Go Back   > > >
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 23, 10, 9:06 pm   #1
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 39
Patti Roberts on TSA security screening

Here's a piece my wife wrote shortly after my encounter with TSA screeners in MEM last month. I know it's last minute, but I wanted to get it in front of as many Thanksgiving travelers as possible before tomorrow. I also posted it on FedUpFlyers.org.
-Michael Roberts


Patti Roberts on TSA security screening

I am Patricia Roberts, wife to Michael Roberts and mother to our six children. Michael is the pilot who was recently denied access to the secured area of the terminal building at Memphis International Airport. In the aftermath of the incident on October 15, 2010 when my husband refused to bare all or be sexually fondled by members of the TSA on his way to work, I have become aware that many Americans are in the dark about what is taking place in our airports. We must consider what these things mean, where they are taking us, and how we as Americans think about our relationship to our government.

Today in America, if a law-abiding citizen wishes to fly on an airplane he or she must either stand in a full body scanner which allows a total stranger to view a graphic nude picture, or he or she must be frisked by an agent of the federal government. This frisking involves touching the crotch, buttocks, breasts, hair, as well as the rest of the body. This elementary description of the process may seem gratuitous, but many Americans remain unaware of exactly what they are in for when they arrive at the airport today. Women, children, and the elderly, as well as the crews who work on the airplanes, are all subjected to this mistreatment.

Michael and I teach our children that their bodies are special and belong only to them. We teach them to protect their special parts through modesty. We teach them to never let anyone see or touch them in an inappropriate way. Every kind and loving parent knows this drill. It’s part of the job. Why then are we subjecting ourselves and our children to such heinous crimes as we travel by plane?

Crimes, you say?

Yes, crimes! The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards law-abiding citizens in this country against being unreasonably searched. Touching and seeing me in places meant only for my husband is unreasonable and unacceptable. And I will never allow an airport security guard or any other stranger to lay hands in the area of my kids’ underpants or paw their diapers. This, however, is the current state of affairs in this country. This very day TSA is committing these crimes as we innocently go about our lives visiting friends and family or traveling for business by plane.

If we allow this to continue the future is crystal clear. Examine the facts and the trend. In December of 2001, Richard Reid hid explosives in his shoes and boarded an American Airlines flight. Ever since, Americans have had to remove their shoes for inspection before boarding any aircraft. In December 2009, the infamous underwear/crotch bomber severely injured his genitalia on board a Delta Airlines flight. Now Americans are subjecting themselves to virtual strip searching and inappropriate fondling before being allowed to board an aircraft. The TSA has made it clear that they will follow suit with whatever plots and schemes any lunatic may conjure. So far, we the people have complied with these searches as if we were all criminals. My question to every woman and mother in America is when do we draw a line? Should a bomber hide something internally, will we then say, “Oh, no, I’m not showing you that. You can’t touch me there.” How long until the next TSA security guard we meet straps on a glove for a routine cavity search?

Fellow wives and mothers, it is evident in the world where we live that evil and wrong doing are not only to be found at airports or places we can easily avoid. If we allow this trend to continue it will inevitably spill out of the airport terminals, into the streets. What might that look like? Perhaps something like this: As you and the kids back out of your driveway and head toward the end of the street, you are stopped by some official of the law enforcement/security sector. You and your children are asked to get out of the car. Your purse and diaper bag are emptied on the hood of the car. You and your children are frisked and questioned before being allowed to go to the corner grocery store. Without cause, you and your children have been unreasonably searched, delayed, questioned, harassed, and hassled (it’s not easy getting six children in and out of their car seats!) Why is all of this unreasonable? Because our going to the grocery store once a week doesn’t pose a threat to anyone, and we shouldn’t have to suffer such abuse in order to do so. If it is justified to treat everyone in the airport as a suspect because someone might do something wrong, or because someone already has, what will prevent this reasoning from being applied in our shopping centers, restaurants, schools, and places of worship?

The following excerpt is from an email my husband just received: “Today when flying from Boston Logan to (Baltimore) my 17-year-old daughter had quite an unpleasant experience due to the new scanner malfunctioning… She was told she would need a pat down. Being 17, she had no idea what that meant and how intense a… detailed full-body pat down can be. Even when she began to cry, the TSA agent continued the pat down. My daughter felt molested and humiliated and as a parent I was helpless to stop this violation. Also, the gentleman behind her had a full body pat down… However his pat down was not as intense as my daughter’s.”

Traveling by air or going to work as a pilot is not a crime. What the government is doing is dangerous and harmful and is itself criminal misconduct of the worst kind – the kind where those empowered by the state lord it over their own neighbors and fellow citizens. History teaches that these abuses will not restrain themselves. They must be restrained by watchful and active citizens. The founders of this country knew this, as evidenced by the Fourth Amendment. But the Constitution and its Amendments do not protect us. We must protect ourselves and uphold the Constitution as the defining statement of our national identity.

We have found that people must be told these things are wrong. Mothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors – please, do not allow government security agents to put their hands on you or your children. Your body belongs to you. Do not allow government security agents to see beneath your clothing. Your body belongs to you, not them!
SpatialD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 10, 9:22 pm   #2
FlyerTalk Evangelist
  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lawrence, KS | MCI
Programs: AA EXP, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat, G.E./NEXUS, Amex, UA 1K/RCC, TSA Disparager Unobtanium
Posts: 19,891
Very well written! I'd make sure the letter gets sent to the various news agencies, especially any that you were working with after the incident @ MEM..

