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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:28 pm   #1
 
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This will leave you in tears - or certainly ought to

Ya know, I'm a grown man. And still, coming across the experience that is told below literally had me sobbing tonight, with the genuine fear that this could so easily happen to my very own loved ones.

Given that it's buried 51 pages into a thread about "Nude-O-Scope Stories" with a mix of fairly typical "went-through-security-and-got-felt-up" kinds of reports, and that (surprisingly to me) there have been no responses to this since only a few sympathetic replies last night, I fear this episode will be lost amidst the noise.

I had to go out and take a walk to get some fresh air after reading it. If this doesn't reach deep into your soul, your sense of human dignity and your pride in being able to call yourself an American...well, I'm afraid nothing will...

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Originally Posted by LeeAnne View Post
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.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:29 pm   #2
 
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Thanks for highlighting that.

I have posted links to similar such stories within threads; I don't know how much viewership they received but LeeAnne's mother's story is sadly just one of many.

This is wrong. There is no excuse for this to happen, nor to happen multiple times to different people.

This is her mother's story from last year:
Quote:
I have not read this whole thread, but I want to tell our story, and this seems like a good place. It's not recent, it's before they implemented the "enhanced" pat-down...but it just emphasizes that this problem has been building for a long time.

Last year my mother and I were changing planes in Atlanta from an international flight, heading home to LAX. After going through customs, we had to stand in the long security line to get to our gate for our domestic flight. We had a 2-hour layover, which should have been plenty of time.

My mother is 73 years old, has a metal hip and cement injected into a shattered spinal disk. She walks with a distinct limp and a cane.

As soon as we landed in Atlanta we used the facilities. Unfortunately the security line took almost 90 minutes, and by the time we got near the front, my mother had to use the restroom again. But there was no way for her to leave the line and go find the restroom, and then get back to me - she couldn't have fought her way out and back through the crowd. I would have had to go with her, losing our place in line and missing our flight home.

She had her doctor's notes for both of her medical conditions, but naturally she set off the metal detector, so she was moved over to a roped-off area out in full view of the public. When they walked her over, she begged them to allow her to use the restroom before the pat-down. They refused. She waited there for over 10 minutes before a very large, very scary-looking TSA agent - who looked like she'd spent the first half of her life running with the crips and the second half as a prison guard - came over to pat her down. My mother asked AGAIN if she could use the restroom. The agent refused, and began her molestation. She wanded her entire body, including between her legs, then began the physical rubbing. She ran her hands up my mother's legs, and when she got to her crotch area, she discovered that my mother was slightly damp there. She yanked her hand out and started SCREAMING at her, "DID YOU PISS ON ME? DID YOU PISS ON ME?" My mother started crying, calling out my name in distress.

I was not allowed to approach her. I was so angry, but there was nothing I could do - I was told repeatedly by the agent groping my mother, and by two others nearby, to STAY BACK from the roped off area. Finally the grope session was over, and she was allowed to leave. We both felt sick, and violated.

Tomorrow my mother will take the first flight she's taken since that horrific experience. Since that happened, she's been diagnosed with breast cancer, and recently had a lumpectomy and targeted radiation treatment, which involved inserting multiple rods into her breast, irradiating them over the course of a week, then removing them. She is still very sore and tender in the surgical area, which is on the side of her breast.

She is going to attempt to go through the porno-scan to avoid the groping, but my understanding is that both the metal in her hip and the cement in her spine will appear as anomalies, so she'll be groped anyway. She is going to the airport wearing depends (something she doesn't normally need to do) and a heavily padded bra, hoping that her tender breast isn't prodded too painfully. She is terrified, but her desire to see her grandkids and spend Thanksgiving with family is outweighing her horror over the torture she is about to experience.

I'll report back tomorrow how it goes. I'm just sick that my mother has to go through this, just so she won't spend Thanksgiving all alone.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:38 pm   #3
 
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What airport is this?
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:39 pm   #4
 
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Here is my question: why is there are all these horrifying stories of sheer terror dished out by people with no more authority than the paper boy and NO ONE speaks up?

If your walking down the street, and some man feels you up, you scream RAPE at the top of your lungs... and fight back the OBVIOUS intrusion upon your person.

However because its a Smurf, who has ZERO authority other than to terrorize innocent people gets to do this and our fellow americans stand there in silence and take it?!

.... that. If they pulled this crap with me, screw my flight id be VERY vocal. Make a scene damnit, these people are hurting innocent people causing personal psychological trauma that can take YEARS to recover from, in some cases causing physical injury and so far the advice given: STFU and file a complaint, and, maybe a lawsuit that wont be settled for almost a decade...

I think it is high time we begin to take a stand, maybe not be physical but hey, if they violate our 4th amendment unless they plan to duct tape our mouths shut maybe its time we use our next weapon of choice, our voice. A 73 year old woman being molested who is crying hysterical and begging VERY loudly to be left alone will jerk at most people heart strings in a very BAD way...

Time we start voicing our opinions and whats happening loudly enough for others to hear.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:41 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by eyecue View Post
What airport is this?
A couple posts earlier in that thread she says it was PHX.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:43 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Saitek View Post
Time we start voicing our opinions and whats happening loudly enough for others to hear.
I agree, but I also understand why it is difficult, and I will tell you based on my own recent experiences.

1) 'Do You Want To Fly Today?' That threat is very real and is often made to passengers without a valid reason or threat

2) 'Everybody lies' Those of us who read here often have seen that far too many times here from mostly TSOs and a few others

I was long more 'on side' with the TSOs than with the passengers. I tended to believe that most reports where I used to read were embellished, or one-sided. I flew probably hundreds of times from US airports with little issue. Then I had a few of those experiences myself, and I have a better understanding why not everyone feels that they can speak up either at the airport, or online.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:45 pm   #7
 
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Hmm, this is making me wonder what the races are of the TSA agents that have such terrible, dismissive and abusive attitudes towards the 'fares'. There's more than one way to skin a cat. I wonder if racism is in play here? Shouting claims of racism has worked wonders for quite a few in the past.

