White House Stands By the Pat-Downs

Despite the backlash against TSA body scanners and pat-downs, Marc Ambinder of National Journal (a mere three floors removed from The Atlantic) reports that the Obama administration is standing by the new security measures:

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security indicated today that they won't yield to demands to amend new airline passenger screening rules that have been decried as wildly intrusive.

On the contrary, administration officials are quietly and aggressively defending the policies against what they see as a media frenzy of distorted information. For instance, the administration noted that fewer than one half of one percent of the 34 million passengers who traveled on airplanes in or to the U.S. last week were subjected to crotch-area pat-downs.

They also disputed the very notion of a public backlash, even as those words played ubiquitously on news tickers and as video parodies of the Transportation Safety Administration were being emailed around the globe. Before press coverage of the new rules reached a roar late last week, TSA received only 700 complaints nationwide about its procedures, an administration official said. The official insisted on anonymity because the information was not intended for public release. The issue is sensitive because physical space intrusions are just about the last thing an administration cast by Republicans as prone to governmental overreach needs.

Read the full story at National Journal.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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