April 19th, 2012
03:20 AM ET

Oregon man says naked airport protest was about free speech

John Brennan says he did not go to the Portland International Airport intending to get naked.

But after feeling harassed by airport screeners Tuesday, the 50-year-old Portland, Oregon, man stripped off his clothes in a protest that brought him even more attention from airport authorities, national headlines and a short stint in jail.

"I just took off my clothes and said 'See, I don't have any explosives,'" Brennan told CNN on Wednesday. "The individuals at TSA are just doing their job and the whole organization needs to find a balance between safety and privacy . They use fear and intimidation and it's got to stop somewhere."

The Transportation Security Administration had a different take on the incident.

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Filed under: Justice
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. KcCritic

    This was kinda funny and i DO know how this guy feels. A pat down by a TSA agent can make you go over the edge. You would think theyd have been thrilled he stripped off. Isnt that what they want? Should have made their job easier. Hooray for this guy! He had nothing to hide AND he proved it.

    April 19, 2012 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |

    He claims "free speech," but everyone knows he was thinking "free peep."

    April 19, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. justathought

    It seems to me that a lot of law enforcement agents must take stupid pills every morning: police, sheriffs, highway patrol, and TSA people. From the encounters I have had with these people [law enforcement] I think they are trained to be ignorant.
    If these people had just let the guy pass through then given him back his clothes without making a big a-do about it, it would not have made any news; John Brennan would have made a fool of himself without accomplishing his motives. But, because of their [TSA agents] stupidity of wanting to show their authority this makes national news which emphasizes how foolish they really are.

    April 19, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |

      You realize that pill was to be taken orally, right?

      April 19, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. BOMBO ©

    Oh. It was about free speech. I thought it was about being mentally unstable.

    April 19, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Cricket

      Lol....it needed to be said.

      April 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. portland tony

    We have all kinds up here in Oregon. The problem being he'll wind up on the no fly list...for his public display of idiocy! His 15 minutes are over!

    April 19, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. BOMBO ©

    I went a bit nuts in the Vancouver airport one time, just because it's such a badly designed airport and somebody sent me the wrong direction looking for a departure gate. But I didn't strip. I just yelled at some guy about what a zoo it was in there.

    I didn't get tased to death either, like that Ukranian guy a few years ago. Goota be careful in the Vancouver airport.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |

      Yes, them Canucks be CA-RAZY!

      April 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ann R. Key

    SECURITY is a sick joke, SECURITY is an illusion and anyone determined enough to commit acts of terrorism will find a way around it-bullying & humiliating ordinary people won't stop the real terrorists any more than kicking a passenger off a plane for having sagging pants made everyone on that plane any safer. 5 years ago I worked for a company that provided SECURITY for the S F 49ers games (and many other N F L & college teams). We had to do modified above-the-waist pat-downs ,check all jacket pockets,make people remove their hats & search all bags small enough to be allowed inside. Yet when I reported to work the 1st game all I had to do was tell the person at the gate I worked for them-they didn't do anything but search my bag! I wasn't asked for I D nor did they even have a list of people to check. I wasn't even given an employee I D until the 2nd game I worked & it didn't even have my photo on it. I could've been anyone-I could've been wearing a vest with e x p l o s i v e s underneath my shirt !

    April 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ann R. Key

    I just hope that company has gotten better at identifying their own employees at large events like N F L games-a lot of them were brought in from other cities hundreds of miles away. I quit after the 2nd game I worked because supervisors wouldn't take my concerns seriously. Any major sporting event could be just as much of a target as a plane. But T S A empolyees go too far sometimes and Mr. Brennan had every right to get fed up with them!

    April 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ann R. Key

    How about everyone wearing nothing but a robe & flip-flops (with a full set of clothing in their carry-ons) to go through checkpoints? Then they can open up the robes and say "See? I have nothing to hide! Now quit wasting my time!!"

    April 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |