Always one to detest the TSA's intrusion on people's privacy, Sen. Rand Paul has been detained himself by officials with the agency at Nashville's airport this morning, according to Paul spokesperson Moira Bagley. As CNN and Politico report, Paul, ever the libertarian, refused to be patted down when asked by airport officials in Nashville. "Paul went through a scanner at the airport and set off an alarm, Bagley said. He wanted to go through the body scan again instead of getting a pat-down, but officers of the Transportation Security Administration refused," says CNN. This isn't the first time Paul's been irked by the TSA's pat-down procedures. The Daily Caller reported in June how Paul criticized TSA head John Pistole for the pat-down of a 6-year-old Kentucky girl, chosen at random per TSA policy. "It makes me think you’re clueless, if you think she’s going to attack our country and you’re not doing your research on the people who want to attack our country," he said in Congress at the time. So presumably, Paul believed he (white, male, U.S. senator) wasn't enough of a threat to be patted down either.
Update 11:45 a.m.: The TSA is now coming forward with its version of the agency's standoff with Paul when he tried to fly from Nashville to D.C. for a session of Congress today, saying that Paul was not detained but rather escorted to the airport's exit. "The passenger triggered an alarm during routine airport screening and refused to complete the screening process in order to resolve the issue," reads a TSA statement. "Passengers, as in this case, who refuse to comply with security procedures are denied access to the secure gate area. He was escorted out of the screening area by local law enforcement." Maybe being "escorted" and being "detained" are tomato, tomahto for Paul. Paul, in his defense, says that his setting-off of the body scanner is "clearly a glitch."
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