While passing through security at a Kansas airport recently, a grandmother and her 4-year-old granddaughter were accosted by TSA agents. The little girl committed the crime of running over to hug her grandmother while she was in line for a pat-down. Mary Theroux explains what happened next:
TSA agents, as is their wont, couldn’t handle normal human behavior and instead interpreted the contact as sinister, declaring that the grandmother had passed a gun to the little girl during the exchange. One officer repeatedly said she had “seen a gun in a teddy bear” in the past…
Not surprisingly, the agents’ antics drove the little girl to hysterics, which the agents dealt with, again brilliantly, by ordering her to stop crying. Yes, TSA, ordering a 4-year old to stop crying works every time: great training there! Unable to execute a full-body assault on the terrorized little girl, two big strong agents called for backup saying, “The suspect is not cooperating.” The “suspect,” of course, being a 4-year old girl who likes to dress up as a princess.
Confronted with thuggish strangers, the little girl burst into tears and fled. A TSA agent then shouted at her grandmother, “We are going to shut down the airport if you don’t grab her.”
The incident went on for maybe 10 minutes, until a manager came in and allowed agents to pat the girl down while she was screaming but being held by her mother. The family was then allowed to go to their next gate with a TSA agent following them.
Naturally, the TSA investigated the incident itself and, shockingly, found itself free of any wrongdoing. The agency released the following statement: “TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child.”
The agency released the exact same statement concerning an incident with a 7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. The girl is easily frightened by her frequent encounters with the TSA (she must always get patted down because of her metal leg braces), and her parents asked the agents on duty to introduce themselves and be gentle. The thugs ignored the parents’ request, however, and traumatized the girl with an aggressive pat-down.
To top it all off, the LA Times has just broken another story of TSA corruption: four screeners have just been charged with accepting bribes from drug dealers in exchange for turning a blind eye to large quantities of meth in their luggage. This is hardly a surprising coming from an agency known for its rampant thievery.
There can be no compromise with this criminal agency. It should be completely abolished and the airlines themselves should be responsible for the security of their passengers and planes.