Patterico's Pontifications

11/20/2010

Gloria Allred Likes TSA Pat Downs Too Much and Other Inappropriate TSA-Related Behavior

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:48 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Watch this video or read the following at your own risk.  Trust me, this is more than a little disturbing.  Recently on Hannity’s show, the host asked Gloria Allred if she had been patted down by the TSA.  Cringe-inducing weirdness follows:

Sean Hannity: Did they touch your body parts?

Gloria Allred: Yeah, they did and it was a first time anybody touched them in a long time and frankly, I liked it.

You can watch the video (and Sean Hannity cringe), here.

Meanwhile, a woman is suing over an incident where a TSA worker (allegedly) pulled down her shirt and bared her breasts for the entire airport to see:

As the [female] TSA agent was frisking plaintiff, the agent pulled the plaintiff’s blouse completely down, exposing plaintiffs’ breasts to everyone in the area[.]

And if this woman’s allegations are to be believed, things actually manage to get worse:

The suit also claims that other TSA employees continued to joke and laugh about the incident for an extended period of time. The woman was distraught over the incident and left the screening area so an acquaintance could console her, the suit said.

When the woman re-entered the boarding area, employees once again began joking about the matter, the suit said.

“One male TSA employee expressed to the plaintiff that he wished he would have been there when she came through the first time and that ‘he would just have to watch the video,’” the suit said.

If that is true, then every person who did not at least fake contrition would be fired.  And that would go double for the guy who suggested he was going to watch the video of her humiliation.  But if this representation of the suit itself accurate, I am not sure how successful it might be in the end:

The lawsuit claims, among other allegations, that federal employees were negligent and that employees intentionally caused the woman severe emotional distress by joking about the incident after the woman re-entered the airport screening area.

Negligence is a failure to exercise an ordinary degree of care, in this case when carrying out the scan.  That seems highly debatable, depending on the facts, although it should survive a motion to dismiss.  But as for intentional infliction of emotional distress, my understanding is the threshold had to be much, much higher to count.  If I was her  lawyer, I would be looking into gender discrimination, specifically sexual harassment, as a claim.

And notice something else.  The newspaper article treated this woman much like a rape victim by refusing to identify her.

Oh, and if you really don’t want the TSA to see your junk, you could purchase “Flying Pasties.”  Yep, that is right, you can wear things under your clothes that allegedly can’t be seen through, which can include imagines of a middle finger, the Fourth Amendment, or just humorously “objects are larger than they appear.”  The company spokesman is shifty about how they are supposed to work, but let’s suppose it does.  Do you really think the TSA will have a sense of humor when you are wearing something specifically designed to prevent their scan from seeing pretty much everything?  They aren’t going to be concerned that there is something under those pasties, besides your naked flesh?  I mean it defeats the whole purpose of these scans.  Like them or hate them, if the scans are are legal at all, they will not let you get away with this.

I mean it is as crazy as saying you should be able to cover your face for your driver’s license photo.  Which I plan to talk about later…

In other news, just as the TSA threatened to fine John Tyner, now they are threatening all of us.

And they are lying about their procedures.  Nice.  It’s really hard to defend getting “handsy” with the children when you can’t even be honest about doing it.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

42 Responses to “Gloria Allred Likes TSA Pat Downs Too Much and Other Inappropriate TSA-Related Behavior”

  1. Here is how I would handle this if I were Emperor of America, assuming, of course, that these allegations are all true.

    As the [female] TSA agent was frisking plaintiff, the agent pulled the plaintiff’s blouse completely down, exposing plaintiffs’ breasts to everyone in the area[.]

    If this was truly an accident, then the agent should be made to profusely apologize, and she should be removed from performing searches until she receives further training.

    The suit also claims that other TSA employees continued to joke and laugh about the incident for an extended period of time.

    Two week suspension without pay for any of these jerks.

    One male TSA employee expressed to the plaintiff that he wished he would have been there when she came through the first time and that “he would just have to watch the video,” the suit said.

    Immediate employment termination for this a**hole.

    Of course, since a certain political party is working so hard to make sure that TSA agents are unionized, I am sure whatever penalties are finally levied will be pretty mild.

    JVW (eccfd6)

  2. I saw that clip of Gloria and it makes me want to go on a trip, several of them in fact.

    Helen Thomas (940075)

  3. I never, ever want to hear Allred refer to her body and groping in any way, shape or form. Mind scrub.

    With that, it seems each passing day brings another potential lawsuit as TSA familiarizes itself with the bodies of traveling Americans. With air travel projected to be down around 3.5% this holiday season and auto travel noticeably increased, one can’t help but wonder if Americans are indeed, opting out?

    And to add to your list, Aaron, here is the story of a 12 year old girl, pulled from line and required to have a full body scan – without the informed consent of her parents.

