November 23rd, 2010
12:06 PM ET

TSA complaints: Warranted outrage? Or all bark, no bite?

In recent weeks there has been growing vocal anger regarding the Transportation Security Administration's procedures relating to pat downs and the use of full-body scanners. But amid all of the noise, what are the real complaints, and how much of the outrage is simply that - a growing chorus of bandwagon anger.

There certainly has been no shortage of horror stories - a shirtless boy receiving a pat down,  a flier had to show her prosthetic breast, a bladder cancer survivor whose urine bag broke during a pat down - and countless other stories of uncomfortable encounters with the TSA.

The coverage of the isolated incidents being reported raises the question of whether they paint a picture that isn't the reality for the vast majority of travelers.

The concerns: Fact vs. fiction

Polls have found a majority of Americans support the scans, though they aren't as supportive of the TSA pat downs.

A CBS News survey showed 81 percent of people polled approve of the use of full-body X-ray machines. A Washington Post/ABC News survey found 64 percent of people supported the use of the machines, while 32 percent were opposed. When it comes to the use of pat downs, respondents were practically split down the middle.  However, 37 percent of all Americans said they "feel strongly" that the pat downs are overly intrusive. Still 70 percent of Americans questioned in the Washington Post/ABC News poll said the new TSA rules made no difference in their decision to fly.

Our partners at, who are taking a look at the TSA procedures, report that the head of the agency John Pistole has said the outcry has partially been fueled by media-fed misperceptions.  He said that only a “very small percentage” of the 34 million Americans who have flown since the new procedures took effect have been subjected to the pat downs.

Politico: Go ahead, touch my junk

The TSA even released a list of "myths and facts" about pat downs and other security measures.

No doubt passengers still have some concerns. What about their 4th amendment rights? Are the scanners safe? Do they even work? Can they actually stop terror attacks? How far is too far when it comes to a pat down? What are the medical implications of the procedures? And who exactly should be getting the pat downs?

For some, it’s a question of  pat down or blown up? Sorry, Folks, We'd Rather Be Body-Scanned Than Blown Up In Mid-Air

"It wouldn't be a total oversimplification to boil the issue down to a single question: would you rather get screened or blown up,"'s Sora Song wrote. "The new TSA whole-body scanning machines are designed to catch potentially deadly threats — like, say, explosive chemicals in underwear — that metal detectors miss. The end result should be a safer flight. It's a no-brainer."

For all those complaining about the security check hassles, CNN contributor Bob Greene asks, would you rather have no security at all?

"You can walk into any airport, with or without a ticket, and wander unimpeded right up to a boarding gate. You don't have to surreptitiously slip past a security checkpoint, because there are no security checkpoints, " he said. ""If you are carrying a loaded gun in your pocket or underneath your jacket, no one will know. In fact, if you do have a valid ticket, there will be nothing to prevent you from boarding a flight while armed to the teeth with concealed weaponry."

"Would you feel safe? Would you want to live in such a country?," he adds.

"You did, if you were a citizen of the United States before the 1970s."

Why all the hoopla?

The firestorm has only grown as close-up photos of the pat downs grace newspaper and website front pages, while the mockery has only grown on late night talk shows, "Saturday Night Live" and YouTube.

And let's not leave the press out of it. Howard Kurtz, writing for the Daily Beast, agrees in part with Pistole that the media are certainly part of the blame.

"From network newscasts to local TV, from newspaper front pages to a blur of web headlines, it seems untold numbers of women are having their breasts touched and untold numbers of men are feeling the intrusive hands of government guards near their packages," he writes. "Actually, that’s far from true."

And when it comes down to it, Kurtz said, part of the media attention is due to how easy the story is to tell - and that it has all the makings of the perfect press story.

"The narrative combines a number of elements: Hassled airline passengers (who can’t relate to that?); terrorism concerns; invasion of privacy, and a hint of sexual naughtiness," he said. "But the key here is that every local news outlet in America could send a reporter or a crew to a nearby airport and grab a piece of the action."

Then there's the whole "National Opt-Out Day" issue. It could either, as some organizations suggest, delay flights or completely fizzle out. As points out, it might just turn into a "More Like Opting Out Of Making Your Flight" scenario?

