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Old Nov 23, 10, 11:50 am   #751
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Originally Posted by LeeAnne View Post
Hi everyone - and thanks so much for being such a welcoming place. I felt better having just told my story. To have it met with such empathy is refreshing. I posted this story, in a shorter version, on another blog, and got ripped to shreds and told we were "sniveling whiners", and various combinations of "flying is a privilege, not a right; if you don't like it don't fly; they're just doing their job; quitcher .....in". Etc. etc....
Let me guess - disboards.com?
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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:11 pm   #752
  
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
He ran the backs of his hands up both legs until they pressed against my testicles, and palpated my buttocks and rectal area. He penetrated the waistband of my pants two to three inches, feeling around, and brushed his hand firmly across my pubic zone, encountering my penis.
What parts of the above actions are not illegal? I just watched the video of the San Mateo Country DA (where SFO is) saying that unwanted touching of the genitals through clothes is misdemeanor sexual battery, and it's a felony if it's skin to skin (does a latex glove count as clothes?).

He did mention that there has to be sexual intent, but how could that ever be proved or disproved?
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Old Nov 23, 10, 1:01 pm   #753
  
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Well, unfortunately things did not go as well as I thought. I just talked to Mom, and more details emerged. She didn't want to share them while in the car with my daughter.

When she was pulled away for the grope, she says she started to tell the woman doing the groping that her right breast is still very tender and has healing surgical wounds on it, but the woman actually put her hand up in front of my mother’s face, as if to signal her to shut up! My mother, terrified of another horrible experience, quickly did just that – she shut up.

I find this shocking, given what recently happened to the man with the urostomy bag. Even with all that publicity, including a phone call from John Pistole to the man to apologize, is it STILL not understood by TSA agents that they need to allow their victims to tell them about their medical issues???

The agent used the back of her hand to press in and circle the entire exterior of each breast – including the sore one. Sure enough, it hurt. But my mother didn’t say a word – just stood there wincing and took it. Because she wants to see her grandkids.

When the TSA agent did the inner-thigh rub, and got up to the point where her hand “met resistance” (yeah, a lovely euphemism for “touched her labia”), she apparently noticed that my mother was wearing an adult diaper. She asked her what she had “in her pants” – loud enough for others around her to hear. My mother quietly replied, “a Depends”. “A what?” asked the TSA agent. “A…a diaper!” my mother said, feeling humiliated.

The agent made her lift her shirt to SHOW her the top of her diaper. All I can say is, thank God it was the full brief-type, rather than a pad. Would the agent have asked her to pull her pants down to show it to her??

Then she ran her gloved fingers all along the inside of her diaper, while my mother stood there holding her shirt up, for all the other passengers to see her 73-year-old bare midriff. At this point she regretted not asking for a private room, but it was too late – it was almost over. (Plus I'd told her NOT to ask for a private room, because I didn't want my mother being molested where she couldn't be seen.)

So much for being allowed to maintain your dignity.

Anyone who thinks this is okay is sick. This is NOT what my soldier son is fighting for. I’m ashamed to be an American today, if this is what our government thinks is acceptable treatment of our senior citizens. My mother has been a patriot and a good citizen for her entire life. She's never had so much as a speeding ticket. She's voted in every election she was qualified to vote in. She married a veteran of the Korean war (my dad), gave birth to a son who served in the Air Force (my brother), and has a grandson currently in the Army (my son). She goes to church, gives to the needy, and supports herself without government handouts. And THIS is what our government subjects her to - just so she can go spend Thanksgiving with her family?

I'm so angry I can hardly see straight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neko View Post
Um. Posting on flyertalk may have empathy, but it's otherwise completely useless. Way too many people pretend the internet is real life.

It's useful to significantly reducing your air travel and contacting airline (and other convention/tourism agencies) to let them know why.

You also need to contact your representatives ( senators and representative .

You should also support the efforts of large real-world organizations such as the
ACLU and their EPIC and look up who owns your local airport (it's usually a state, county or city agency) and contact them, as well.

You can also contact state and local officials and request that they push back against TSA (this is already happening in NJ and NYC, for example).
I am an activist by nature. I spent Saturdays standing in the rain holding "No on Prop H8" signs during the last election. I write regular letters to the editor for the issues which are important to me. I am not someone known to "keep my mouth shut".

