Just in time for the holidays—the only time many Americans fly—the Washington Post reports on the Transportation Security Administration's new passenger pat-downs, which involve touching and feeling around people's private areas. What more could they do to us?
According to the Post, the new pat-down policy comes in the wake of terrorists' uncovered package bomb plot to blow up planes over Canada. Again: that incident involved package bombs, and no pat-down would have prevented it. But what the hell—we gotta do something new, right? This is about TERRORISM, so all bets about personal boundaries are off.
TSA will continue using their full-body scanning machines, which see through people's clothes but don't show people's genitals or faces. But if the machine -happens to turn up "something strange"—an Osama bin Laden nipple ring?—or a passenger declines to pass through the scanner, then an officer can "perform a more personal search" of breasts and genitals. The search is done by officers of the same sex as the passengers, which is some small consolation. Yet it could get a bit tricky in situations where a person is undergoing sex reassignment therapy. (Will TSA officials receive any sort of training to handle such situations without embarrassment to passengers? Might be a good idea.)