    A Baltimore family is raising the issue after their 12-year-old daughter was pulled out of line in Tampa and subjected to what they say was an embarrassing and unhealthy scan. The girl was traveling with an adult friend of the family, not her parents.

    “Our daughter was scared and didn’t understand what was happening,” said Michelle Nemphos, the mother of the girl. She declined to give her daughter’s name. “In essence they conducted a strip search on a 12-year-old girl without her parents present to advocate for her.”

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  4. “without the informed consent of her parents”

    You can’t seriously argue that if a minor is travelling without parents when everyone knows security checks are a requirement to board an airplane that security should require the “informed consent” of parents who are not there, can you?

    Possibly she shouldn’t have been sent for such a scan. I don’t know. And if people want to say this is so invasive it simply can’t be used for security reasons, so be it.

    But the Beltway Sniper’s accomplice was a minor and terrorists have been recruiting minors more frequently for attacks.

    Anyway, that’s the flipside.

    This search may have been unreasonable even unconscionable. That’s one question.

    But if you let your child travel by air, they’re subject to security screening.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  5. “You can’t seriously argue that if a minor is travelling without parents when everyone knows security checks are a requirement to board an airplane that security should require the “informed consent” of parents who are not there, can you?”

    Christoph – Read before commenting. The child was traveling with an adult friend of the family. Although not in Dana’s excerpt, the adult did not see the child pulled out of line for a body search.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  6. Here is a thought:

    “…“One male TSA employee expressed to the plaintiff that he wished he would have been there when she came through the first time and that ‘he would just have to watch the video,’” the suit said….”

    What do you think the governmental response would be, had this woman been Muslim? Or a congresswoman?

    I’m just sayin’.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  7. daleyrocks, that’s a fair comment.

    However, I fully admit I don’t read all source documents on blogs at all times. There are about 10 or so links in this post! I read blogs to summarize these stories and sometimes comment on the principles raised by them as presented.

    I admit my ignorance as to all the details of this case and I won’t devote the time to be expert on it. That could be pretty unsettling for a 12-year old girl and, I’m sure, some TSA agents are pigs. So I’d want scans of 12 year old girls to be used judiciously and with the utmost respect. That includes talking to her adult travelling companions, which was apparently not done.

    By phrasing it that the problem is they didn’t have informed consent of the parents, that I objected to. But reasonably, the parents would have given their trusted adults responsibility for her, so I see their point. I can understand why they were upset if the adult travelling companions weren’t even told she was pulled out of line for irradiation and a revealing scan. I can also understand why they’d sue in that case.

    The broader point remains, however, that if an adult sends their child to travel on an airplane in today’s environment, they should think long and hard about doing so first because these types of invasive scans and pat-downs are done — for better or for worse.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  8. Christoph,

    Further down in the piece, it states that the girl was traveling with a friend and her parent, and that parent did not know about opting out, and the girl was pulled from their line for a body scan without anyone being aware of what was happening. However the key quote is at the bottom. If TSA wants to garner the cooperation of the public, then they damn well should make the time to ask parent/adult permission, and they damn well should make the time to then explain the opt-out.

    Also, what does the law say re the illegal search and seizure of minors, and does it vary by state?

    Paul Susie, the parent who was with his daughter and Nemphos’ in Tampa, said it all happened so fast.

    “I didn’t know it was optional,” he said. “But I thought it was ridiculous that a 12-year-old girl got picked for that.”

    He said he was not notified she would be taken to the other line.

    Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said anyone can be selected from the line and given a body scan, even children, as long as they can hold their arms over their heads for five or more seconds.

    But parents may opt out of the body scan for themselves or their children and receive a patdown by an officer instead. Koshetz said there are signs saying everyone has the option to reject the screening, though at TIA there is one sign per machine.

    Koshetz said officers don’t have time to ask everyone’s permission on the way through.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  9. “If TSA wants to garner the cooperation of the public, then they damn well should make the time to ask parent/adult permission, and they damn well should make the time to then explain the opt-out.”

    daleyrocks made the same point and it’s a good one.

    “Also, what does the law say re the illegal search and seizure of minors, and does it vary by state?”

    I don’t know if following TSA regs in an airport would constitute an illegal search and seizure of a minor in another context. Lawyers knowledgeable in the given state can ask the question, but I doubt it. Almost everything done by the TSA would be illegal in other contexts, but it isn’t in another context, it’s in this context.

    Legal doesn’t mean smart, by the way.

    “Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said anyone can be selected from the line and given a body scan, even children, as long as they can hold their arms over their heads for five or more seconds.”