Trust me, I absolutely will do my part. I have letters already drafted. Thanks for providing additional information for places to protest. I promise you I will use them. My mother wants to be left out of it - and I understand. But I will not remain silent.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 1:04 pm   #754
  
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LeeAnne, that is so wrong and I am so sorry, but it needs to be heard.

This is not the first time or the second time or the third time we have reports here of TSOs apparently pressing even harder on areas specifically pointed out as being sore spots, or injured.

On another website an elderly woman was apparently questioned about her incontinence pad and forced to remove it in the public screening area.

A word of warning that you will hear 'that didn't happen' from other posters. Most of us rationally know that things ARE happening, and that you and your mother are not lying or embellishing.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 1:06 pm   #755
  
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LeAnn, words can't express how sickened I am by the treatment your mother received. I'm so sorry that she had to go through that.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 1:34 pm   #756
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exbayern View Post
LeeAnne, that is so wrong and I am so sorry, but it needs to be heard.
+1

Your mom is traumatized and I don't blame her for just trying to forget it. She probably also knows in her heart that the ONLY way that this abusive practice is going to end is for experiences like hers to be publicized.

As a senior citizen, she would probably be very effective telling others her story. Even if your mother does not want to publicize the experience, see if she could at least tell her to story to clueless "anything for safety" relatives and friends. These "anything for safety" folks need to understand the disconnect between the TSA talking points and what is really happening. SAFETY IS NOT AN EXCUSE FOR ABUSE.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 6:35 pm   #757
  
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I'd like to know the success rate of TSA personnel actually finding something when they do a patdown:

- first off during simulations when they know they are being tested, let alone:
- when faced with a line of angry, clueless holiday travelers and children, all while they are on the 2nd to last hour before their shift ends.

Using the back of your hands till you meet resistance seems hardly good enough to find anything, yet good enough to be creepy and invasive.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 6:50 pm   #758
  
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AARP

On that note, AARP is literally one of the most powerful citizen lobbies out there (they effectively killed Bush's plan to partially privatize Social Security), and this subject is on their radar screen:

http://www.aarp.org/travel/travel-ti...ner_facts.html

They are potentially strong advocates for the disabled and senior citizens, who are bearing some of the most humiliating aspects of the new procedures (both physical touching and the problems posed by backscatter). I think anyone who is over 60 can join and I strongly encourage any AARP member to get in touch with them and let them know how the new TSA policies are specifically detrimental to their members.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 7:16 pm   #759
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Anyone 50 or older can join AARP.

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Old Nov 23, 10, 8:42 pm   #760
  
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I don't want to cross post but I started a thread about the New York Times travel blog which is soliciting stories like these. Mods please delete this if you feel you need to.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:59 pm   #761
  
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LeeAnne, that is just wrong on so many levels. It's truly sickening. I'm disgusted and outraged how we are all perceived to be criminals now just by showing up at the airport. And in the case of people like your mom, who have medical conditions, how could that possibly be an invitation to squeeze/grope/feel harder the affected area? Yet somehow that makes sense in TSA Land.

I'm having a harder and harder time keeping my composure when I hear people say "it's for our safety." It's not. It's madness and stupidity with a touch of cruelty thrown in (depending on the TSA agent), and completely lacking in common sense. So our government screws up by ignoring the many red flags about the underwear bomber, including warnings from his own father, and now we all have to pay for that mistake. Some pay way more than others, like your poor mom, and some breeze through and say, "What's the big deal? It's for our safety."

It's not right on so many levels, and my heart goes out to your mom. Truly unbelievable, and enormously sad.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 9:01 pm   #762
  
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Originally Posted by Shorty View Post
LeeAnne, that is just wrong on so many levels. It's truly sickening. I'm disgusted and outraged how we are all perceived to be criminals now just by showing up at the airport. And in the case of people like your mom, who have medical conditions, how could that possibly be an invitation to squeeze/grope/feel harder the affected area? Yet somehow that makes sense in TSA Land.
I believe that I said it earlier in this thread, but a few of us have noticed that when asked about sore spots it seems that some TSOs at least use that as an indicator to press even harder on those particular areas.

