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Old Aug 6, 12, 11:40 am   #16
 
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Originally Posted by peachfront View Post
What a terrible experience for you and especially your wife. Words don't describe.

[snipped blame-the-victim drivel]

.
Holy, cow. I'm embarrassed for you that you posted this in a public forum. Your first sentence was where you should have stopped typing.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 12:13 pm   #17
 
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Originally Posted by brennandunn View Post
My wife and I had a horrific experience traveling out of FLL yesterday.
Sympathies to your wife and you and best wishes for the future.

It's yet another example that subjecting yourself to the X-Ray scanner isn't a free ticket to avoid the invasive search.

We fly a lot and Mrs. Fredd in particular is finding the search more and more distasteful each time we undergo it.

Let me remind everybody that it isn't a "pat down," despite the TSA's appropriating that term. It's more of an invasive custodial-style search.

It's possible your wife could have dealt with the type of brief secondary pat-down wanding used in other countries.

I hope you can think of some positive way to address this, for example by writing your federal representatives, without experiencing any further sense of loss-of-privacy violations.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 12:31 pm   #18
 
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If the TSA were to "pat down" someone outside of an airport it would be classified as a sexual assault. I don't get why they away with it in an airport.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 12:59 pm   #19
 
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I am sure TSA apologists will say OP's wife is to blame for not alerting the TSA to her previous assault, but my opinion is that this entire security theater has gone on far enough.

I think it's absolutely terrible she was put in a situation such as the one mentioned in the first post.

I wish her a speedy recovery.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 12:59 pm   #20
 
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Originally Posted by Mats View Post
A psychologist colleague and I often talk about how the checkpoints inadvertently use language and symbols of the Holocaust. Terms like "Selectee" and "special" are euphemisms. One cannot ignore the image of a person standing in front of a massive group of travelers "selecting" which line to which they will be assigned. Please don't misconstrue this for me to say that TSA staff are connected to genocide; they're just inadvertently making references that strike fear into us.
It's not inadvertent. These terms/euphemisms are chosen with a purpose. And it's not a coincidence that there are many similarities.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 1:11 pm   #21
 
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Originally Posted by janehoya View Post
I am sure TSA apologists will say OP's wife is to blame for not alerting the TSA to her previous assault...
Which would have achieved nothing at all except a DYW2FT lecture. Or maybe an extra-attentive grope.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 1:43 pm   #22
 
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Originally Posted by StevenSeagalFan View Post
If the TSA were to "pat down" someone outside of an airport it would be classified as a sexual assault. I don't get why they away with it in an airport.
And in a past circumstance when a passenger going through security 'demonstrated' the grope they received by doing it back to the TSA employee, they were arrested for assault. Oh the pathetic irony.

The OP and his wife certainly have my sympathies, and it is yet another example that going through the body scanners DOES NOT guarantee that you won't receive a patdown at the hands of the TSA. I've had this talk with so many people who end up saying they'd just go through a body scanner because they wanted avoid being felt up. But guess what, that is no guarantee. These faulty machines can show god knows what as an 'anomally' and force a secondary search. Far too many people think that they are actually safe by going through the body scanners.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 6:09 pm   #23
 
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Wow I have nothing to add that hasn't already been said but my sympathies to your wife and hope she'd able to recover as much as possible from this horrific incident.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 6:22 pm   #24
 
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Oh, my word! OP, your post literally has me in tears. I go through the pat down every single time I travel within the US (I am in a wheelchair), and while it does not trigger anything emotional for me (I treat it like a dentist appointment, and try to think of something else), I cannot imagine what the experience is like for a survivor of a violent sexual attack. My best wishes to you and especially to your wife.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 6:43 pm   #25
 
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Originally Posted by Fredd View Post
Sympathies to your wife and you and best wishes for the future.

It's yet another example that subjecting yourself to the X-Ray scanner isn't a free ticket to avoid the invasive search.

We fly a lot and Mrs. Fredd in particular is finding the search more and more distasteful each time we undergo it.

Let me remind everybody that it isn't a "pat down," despite the TSA's appropriating that term. It's more of an invasive custodial-style search.

It's possible your wife could have dealt with the type of brief secondary pat-down wanding used in other countries.

I hope you can think of some positive way to address this, for example by writing your federal representatives, without experiencing any further sense of loss-of-privacy violations.
I always describe it as a "full-body rubdown with genital contact."

Friends and family who don't fly much and haven't experienced or witnessed an Enhanced Pat Down scoff when I show my contempt for the procedure... until I describe it in detail, after which some of them simply refuse to believe that such a thing could ever be done, and most of the rest are horrified.

Personally, I will never, ever allow it to be perpetrated upon me. I have that luxury because I only fly 2-4 segments per year, and my home airport has MMW with ATR so I have no worries about radiation or perv exposure. But, as many have said, going through the AIT is no guarantee that I will never be selected for a "random" sexual assault, or that a false-alarm anomaly on the AIT won't steer me into one. I will refuse, absolutely, categorically. I will never allow myself to be sexually assaulted.