In reality, we ask: Will this idea turn out to be of "Get Betty White on 'SNL'" Facebook campaign success? Or will people who have likely paid a chunk of money to go visit their families take the time to engage in an act of civil disobedience and disrupt air travel?
Perhaps, it's just (pun-intended) all up in the air for now.
soundoff (1,704 Responses)
  1. Predetermind


    November 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Douglas Quaid

      Ever heard of Rekall? They sell those fake memories.

      November 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      In 10 years and 2 billion people flying, 3000 died due to terrorist related incidents. The majority of those in the ground. In 2003 alone, 42,000 people were killed by Car Accidents. 63% of those were not wearing seat belts. That's almost TEN TIMES the number of people killed by air-terroism in just 1 year. If those statistics held steady, that would be 100 times the number of people killed by air-terrorism.

      Why aren't we deploying TSA checkpoints with the nude-o-scopes everywhere to make sure people are wearing their seatbelts? Because getting killed in a car accident isn't as boogey man scary as plummeting 30,000 feet to your death with nothing to do about it. It's 100% fear, 0% logic.

      November 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • fair is fair

      Does all airport employees get the same *public* pat down as the passengers everytime they enter the airport? And why does the pilots want to be exempt from it? If we can't treat everyone the same, then we better look at alternative.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richter

      That's now. In an hour, he could have total recall

      November 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • veggiedude

      Well Billy has a point. Perspective. And I always had the same mindset with 9/11 – totally emotional response to invade Iraq and kill 600,000 of their citizens over an incident in which our tobacco companies similarly kill 3000 people in one day. So why didn't we close down the tobacco lobby and industries with the same gusto? Because to kill for your prophet is evil, but to kill for your profit is good business.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frequent Flyer

      Please don't get on my flight if you don't go through full body scan or pat down.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Izzy

      Not only that- THEY CAUSE CANCER!!! CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS.... MESS UP EGGS, SPERM.... Why else do you think that they lay that lead apron over girls and boys genitals at the dentist or emergency room when they are X-rayed? This is common knowledge. Why are people not extrapolating this information and refusing these scans? I personally will not fly until this nonsense is over. THIS IS TERRORISM!! Stop trying to say that you are protecting me TSA. This won't help do anything but line the company's pockets who are making these machines and increase the already large percentage of the GDP generated by cancer treatement.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smith

      I think as we all stand in line for our body scan we should hum the burlesque strip song as people go through the scanner.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mom of 3

      Replying to Billy: Well said and EXACTLY what Americans SHOULD be focusing on! Remember the myth that the GOVERNMENT never lies, right? Seem to remember reading that these scans WERE NOT being saved either!
      Believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa, too? WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE?????

      November 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug


      See you at the party.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • T S

      There are not checkpoints for cars because someone driving a car cannot kill 3,000 people in a matter of seconds. It is easily done with a large commerical airplane.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Ward

      All of this reminds me more of the scene in Airplane where the equipment at the airport shows the bare breast of women boarding the plane to the people monitoring it while they let people with bazookas pass through.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ellid

      The ONLY "evidence" that these machines cause cancer or birth defects or anything else is an opinion letter from a group of California doctors. Unless and until someone can show a real risk of harm, like a peer reviewed study, the idea that scanners are EVIL and DANGEROUS and CAUSE CANCER is unsupported hysteria.

      And yes, I've used them, and yes, I'd do it again.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • bigKOK


      November 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      @ TS – 1 plane couldn't kill 3000 people either unless it was very, very lucky. Keep in mind that 9/11 was a coordinated, multi target attack. Tower 1 had 1400 lives lost in the tower plus 83 passengers. Tower 2 had 600 lives lost plus 53 passengers. Timmothy McVeigh killed 168 with 1 truck. In the end, does it really matter if its 1000 people in 1 instant, when 40,000 more die over time?

      One thing I'd like to see the Media report more of is that this 'Underwear Bomber"s father called and warned the USA that he believed his son was about to pull off a scheme like this. The "authorities" did not act on his information. Now we have scanners that attempt to locate explosives in underwear. It also seems to have dropped off of the media radar that experts don't believe that the new scanning technologies can even pick up PETN in underwear.

