November 15th, 2010
09:14 AM ET

TSA fights opt-out campaign, looks at new security 'options'

Passengers and pilots have already expressed discomfort with TSA’s revealing full-body scanners and too-close-for-comfort pat downs. Now, at least one is doing so publicly.

Over the weekend, a 31-year-old man refused a pat down at a San Diego airport. After threatening a TSA agent, he left the airport with a $10,000 fine. The cell phone video where he tells a TSA agent, don't "touch my junk," has gone viral.

Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano is speaking out, too. She wrote a USA Today column defending pat downs and scanners and asking passengers for their patience.

TSA Administrator John Pistole, who meets with Napolitano Monday, told American Morning's John Roberts how TSA is changing its tone with passengers.

Pistole responds to passengers planning a "National Opt-Out Day" in protest of the scanners and Capt. Sully Sullenberger's recent comments that he didn't understand the purpose of screening pilots.

Watch American Morning weekdays 6am to 9am ET. For the latest from American Morning click here.

soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Deborah

    What we need is for everyone going through the pat down to act out a full blown "When Harry Met Sally" orgasm as their privates are being touched. Now THAT would be hilarious AND embarass the screeners.

    November 15, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      These posters are an example of why America has become one of the dumbest countires in the world. I started flying immediately after 9/11 and can tell you it was not a pleasant experience but we all went throgh it because we felt it was neceessary to protect ourselves and maybe their loved ones.
      If you don't want go through the process than don't fly; we won't miss you. All you are doing is acting in the best interest of a terrorist.
      If something happens as a result of your activities, will you stand up and take responsibility? Probably not.

      November 16, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derp

      Yes! I've started dancing the last couple of times, explaining that this is the most action I've gotten in months. They're pretty fun to mess with, and hopefully people in the line will start noticing that they shouldn't be treated with any respect - they're showing none to us.

      November 16, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derp

      And a quick note to Robert:

      Airport security is for honest people – kind of like locks. The added measures offer no reasonable increase in security, and wrongly assume a person is dangerous until proven otherwise.

      By advocating such invasive, fear based actions, you are in fact the one who is letting the terrorists win. They want to see us terrorized, and they're getting it.

      November 16, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Evan

      Deborah, let us gay people take care of everything! I was talking with some friends last night and we're going to treat the situation like the end of a very successful date, if you know what I mean. I won't be wearing any underwear and I'll be handing the screener my phone number afterward. When Thanksgiving is over, the agents won't WANT to touch anyone's junk, children or anything!

      November 19, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Scanners that represent potential health hazard are not the answer, particularly since they do not preclude a subsequent pat down. I would rather compromise my privacy than develop cancer 10 years from now because a scanner malfunctioned. Ultimately, the fact that the TSA has to resort to scanners or " aggressive pat downs" reflects its lack of confidence in its own personnel and their ability to narrow down the threat via aggressive questioning of the flying public. When I was flying from FLL recently, every second male passanger had to go through the scanner. When you hire morons in the first place ...

      November 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. brian d

    Who freakin cares about a damn pat down not that i wish for any bad to happen but i hope these cry babies get on a plane with some middle eastern terrorist who has a bomb then they'll really be crying stupid azz ppl

    November 15, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • james

      So children 12 and up have to go through these body scanners- some guy sitting in a room seein a nude 12 year old kid. doesn't really make a ton of sense to me.

      November 16, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • jack

      Well you seem to be under the delusion that the strip scans and feel-ups actually are necessary. There's two reasons why they're not. First, terrorism is not a problem. Who's the whiners? Terrorism kills about zero people a year. In a bad year a couple hundred. What's all the hysteria about? You have a bigger chance getting killed driving to the airport. Also even if terrorism were a significant problem, which it is not, these measures won't do anything to stop it. New flash, the "Terrorists" who don't exist, if they did exist, they will be aware of what's being done in screening and can get around it. Next will be the rectal bomber, with a bomb in the rectum, because the scanners can't see that.

      Get a grip. We're yielding like little frightened pansies to an increasingly intrustive and pointless police state. Hate all these idiots who post saying "Well I'd rather get felt up than blown up." That's not the point. Getting felt up will NOT prevent anyone from being blown up. And get a grip on reality. 6 billion peopel on the planet, a couple hundred every few years killed by some "terrorists". Do you have any idea of how to conceive of DENOMINATORS as well as numerators? Where do you think "Terrorism" would go on a list of the top 1,000 causes of death? It wouldn't even make it. Time for eveyrone to stop whining about it and yielding to increasingly intrustive government surveillance to fight a virtually nonexistent problem.

