Napolitano: ‘Junk’ Pat-Downs Vital, Remember the Underwear Bomber?

November 15, 2010

(ChattahBox US News)—Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is urging travelers to cooperate with the “layered approach to aviation security” carried out by Transportation Security Administration workers. Napolitano penned an Op/Ed in USA Today, asking American travelers “for cooperation, patience and a commitment to vigilance in the face of a determined enemy,” as the busy holiday travel season approaches. The Homeland Security chief, although she didn’t specifically mention the incident, may also be responding to the latest viral YouTube sensation of a California man who provoked a confrontation, by refusing an airport security pat-down after opting out of a body scan. “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested,” traveler John Tyner said to TSA screeners at San Diego’s airport. Tyner has since become a hero to those opposing the intrusive security measures. But Tyner’s populist revolt isn’t the only thing worrying Napolitano. To protest the increased use of airport body scanners, an activist is calling for a National Opt-Out Day on Nov.24, which happens to be the busiest travel day of the year. A mass opt-out of body scanners could cause nightmarish delays and missed flights.

In her Op/Ed, Napolitano responds to the growing backlash against intrusive security measures, by reminding us they were put in place  to defend against the very real threat of terrorist attacks.  Remember the Christmas Day underwear bomber anyone?

“Nearly a year after a thwarted terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner last Christmas Day, the recent attempt by terrorists to conceal and ship explosive devices aboard aircraft bound for the United States reminds us that al-Qaeda and those inspired by its ideology are determined to strike our global aviation system and are constantly adapting their tactics for doing so.”

“Our best defense against such threats remains a risk-based, layered security approach that utilizes a range of measures, both seen and unseen, including law enforcement, advanced technology, intelligence, watch-list checks and international collaboration.”

The Homeland Security chief also assures passengers that the Advanced Imaging Technology scanners are safe.

“AIT machines are safe, efficient, and protect passenger privacy. They have been independently evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, who have all affirmed their safety. And the weapons and other dangerous and prohibited items we’ve found during AIT screenings have illustrated their security value time and again.”

And about those “junk” pat-downs, Napolitano explains the specific instances, when a pat-down is triggered. And travelers have the option of having the screening conducted in a private area.

“If an anomaly is detected during screening with AIT, if an alarm occurs after a passenger goes through a walk-through metal detector, or if a passenger opts out of either of these screening methods, we use pat-downs to help detect hidden and dangerous items like the one we saw in the failed terrorist attack last Christmas Day.”

“Pat-downs have long been one of the many security measures used by the U.S. and countries across the world to make air travel as secure as possible. They’re conducted by same-gender officers, and all passengers have the right to request private screening and have a traveling companion present during the screening process.”

But tell all that to Brian Sodegren, the activist behind the National Opt-Out Day. He views the full-body scanners as x-ray death chambers that invade our privacy. “No naked body scanners, no government-approved groping. We have a right to privacy, and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we’re guilty until proven innocent,” says Sodegren on his website.

With the specter of terrorist threats from Al-Qaeda and now, a populist revolt against increased TSA security measures, this year’s holiday travel season is shaping up to be more of a nightmare than usual.

Now, where is that train schedule?

Watch a Today Show report:


5 Responses to “Napolitano: ‘Junk’ Pat-Downs Vital, Remember the Underwear Bomber?”

  1. Old Man Dotes on November 15th, 2010 1:11 pm

    “In her OP/Ed, Napolitano responds to the growing backlash against intrusive security measures, by reminding us they were put in place to defend against the very real threat of terrorist attacks. ”

    Bullshit. They were put in place to get Americans used to the idea that the Fourth Amendment no longer applies the the TSA thugs, and that the Constitution is optional if the Nazis want to search you or your possessions.

    The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    Nothing in there says “unless that’s inconvenient to the Government and might make it necessary for the intelligence agencies to get off their fat asses and do their jobs.”

  2. Fred W on November 15th, 2010 1:47 pm

    The TSA has already admitted that the scanners would not have detected the device the underwear bomber was carrying. In fact, the underwear bomber was escorted on the plane without going through security.

    My daughter has a pin in here leg due to a bone defect. If the TSA requests the enhanced “pat-down”, both of her parents will say NO to the TSA groping.

  3. LMFH on November 15th, 2010 4:37 pm

    First it was the shoes and then the control of liquids and gels, now it’s obnoxious searches and full body scans that leave you and your “privates” not so private.
    Does someone actually think that a terrorist can’t get around this?
    Napolitano and her allusion to the Underwear Bomber will soon be Napolitano alluding to the “terrorist to be” who shoves something down his throat or up his a** so we will then get cavity checked.
    When will it stop?
    Remember, “If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, he’ll jump out. But if you place a frog into a pot of lukewarm water and slowly turn up the heat, it will boil to death.”

  4. j on November 15th, 2010 7:49 pm

    Neither my wife nor my daughter nor myself will be going through the body scanners. Mans natural instinct is to protect himself and his family.. especially when you have some lower class pervert or lesbian feeling you up and grabbing your childs private area… so I am definitely not sure what the TSA is thinking here…. it is crossing the line.

  5. Maralago on November 15th, 2010 10:19 pm

    Nothing is stupider than the “1 oz of liquid” rule. Did it never occur to any of these morons that anyone can bring unlimited liquids in multiple bottles as long as they fit in the stupid plastic bag? In other words, 12 oz of some bomb-making liquid (if there is such a thing) could easily fit in a baggie so what the h#ll is the point of limiting all our crap to one ounce?? Except to make retailers rich with their expensive little sample size crap, not to mention not even being able to bring a frigging bottle of water with me, I have to pay $3 in the damn airport. Pretty soon the airports will be totally empty and I guess that’s a surefire way to beat terrorism.

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