      November 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Francis D'assisi

      Parker + Spitzer have it right when they say that we are puppet and let the terrorists play the puppet masters (with HSD and TSA as strings)

      Otherwise, all my preffered media (slate, NYT, CNN) are playing the same TSA-friendly tune (and get roughted up by their public). I am extremly disappointed

      November 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris McCabe

      @T S One car (truck) packed with fertilizer an fuel completely took out the FBI building in Atlanta, killing 168 people. Had the bomb been better placed and larger, that number could be many times greater. Just because a plane flies doesn't necessarily make it exponentially worse than a terrorist driving. You could pack a truck full of explosives and drive into certain areas of any sports arena in this country and take out thousands.

      November 23, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris McCabe

      @ T S, sorry Oklamhoma, not Atlanta. Atlanta just suffers from bad sports teams. 🙂

      November 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. aj

    Check your source, or at least don't date yourself by using data that has been dismissed. CBS and Washington Post retook that poll, which has dropped to 60%, and closer to 50% for those who actually travel once a year. Additionally, close to 40% feel the pat downs go too far.

    This is already been released, and news stories have run on ABC and the Post.

    Unless you are pushing an agenda, please take the time to update your information to be accurate.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Douglas Quaid

      I'll explain later. You've been bugged and they're tracking you. They're gonna bash down your door in three minutes unless you do exactly as I say.

      November 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • buccakenji

      I believe that you will find that all of the suspects in the 'bombing' scares boarded planes OUTSIDE

      November 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • buccakenji

      I believe that you will find that all of the suspects in the 'bombing' scares boarded planes OUTSIDE the U.S. So why is it so important to subject American citizens to intrusive body searches when the perpetrators don't originate here? Anyone care to explain???????????

      November 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noyagenius

      I don’t care either way about pat downs. I've gotten one. Very non-invasive. But you all knew that right? And the guys who flew the planes into those towers, hear about that one? They boarded inside the USA. So,continue your argument

      November 23, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wally zebco

      It seemed the article was slanted.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. aj

    New, more recent polls, which are hardly as accepting.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Douglas Quaid

      No wonder you're having nightmares. You're always watching the news.

      November 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs K5

      THANKS! I KNEW that poll was bogus – it's nice to see some more truthful results.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I'm very tired of the "don't like it - don't fly" statements that are made. There are no alternatives when you need to go thousands of miles in a number of hours. Interestingly, I don't think any of these new measures would have prevented 9/11 to begin with (just steal a knife from a first-class flyer). So now we're all presumed criminals until proven otherwise. I have a better idea - Not comfortable with less-than-Gestapo security? Then YOU don't fly. I'd be happy with a simple metal detector and a few thousand armed Air Marshalls flying with us.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Irene

    My 80 year old mother was strip searched because of cancer leaving her with an artificial breast. They put it on a counter and pressed it to make sure there was no bomb.....some common sense would be helpful in these searches. They kept apologizing to her the entire time.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gort01

    look at the woman they are patting down....she is skin and in the world could she have anything on her...ridiculous...OPT OUT......OPT OUT.............OPT OUT

    November 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. David

    I love the idea that the TSA is the only effective airport security option out there, that its TSA or Death! If you think any security check can be justified by fear, I say hold on to that thought when they start with the next phase in 2011. China and Singapore dont do security checks this way and I dare Bob Greene to tell me those countries have 'no security at all'.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnnycab

      Please state the street and number

      November 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tuffy

      TSA is not the only option. Since 2003, every airport is allowed by law to choose private security over TSA screeners.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Clint

    If we allow our government to erode our freedoms, we will have no freedoms and the terrorists will have won.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • darksideoftheshrub


      November 23, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thersa

      Where were you when Bush started wiretapping our phones?

