agent herding into the scanner was distracted by an elderly man that was moving very slowly. I seized that opportunity, made eye contact with the agent at the metal detector and pushed my 9 year old in that direction. Phew, we made it through Houston without the radiation nor molestation.
We landed in Norfolk and had a fine vacation visiting my sister-in-law. My brother is a Chief Petty Officer for the U.S. Navy and is on his third tour of Afghanistan. I thought it'd be nice to go visit his wife and stepson while he is gone. Virginia Beach is absolutely beautiful! Nothing like our muddy water beaches of the Gulf. While there we took advantage of our close proximity and drove to D.C. for two days. I wanted my 9 year old son to see some real history, although he was not as impressed with seeing George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's signatures as I was.
Monday, June 13th, was time to fly back home. I wasn't nervous at all about the security checkpoint. The Norfolk airport is tiny compared to Hobby, and isn't outfitted with any scanners. That day I was wearing a loose fitting t-shirt, capris, and sandals.
My 9 year old and 21 month old made it through the metal detector with no problems. I, on the other hand, alerted. I had some change in my pocket that I forgot about, so I emptied that out and went through again. I alerted again. The agent asked me if I had a belt on and I showed her I didn't. This was all happening fairly quickly, remember I have a 21 month old that is not strapped into his stroller!
The agent told me that I was alerting on my lower left side of my body and I would need to have a pat down. The only thing I could think to say at that time was "do you have a wand instead?" She told me no, they don't use wands anymore.
That's when I started tearing up and said "fine." She asked me if I wanted to go to a private area and I told her "no."
She asked me why I was alerting on my lower left side. I replied and told her that I have a plate and screws in my left ankle and a titanium rod in my left tib/fib. She was like "oh." She could clearly see the scars. Right there the screening could have stopped.
Instead it proceeded on and she told me what she was going to be doing. By now the tears were flowing. They were just a steady stream of anger and humiliation.
The agent told me that once she began the pat down my children could not come into contact with me or else they too would need a pat down. That really got my tears going! How was I supposed to keep my toddler from touching me?
Once again the agent asked if I wanted to go to a private area. I replied "no, let them all see." She just looked at me. I could tell she was uncomfortable with my crying and with what she was doing.
She started her pat down going up and down both of my arms. It was about that time that my 21 month old broke away from his big brother and came to stand by me. He reached out his little hand and grabbed my finger.
The agent backed away and called out for her supervisor, told him that "the child had come into contact."
She looked at me and said "he will need a pat down too."
(The things that were going through my mind!!! I could have screamed at this woman, obscenities, and hateful names!!!!!)
I said "okay." And the tears kept right on flowing. My poor 9 year old was sitting off to the side and I can only imagine what he must have been thinking watching this go down.
So I was now free to touch my child, if the need arose, and the agent continued her pat down, going around my breasts and waist. I was really distracted with watching my little one though, so this part went by rather quickly.
The little booger didn't stand by my side for long. Before I knew it he was racing towards the entrance of security. I ran him down and proceeded to hold him for the duration of my pat down, which was the lovely patting of the legs and crotch.
It really isn't patting, it's more of a sliding of the hands.
As she finished up with me she said she would need to check my son. I said "fine." And kept on crying. Not a sobbing, hysterical, my boyfriend just broke up with me crying, just a steady stream of my dignity, and so called freedom as an American citizen, being stripped away from me.
Thankfully, she did a quick version of the pat down on my son. He was wiggly, kept pulled away from her, all while I was holding him. It was not an easy task, and I'm glad. There was no way I was going to hold him out for her and make it any easier.
After that was over I was moved to the side to go through my bags. Stupid me, I packed the baby powder in the backpack instead of the suitcase. The agent that went through our bags handed my 9 year old a sticker badge that said TSA on it. I looked down and said "never." He got the idea. As we walked away from security I saw him crumble up that sticker and throw it away.
So, no video, just my story. I felt bad for the agent, she was just doing her job, and she is lucky to have a job. I never once smarted off to her, nor anyone else. It was just an unfortunate incident, and I did pay to go on the airplane.
Maybe they should upgrade their detectors. My surgical hardware never sets off others that I have been through.
I have talked to family members, and others, about the TSA and their pat downs and scanners. For the most part the feedback I get is "if it makes it safer to fly, than it is okay by me." The only logical response I got was from a person that said the only reason the scanners are in there is because the manufacturers back politicians, and the politicians back them, so win-win for them, and their pockets all get fatter.
That was interesting to me and led me to this 2010 article on The Hill.

TSA’s other body-scanner contractor is Rapiscan Systems Inc. In 2009, the company was awarded an agreement that could be worth up to $173 million. And like L-3, Rapiscan has a notable K Street presence.

Rapiscan attracted attention earlier this year when it was revealed that former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, a vocal proponent of body scanners, had consulted for the company. Peter Kant, Rapsican’s executive vice president, said Chertoff was no longer working for the company.


