Widespread discomfort with the TSA's invasive pat-down procedures has become a full-fledged resistance. Fanning the flames of revolt, TV pundits, bloggers, enterprising internet folk heros, and everyday passengers are decrying the Advanced Imaging Technology that allows scanners to see through clothing and scan for explosives. And the groping pat-downs have provided just enough TSA horror story videos to feed the outrage through the holiday season.
In an effort to tame the anger, TSA chief John Pistole has been on a media blitz to assuage concerns over the technology and procedures. On Sunday night, CNN host Candy Crowley asked him whether he was "looking for ways to make the patdown less onerous?" Pistole responded that he was "attuned" to the situation and wanted to be "as sensitive as I can to those folks." But he affirmed his support for the current procedure, noting that very few people actually receive the pat-downs. Crowley then showed Pistole three videos of TSA agents feeling in and around passengers' pants and upper bodies, asking if each of these pat-downs was acceptable. He responded affirmatively to each of the agent's actions.
Crowley then made her point: "You saw a woman whose breasts were being felt. You saw a man whose -- you know, had another man's hand in his crotch. What's over the line?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.