      November 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew Peterson

      If we don't allow the government to "erode our freedoms," the terrorists will blow our planes out of the sky.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Haven't you heard? Listening in on potential terrorists' phone calls is intrusive! Asking someone at a traffic stop if they are here legally is harrassment! This is a free country, you know. Now, feeling up your grandma before she gets on an airplane is just another safety measure. Who knows what she might be smuggling on board an aircraft? GEEZ! What are some people smoking? Do you hear yourselves? Are you for this because you actually think it makes you feel better or is it because it the Obama administration is in charge? Did you gripe about the Patriot Act and yet don't have a problem with the pat down?

      November 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Anyone who submits to a strip search (via these machines) or a full-body manual search by a Government Official WITHOUT a warrant is allowing his or her 4th Ammendment rights to be removed. Period. To all who are just fine with that: If your liberty is so cheaply bought with a little bit of fear then you don't deserve it to begin with.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew Peterson

      The way I see it is, if you have nothing to hide, why are you worried about being searched? If you are here legally, why are you worried about a police officer asking people for their ID? If you are not a terrorist, why are you worried about someone tapping your phone? If a bomb is discovered by a TSA screening, if an illegal alien is deported, and if a terrorist is caught as a result of wire tapping, the U.S. is a safer place.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • FreqFlier

      Drew: I DO have something to hide – that's why I wear clothes! Oh, and I'd get arrested if I didn't (Ironic, isn't it?)

      November 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John

    CNN you suck. The CBS poll you mentioned only had a sample of slightly over 1,000 people which cannot represent the whole damn county. How can 1k people represent 300 million? They can't! The people who don't care either way never fly, hence why they are ok with the new procedures. TSA hasn't stopped squat. All they do is prove that the terrorists are winning. By having everyone in this state of fear and by stripping our liberties away the terrorists have won. I'd rather be free and risk dying then be safe and a slave!

    November 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dandy

      I fly multiple times per year (5 so far and one more time to go before Christmas) and I find nothing objectionable about the security measures. I'd rather be "strip" searched than get blown up.... I actually flew the day that they found the bombs on the UPS planes and was headed to the Philly airport which happened to be one of the destinations of the planes with the bombs. I definitely choose a minor inconvenience of getting a pat down (and yes I've had one before) over being dead any day.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • CNN

      Sorry John, YOU Suck. Sincerely, CNN.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy


      Take a statistics class. You have no idea what you're talking about. 1000 random samples is a good enough population for a low margin of error. Every poll reports its margin of error. 10,000 random samples is about all you'd ever need for any population size with a very low margin of error.

      The trick is getting truly random samples.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ldsmom02

      Dear Dandy –

      Those bombs were found in the cargo area of the plane not on board where the passengers were sitting. Your safety is bogus and frisking grandma won't catch a terrorist. While she's getting patted down, the true terrorist will be walking right on through.

      November 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Marve G

    These are the sort of people TSA hires?

    November 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChestRockwell

      You should read about the felons we recruit in the military who go on to create new terrorists by raping, murdering and torturing innocent people.

      November 23, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. MauiBear

    As someone who flies weekly, I say "pat me down, scan me, do whatever it takes in this CRAZY world so I can get where I need to be safely." I say bring the EL AL folks here to straighten out the security process. Then you'll see how easy the scanners and pat-downs are.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fricsaid

      So you think this is about security? Picture this. It's the day before Thanksgiving. You are waiting in line to get your pat-down or scan, choose your poison. many people would say is around? 200? 300? As you approach the security checkpost, BAAAMMMM!!!! The guy behind you just set off a pound of C4, taking you and everyone within ear shot to meet your maker. This is not about security. This is about money. And I for one will choose not to buy into a false sense of security.

      November 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • SJErik

      You are making a logical mistake - you have assumed that these security procedures actually make you safer. Shouldn't you require proof of that before giving up your freedoms? Taking away that assumption you are basically saying: "I'm fine with the government taking naked pictures of me and molesting me (as well as all of my fellow citizens) for no gain at all". So let's examine the assumption that they make you safer: it is TRIVIALLY easy to still sneak explosive materials onto a plane. You can put it in a body cavity. You can even swallow some stuff and then regurgitate or pass it later. Your beloved scanners and pat downs won't help in either case.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Fricsaid...your scenario could happen at any mall, post office, traffic jam, amtrak or subway. That's not the point, and it has zip to do with money. The point is taking 'airplanes as missles' out of the terrorist's handbook–THAT'S what it's for; if malls start getting bombed or sports venues, then I guarantee you'll start seeing metal detectors there also. Current airport security is directly the result of 9/11, nothing more. Don't like it, don't fly–very easy choice.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • flyngirl

