Roberta Ling is a 73-year-old woman from Austin, Texas. Statistically, she’s likelier to be the next Miss America than a terrorist. But that doesn’t stop the TSA from harassing her whenever she flies.
Ling expects it. She has an artificial breast prosthesis, and is forced to make a difficult choice between a full-body scan and an uncomfortable pat-down when she’s screened. (Disclosure: I am opposed to the TSA’s current screening methods, and believe the choice between a scan and pat-down violates our Fourth Amendment rights.)
It’s been almost five years since the Transportation Security Administration quietly began installing its so-called Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) — better known as full-body scanners — at airports nationwide. And now the government wants to know what you think of the machines.
Here’s a question everyone should be asking after last week’s stunning verdict against Andrea Abbott, the Nashville mother who tried to stop TSA agents from patting down her teenage daughter: Where do travelers turn when they have a legitimate grievance against the agency charged with protecting America’s transportation systems? Read more “Is this the only way to change the TSA?”
That’s the question asked by Tom Westerman, who flew from JFK to Atlanta on Dec. 23 and returned the 30th. Both were among the busiest travel days of the year.
“We saw the scanners at both airports and they were just turned off,” he says. “I didn’t see anyone else going through them on other lines. At JFK they had a rope across them to prevent people from going through. At ATL we were just directed to go around them.”
When I heard from Westerman, my initial thought was: “Oh no, does this mean I have to write another post about the TSA?”
The topic is so old that media outlets are starting to recycle stories.