There has been a lot of talk this weekend over a video of a shirtless 12 year old boy going through a TSA pat down. In case you missed it, here’s the video:
This story got big this weekend when Drudge starting pushing it. Within a couple of hours you would have thought that President Obama went there himself and stripped the boy if you only read the right wing blogs.
Well today the TSA responded:
A video is being widely circulated showing a shirtless boy receiving secondary screening from a Transportation Security Officer (TSO). A passenger filmed the screening with their cell phone and posted the video on the web. Many are coming to their own conclusions about what’s happening in the video which is now perched at the top of the Drudge report and being linked to in many other blogs and tweets. We looked into this to find out what happened.
On November 19, a family was traveling through a TSA checkpoint at the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). Their son alarmed the walk through metal detector and needed to undergo secondary screening. The boy’s father removed his son’s shirt in an effort to expedite the screening. After our TSO completed the screening, he helped the boy put his shirt back on. That’s it. No complaints were filed and the father was standing by his son for the entire procedure.
It should be mentioned that you will not be asked to and you should not remove clothing (other than shoes, coats and jackets) at a TSA checkpoint. If you’re asked to remove your clothing, you should ask for a supervisor or manager.
So it wasn’t the President or even the TSA who took the boy’s shirt off; it was his father.
I’ll be the first to admit that some of the stories coming out about TSA pat downs and the scanners are very troubling, but I’m also wondering how much of it is because of people’s fears being fueled by a lot of right wing hysteria? Maybe these people need a reminder that the ones making noise now are the ones who defended this stuff during the Bush years. They have no concern over privacy or even security. They are only worried about playing partisan games. Proof of that was seen last week when the right was making a bunch of noise over a nun being searched. The only problem with their argument was that the picture they were using was from 2007, when George Bush was President.