Video of TSA frisking 6-year-old sparks anger
(The Washington Post via Seattle Times) -- by Ed O'Keefe --
WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and one of its most vocal congressional critics are vowing to review air-passenger screening procedures for young children amid an uproar over a video of a TSA screener giving an enhanced pat-down to a 6-year-old girl.
The child's mother, Selena Drexel, said Wednesday that her family was in the New Orleans airport last weekend returning to their home in Kentucky when the pat-down occurred.
The video shows a TSA agent patting down the child and explaining the procedure to the girl and her parents. The screener says that she will use the back of her hands on sensitive areas and will "put my hand in the waistband."
The incident, recorded and posted on YouTube by the girl's parents, prompted critics to label it as another example of TSA's aggressive security tactics.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, a leading critic of the agency's passenger-screening policies, called the incident "another example of mistreatment of an innocent American at the hands of TSA."
But TSA said Wednesday that the unidentified female officer followed proper current screening procedures.
Drexel said that she asked why her daughter, Anna, was singled out but wasn't given a reason.
She said her daughter began to cry after the search and said, "I'm sorry, mommy. I don't know what I did wrong."...
Chaffetz chairs a House subcommittee responsible for national-security issues and has raised objections before to the agency's use of new body-imaging machines and the enhanced pat-downs.
In September 2009, he accused TSA agents at the Salt Lake City airport of unfairly targeting him for a secondary security review because of his opposition to granting them collective-bargaining rights...
In a letter sent Wednesday to TSA Administrator John Pistole, Chaffetz asked the agency for an explanation of the incident, saying it violated TSA policy against conducting pat-downs of children younger than 13.
No such policy exists, according to TSA spokesman Nick Kimball. Last fall, agency officials began reviewing whether to move beyond TSA's current "one size fits all" passenger-screening system, "while maintaining a high level of security," he said...
Drexel said there should be different screening procedures for young children. "We struggle to teach our kids to protect themselves, to say, 'No, it's not OK to touch me in this way in this area,' " Drexel told ABC's "Good Morning America."
"Yet, here we are saying it's OK for these people" to touch others...MORE...LINK