I wish more people did this:
Dear Ms. Newman and Ms. Schimer:
Yesterday I wrote to you about TSA’s abuse of American citizens and our children, and the disappointing response of the office, which made it sound as if Senator Casey is not concerned that the TSA is abusing its authority. I spoke again this morning with staff member Tayeesha, and she apologized for a flippant response. More importantly, she acknowledged that the office received calls about TSA all day, and that she will make sure the senator gets the message. Please extend my gratitude.
I wanted to share two more links with you (and I will try to write every time I read about TSA abuse).
The first is from a mother in Ohio, who was sexually assaulted by the TSA: http://www.ourlittlechatterboxes.com/2010/11/tsa-sexual-assault.html. I have excerpted it below:
“She did not tell me that she was going to touch my buttocks, or reach forward to my vagina area.
She then moved in front of my and touched the top and underneath portions of both of my breasts.
She did not tell me that she was going to touch my breasts.
She then felt around my waist. She then moved to the bottoms of my legs.
She then felt my inner thighs and my vagina area, touching both of my labia.
She did not tell me that she was going to touch my vagina area or my labia.
She then told me that I could put my shoes on and I asked if I could pick up the baby, she replied Yes.
She then moved back to my belongings to finish scanning them with the paper discs for explosives. When she finished she said I was free to go.
I stood there holding my baby in shock. I did not move for almost a minute.
I stood there, an American citizen, a mom traveling with a baby with special needs formula, sexually assaulted by a government official. I began shaking and felt completely violated, abused and assaulted by the TSA agent. I shook for several hours, and woke up the next day shaking.
Here is why I was sexually assaulted. She never told me the new body search policy. She never told me that she was going to touch my private parts. She never told me when or where she was going to touch me. She did not inform me that a private screening was available. She did not inform me of my rights that were a part of these new enhanced patdown procedures. ”
I documented my call to Senator Casey at my blog, and it is regretful that the conversation indicates an office that was wholly out-of-touch with a serious issue. I’m glad the Senator’s staff has recognized the importance of americans’ civil rights and the safety of our kids: http://brendancalling.com/2010/11/15/conversation-with-bob-caseys-office-on-tsa/.
Pleas inform the Senator that I expect him to take TSA’s abuse seriously, and to do something about it. It is bad enough that law-abiding adults are treated as criminals when we become airline customers, but groping us and our children MUST STOP. If Senator Casey is not prepared to take action on this, I will continue to point out what is going on in our airports, and ask why the Senator refuses to protect defenseless children.
Finally, I would like impress on you that Philadelphia’s TSA staff is incredibly abusive and unprofessional.
In this article, a TSA agent at Philadelphia International plants fake drugs in a passengers bag, as a joke:http://www.gadling.com/2010/01/21/philly-tsa-agent-plays-cruel-drug-baggie-joke-on-traveler/
is that funny?
Here, Philadelphia’s TSA detained a college student, because he had Arab/English flashcards:http://www.aclu.org/national-security/george-v-tsa
Must be a terrorist, right? Only terrorist would want to learn Arabic, right?
Here, Philadelphia’s TSA detained a passenger because he got a haircut. Seriously: http://pubrecord.org/commentary/6911/philly-stand-truly-stupid-as/
Here, we learn that TSA in Philadelphia has a bad habit of singling out women for “enhanced patdowns”:http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/daniel_rubin/20100621_Daniel_Rubin__Women_complain_about_TSA_screeners_at_Philly_airport.html
Please ask the Senator to take action by writing a letter, calling for an investigation, writing and op-ed, or calling the Secretary of Transportation in to explain herself and her staff.
I have cc-ed this letter to other writers, bloggers, friends, family, and colleagues. I will also be publishing it on my blog later today, which as you may know, has a fairly substantial readership.