What happened when one pilot refused to submit to "naked" backscatter scan

In an online forum for pilots of the private jet charter service ExpressJet, Houston-based pilot Michael Roberts relates the disturbing tale of what happened when he recently refused to consent to an "Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) system" (aka "backscatter scan," aka "naked scan" aka "the porn machine") at the TSA checkpoint. He also refused a manual pat-down from TSA agents, after already going through a metal detector, if I'm reading this correctly.

The short version is that Mr. Roberts was detained, interrogated by TSA and police, and then suspended from his job. The incident took place on Friday, October 15 when he was on his way to work, in uniform. I don't know the status of his case at the time of this blog post, but sounds like he may now be fired. Snip:

As I loaded my bags onto the X-ray scanner belt, an agent told me to remove my shoes and send them through as well, which I've not normally been required to do when passing through the standard metal detectors in uniform. When I questioned her, she said it was necessary to remove my shoes for the AIT scanner. I explained that I did not wish to participate in the AIT program, so she told me I could keep my shoes and directed me through the metal detector that had been roped off. She then called somewhat urgently to the agents on the other side: "We got an opt-out!" and also reported the "opt-out" into her handheld radio. On the other side I was stopped by another agent and informed that because I had "opted out" of AIT screening, I would have to go through secondary screening. I asked for clarification to be sure he was talking about frisking me, which he confirmed, and I declined. At this point he and another agent explained the TSA's latest decree, saying I would not be permitted to pass without showing them my naked body, and how my refusal to do so had now given them cause to put their hands on me as I evidently posed a threat to air transportation security (this, of course, is my nutshell synopsis of the exchange). I asked whether they did in fact suspect I was concealing something after I had passed through the metal detector, or whether they believed that I had made any threats or given other indications of malicious designs to warrant treating me, a law-abiding fellow citizen, so rudely. None of that was relevant, I was told. They were just doing their job.

Well, today was the day
(ExpressJet Forums, via @ioerror)

Perhaps the best part of the pilot's testimonial is the last line in his email signature: Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium ("I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery").

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