Good luck!
FriendlySkies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 10, 9:24 pm   #3
  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 8
Thank you! Thank you! This letter was just posted to my Facebook wall with hopes that my friends list full of parents read this and DO something.

This is my first post on FT, but i've been lurking and reading a lot since summer and this week's UNREALity has pushed me into being an activist for the first time in my 40 years. This is sickening and if this is allowed, what is next?!!!??


Thank you again!
PamelaLovesLime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 10, 9:29 pm   #4
  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Programs: AA, WN RR
Posts: 3,122
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
PatrickHenry1775 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 10, 10:58 pm   #5
  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 108
Excellent essay, Patti. You and your husband have my complete support. I'll be flying several times over the next few weeks, and I'll be standing up for my rights as a citizen of this country each time. The TSA has been pushing the envelope of what is reasonable and tolerable (not to mention legal under our Constitution!) for years. The time has finally come for me, and many others, to draw that line and say, "that's far enough; no more."
Isobel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 10, 6:43 pm   #6
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 39
Thank you for helping to spread the news. That's EXACTLY what's needed. Along with that, I urge you and others to stay away from the airports until this madness has been put to death.

Patti Roberts
SpatialD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 10, 6:59 pm   #7
  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northern California, in the redwoods, on the ocean.
Posts: 437
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpatialD View Post
Thank you for helping to spread the news. That's EXACTLY what's needed. Along with that, I urge you and others to stay away from the airports until this madness has been put to death.

Patti Roberts
You got it, Patti, you got it. On both counts.

Hear hear! Hear hear! <echo>*Members of the Continental Congress pounding on desks in hearty approbation.*</echo>
WindOfFreedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 4, 10, 1:37 am   #8
  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,053
Damn, I had myself convinced they had groped the wife or daughter of the SCOTUS Chief Justice and were about to be stripped of ALL power as a result.
LuvAirFrance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 4, 10, 5:27 am   #9
  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: DTW
Programs: DL 0.22 MM, AA 0.34 MM, PC Plat Amb, Hertz #1 GC 5*
Posts: 7,507
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpatialD View Post
[I]
The following excerpt is from an email my husband just received: “Today when flying from Boston Logan to (Baltimore) my 17-year-old daughter had quite an unpleasant experience due to the new scanner malfunctioning… She was told she would need a pat down. Being 17, she had no idea what that meant and how intense a… detailed full-body pat down can be. Even when she began to cry, the TSA agent continued the pat down. My daughter felt molested and humiliated and as a parent I was helpless to stop this violation. Also, the gentleman behind her had a full body pat down… However his pat down was not as intense as my daughter’s.”
If possible, turn around and walk away, and don't fly. That's the greatest power.

When enough people do this, change is inevitable.
sbagdon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 4, 10, 6:16 am   #10
  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: BHM
Posts: 118
Yeah I wanted to say the same thing but it seemed like the thread was old. Nobody is helpless. Ever. You have the ability to escalate to the FSD and then bring in LEOs on to your side if you have been wronged. In the worst case scenario, you can just leave and not fly, and in the future, refuse to offer that airport and/or that airline your patronage, and encourage others to do so.
ghostrider10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 4, 10, 10:21 pm   #11
  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,053
Oh sure, and then they levy their scummy fine? I think TSA should come with a warning like cigarettes or pharmaceuticals. May cause intense fear and loathing.
LuvAirFrance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 5, 10, 5:49 am   #12
  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: DTW
Programs: DL 0.22 MM, AA 0.34 MM, PC Plat Amb, Hertz #1 GC 5*
Posts: 7,507
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvAirFrance View Post
Oh sure, and then they levy their scummy fine? I think TSA should come with a warning like cigarettes or pharmaceuticals. May cause intense fear and loathing.
They may levy a civil fine. And I already attempted the "what would the store door entry sign read", yet it didn't go far.
sbagdon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 5, 10, 10:45 am   #13
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 82,894
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbagdon View Post
If possible, turn around and walk away, and don't fly. That's the greatest power.

When enough people do this, change is inevitable.
Isn't a reduction in the number of passengers something our government's paranoids and control-freaks would love? Mobility being seen as the means of the enemy is deeply-rooted amongst such.
GUWonder is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 5, 10, 1:15 pm   #14
  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,053
Our government making us afraid to travel? How's that for a feather in Bin Laden's turban?
LuvAirFrance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 5, 10, 1:34 pm   #15
  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: PIT
Programs: Marriott Silver, Priority Club Platinum, Hilton Gold, Airline Peon (United, Delta, Southwest)
Posts: 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvAirFrance View Post
Oh sure, and then they levy their scummy fine? I think TSA should come with a warning like cigarettes or pharmaceuticals. May cause intense fear and loathing.
Hmm, That's an interesting way to look at the x-ray scanners. Equivalent to smoking X number of cigarettes each time one walks through. The TSO's cancers would be from the "second hand smoke" effect.
myadvice is offline   Reply With Quote
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Thread Tools
Search Thread
Go to Top
Forum Jump
Contact Us - FlyerTalk - Archive - Top