TSA to stop groping children

A refreshing moment of sanity: the TSA is going to stop groping 12-and-unders and let them keep their shoes on: "Napolitano didn't give a timeline but I'll bet you they make these changes in time for the holiday travel season."


  1. A few months? Isn’t this the sort of thing that could be dealt with by writing up a memo and handing it out to all employees?

    “Stop groping little kids and stripping them in public. They go through the metal detector like everyone else and that’s the end of it. If you feel like you need training to learn how to not molest children, please contact your supervisor and instruction will be provided.”

    There, that took one minute. 

  2. But why would you stop with one segment of the population? Shouldn’t it be everyone or no one? If there is any efficacy to these searches, does this not undercut it? If there is no efficacy, why do it to anyone?

    1. Yes. If you think the activity is worthwhile, you can’t announce you are stopping for a specific segment of the population. If you think it was all just theater (and it is) there is no reason to grope anyone.

  3. “Hm, that’s weird.  I’m having a look at the crime statistics here — remember how the number of arrests for groping and fondling suddenly went down in October of 2010?  Well, they’re suddenly back up to where they were before.  I wonder if there’s a reason for that.”

  4. Nothing in the TSA works like that.  They’ll need a pilot program first at 3 airports, then a few studies will be done on the results of that, then they’ll decide that not groping children is, in fact, a ‘layer of security’ that they can use to Keep Us Safe™.  Then they can roll it out to the whole US.  The fact that it was always wrong will not be acknowledged, it will just be proof that shifting protocols keeps Terrorists on their toes.

  5. I traveled out of Denver (DIA) last week, where they still have a Clear Pass lane set up (apparently Clear is still operating). There was an advertisement banner aimed at kids about not having to take off their shoes if they went through the Clear Pass lane, and a Clear Pass employee even mentioned this aloud to the kids in the security line. I wonder whether the TSA is competing, or they’ve just realized the errors of their ways.

  6. But they will need two forms of ID to prove they are under 13. Otherwise they get groped like everybody else.

  7. TSA Agent:  How old are you, kid?
    Kid: I turn 12 tomorrow.
    TSA Agent: Ok, go ahead.

    next kid ….

    TSA Agent:  How old are you?Kid: I turned 12 yesterday.TSA Agent: Take off your shoes and put them on the belt.

    This is absurdity at its best.  My 10yo daughter and my 43yo sister in law wear the same size shoe.  I guess it’s the age of the kid that is important?

  8. But they will need two forms of ID to prove they are under 13. Otherwise they get groped like everyone else.

  9. Civil liberties – Ha!  Guilty until proven innocent if you want to fly.  People could argue “well don’t fly” but some people need to for whatever reason, often work or a family emergency.  The TSA is simply security theater.  It’s not protecting somebody.  How many boingboing stories have we seen where people forget a knife or something worse in their carry-on luggage, but get busted for a tube of toothpaste or bottled water?  I don’t know, but the people selling bottled water for $3 a pint just past the security checkpoint are laughing all the way to the bank!

  10. Until the TSA ceases to exist completely, I will not fly. This throwing-us-a-bone (oh, goody- my kid doesn’t have to take hir shoes off! Things are returning to normal!)  bullshit is not changing my views on this at all. It’s just another transparent attempt to keep people from complaining about having their constitutional rights violated every time they fly. Hell no.

  11. It’s so easy now to fake realistic product labels. I’ve been thinking of buying a variety of small plastic bottles, all holding more than 3 ounces, and just labeling them all as 3 ounces. Is there a law against that?

  12. Homeland Security/TSA hierarchy and policy makers:

    President Obama
    Janet Napolitano
    John Pistole

    Sponsored by a Republican and a Democrat and signed into law by George Bush.

    Let me guess how many outraged ‘happy mutants’ will continue to back both parties…

  13. But groping adults is only half as much fun. Are they going to increase the salaries of those who admit to being pedophiles, in compensation for loss of job benefit?

  14. The new procedures will go into effect as early as September 14 but no later than September 26th. I work as a TSO and was just briefed today about the dates.

  15. So they’ll leave young children alone, but they’ll continue to grope teenagers.

    I could almost swear the TSA was trolling the entire country, just to see how much crap we’ll put up with.

  16. How many people here who have written outraged comments about the TSA are now submitting themselves to radiation or sexual groping?  The Arab nations are showing us how the affirmation and defense of liberty is done, while we just sit and take the abuse.

  17. According to Napolitano, we should be thankful that they will feel up fewer children than they do now. This of course implies that child molesters who only assault a few victims are somehow more acceptable than those whose attacks are more frequent.

    Pistole said this in November, then in February after they strip searched a 3 year old boy in Kansas City, again in April after the 6 year old girl was groped in New Orleans and again in July. Don’t hold your breath waiting for this one.

    The agency has repeatedly lied about their procedures and the level of the personal invasion and arrogantly dismissed victim complaints as either exaggerations or necessary to assure aircraft security. TSA has now become a criminal agency staffed by de facto child molesters.

    Since December 2010 there have been 50 screeners arrested for crimes ranging from rape and child molesting to drug trafficking and theft from bags. In the same period, there have been 43 security breaches or failures, dozens of lawsuits and thousands of groping and abuse complaints. This includes three arrested today on another drug trafficking charge.

    Incredibly, in less than a year TSA has managed to convince millions of Americans that it is acceptable to digitally strip search and fondle the privates of their children as a condition of air travel. No one would have believed this last year and yet here we are, submitting our bodies to the hands of a government clerk because spineless politicians have been bullied into allowing this abuse by power hungry bureaucrats only interested in furthering their own fortunes.

    TSA Crimes & Abuses
    ht tp://www.travelunderground.org/index.php?threads/master-lists-of-tsa-abuses-crimes.317/

    The three people removed from a Detroit flight on Sunday, were detained 6 hours and strip searched. Welcome to the new America.
    ht tp://shebshi.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/some-real-shock-and-awe-racially-profiled-and-cuffed-in-detroit/

  18. Over and over and over again, I see that TSA does not pursue any specific set of goals, like making the public safe,- instead they just want themselves to look good and make the money spent on them seem justified in public eye… to get yet bigger budget. It’s just a money cow.

  19. It’s only a matter of time now before TSA is completely open about who they want to target.  Next the TSA will stop groping white people.

  20. Re: “Napolitano didn’t give a timeline but I’ll bet you they make these changes in time for the holiday travel season.” 

    Hold on, let me fix that typo in there for you:

    “Napolitano didn’t give a timeline but I’ll bet you they make these changes in time for the 2012 election season.”

  21. I think this has been in effect for little while already.  MY wife and I traveled with my 5yo last month and she was waved through w/ my wife.  Just went through the metal detector.

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