    Aside from all the privacy concerns, I am REALLY dubious that this is a good idea in terms of radiation exposure, especially of children and frequent flyers. Most of the radiation from this device is absorbed by just the surface of the body, not the whole body, and this concentrated nature could lead it to being more dangerous than has previously been assumed.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  10. The NYT interviewed Pistole this week, and as a female traveler this is a bit jarring,

    Do the imagers, for example, detect sanitary napkins? Yes. Does that then necessitate a pat-down? The T.S.A. couldn’t say. Screeners, the T.S.A. has said, are expected to exercise some discretion.

    As a shrewd commenter observed, Discretion?? They are leaving this up to screeners so young they still have pimples or that bear a resemblance to your creepy uncle who everyone avoids? And what about tampons? They look kind of like sticks of dynamite. Are they going to ask us to pull them out and show them just to be sure?

    How about an unequivocal statement saying that sanitary napkins and pads will absolutely not trigger additional screening? In the meantime, if you do happen to get your period, perhaps you can sweetly ask the TSA personnel if they would like you to remove your pad or tampon and put it on the conveyor belt.

    Ask the 12 year old in the body scanner, or the woman in this post who had her breasts exposed to the public, or the breast cancer survivor required to show her prosthetic breast to TSA employees, just how discreet they were.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  11. If I have to fly I’ll have fun with it. I’ll find me the biggest strap-on dildo I can find, one with some flexibility to it and an inner motor that will make it vibrate, as well as expand and contract. Maybe even ooze some kind of warm liquid from the tip. Let the groping begin.

    ThePaganTemple (a5b4ab)

  12. I’m an adult male and not squeamish. Being given the pat-down or a strip search for that matter wouldn’t even impinge on my day. But the radiation, I’d avoid that.

    “How about an unequivocal statement saying that sanitary napkins and pads will absolutely not trigger additional screening?”

    Look, I get your point, Dana. It’s beyond sensitive. But the problem is the word “absolutely”. You could pack a fair-sized bomb in the size of a large maxi, and if you were absolutely forbidden to screen in that case, well, guess what?

    You could use the TSA’s rules to reliably and predictably plan to drop a bunch of planes from the sky all at once, as was intended in the 2006 transatlantic aircraft terrorism plot.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  13. AW

    and how many years ago was the Blouse incident?

    Flyings a hastle always has been, long lines security screening, taking off shoes, belts, pat downs wanding

    EricPWJohnson (c5f1fc)

  14. I’m flying next week, and don’t look forward to it, not because I object to the scans and pat downs themselves, but rather the extra time they take, and the long, slow-moving lines that will ensue.

    What a mess this has become. I say go back to the status quo ante, and if a bomb incident occurs, then reassess.

    norcal (071d93)

  15. I would wager that Gloria Allred, the Toxic Lawyer, was probably correct when she said it had “been a long time” and that she “sorta enjoyed it”. She’s been pimping out her female clients for years now, and I guess it’s about time the old madam got in on the action.

    OTOH if one of her putative clients had been manhandled by her employer in the fashion that TSA agents employ, Gloria would be screaming “rape” at the top of her lungs.

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  16. 12-year olds….
    And yet, the head of TSA, in Congressional testimony said that “Children, 12 years of age and younger, are exempt from scanning and pat-downs” (paraphrase).
    They’re all liars, and should be fired and prosecuted.

    And then, there’s this:
    Security and Terrorism Expert Bruce Schneier: TSA Scans “Won’t Catch Anybody”
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/tsa-scans-security-theater-interview?click=pm_latest

    AD-RtR/OS! (27a664)

  17. Here:

    The TSA recently installed electronic body scanners in most large airports and it adopted more aggressive pat-downs of some passengers, including those who decline to be scanned.

    Yet the new policies have ignited a public backlash. Some people are uncomfortable with electronic scans and others have objected to body searches they say are too intrusive. In a few cases, passengers have even accused TSA officials of groping them in a suggestive manner.

    [John] Pistole said the TSA is constantly adjusting its practices. He noted that children 12 and under are exempt from body searches, and he said very few people will be subjected to more aggressive pat-downs.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  18. Pistole is the first one who should be hauled into court.
    After all, the rest are “just following orders”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (27a664)

  19. Clearly the lack of a collective understanding and agreement of the rules will lead to nothing but unintended consequences. And lawsuits. Our taxpayer dollars at work:

    Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said anyone can be selected from the line and given a body scan, even children, as long as they can hold their arms over their heads for five or more seconds.

    and/or

    [John] Pistole said the TSA is constantly adjusting its practices. He noted that children 12 and under are exempt from body searches, and he said very few people will be subjected to more aggressive pat-downs.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  20. What with all of the groping, communication sort of gets shuffled off to the side.

    AD-RtR/OS! (27a664)

  21. I call FOUL!

    No Security Pat-Downs for Boehner
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/no-security-pat-downs-for-boehner/

    He should be hearing about this from now to Christmas.