OP, you and your wife have my deepest sympathy for your horrible experience.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 6:59 pm   #26
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My sympathy and support for your wife and for you.

I can only echo what another poster write:
If you are your wife are willing to come forward, talk to your Congressional representative or Senator. I mean that you should ask for a meeting--even by phone. A letter won't do it. Then contact your other Senator. If you're looking for a more powerful lobby, you could try the ACLU, but you may have more luck with ProPublica (they've already taken on the scanners, so they might be more interested.)

which feels like a puny response to a horrible incident.

Good luck to you and your wife in deciding what to do next and wishing her some peace and calm after this awful experience.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 7:28 pm   #27
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Let's face facts, even unhappy facts -- the TSA is not about to go away.

Why?

1. It does serve a purpose in that it gives the Kettles a sense of security -- be it a false sense or not. I believe that without it, fewer people would fly and the airlines would be in serious trouble. (I have even heard Richard Anderson, the CEO of Delta, praise the TSA -- and he is smart enough to realize that it is not real security, just the illusion of it.)

2. Any politician, be it the president or a member of Congress, who approved the dismantling of the TSA would be putting himself in an extremely precarious position. Today, if there is an attack which involves a terrorist aboard an airplane, the government can say, "We tried everything possible to prevent this." If the TSA is dismantled and there is such an attack, the voters would turn on the politicians who shut it down. It is a very rare politician who will put himself in that position.

3. The TSA was recently allowed to unionize. It is hard enough to fire one federal employee -- short of a union calling an illegal strike (as the air traffic controllers once did), it would be almost impossible to fire the whole union.

It is even extremely unlikely that the TSA will reform itself. It has to be seen as doing something and it is not about to admit that it made millions of Americans go through the dog and pony show when it was actually worthless.

Okay. Those are the (sad) facts of life. Given that, what should flyers do?

1. They can accept the x-ray machines (knowing it might also lead to a patdown).
2. They can opt out and take the patdown.
3. They can choose not to fly.

Each person has to make that decision for himself/herself. Yes, there will unquestionably be people who will choose number 3. Even some people who have no problem with the TSA choose not to fly because they have mental/emotional problems about air travel. Their problems may be different than those of the OP's wife, but they are just as real.

Is this a happy situation? Of course not. Reality, however, cannot be ignored. The airports are not what we would like them to be but they are what they are.

It is, perhaps, easier for me to say this than it is for others. Most of my flights involve foreign airports which do not have these machines (but patdowns are becoming much more common in Europe). I fly to the US two or three times each year and go through the TSA routine perhaps 4 or 5 times on each itinerary. That exposes me to much less radiation than US-based road warriors.

The patdowns also do not bother me. In fact, I usually joke about them while going through them.

Still, I am in the same situation as everyone else. If I felt that the radiation was too dangerous, I could choose the patdowns. If I found the patdowns unbearable, I could choose not to fly. If I found neither unbearable, but had a disabling fear of heights, I could also choose not to fly.

(My problem is extreme boredom on long flights -- which reduces sharply how often I come to the States.)

Just as I cannot ignore my own reality, neither can someone who finds the TSA unbearable.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 8:07 pm   #28
 
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Today, if there is an attack which involves a terrorist aboard an airplane, the government can say, "We tried everything possible to prevent this."
With respect:

1) One can never "try everything". Someone can always invent some other security procedure. Heck, we're nowhere close to the real-life "Con Air"; that's a whole bunch of procedures we haven't tried yet on commercial airline traffic.

2) Not everything is worth doing. We in the US had a marvelous Constitutional experiment with banning alcoholic beverages, for all sorts of good and noble reasons --- that ended up backfiring horribly.

3) Doing more stuff is no substitute for doing the right stuff. Whether or not TSA has chosen to do the right stuff ... well, that's obviously a matter of debate. But more isn't always better than less.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 8:17 pm   #29
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3) Doing more stuff is no substitute for doing the right stuff. Whether or not TSA has chosen to do the right stuff ... well, that's obviously a matter of debate. But more isn't always better than less.
Doing the "right stuff" is politically impossible in the U.S. It is the Israeli system and it involves looking for terrorists, not looking for weapons.

Some of it involves profiling, which is a dirty word in the States, while more of it involves behavioral detection -- not the amateurish SPOT type, but the real thing conducted by very well-trained professionals.

This requires passengers to answer questions, often very personal ones, until such point as the interviewer is satisfied. Americans would revolt if subjected to it. Of course, it means that my shoes and belt can be kept on and Israeli security doesn't care a fig about how much liquid you bring to the plane.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 8:43 pm   #30
 
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Americans would revolt if subjected to it...
What we're subjected to now is IMHO pretty revolting (or should I say revolt-worthy) but it continues to amaze me the extent to which people tolerate it.
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