      November 20, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. brian d

    Everyone wants to be safe but god forbid you have to get a little pat down his "JUNK" Lol is probly real small and hes embaressed

    November 15, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. richard

    Did you know that a female wearing a burka does not have to undergo the pat downs. How about treating everyone the same. Everyone could stop flying, that would do away with the TSA.

    November 15, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • tellingItLikeItIs

      Do you even know what you are talking about? This is absolutely not true. The new standard patdown will be
      performed on anyone requiring a patdown, regardless of what clothing they are wearing. A woman wearing a burqa would be patted down in the same manner as a woman in a blouse and skirt, or jeans and t-shirt, or a man in a kilt for that matter. If you don't know what you are talking about, don't spread rumors and lies. It's childish.

      November 15, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexis

      What if we just wear a bikini?

      November 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Headshaves

    The only way to make TSA feel the same way is to get a choice of who pats you down!! They should not assume that we all want the same? If I get a choice on who will be doing the pat down I would be much happier. Not all women want to have another woman touching them so you should provide a man for that and Vise Verse. Give me the choice, let me pick my officer or at least the gender body stats and age of them!! Then at least you get a choice on who touches you!

    November 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Derrick

    What is needed here is for congress to repeal some of the patriot act!

    November 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    Here is my question, If they are going to use these scanners and see right thru our clothes, WHY do we still have to remove our shoes? won't they see anything harmful in the image? AND if they wont see anything in the image that is hidden in our shoes Why are we trusting these scanners to see harmful object on the rest of our bodies?

    November 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Michigan girl

    If we want safety then we all have to play by the rules no exceptions. i wish it didnt have to be that way but we dont want another 9/11. so buck up and take it like a man so to speak. he was probably wearing victorias secret thats how his panties got in a they fit small built men a little snug in the area where his ouevoes are supposed to be sorry if i mispelled ouevoes

    November 15, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Z-Zu

      Hello?! Something like 93 people PER DAY are killed in car accidents in the US. Where's the outrage? Where's the panic? Where are the government nannys regulating this terrible situation?

      "We have met the enemy and he is us" The terrorists have won and our own government is now a bigger threat to our freedom and way of life than anything else on the planet. It is 100% certain that we will all die one day. Deaths caused by 'terrorists' in the US are so far down the list – nearly non-existent if you look at the big picture.

      November 20, 2010 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. sgt. slaughter

    The Government is slowly taking away your rights with the lame excuse of security.....



    November 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • nate

      That would have been ben franklin whom I believe died around 1760, so that was around 250 years ago. He also did not live in a time where people could turn a mode of transportation into a missile, so honestly I don't understand why anything our founding fathers said is even relevant.

      November 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sgt. slaughter


    The Government is slowly taking away your rights with the lame excuse of security.....



    November 15, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. W.L. Head

    Somebody make sense! Terrorists have vowed to down passenger planes, using explosived in underware and whatever other techniques that might elude inspection. And you don't want everyone screened? Then you can walk, as far as i"m concerned. THERE IS NO OPTION, and until there is a "perfect", "non invasive" screening process, shut up or take a bus, which may be the terrorists NEXT target. Happy explosions to you "privacy" paranoids who value YOUR privacy over life. Just don't try to value it over mine.

    November 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carmen

      Exactly!!!! take a bus or ride a bike!!!LOL

      November 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • GemmaT

      And we continue to let the terrorists impact our way of life by continuously eroding our personal privacy. They still win.

      November 16, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sgt. slaughter

    If the government really wants security the they should double x-ray every muslim who ets on a plane

    November 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sgt. slaughter

    @ W L head up ur a$$

    Ur exactly right.. A train a bus or IED could be next...

    So then Americans will be strip searched for that too???

    Oh wait, not until someone actually gets on a bus with DIRTY UNDERWEAR. Then the government will have the excuse they need...

    What a joke....

    Once its allowed to happen once, then all rights are at risk

    November 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sgt. slaughter

    @ W L head up ur a$$


    Ur exactly right.. A train a bus or IED could be next...

    So then Americans will be strip searched for that too???

    Oh wait, not until someone actually gets on a bus with DIRTY UNDERWEAR. Then the government will have the excuse they need...

    What a joke....

    Once its allowed to happen once, then all rights are at risk

    November 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sgt. slaughter

    The government has the profile of a terrorist.....

    Physical, psycological, ideological and just plain LOGICAL...



    November 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
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