    AD-RtR/OS! (27a664)

  22. And now we can add to the list of the offended a bladder cancer survivor wearing a urostomy bag who ended up covered in his own urine after TSA inspectors broke the seal on his bag after being clearly warned by the man that that might happen if they hit it during the inspection. They ignored his plea.

    So with all of these innocent people being violated and abused, it’s all the more offensive to have Pistole scold us that the reactions are overblown, and Janet Napolitano is giving more consideration to making “adjustments” to CAIR’s request that Muslim women not be violated by body scans and inspections.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  23. When it was about esoteric spying on emails of Araba and Muzlims — Bush was the devil.

    Obambi criminalizes air travel and Allred is all-for-it.

    Jeez marie.

    Ofeelya Moore (a8a9b2)

  24. Pistole is an a**hole, tool. I wish him the worst.

    Torquemada (a8a9b2)

  25. AD,

    Does it strike you that it would be a win-win for Boehner to insist upon going through the screening like regular folk? On one hand, it would show he is one of us which would surely resonate with the TP faction of the right, and two, it would also give him first-hand experience of the body grope or scan, and perhaps compel him to join forces with Rep. Mica of Florida and Rep. Petri of Wisconsin and their push back against this.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  26. Pistole is lying by testifying that no child under 13 gets a pat down. There are You Tube videos of such searches prior to his testimony.

    Gloria’s last touching episode was probably when Nikki paid her legal bill.

    Mike K (568408)

  27. This tells you all you need to know about Pistole;

    Pistole and Valerie E. Caproni were the two FBI officials who approved a memo laying out the FBI’s policy on the limits to the interrogation of captives taken during the United States’ war on terror.[3] The memo was from the FBI’s General Counsel, to all offices, explaining that FBI officials were not allowed to engage in coercive interrogations; FBI officials were not allowed to sit in on coercive interrogations conducted by third parties; FBI officials were required to immediately report any instances of suspected coercive interrogation up the FBI chain of command.

    narciso (82637e)

  28. Mr. Boehner will lose all credibility with a broad band of his supporters, and just confirm the suspicions of the small govt folks everywhere,
    if he fails to undergo the screening procedure upon his return flight to DC on Sunday/Monday.
    There should be people at the Cincinnati airport, and everywhere he goes this weekend, demanding to know why he sidestepped the screening on his flight out of DC.

    AD-RtR/OS! (27a664)

  29. There was a time that parents had to worry and warn their children about going to the park or getting in a car lest some pervert molest them.

    Now it seems they have to worry about the TSA thugs at the airport molesting their children.

    Machinist (74634b)

  30. Perhaps they can be prosecuted as serial child molesters?

    AD-RtR/OS! (27a664)

  31. That might get them a pay increase, like professional credentials.

    Machinist (74634b)

  32. I read that one of the alphabet networks (NBC, I think) claims that “85% of all Americans support” the new stop and frisk policies, based on a survey of about 1,000 viewers.

    I also saw an online poll at Reuters the other day with over 68,000 of 70,000 respondents who said they would stop flying rather than put up with them.

    I wonder if somebody can reconcile these two completely contradictory results.

    Me, I’m driving or I’m not going. Screw air travel.

    bobdog (166386)

  33. @6 What do you think the governmental response would be, had this woman been Muslim? Or a congresswoman?

    Room 101.

    malclave (519412)

  34. I have it on good autority that the pat down on Gloria was done with double rubber gloves.
    A two “Glover” so to speak.

    Paul Albers (23002d)

  35. Guess that GA will have to be content with the all-too frequent licks she receives from the MSM lapdogs.

    Icy Texan (d01b6a)

  36. “I admit my ignorance as to all the details of this case and I won’t devote the time to be expert on it.”

    – Save that one for future reference.

    Icy Texan (d01b6a)

  37. “Children, 12 years of age and younger, are exempt from scanning and pat-downs”

    Judge, I can explain! I didn’t know she was 12. She looked 14.

    Pious Agnostic (f24095)

  38. Under every principle of personal juridical right since Magna Carta, the TSA’s bosses and agents are criminals. The only way they get away with indecent assault & battery & child molestation is under the principle of sovereign immunity, same as torturers.

    Every society has people who enjoy misbehaving in uniform, but decent societies keep them under control.

    These searches have nothing to do with security, everything to do with the stupid fiction that we don’t know who the terrorists are.

    frank brownlow (458ced)

  39. What makes me suspect that the underwear bomber was known and was allowed to get on the plane with explosives?

    After all, what are 289 people worth compared to The Unicorn Rider being reelected?

    Trutherism works both ways.

    nk (db4a41)

  40. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-11-22-scanner-lobby_N.htm

    has a good account of how much lobbying was going on to have these machines purchased.

    VOR2 (c9795e)


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