      El Al spends $100 million a year to secure 37 airplanes, that type of security will never happen here; too many passengers and too many planes.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fricsaid

      Hey Jim, if that were the case, why didn't they start doing this on 09/12/01? And the malls, etc. are very good examples. Why do you insist on being safe in the air, but not on the ground? And in my opinon, it is about money. Do you think it's by chance that Michael Chertoff is a major stock holder in Rapiscan, the company that makes these machines. Nine years ago, terrorist did not make me fear flying. Exploding underwear did not make me fear flying. Our own government forces me to choose not to fly. Not by fear, but because what is happening is not right. The day a half naked boy, being patted down in an airport full of strangers hit's the internet for the world to see is a sad day. And if you think this is acceptable, I have no choice but to question your mentality.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Laura

    I would assume that there are ALWAYS one off situations in which a routine procedure such as this may seem out of line. But that is probably .0000004% of the time. Honestly – let's move on with life – this is not what we should be reading out everyday. There are people being murdered every minute, starving children, homeless people out in the cold, broken families, etc. Anyone flying should be thankful to be so fortunate – let's thankful for everything God gave us, and stop making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      By letting things like this slide we lose our freedoms. If we don't stand up for ourselves against the government who will? You think they will protect us and look out for us?! They just wnat to make money and stay in power.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nathan

    Let's just create a seperate Airline for the people who want to whine about the security measures. You (and anyone else) can board the plane. No searches, no xrays, no medal detectors, nothing. You won't have to worry about a thing......

    November 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Yeah, because people who don't want to be groped are against all other security measures, too–right? Get real. Nobody's saying there should be no screening. But groping little old ladies and kids isn't going to stop someone from getting on board with a bomb up his butt. I say start a new airline for people who are so scared they're willing to let TSA do anything they want to make sure they're "safe". In order to board, you have to strip naked, have a colonoscopy, and a complete MRI.

      November 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fricsaid

      Nathan, I think more respect should be paid to those that stand up for their rights. I don't call them whiners. I call them Americans. We wouldn't have the freedom we have today if not for people "standing up" for what they feel is right.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat Heaney

      @Nathan... "Let's just create a seperate Airline for the people who want to whine about the security measures. You (and anyone else) can board the plane. No searches, no xrays, no medal detectors, nothing. You won't have to worry about a thing...."

      I'll take the airline where people don't touch my junk or grope my 13 year old (because 12 is too young, but 13 isn't?)... Where's that airline? I'll take my chances with them. If you want to travel on an airline that anally probes you, be my guest because that's next.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Nathan, I'm with you! Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better! Baaaaaaa!

      November 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sarah Michele

    Stop crying people - if you don't want the pat down, just go through the scanner. It's ridiculous that you are complaining when you CAN go through the scanner. If you don't like either - take the bloody Train or Drive! But shut up - it's not

    I fully support the TSA – it's for all our safety.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Ward

      Maybe some people don't like having strangers photograph there naked bodies. And if your naughty bits are too blurry on the scanner you get the hands on treatment anyway even though you've been through the scanner. That's what happened to Dave Berry and who knows how many other people who simply weren't famous enough to get on the news when they were violated.

      November 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gort01

      sarah michele: ok...if you dont mind if the cops search your car, house, office, purse, desk, shoes luggage and trunk and read your text messages and get a copy of your phone bill to see every call youve med...every time you pass a certain intersection...them by all means you are right..I suspect uou would not agree or like any of the invasive, unwarranted use of power over private citizens...Lets see how many time you drive by that intersection....hopefully its not the ONLY intersection you can choose from...Get it now???

      November 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Amen!! If we took all the time spent complaining on this and put that time somewhere else, imagine what we could accomplish!

