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TSA defends search of elderly woman's adult diaper

Transportation Security AdministrationCNN (tv network)Personal Data Collection

A week after U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) grilled Transportation Security Administration Chief John Pistole over the absurdity of his agency's random pat-down system (which results in 6-year-old girls getting frisked while suspects on the terrorist watch list board planes unperturbed), the TSA is in the news again for another seemingly nonsensical body search. 

A Florida woman, Jean Weber, says her wheelchair-bound, 95-year-old mother was forced to take off her adult diaper at Northwest Florida Regional Airport.  

“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber told the News-Herald. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”

Weber described the TSA officer's statements to her on CNN: 

"They came out and told me it had something to do with her 'Depends,'" she said. "That it was wet and it was firm and they couldn't check it thoroughly. They would have to remove it. ... She said she could not complete the security check without taking the 'Depends' off."

Perhaps most amazingly, TSA defends this action: "Our officers acted professional and according to the proper procedure." 

But it's the "proper procedure" that's the problem. Any system that produces absurd results needs to changed. 

Paul had it right last week when he said full-body frisks should be the result of police work, not randomly and nonsensically done on little girls and old women.

If good police work determines someone is a suspected terrorist, go ahead and frisk. But if there's no legitimate evidence against a person, the TSA workers should keep their hands out of grandma's underwear.  

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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