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. Jim Brieske

    President Bush didn't have this done. Why can President Obama? I will tell you why. Because if President Bush did this the Main Stream Media and Civil Liberties groups would have freaked out. It's my opinion, they are a bunch of hypocrital cowards with big mouths and little common sense.
    Israel does a great job with their security. Our TSA has had to hire following government guidelines and is filled with many people incapable of performing their job to a high level. Furthermore racial profiling is done in Europe and Israel both. An 80 year old white woman or an 8 year old white girl will not ever be carrying explosives. A young African or Middle Eastern (non Israeli) man or woman will be. You concentrate your efforts on those groups and stop these forms of strip searching and molestation of airline passengers immediately.
    You've given the terrorists victory by passing along your inability to publicly recognize who terrorists are by making all your citizens into potential terrorists.
    It's sad and stupid.

    November 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sgt. slaughter

    Why doesn't each state put its search policy up for referendum too...

    Let's all see the will of the people

    November 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NYCchris

    How's this for avoiding the full-body scan and not inconveniencing the TSA with a complete pat-down:

    I'm flying out of LGA next week. I'm willing to strip down to a bikini top and bottom, place the rest of my clothes in my carry-on, and decline the scanning machine. Seeing as the body parts that are normally patted-down are already on full display for the world to see, there won't be any need to touch me, my privacy isn't violated, and I can get through in less time than it takes for either of the usual methods!

    (Personally, I think it'd be great news fodder if someone caught the TSA feeling up a bikini-clad 20-something "in the interest of homeland security" ...)

    November 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexis

      I'm doing the same thing out of LAX before thanksgiving

      November 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sl sd

    Who writes these reports. I quote from the second paragraph in this article

    "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."

    Did anyone from CNN bother to watch the video? The video clearly shows the TSA goons threatening the man.
    Is this typical of all CNN reporting or have you hired Janet Napolitano and John Pistole as junior reporters?

    November 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. rumrunner

    why do grownups act like little children ? have we forgotten 9/ ll ? how will these complainers feel if a plane goes down by a terrorist bomb , and our fragile economy is brought to it's knees (again) ?

    November 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Carmen

    Maybe people should Focus on the people who are responsible for what TSA agents must do, and not the TSA Officers that gotta put up with all the BS for doing their jobs which I might add is just like being a plumber, dealing with S*** all day!

    November 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sgt. slaughter

    It seems simple...

    . If ur looking for a black black men

    If ur looking for a white white women

    If ur looking for a muslims

    November 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • IbeMe

      Timothy McVeigh wasn't a muslim.

      November 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sgt. slaughter


    It seems simple...

    . If ur looking for a black black men

    If ur looking for a white white women

    If ur looking for a muslims

    November 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michelle

    Carmen - would you be okay with cavity searches? If it meant that you and your kids would be safer on your flight to wherever? Where do YOU draw the line? Everyone's line is different. When do you get a say on when the govt has gone TOO far?

    November 15, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carmen

      Did u recently get a cavity search?? when we get there then I will know how I feel about that chances are I would bus it, drive it or walk it. The point I wanna make is that TSA will do what they gotta do, and I think I would rather have a cavity search than someone with a bomb in his underwear or his carry-on sitting next to me, or a plane propeller land on my kids or me cause it flew out the sky from a plane that just blew up in the air..I personally fly a lot and I have done all the screening procedures and none of them bother me, I feel safe knowing that I am gonna get back to the groung in one piece if It bbothered me I would find another form of Transpotation.

      November 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim Brieske

    Oh and it's being done because President Obama believes EVERYONE is out to get him. Unqualified for the job rendering him incapable of performing it because he is thin skinned and does not have enough courage.
    I recommend counseling by pyscologist who is a republican.

    November 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sgt. slaughter



    November 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Carmen

    This is an argument for the people and DHS, not TSA they just do as told!

    November 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Carmen, I agree. TSA is only doing their job. But my hypothetical question is just to lead our thoughts down the road to the future. When your personal liberties are taken away one little chip at a time, people don't notice as much. But if someone had told you 15 years ago that out of no where you had to remove your shoes, take your coat off, throw away your bottled water, open all your medications, get rid of your over-100mL-liquid containers, put everything in a plastic bag, and stand to one side and get pat searched in every crevice, possibly strip searched, etc etc, people would revolt!! They just keep whittling away little by little until even you wouldn't complain if they stuck two rubber-gloved fingers up your butt to search for contra-ban. Where will the line be drawn??

      November 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sgt. slaughter

    Taking off your shoes is ridiculous....serves no purpose at all with the technology we have....

    Oh wait! Don't muslims take off their shoes when they pray ????

    That must be the turn everyone muslim...

    Wow, its brilliant!

    November 15, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • tellingItLikeItIs

      Until you have a coherent thought, please stop trolling.

      November 15, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sgt. slaughter

    @ tellingit....

    Ur fulla crap

    @ michelle you have hit the bullseye with your post


    TSA needs to employ other means and technology in order to give the Libs the false sense of security they need

    November 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 517blingdongding

    The fact of the matter is that the Lord GOD admonishes the touching of the parts of privacy, but as he has blessed America, America can now touch these parts because God blesses America.

    November 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
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