Airport Security and Abuse – It’s Time to Fight Back
Outrageous, isn’t it? What is going on with airport security? Yes 9-1-1 is a violent, frightening reminder that airport security needs to be extremely careful with who it admits onto airline flights. Most security (so far as I know) do a sensible, decent job. They aren’t out to harm people. They simply want to do their job and prevent tragedy from slipping by them and into the country. At the same time airport security has to field anger and suspicion from the public for doing their job. Not an easy position to be placed in, I’ll agree to that. Watch this video where airport security scan a 9-year-old boy in a dignified manner and playfully tease a younger child by assuring him a scanner doesn’t hurt. This is a dignified airport search. It isn’t odd that the guard is searching children; there are weird people (yes, they live among ug) who hide drugs and weapons on their children to get the stash over the border. Airport security is right to search children in a non-invasive, reassuring manner.
However, airport security around the world is earning a bad reputation in a number of occasions. The video above is outrageous. I’m no fan of Dr Phil but (oh no, not the word but!) this video is worthwhile and so is the woman’s testimony.There is another equally disturbing video that has gone viral. A woman became emotional after a female security guard “inspected” her by feeling her breasts. The woman declared this was illegal and asked for airport police to assist her. No one called them and she became hysterical, weeping and yelling for help. Her husband and son were nearby, but (!) they seemed helpless and didn’t intervene. The son, however, had enough sense to film the entire incident. Airport security reacted by insisting the man stop filming the incident and leave the area. A police officer approached him and made no action against him. It turns out information came forward that revealed the woman had been violently raped years earlier by 5 men and the assault brought back emotional trauma. Whether or not the woman had a traumatic past in terms of sexual assault, what the airport security did was entirely unreasonable. Who hides a lethal weapon between her breasts or in her bra? This isn’t a James Bond movie.
On the security’s side, (I’m NOT defending either of the aforementioned situations), stats from somewhere or other revealed that 90% of people who carried a gun on their person were not searched by airport security and were permitted to attend their flights. I don’t know which airport this was or how many people were involved but egads, that is a scary fact. Hence the reason why airport security is probably trained on an ongoing basis to be ever vigilant about people entering airplanes. And the manner in which criminals smuggle weapons and drugs over the border is nothing less than amazing. Weaving cocaine into wigs and swallowing small parcels of cocaine is not uncommon. It is airport security’s job to prevent these oddities from succeeding.
I am in agreement with careful screening. I want to know the airplane I am on is safe. I want to know the passenger beside me won’t pull out a gun and blow my head off because she doesn’t like my hairdo. I want to know that none of the passengers can hijack the plane at gunpoint and send us into another 9-1-1. These are important responsibilities of airport security and airports. They have to ensure my safety (and yours) whenever I take to flying with friendly spies….oops….I mean skies. However I also want to know that airport security won’t molest my breasts or private or rectal area in case I am carrying more than 3 ounces of a liquid (shampoo, you know, is extremely volatile at high altitudes…as an aside, 3 ounces of a liquid is acceptable, but 4 ounces ….we’re all doomed. Who thinks up this stuff?) I also believe that many people are being unfairly accosted, assaulted, and treated just plain rudely.
Recently my brother went on a flight to some place or other in the States from Canada. (Interestingly, he has never been searched or assaulted in any manner by airport security and he travels frequently for his work). An elderly lady in front of him was being spoken to very rudely by a young, male security officer who was asking her routine questions, yet behaving in a hostile manner. My brother intervened and said politely, “this lady is elderly and unlikely to have a lethal weapon on her person. Also, could you be more polite in speaking with her? She is being cooperative and hasn’t done anything to deserve this treatment.” The security guard snapped back at him in some manner, but he did let the woman go through security right afterward. He even let my brother through. This isn’t to say, however, that the woman being elderly exempts her from security procedures. All we’re asking is for a little more respect. Check this video.
Recently, airport security accused of insulting and laughing at people’s bodies beneath their clothing as they passed through new scanners that allow security to see beneath our clothing (collective gasp). Betcha didn’t know about those scanners, did ya? (Next time you’re passing through an airport, be sure to wear your kinkiest underwear – and gentleman, consider wearing your wives’ pantyhose….we’ll give them something to laugh about). This information was revealed on a Youtube video that went viral by a person who claims to be a former TSA agent. The most outrageous reaction however was that of the airport manager who stated quite stupidly, “everyone has the right to their opinion.” Seriously. That was his idea of good PR. I’d love for someone to turn the tables and force airport security to walk through the scanners, then get laughed at by the entire airport. Serves them right. Nyah nyah. I had to drop this video into my blog – if all of us went through the scanners the way this woman reporter sits on camera, there wouldn’t be a need for body searches.
Here’s a weird fact about TSA training: there is a list of 70 suspicious behaviours passengers make that indicate potentially high risk situations. Many of the indicators, as characterized in open government reports, are behaviors and appearances that may be indicative of stress, fear or deception. Allegedly none of them refer to or suggest race, religion or ethnicity, but one addresses passengers’ attitudes towards security. It reads: “Very arrogant and expresses contempt against airport passenger procedures.” TSA officials said that no single indicator is used to identify travelers as potentially high-risk. Travelers must exhibit several indicators before officers subject them to more thorough screening. On the other side of the fence, Michael German, a former FBI agent who works for the American Civil Liberties Union, stated, “expressing your contempt about airport procedures — that’s a First Amendment-protected right.”
Guarding national security is a fine, difficult line. I’m glad I don’t have that job. I also believe the public has to fight back against airport abuse, whether it is you yourself who is being assaulted, or someone else. Don’t just walk on by when someone is being abused or begging for help. Stop and call 9-1-1 or find an airport police officer. They do not work with the airport security company. The police are real cops – not cop wannabes like security guards (had to get that one in there). Let’s help each other out and force airport security to conduct their job in a manner that is dignified for themselves and the public. We are all in this together.
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