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Groin Anomalies

By DelbertPGH ·
Max, you should be interested in this.

In December I put my 17 year old son on a flight from Pittsburgh to Atlanta for a fencing competition. They have the new millimeter wave 'naked' scanners here, the kind that can supposedly tell if you have a packet of explosive powder in your pocket. They actually aren't very good at that, it seems. We watched him go through the scanner, which involved standing between two walls with his arms raised for 20 seconds. Then he was walked off, accompanied by three middle-aged TSA men, to a closed room nearby. After three minutes had passed I asked the nearest TSA guy what was up with my son; he said that something must have appeared on the scanner, and that he had been taken for a further search to a side room 'for his privacy and comfort.' I asked to speak to a supervisor, who came promptly, and said that by regulations he shouldn't be explaining this, but a 'groin anomaly' turned up on the scan, and that was the reason for the check. He said it might be just a wad of dollar bills in his pocket. He asked if we would like him to check further; I said yes, of course, it had been five minutes now. He talked to the men at the room, and my son came out, and went on to catch his flight.

My boy was angry. Nobody told him what was going on, except the scanner turned something up and that a search was needed. When he went in two men stood at his sides, looking at him, while the third made a great show of pulling on latex gloves, snapping them while he walked behind my son. Intimidation, suspicion, reticence, and rudeness marked every bit of the process. He patted him down, and ran the gloved hands behind his belt, and sent the gloves out for an explosives residue scan. That came back within a minute, negative for explosives. Everybody seemed more suspicious than before, however. The boy was patted down again, more thoroughly, with the TSA man asking, 'Is this you? Is this you?' when he encountered what could have been a bomb or a pack of dope but was in fact genitals. None of the three men seemed in any way reassured after this search, either, and gave him orders to keep his hands in the air, and they left the room, him with hands still raised. At that point the TSA supervisor showed up, checked the boy's driver's license, asked if he was in fact 17, and set him free.

I don't know how long he would have remained in that room while three pushy men nursed their suspicions, had he not been 17 and as a minor improperly detained. What was clear was that the TSA inspectors, once suspicion was aroused, had no clear idea of how to resolve their doubts, and that every check that failed to indicate guilt simply made them more nervous. Having him alone in a private room simply made it easier for them to carry on their Keystone Cops investigations. They didn't seem to have gotten a clear idea of what the scanner saw, which could have been a ***** pushed to one side. Who knows? A key part of security is to keep everyone ignorant of the process and of the criteria by which they work. Evidently this includes the TSA men themselves, who were running on fear and the mild thrill of lightly abusive police coercion.

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It's Sickening

by Keighlar In reply to Groin Anomalies

My 14 year-old daughter wants to go to Disney with her father. I just don't want to put her on a plane. I'm being out-voted and all my fears being called "unfounded," but experiences like this show that they are entirely founded.

If I would fight to my own death to protect her from unwanted hands violating her body in ANY other circumstance in the world... WHY should this be different?

I simply cannot comprehend what is happening in this country.

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Holy Carp!

by cmiller5400 In reply to Groin Anomalies

I'd contact an attorney and find out if you can file a lawsuit/charges against those agents.

IMHO it was a TOTALLY inappropriate search since he was a minor, and parent/guardian should have been present for the search.

Even though I have nothing to hide, it looks like I'll be driving everywhere from now on. Just the thought of someone else that I don't know, feeling my junk makes my skin crawl.

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No wonder I don't fly anymore <<nt>> (nt)

by magic8ball In reply to Groin Anomalies
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I am thinking repetitive blunt trauma.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Groin Anomalies

Like, fire-extinguisher-canister to the base of the skull.

Out of control petty bureaucrats only stay in line after seeing a peer's head squished to a pulp at the hands of the Grand High Inquisitor-General... you do have one of those, right?

Sorry for the vivid imagery, but that sort of stuff makes me very angry. Abuse of power, civil servants acting like petty dictators... to **** with that, it brings the pitch-fork-and-torch-wielding castle-stormer out in me...

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This would be

by santeewelding In reply to I am thinking repetitive ...

The folder-type extinguisher you carry in a pocket, right?

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by AnsuGisalas In reply to This would be

whatever the Nice Decorating People left on-site.

Toilet seats come to mind, it's not sanitary of course, but there's the dumbfounding factor to keep in mind.

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Juvenile mentality of the assaulted

by MorrisNTex In reply to Have you heard about this ...

I read a few of the several stories of this when it first happened. I don't think what the insulted worker did was right but several of the slurs the assaulted guy were printed and he was pretty juvenile and crude with his comments and as reported by some of his co-workers was somewhat relentless in using them towards the guy that assaulted him, what was he expecting to happen?

On a side note I heard that the TSA was hiring Post Office rejects. Those that "almost" passed the civil service exam!?!?
That would explain a lot!

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'groin anomalies'

by Mr. Buzzer In reply to Groin Anomalies

3 days ago I was at LAX to board an international flight to Canada. I am a middle aged male caucasian, and I was dressed in Dockers and an Adidas golf shirt. I, like all passengers, was put through the body scan with a similar drill to what Delbert described. I was halted past the machine, the extendable tape barrier was altered to bar me and allow those behind me to pass, and I waited less than a minute for two TSA agents to confer with the scanner operator. They all appeared somewhat unsure; the operator muttered, "RPD" and then the TSA agents gathered my two baskets containing the contents of my pockets, my belt, as well as my and my wife's carry on (she had preceded me and had walked down into the Gate 22 area immediately adjacent to the screening area).
I was taken to a frosted glass room to one side of the scanning area. The walls were double height, and the aging video camera in one corner was turned toward the ceiling. One of the agents had a clipboard with a printed form and the other explained, in excruciating detail, the nature of the patdown about to occur. He would perform the operation twice, and the front, back, and sides of my legs would be hand searched by pressing his hands the length of the leg starting form the groin area. While I cannot recall the exact wording of the obviously rote memorized explanation, I recall a very round about way he used to say he would do his best not to touch my junk (my words). Both were wearing blue latex or plastic gloves at this point, like the ones our janitors wear at work. The Explainer conducted the search while Clipboard Guy checked boxes. In addition to the patdown of the legs, my shirt collar area was searched.
To be fair, while I thought I had empties my pockets, I felt in the right front pocket and found a very crumpled $1 bill that had gotten caught in a fold near the top. I also have a separated shoulder and some other skeletal aberrations - the legacy of a misspent youth.
Anyway, they were nearly finished when a sound of breaking glass was heard from the passengers waiting to be scanned and while they didn't rush through the final parts of the patdown, they didn't dawdle either. Soon the Explainer got a call/page re: the glass. I was told I could take my stuff and proceed.
Meanwhile, my wife was fuming in the Gate 22 waiting area. I thought she had seen me wave as I was being led away, and that she was calling the Canadian consulate. Actually, she hadn't seen me wave and was certain I had walked by her and had gone off for coffee.
An interesting experience. I learned that: 1) racial profiling doesn't always target non-whites, and 2) you should make damn sure your pockets are EMPTY.
No hard feelings; after all, your country - your rules.

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