Reports over the weekend that an elderly woman had to remove an adult diaper to complete a TSA airport screening rocketed through social-media networks. CNN reported that Jean Weber filed a complaint after a TSA agent demanded that her wheelchair-bound mother remove her Depends in order to clear the checkpoint. Late yesterday, TSA insists that their agent followed the correct procedure, as CNN reports in a follow-up:
The TSA released a statement Sunday defending its agents’ actions at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport.
“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 federal agency said. “We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure.”
Weber responded to TSA:
Jean Weber told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield on Sunday that the security officers may have been procedurally correct, but she still does not believe they were justified, especially given her mother’s frail condition.
“If this is your procedure — which I do understand — I also feel that your procedure needs to be changed,” she said.
This is what we get for disconnecting airport security from common sense. Might an adult diaper be used in a terrorist attack? Possibly. The Christmas Day attack used PETN hidden in a man’s briefs, which failed to explode when lit thanks to the incompetence of the bomber. But is it likely that a 95-year-old wheelchair-bound woman from Florida traveling to Michigan with her family will be an underwear bomber? Did this family provide any known indicators that would give a suspicion of terroristic intent?
If we’re groping small children and forcing incontinent elderly women to get on airplanes without their Depends — as happened in this case — then we’re doing airport security wrong. It’s long past time that we called a halt to random TSA groping sessions and start applying common sense to our screening procedures.