I personally have been planning to leave the USA for a few years, it will take us quite a bit more to get it done but that's what my family has chosen to do. I figured worse things were coming years ago, I never thought they would actually be abusing children and the elderly like this. No one seems to be up for a good old fashioned revolt, so ciao it is.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:46 pm   #8
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Originally Posted by Saitek View Post
Here is my question: why is there are all these horrifying stories of sheer terror dished out by people with no more authority than the paper boy and NO ONE speaks up?
Under Color of Authority.

Last edited by birdstrike; Nov 24, 10 at 8:53 pm. Reason: formatting
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:49 pm   #9
 
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I have posted a number of stories from those with illness or disability over the past few days. I don't necessarily want to link them into this thread but they exist, and are in a similar vein to LeeAnne's story.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:50 pm   #10
 
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so reaching your destination as a victim, is more important than speaking up about the abuse you are currently are receiving, abuse which in many cases will lead to nightmares, tremors, and other psychological trauma?

No I am sorry. Its time Americans stood their ground...

Take for instance that man that had himself soaked in urine by a TSO. If I was his son, and that was my dad, the ENTIRE terminal would have heard about it, right then and there I would have made a HUGE fuss over it. I am not saying be nasty, or violent, I am saying, be vocal.

Tell me, as a frequent flyer, you see an elderly person who is obviously in distress, you gonna stand there or are you going to be a man and step up to the plate?

Think about that for a moment, for the elderly, most over the age of 65 are on heart medications, and high blood pressure meds. thes traumatic situations are actually a REAL danger to their health. Say for instance they are molesting grandma.. and shes crying screaming, you gonna stand there like a tard or will you come to her defense?

Now, lets just say... she has a heart attack and dies. right there from the trauma. had you stepped up and been a man she may have lived... but because your flight was just too important, shes now dead... try living with THAT ONE.

Thankfully my situation hasnt happened - yet... but if current pre NOOD continues, I bet it will...

Its time we are vocal about what is happening, and let others around us know what is happening. Remember you can always take the train, and sue later.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:53 pm   #11
 
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I don't think that you understand that some people don't want to be further embarassed by having a 'scene'. That appears to be the case with LeeAnne's mother, and I completely understand that. She was embarassed enough, and if she doesn't wish to highlight her experience we should respect that.

Not everyone wants to go public with their stories; some people file a complaint with TSA, some people report it to the ACLU, some people tell anyone they can find about their story, and others are just too embarassed or too ashamed to say anything at all.

While I think that LeeAnne's story is horrifying, I also believe that we should respect her and her mother and their wishes. I did ask LeeAnne if we can copy the story, or link to it, to get the word out, and she did respond to that request.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 8:57 pm   #12
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sickening!!!
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Old Nov 24, 10, 9:00 pm   #13
 
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I am not saying go public, and go on national TV, I am talking about making a scene and voicing ones concerns while being molested.

Rape victims are ENCOURAGED to speak of their trauma... it helps. when TSO's tell or motion a person to just stfu and take it, that is WRONG. that is beyond wrong that is reprenhensible.

It is actually a good thing I dont fly... if these sort of things went down in my presence, well we wont go there.

Seems to me, there are ALOT of people who refuse to stand up for themselves and many more able bodied americans who refuse to stand up for their elders who are being abused. take situations like these and remove the federal govt entity, and those doing the searches would be in alot of trouble, not legally, but physically by the citizentry..

take for instance THIS scenario... you take your dog to the park and there is 2 older boys, apparently attempting to molest a younger girl. you gonna stand there and watch, or will you become physically involved in the situation? I am willing to bet, you, and most, would become physically involved.

Now I realise I may only reach a small number of people here, however, it only takes one person to stand up, for things to change drastically, just ask Rosa Parks.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 9:07 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Saitek View Post
I am not saying go public, and go on national TV, I am talking about making a scene and voicing ones concerns while being molested.

Rape victims are ENCOURAGED to speak of their trauma... it helps. when TSO's tell or motion a person to just stfu and take it, that is WRONG. that is beyond wrong that is reprenhensible.
Have you ever been in physical pain? Real pain, so bad that you feel physically ill, as if you are going to fall over? Pain so bad that you can barely control your body and every thought is just on making it to relative 'safety'?

Sometimes speaking up at the time just isn't an option.

I really don't understand how you can blame or judge LeeAnne, or her mother, or others who have had similar experiences, when they already went through such a bad situation?

I understand that you are angry, but I don't see much empathy or compassion for what these people endured, just blame or judgement. Maybe I am reading your posts wrong, but that is how it comes across to me.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 9:16 pm   #15
 
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It is truly sickening. It's disgusting how in the first instance with LeeAnne's mom, in the ATL airport, LeeAnne wasn't allowed to go to her obviously distressed, 73-year-old mom, the one with the metal hip and the cane, who wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom, and who had just been screamed at about her 'pissing'. I'm sure the TSA has been taught that this could all be a ruse, and that LeeAnne could possibly pass something off to her mom, so everybody has to stay back. Since the TSA reacts to past attempted terrorist acts, rather than proactively seeking out ways to truly make us more secure, surely they can point to this happening somewhere in the world as reason why daughters can't help their elderly, distraught and now abused mothers.

I completely agree with Saitek as far as taking a stand when you see something like this happen, if you can keep yourself calm while doing it. However the TSA chooses to react when you do it (arresting/fining/using physical restraint), how can we continue to pass by and do nothing while these abuses continue?
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