Texas did go to bat for its citizens and tried to battle the TSA and Federal Government with HB 1937.

Relating to prosecution and punishment for the offense of official oppression by the intrusive touching of persons seeking access to public buildings and transportation; providing penalties.

It passed the Texas House, unanimously, but unfortunately did not pass the Senate. Of course, we were threatened by the Department of Justice with a "no-fly zone."

"If HR [sic] 1937 were enacted, the federal government would likely seek an emergency stay of the statute," the letter read, on U.S. Department of Justice, Western District of Texas, stationery. "Unless or until such a stay were granted, TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crew. "We urge that you consider the ramifications of this bill before casting your vote," the letter concluded.
The Lone Star Report

Unfortunately, I don't foresee that security measures against the public will ease. I have heard rumors of body scanners at sporting events and shopping malls. I, for one, do not feel any safer and find it a shame that this will be the the norm for my children. They are being conditioned now, and in twenty years it will be no big deal. That's sad.
edit on 22-6-2011 by christine76 because: grammar
edit on 22-6-2011 by christine76 because: stupid grammar again..



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posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 09:38 AM
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You are not keeping up with Texas. Bill 1937 has been added to special legislation and is back up for a vote.

Aside from that, I am very sorry you had to go through that. It sounds cheesy, but if you saw X-Men First Class, it all boiled down to the end between Professor X and Magneto, where it was are those who "just follow orders" innocent or do they bear the burden of guilt?

I am with Magneto on this one. Just following orders is not an excuse to violate and harm another human being. The same goes for the TSA agent. The only exception I would make is for self-defense. In this case not only is it inexcusable it is also blatant violation of multiple laws of our nation.
edit on 22-6-2011 by Anonymous Avatar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 09:40 AM
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reply to post by christine76
 


Gosh you poor thing......but I'm really glad you and the children did'nt go through those Xray machines



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 09:44 AM
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I heard on the radio this morning that TSA is seeking federal funding to expand into bus terminals and train stations.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 09:51 AM
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.......in the laaaand of the freeeeeeeeee.......

I am also sorry that you had to go throug this, becasue you have a psychotic goverment.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 09:51 AM
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Slippery slope is an understatement. The TSA & the police are expanding more & more when it comes to violating our privacy and freedoms. They base EVERYTHING they do to us on HYPOTHETICAL scenarios. It's nonsense, it's like being able to rape or murder anyone because they "might" be a threat to you.

Where does this end? Home searches and video monitoring, or basically the worst parts of China coming to the USA & UK.


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posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 09:58 AM
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I respect that you did not enjoy this, but i do believe that you had exaggerated the perception of what was happening, a 9 year old is capable of holding a child down if asked to do so, no contingencies were met by you to keep what had happened from happening ( by that I only mean your child touching you, not the metal plates). You were even asked if you needed a private room, you could've started a conversation with the woman who was patting you down while it was happening and had found her possibly quite personable. things could have gone in a very positive way despite the the negativity that is the TSA conspiracy.
edit on 22-6-2011 by MConnalley because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:01 AM
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I guess everyone experiences things differently. My fiance and I flew about a month ago and somehow she NEVER had to be groped nor put through the new scanners. I got lucky on the flight out, but on the way home I got chosen to be in the scanner. I don't know what everyone's problem is, these scanners take a half-second to work so can't be too bad....


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posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:01 AM
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reply to post by MConnalley
 


WTH does that have to do with the Government sexually assaulting people and violating the 4th amendment of U.S. citizens?


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posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by christine76
 


First of all, thank you for sharing your personal experience with us. Star and Flag.

I have a couple of questions for you though. Please do not take any of the following the wrong way.

But you mentioned feeling anxiety for weeks in advance due to the TSA methods. Why did you not boycott the airlines? I understand the world cannot stop turning over this madness but why did you not protest via your pocketbook?

Then in your OP, although you are crying and angry, you mention three times you responded with 'Fine' or 'Okay.' I understand once you are selected for search that you cannot leave without facing fines or arrest (which is another rant for me in and of itself lol). But it all goes back to the fact we put ourselves in that position to begin with KNOWING this could happen.

Nothing will ever change if we say 'Fine, Okay' through tear filled eyes. Nothing will ever change if we feel anxiety in our gut for weeks ahead of the trip but we go anyways.

We're angry, our rights are being violated, we're getting molested, we're anxious. But as long as we just say 'Fine, Okay.' it will only get worse. We have to boycott this madness even at our own inconvenience.

Thanks again for sharing your story. I hope I don't get flamed for this. Just wanted to say we're all crying about this yet still go along with it through our anxiety, anger, and tear filled eyes.
edit on 6/22/2011 by AshleyD because: (no reason given)


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posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:16 AM
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To say your over reaction to this was extreme is understating it. You got a simple pat down because you alerted the sensors and from what you wrote the agent sounded extremely professional and does not sound like a person out to violate you.

