Former TSA agent says groping a 'daily occurrence'

A couple of days ago I wrote about a conspiracy at the Denver airport of TSA screeners manipulating the equipment so that another TSA screener could grope the genital areas of handsome male passengers. 

Now, a former TSA agent has taken to the pages of Time Magazine to confirm that this kind of sexual assault is commonplace at airports around the country.

Over the course of my six years with the TSA, the leveraging of rules and surveillance tools to abuse passengers was a daily checkpoint occurrence. Has the TSA screener searching your luggage suddenly decided to share with you the finer points of official bag-search procedure just as your final boarding call is being announced? There’s a good chance that he or she just doesn’t like you. Or in some cases, as we’ve seen, it may be that the screener finds you attractive and wants to use the TSA rules as an excuse to get his or her hands on you.

Amid all the jokes in comment sections, it’s easy to forget that the groping of these dozen or more male passengers by two conspiring TSA screeners is sexual assault, plain and simple. And while it’s easy to focus all the blame on the two unsavory screeners who are now no longer with the agency, perhaps the bigger issue here is a systemic one: There are far too many federal hands on people’s private parts in airports.

What most people don’t realize is that the full-body scanners the two agents used to assault those passengers — the scanners that millions of people pass through each day — are practically useless. The TSA, in its rush to replace the controversial “nude” radiation scanners that they phased out in 2013, swapped out one poorly functioning line of machines for another. The current millimeter wave scanners, with their outrageous false-positive rates, regularly cause unnecessary pat-downs: The agent running his or her hands over you after you pass through the scanner is almost never doing it for a good reason.


Perhaps the most disturbing part of the sexual assault of male passengers at Denver International via full-body scanners is that the victims will likely never even know they were assaulted, since so many passengers have their private parts fondled when passing through the scanners, anyway. It’s difficult to tell where airport security ends and sexual assault begins these days. Pat-downs of people’s sensitive areas should be much rarer than they are at the airport.

Where does TSA get these perverts? This is a management problem, pure and simple. Nobody is watching TSA screeners carefully enough if they're confident they can get away with groping the private parts of passengers for sexual pleasure. Obviously, monitoring procedures need massive reform if they're even going to begin to address the problem.

Signs should be posted explaining to passengers exactly what TSA screeners are authorized to do. And get rid of those useless machines that the perverts are using to justify their sex crimes.

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