Breast cancer patient: TSA pat-down was ‘humiliating’

Apr 2011
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The Transportation Security Administration has apologized for an incident in which a breast cancer patient was subjected to a TSA pat-down that she says she found "insulting" and "humiliating." Lori Dorn wrote about the experience on her blog. She described how, after walking through an image scanner at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, she was asked by a TSA agent to step aside to have her breasts examined.
"I explained to the agent that I was a breast cancer patient and had a bilateral mastectomy in April and had tissue expanders put in to make way for reconstruction at a later date," Dorn wrote. She said she explained that because of this, she was not comfortable having her breasts touched.
Dorn asked the agent if she could retrieve a medical card from her pocket which described the expanders and included contact information for her doctor. But the agent called over a supervisor who denied the request, and said the breast exam had to take place.
According to Dorn, the supervisor added, loudly enough for other passengers to hear: "And if we don't clear you, you don't fly."
In the end, Dorn wrote, "I had no choice but to allow an agent to touch my breasts in front of other passengers."
In a statement to NBC New York, a TSA spokesman said that Dorn should have been allowed to retrieve her medical card, and that she should then have received a "more compassionate response from our officers, such as an offer on our part of private screening."
The statement added: "The Federal Security Director for JFK personally reached out to the passenger to apologize and learn about her experience to help ensure a smoother checkpoint for passengers in similar circumstances going forward."
The statement also said that the TSA would "be looking at refreshing some training to use this as a learning opportunity."
The incident is only the latest in which the TSA has been criticized for what many see as overly aggressive screening procedures. In June, the agency came under fire after forcing a 95-year old cancer sufferer to remove her adult diaper before boarding a plane.

Breast cancer patient: TSA pat-down was

The TSA has a LONG way to go.......................
 

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
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The TSA denied they forced the woman to remove the adult diaper. It was the woman's daughter (who wasn't in the room) who says that's what happened.

TSA denies having required a 95-year-old woman to remove diaper - CNN

Not sure if this was he said/she said or not.

And for the record I'm against the police state. What's I'd prefer is that airlines do this themselves, and leave the government out of it. If anyone is going to be treated like shit because security moms were scared terrorists were hiding behind every bush (no pun intended) it should be airline passengers.

Too bad, if you don't like it take the bus, and remember this next time you vote for the "tough on crime" candidate, because this is what happens when you want the authorities to protect you from everything.

It's just like three strikes you're out, mandatory minimums and zero tolerance drug laws - sooner or later you're going to be a victim of overzealous authorahs. Please don't snivel just because you didn't think they would do it to YOU.
 
Apr 2011
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I have no idea what the odds are of being killed in a terrorist attack on an airplane, but I would think they are much higher than the odds of being killed driving to the airport.
 

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
56,060
44,163
Ohio
I have no idea what the odds are of being killed in a terrorist attack on an airplane, but I would think they are much higher than the odds of being killed driving to the airport.

But in the decade of the 2000s, only about one passenger for every 25 million was killed in a terrorist attack aboard an American commercial airliner (all of the fatalities were on 9/11). By contrast, a person has about a one in 500,000 chance each year of being struck by lightning.
Lots of interesting stats here:

Crunching the Risk Numbers - WSJ.com
 

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
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Ohio
So the odds are very small. But beyond that it isn't just the fact that they search people in a very intrusive manner, it is the fact that they seem to be abusing their authority.
The fact is they are and have been abusing their authority in lots of areas for many years. Everyone was fine with it until it got directed at people they didn't think it should be directed at.

When I lived in a mostly black neighborhood in LA I got harassed by the police all the time. If you're white in that neighborhood, they assume you are there to buy drugs. No one felt sorry for me, why should I feel sorry for these people?
 
Apr 2011
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Under your skin
The fact is they are and have been abusing their authority in lots of areas for many years. Everyone was fine with it until it got directed at people they didn't think it should be directed at.

When I lived in a mostly black neighborhood in LA I got harassed by the police all the time. If you're white in that neighborhood, they assume you are there to buy drugs. No one felt sorry for me, why should I feel sorry for these people?
Don't really have an answer for that.
 

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
56,060
44,163
Ohio
Don't really have an answer for that.
It's just a sore spot with me. People are not only waaaay more worried about shit that is probably never going to happen to them than things that are, but they are willing to sacrifice everyone else's civil rights for the illusion of safety. Then when this shit happens to them, they whine at the injustice of it all.

Pisses me off.

What I'd like to see is a questionnaire given to everyone who objects to body scans and pat downs asking them how they felt about this stuff in 2002. I bet you most of them wouldn't have a clue how the war on terror might possibly affect the comfort and convenience of their own personal air travel experience.