The TSA is in full spin mode over this latest adventure into the land of the absurd. As I wrote before, they pulled a 95 year old, wheel chair bound, leukemia patient aside for additional screening and when they found a soiled diaper, they said they needed to confirm it was actually urine soaked diaper stuff and not a Semtex filled granny bomb.
Now they are saying they didn’t force her to take the diaper off, and technically I guess they are right. However, they wouldn’t let her on the flight if they couldn’t search the diaper area:
“While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner,” the agency said Sunday night in a statement. “We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally, according to proper procedure and did not require this passenger to remove an adult diaper.”
A response released earlier Sunday by the TSA said that the agency had reviewed the circumstances “and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure.”
The woman’s daughter, Jean Weber, told CNN on Monday that the TSA agents acted professionally and never ordered the removal of her mother’s diaper. However, Weber said the agents made it clear that her mother could not board the plane unless they were able to inspect the diaper.
According to Weber, it was her idea to remove the diaper so it could be inspected and they could make their flight.
By trying to turn this against the family and the elderly passenger, the TSA has doubled down on their douchebaggery. Rather than simply staying with the usual response of everyone is treated the same and blah, blah, blah, they tried to claim innocence.
The TSA has done a very good job of setting up a false dichotomy. Their position is that everyone needs to be treated equally and the procedures they have set up require certain actions to be taken when specific events occur, therefore, it isn’t that they intentionally focused on this elderly cancer patient, or the six year old or the nun, but procedures drove the searches. They can’t let the elderly lady go when common sense says to because it wouldn’t be fair if they have to pull another passenger aside.
However, there is another option they are not willing to mention because it isn’t politically correct.
As I usually do when I bring this up, I would like to point out that profiling is a very important crime fighting technique. When James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner disappeared in Mississippi, should the FBI have considered everyone, even the black folks they were fighting for, an equal suspect? Or should they have started with the most likely suspects: racist white males?
You know the answer was to use profiling to narrow down the most likely suspects and focus on them, following the evidence to the culprits.
And you also have to understand that profiling isn’t limited to race. Behavioral profiling is very effective.
I would rather be asked questions while waiting in line than be subjected to a hands on patdown. And don’t you think even the newest TSA agent, properly trained in behavioral profiling, would have been able to deduce that a 95 year old, 105 pound, cancer stricken, wheel chair bound passenger wasn’t a threat to the plane, even with a full diaper?
I have confidence they would have.
However, it’s better politics to have the grandmother take off her diaper than it is to implement more effective, yet controversial methods of protecting America’s skies.