The fact that you think they should have let you pass without inspection because you showed a few scars is really silly. I could see people hiding and weapons and using that as an excuse to pass through security if that was sufficient evidence for the agents. Silly

I know children can be unruly at times but you hadn't planned for this at all so really is your fault. Why you are standing there with tears streaming down from a pat down that takes less than 20 seconds should be a telling sign that perhaps some anti-depressents or at least a quick check in with your doctor should happen as that's not normal behavior. Not saying anything about you personally just that people don't usually react like that.

Perhaps if this is so traumatic for you the train or an automobile might be the better route for you in the future. It will take more time but the strain on your mental state will be alot less.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:16 AM
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I have not flown since all these new pat downs & such but I honestly think most of the stories I read about are self induced from that individual reading other horror stories. If you have that feeling that you are gonna be "violated" during one of these before you even go thru it you will more than likely feel like you've been "violated." Like i said....I have not gone through one of these yet so I could be wrong here. I do sympathize with the OP though.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by Anonymous Avatar
You are not keeping up with Texas. Bill 1937 has been added to special legislation and is back up for a vote.

Aside from that, I am very sorry you had to go through that. It sounds cheesy, but if you saw X-Men First Class, it all boiled down to the end between Professor X and Magneto, where it was are those who "just follow orders" innocent or do they bear the burden of guilt?

I am with Magneto on this one. Just following orders is not an excuse to violate and harm another human being. The same goes for the TSA agent. The only exception I would make is for self-defense. In this case not only is it inexcusable it is also blatant violation of multiple laws of our nation.
edit on 22-6-2011 by Anonymous Avatar because: (no reason given)


Does this opinion of yours translate to the military?

Because it should.

Unless you're a victim of propaganda...

...And think that our terrorists are better than their terrorists because of... freedom, flags, forefathers, [insert unrelated nationalist 'justification' here]



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by kro32
 


I have to agree with you 100%. I was thinking the same thing. If we want to protect this country to the best of our abilities we can't start taking peoples word for it. They have job to do & I'm sure most want to make it as smooth as possible. Getting all worked up will just cause the situation to escilate more.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:24 AM
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I heard Texas Senator Dan Patrick discuss this on the Mark Davis show yesterday morning. He believes that they have enough votes for this to pass the Senate in the special session and Gov. Perry has added this to the special session now. Patrick sent a letter to Gov. Perry last week telling him that they had the votes. This was sort of overlooked until Wesley Strackbein confronted Gov. Perry at a book signing over the weekend. The combined effect of this conversation and the letter from Senator Patrick put enough pressure on the Governor that he's now added it to the session.






Gov. Rick Perry announced he had added legislation that would make it illegal for TSA agents to engage in “intrusive touching” at airports security checkpoints without probable cause to the list of items for the legislature to consider during the special session.

blog.chron.com/texaspolitics



Patrick claims that Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was the one putting the brakes on the original bill, but now Patrick has been working round the clock rounding up votes and appearing on every local television and radio show he can mustering support. I don't think that Dewhurst will be able to suppress the bill this time. I feel pretty confident that it will pass.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:25 AM
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Once again the agent asked if I wanted to go to a private area. I replied "no, let them all see."


Good for you!

The masses should be outraged that we treat commuters like criminals



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:37 AM
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Reason #5798765347 why I won't ever travel to the U.S. The paedophilic kiddie-diddlers getting their rocks off invading peoples privacy for 'National Security' purposes.

Don't ever feel sorry for the employees, they had a choice and knew what they were getting into when they signed up.



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:38 AM
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reply to post by christine76
 



Drama……..






I’d prefer that the TSA be abolished, along with a few other things, but the OP was nothing but Drama…hell, I bet the Lifetime Channel would do a 2 hour movie on it.


The anxiety I felt for the weeks leading up to the trip weighed heavily on my stomach.


You raised the tension, you almost lost it, and you basically fed into the fear this organization has created and thrived off of.


This isn’t going away anytime soon, unfortunately, so you may want to avoid the airports until the needed change occurs...


Other than that, I'm glad you a had a good time visiting your sister-n-law...




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posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by kro32
Why you are standing there with tears streaming down from a pat down that takes less than 20 seconds should be a telling sign that perhaps some anti-depressents or at least a quick check in with your doctor should happen as that's not normal behavior.


So she's mentally ill because she doesn't like strangers feeling her up?

Maybe you should see a doctor...



posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 10:47 AM
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Ok. Honestly not a troll here...

But seriously - most of you all are too damned melodramatic! Just let them search you, and if they have to, let them do it again!

WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL???? Seriously... Just let them do their damned job. These threads are ridiculous. I understand that it may be a little embarrassing, but it's not like people are getting strip-searched in public.

I don't like the idea of any of this either. But is kicking and screaming really going to make it better?

Damn... Just get over it. I would have forgotten about this crap the hour after it happened! Why are people taking this to a whole new level?
edit on 6/22/2011 by impaired because: (no reason given)





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