Green Room

It’s Come To This: TSA Screener Accosts A Screaming 3-Year-Old

posted at 2:46 pm on November 14, 2010 by

In all of the reports I’ve seen of TSA security oversteps, this one might just be the worst I’ve seen — and the most difficult to watch. It’s bad enough to see TSA screeners groping adults. Now they’ve stooped to accosting a terrified, screaming three-year-old.

As a parent, how would you react if this was your child? Most parents teach our children that no one is allowed to touch them. They’re not exactly used to having people pat them down, nor are they capable of understanding why a rude stranger would be forcibly touching them all over their body. For a child, that must be terrifying. Are we supposed to let our children think its acceptable for strangers to touch them against their will?

In this video you can see the entire problem with our airport security system. Why did this child need to be patted down? Does she look like she might be a tiny terrorist? Sure, TSA has a policy that if the metal detector beeps twice everyone must be searched, regardless of age. So let’s just terrify children, who cares? As the TSA official stated, it’s not the policy that’s the problem, it’s “how we handle the child”. After all, why should we exercise common sense? The Taliban uses children as human shields, so surely soccer moms from, say, Nebraska, could be doing the exact same thing. And hey, if CAIR has their way, it will only be soccer moms and their children who get patted down. Muslim women wearing hijabs? Nope, sorry. No patdowns for Muslim women. Considering the absurdity of TSA’s current policies, I wouldn’t doubt that they’d find it perfectly acceptable to accost terrified children and let hijab-wearing Muslim women right on through. Figuring out which one would be most likely to smuggle a bomb is irrelevant anyways.

We have to ask ourselves: do we really feel like we’re going to be any safer with these idiots patting down children? We have a security system in place that refuses to profile the people most likely to be terrorists — they could be called racists, heaven forbid. Most of us are reasonable people, and are willing to accept some inconveniences in the name of airline safety. But these aren’t mere inconveniences anymore, and as we saw last Christmas, they aren’t keeping us any safer. There is one group of people responsible for every incidence of terror in the skies, and I’m pretty sure that three-year-olds are not included in that group.

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This is insane. Children or Adult… I have a feeling YSA is going to be sued soon.

upinak on November 14, 2010 at 3:08 PM

There is no reason for this at all. If these tsa people are not going to profile or check the rop type gals/guys why should anyone have to be going through this? Can you imagine that poor child getting on the plane and mom trying to calm them down?

letget on November 14, 2010 at 3:36 PM

When did they outlaw common sense? It seems like they cannot employ their own rational judgment in an official capacity. It looks like legalism and fear of law suits has rendered airport security essentially pointless.

sharrukin on November 14, 2010 at 3:37 PM

We should try the Archie Bunker skyjacking solution.

I’m only mostly kidding. In all seriousness, we should be copying what Israel does. It’s very effective. And you don’t have to choose between an electronic strip search or a real life sexual assault.

Laura Curtis on November 14, 2010 at 3:51 PM

This is insane. Children or Adult… I have a feeling YSA is going to be sued soon.

upinak on November 14, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Remember, this is what we wanted for our security after 9-11. My opinion is clear, and often stated. Abolish the TSA completely. Every single person, from top, to bottom, should be terminated. The airports themselves did just as lousy of a job, and stopped as many terrorists, with the limited screenings of yesteryear.

Snake307 on November 14, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Remember, this is what we wanted for our security after 9-11.

Snake307 on November 14, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Nope. I said it before and I’ll say it again. Israeli security screens, if you please.
I’ve been through them. They are a total b*tch to go through. But they work.
This Bull that the TSA does DOES NOT WORK. I’ve accidentally taken through huge bottles of water through their screening (I forgot it was in my bag). I’ve forgotten about other items that were in my purse that they missed. I have no dangerous intentions, but yeah. Yet I had a pair of frigging children’s scissors in my bag (you know, the ones that can barely cut paper) and they had to give me a severe lecture and take them away. Because a 5 foot 4 inch twig of a woman can totally take down anyway with children’s scissors.

The TSA is chock full of morons. And if they trained them like the Israelis train their screeners, at least they’d do some good. Instead the TSA is like a less educated, infinitely less effective, and much more annoying Postal Service.

mjk on November 14, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Remember, this is what we wanted for our security after 9-11.