And AngryMiller reported being told to remove a dressing from a very recent surgery, which opens up a whole area of health concerns.
Quote:
They attempted to remove a translucent surgical dressing (12 inch long fresh incision) from me because it alarmed with a hand wand at the gate. No problems with the WTMD. Complain and complain often.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...screening.html
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Old Nov 24, 10, 9:41 pm   #763
  
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In 24 years of working Thanksgiving Eve, I had never seen the airport this empty and the flights so light. It was an easy day UNTIL I had to get into my car and hit the Bay Area freeway system headed out of town (I live in the foothills). Total bumper to bumper gridlock all the way.
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Old Nov 25, 10, 11:09 pm   #764
  
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Another sick story out of LAX
Quote:
It all began, Ouriel said, when she declined to go through the new body scanner Sunday night. Besides being worried about possible radiation, "I find it degrading," she said of the machines, which generate sometimes graphic images of bodies. She also said she was suspicious when the male TSA agent "seemed to be picking out young females" to go through the scanner rather than the metal detector.
Quote:
Told she would have to undergo a pat-down, she declined that too after she said she saw an agent "grab" the crotch of a man being patted down ahead of her. Having declined both screenings, she was told she couldn't fly and was sent to baggage claim to collect her luggage. She says forgot to retrieve her driver's license, which the TSA had taken to file a report, and later couldn't find it.
http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/...,4841649.story
WAY TO GO WENDY!
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Old Nov 27, 10, 12:03 am   #765
  
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Black Friday Opt Out

I read up a TON on this forum prior to my holiday travel. So I just wanted to share my opt-out experience at BWI airport. I went to the concourse D checkpoint on Black Friday. There was hardly a line. Just 1 person in front of me for the boarding pass/ID check. I could clearly see that both the metal detector and MMW machine were in use at each line. 2 lines were open and while the MMW was primary in both, if it was in use they would put the next person through the WTMD. They ended up closing the line I was in just as I entered, making me the last person for the line I chose. I put my things on the X-ray belt and moved to walk through the WTMD. I was stopped by a male TSO and told to go through the MMW. I politely declined saying “Oh, no thank you, I’d like to opt out of that”. He seemed surprised, but said ok and told me to go through the WTMD and stand to the left of it.

At this point, my belongings had been X-rayed and were sitting at the end of the shoot. I could see them from where I was, though (just inside the WTMD), so I was not concerned. Also in my favor was that nobody else was coming through behind me to bother my things. A female TSO watching the WTMD did yell “Refusal! Female Assist!” a few times, but I didn’t mind. She wasn’t being rude about it and hardly anyone was around to hear anyway. Oddly she did ask for my age, which I gave her. A minute or two later a very nice young female TSO came over to get me. She was in the process of putting on fresh gloves (I saw the box) as she came over. She escorted me to a little carpet with yellow footprints facing my belongings on the X-ray belt. I stood where she asked and watched my stuff. She asked if I had any metal implants or replacement parts to my body, and asked if any part of me was sore or of concern. I said no to both. She then explained in thorough detail and with light demonstration on herself what she would be doing to me. I thanked her for the explanation, and the pat down began. It was actually very light. She felt my shoulders and back, my waist, and just barely inside the back of my waist band. She then announced she would be approaching a “sensitive area” and used the back of her hands on my butt and patted up the back of my legs to my upper thigh. She did not proceed until resistance was met, no groin touching occurred. She came around front and did use the back of her hand around all edges of my breasts as she had previously demonstrated on herself she would do. She continued down to the front of my waist and waist band, used the back of the hand to my zipper, and down the front of my legs from my thighs to the tops of my feet. That was it. There was no groin touching, no head/face/hair stroking, and she did not even “pat down” my bare arms sticking out of my T-shirt.

It was very fast, very light, very inoffensive, and she was a very polite person. She said thank you to me, I said thank you to her, and I took my stuff and went. Yes it took longer than going through the scan, but only by about 3 minutes tops and it was no trouble at all. I realize this is just one person, just one example, a very uncrowded scenario, and maybe they’re still on some special holiday mode. Also she never informed me of my right to request a private room. I would not have, but it was interesting to note. To be honest, I am concerned that the pat down did not include my actual groin area and very little actual tactile pressure. Not that I wish for someone to touch me in that manner, but the pat down I received probably would not have caught many unwanted items.
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