TSA Oped Spurs Excellent Comments from USA Today readers

The USA Today piece on TSA’s abusive searches spurred lots of lively comments (and some denunciations). Here are some of the best comments from the web page with the article:

Sommer Gentry · Associate professor at United States Naval Academy
This article is spot-on. TSA searches are violent, traumatizing, and conducted with heartless disregard for our humanity. These are not “searches”. This is called sexual assault. Get these monsters out of my pants and out of our airports forever!

Sommer Gentry · Associate professor at United States Naval Academy
The point is that the secondary search is punitive, violent, traumatizing, and conducted without the slightest acknowledgment or care for the humanity of the search victim. I experienced worse treatment at the hands of the TSA; the TSA inserted a foreign object into my body and then claimed in a euphemism-filled letter after I complained about this rape to my congressman that it’s difficult to search the lower torso without sexually abusing passengers. Considering the TSA has never, ever located an explosive on a passenger, including when the passenger had C4 in his luggage, the least they can do is stop traumatizing and violating people whose only crime was to buy an airline ticket.

 Sommer Gentry · Associate professor at United States Naval Academy
Greg Thurell, I do have a right to fly, if I purchase a ticket. U.S. District Judge Anna Brown, ruling in 2014 on a lawsuit filed in federal court in Oregon by 13 Muslim Americans who were branded with the no-fly status:  “The court concludes international travel is not a mere convenience or luxury in this modern world. Indeed, for many international travel is a necessary aspect of liberties sacred to members of a free society.” Aside from that, you are condoning sexual assault committed against innocent people, including minor children, by saying they were asking for it when they bought a plane ticket instead of a train ticket. Is that what you mean? If I don’t want strangers to violate me sexually I should really avoid bad neighborhoods like airports? You can’t really mean that.

Sommer Gentry ·Associate professor at United States Naval Academy
Jennifer Brigham I am glad, I really am, that you weren’t violated by the TSA during the search you described. But that doesn’t invalidate the experiences of the thousands of people who have filed written complaints calling these searches humiliating, traumatizing, triggering, and shocking. You can read a summary of 200 pages of heartbreaking testimony here: http://tsanewsblog.com/5927/news/patdown-assault-trauma-syndrome-fear-shaking-sleeplessness-nightmares-and-flashbacks/

[[Sommer Gentry, a math professor & MIT grad, wrote one of the best critiques of TSA screening methods here – http://tsanewsblog.com/7844/news/some-solicited-technology-and-engineering-advice-for-the-tsa/   TSANewsBlog.com is one of the best sources on TSA abuses & follies  http://tsanewsblog.com/

Kenneth G. Eade · Southwestern Law School
Welcome to the party, James. I am a frequent traveler. TSA has been feeling me up ever since they took over the show. I’m so used to them grabbing my crotch I almost don’t notice it anymore. In Europe, by contrast (except for London Heathrow, which has the 2d rudest security in the world and Germany, who comes in 3rd and whom I like to call the 51st and 52d states of the United States) they are much less aggressive with their searches. They still do them, they just don’t personally offend you or make you feel like a criminal.

Susie Smith Richart
Bravo, Mr. Bovard! Forced private room searches appear to be violative of the administrative search doctrine: “Moreover, the possibility for abuse is minimized by the public nature of the search. Unlike searches conducted on dark and lonely streets at night where often the officer and the subject are the only witnesses, these searches are made under supervision and not far from the scrutiny of the traveling public.”  See United States v. Skipwith, 482 F.2d 1272, 1275  (5th Cir. 1973).”

Pepper Gregory
Get rid of the TSA and let the airports and airlines take care of their own security. It shouldn’t have to be ‘get groped’ or ‘no security at all’. The government is useless in these areas. They should stick to treaties, protecting our rights, and defending our borders. You know..the whole role of the ferrel government.

Michael Arrowood · Hendersonville, North Carolina
I’m so glad I’m not the frequent traveler I used to be. My impression of the TSA employees I routinely dealt with: undertrained (and probably underpaid) personnel about as specialized as the average Wal-Mart employee. Often lacking basic communication skills. The topper: when a TSA agent in Denver grabbed a handful of the cherries I had bought at the city’s farmer’s market that morning and proceeded to eat them while scanning me through security, grinning like a fool because there was nothing I could do to stop him without risking an “intrusive” search. Morons! God help us all if they ever have to counter a true terrorist threat. I’m not aware of any case in which they’ve actually prevented a terrorist act, but they’ve sure done a great job making the TSA look like bozos.

Penolope Stevens
This is part of the govermental conditioning of the people to the police state which is emerging. The more compliant the people become, the easier it is to take away their constitutional rights. Which is happening alot faster than people realize. Just take all of the police killings that are happening across the country and most of those officers are being let off of murder charges. Think of this line; “Ignore your rights, they’ll go away” , this is more true than most people would like to believe. And, you will really not care when it happens to others, but when it happens to you, it will be to late to do anything about it then.   We need to start taking our country back now!


There were a handful of comments defending the TSA.  Here’s my favorite:
John Tiberio  East Hartford High School

Wow, what a bunch of whining conspiracy theorists!

Dang! That guy must be familiar with my other articles.


Amy Alkon, the red-haired Advice Goddess, did a blog entry on the USA Today piece & plucked some excellent comments from an earlier NBC  article on TSA bogus alarms. Thanks, Amy!


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2 Responses to TSA Oped Spurs Excellent Comments from USA Today readers

  1. michael landers March 23, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    I love how many people also use the Nuremberg defense to justify the TSSA which, of course, is “she was just doing her job”. Of course that is 100% wrong as the TSSA revised the pat down to exclude travelers 12 and under from degrading pat downs such as these

  2. Susan Richart March 23, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    I found it most interesting that none of those who criticized your article ever came back with responses when challenged by other readers, most pointedly the person who is a screener at Pittsburgh, Frank Viola and his buddy, Kevin Snyder. That’s so typical of the TSA.