Snake307 on November 14, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Who is we in this instance? I surely did not want this. On 9-11 we let people on the no fly list get on planes and kill thousands. Seems like fixing that is a decent place to start.

Esthier on November 14, 2010 at 5:03 PM

And this is preferable to profiling?

With profiling, you at least have a shot at actually interdicting terrorists.

This reminds me of the old joke about not trying to teach a pig to ice skate: it’s a waste of time, and it annoys the pig.

J.E. Dyer on November 15, 2010 at 1:14 AM

When I saw that video, Ann Coulter’s 9/12/01 column rang in my ears. I don’t know the exact quote but:

People apply the same ridiculous screening processes to Suzy Chapstick as they do to Muslim men, as if we don’t know who the enemy is. In reality we know who the enemies are. they’re the people singing and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, murder their leaders , and convert them to Christianity.

Lothar on November 15, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Unfortunate that just like the majority of commenters on the main page you seem willing to ignore the father’s own words that the child went into meltdown mode when her stuffed animal was put through screening.

Then when she went through the normal scan it sounded twice. They tried to wand her and she couldn’t even handle that so they tried to do a pat down.

The child’s mother was at her side constantly but seemed unable or unwilling to comfort the child. I did not see the TSA agent grope the child, I did not see any groin search. I saw an out of control child throwing a hissy fit, and a father more interested in getting a gotcha 17 seconds on his phone than helping the child. If the child was so tramatized why didn’t the parents step away from the line and comfort her?

If I’m the parent standing in line behind this screaming child with my child I’m getting annoyed at the parents – not the TSA screener. I’m not defending the wisdom of worrying about the threat to airline security of a 3 year old spoiled child but I’m also not equate it to a pervert fondling my child in a dirty bathroom.

Interesting that my comment on the main page that I do not allow this public behavior from my children was dismissed as me being a Stepford parent raising blindly obedient kids. And yet we wonder why so many children are out of control.

katiejane on November 15, 2010 at 10:14 AM

katiejane — we could interpolate tangential principles into this all day long (I’m second to none in my belief that children can and should be taught to behave themselves). But the bottom line remains that our screening program has gone wildly wrong.

There was absolutely zero chance that this 3-year-old was wired with explosives. Why? Because she’s an American toddler with two American parents who are obviously of European descent and the common, ordinary Western Christian culture.

Yep, profiling. No apology. It is idiotic that the TSA screening procedure required a hand search of this little girl. There is no reason in it. It’s the product of a blind following of arbitrary rules, and it yields zero benefits for security. We could babble for hours about how parents should understand what objects on their children’s persons might set off a metal detector, but that misses the point that matters, which is that this procedure was completely bogus from every rational standpoint.

Not ragging on you, katiejane. I often agree with your comments. But there’s one thing that matters here, and it’s that there was never a valid requirement to perform this search, period.

J.E. Dyer on November 15, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Heh. You call yourselves conservatives, eh? I’d call most here Bush loving lapdogs. yes I’m going to use strong language in this comment for the FOLLOWING reason: Bush and specifically Karl Rove are responsible for eliminating passenger profiling on airports, oh about few months before 9/11. Has even a SINGLE article or comment pointed this out, at this “conservative” site? No?

And as “conservatives,” who value liberty, who raised heckles when the “conservative” Bush NATIONALIZED airport security? supposedly cos the airlines couldn’t afford to keep us safe, and had failed? (with no mention of elimination of passenger profiling).

Yeah, so until you take a principled stand – that BUSH WAS RESPONSIBLE for this nightmare socialist industry and liberal regime of non-profiling, nothing will come of it. STOP.DEFENDING.BUSH. Oh I hear you cry all right! NO NO! THOSE MEANY LIBERALS! They hated Bush so we must defend him. NO. YOU DONT! Stop it right now. No More “Miss me yet?” garbage.

OWN UPTO IT. Isn’t the common feeling here that we should be working towards a CONSERVATIVE victory not a REPUBLICAN one? Well, then own upto it. The tea party is a good start in fiscal matters. Now its time to let go of Bush…permanently, please.

flawedskull on November 15, 2010 at 3:06 PM

J.E. Dyer on November 15, 2010 at 2:55 PM

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself. – Marlene Dietrich

Keep on postin’, ma’am.

KinleyArdal on November 15, 2010 at 3:11 PM

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