      November 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      My "amen" was meant for Sarah. Sarah – totally agree with you girl.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Gort01–apples and oranges!! The security at airports is ONLY involving the choice to fly...period, and it's in response to the horrors of 9/11; no one is having thugs knocking down their doors or having their cars searched–nothing but sheer paranoia to even suggest that. We have tight security at airports for a very solid reason, and if you don't like it, take the train or drive. No one 'has' to fly–it's a choice.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      The TSA about safety? They are next to useless. What have they actually stopped since their inception? Someone tell me! What they stopped dangerous nail clippers and shampoo bottles from getting on board? They do not make us safe at all!

      November 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Gort101 – are you serious? This is a perfect example of how this is being blown WAY out of proportion. Thank you for proving my opinion right with your way overdramatic comment.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • smc

      Gort01, cops cannot stop you randomly in public or come to your house and search your things without probable cause. But you are CHOOSING to go to privately run airport and CHOOSING to fly on a privately run airline. As far as your text messages go, the government is already illegally reading those. Where were you to complain about that when the whole warrant-less wiretapping thing went down??? It is unfortunate that many folks like you do not have a clear grasp of what our rights actually are, and when they are really being infringed upon.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fricsaid

      Sarah, with all due respect, standing of for what you believe in, (this is what you call crying). has provided us with many of the freedoms that you get to experience today. And if you think this whole mess is about security, you might want to keep a keen eye open in the airport before you go thru your scan or pat down. You see, the thousands of people in the airport are differnt than being on an airplane. Hey, that guy over there in the line at Starbucks.....he looks a little shady.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      John, check the facts–TSA has NOT just confiscated nail clippers–they have found knives, guns (some plastic that get by traditional metal detectors), and several other dangerous items. Laura, right on. I'll never get on a plane that doesn't have this kind of screening.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      And just how much are you willing to accept before you've realized your 4th amendment rights are no longer being respected? All of this is because some dude hid explosives in his underwear. If he found explosives small enough to fit inside his undies, then what's to stop me from stashing the same amount of explosives in my lady bits? You prepared to handle a cavity search and/or full-scale pelvic exam every time you fly for reasons of "safety?"

      November 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fricsaid

      I cannot help but to find it amazing that people cite something that happened over 9 years ago.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • We Lose, They Win...

      So, when they start doing cavity search's because the scanners don't pick that up, are you going be first in line for a cavity search? How degrading...

      November 23, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah Michele

      I have nothing to hid, they can search me or stop me anytime. I'm glad they are being thorough.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • glenn

      I bet you you would have a great supporter of the of the guards in 1936 Germany.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Twilly

      Glenn – that comparison doesn't even make sense. Ridiculous.

      November 23, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike Ward

    CNN is only deluding themselves. They can an act like nobody really cares that the TSA blantly violates the 4th amendment with invasive techno-strip searches and pat downs that approach molestation, but the reality won't change just because they refuse to acknowledge it.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      Mike ward:

      Because you believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus does not mean that the rest of us must do so as well!!!

      STFU, dude

      November 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Sorry Mike, but the 4th amendment argument has already been through federal court and roundly rejected several times; it's a choice to fly, and if you fly, you get's right on the terms and conditions of your ticket in black and white. No 4th amendment issue here at all, because flying is a voluntary choice. Like if you go into a federal building, a condition of choosing to do so is that you agree to being searched–it's your voluntary choice to go there.

      November 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • SJErik

      Anthony: you should STFU, since you are obviously a traitor that wants to throw away our fundamental rights.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • SJErik

      Jim, sorry but you are wrong. Just plain wrong. There have been numerous Supreme Court decisions affirming our right to travel, including flying.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • smc

      SJErik, you have a right to "travel". You don't have a "right" to show up at a privately run airport and fly on a privately owned plane.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jon


    you are being lied to and mislead. I live in Nice (American) and go to 5+ airports a month here in Europe. The TSA Chief is misinforming you about how you are safe from "External threats". YOU DO NOT TAKE SHOES OFF HERE, and YOU DO NOT GET HARD PAT DOWNS.

    America needs to "wake up" and start instructing its "leaders" on what to do, instead of following like good sheep. USA needs only to implement the same security the KSA has for entry, RIGOROUS VISA APPLICATION APPROVALS!




    November 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54