Search Us! TSA Has No Clue When Scans and Pat-Downs Will End

Invasive procedures will continue 'for the foreseeable future.'
Dec 26, 2010
Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Asked by CNN’s Candy Crowley on Sunday if modifications could be expected in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening procedures, which some travelers have termed invasive, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano replied: “Not for the foreseeable future.”

The United States Bill of Rights has a provision—that pesky Fourth Amendment—ensuring the country’s citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures levied by government agents. Human rights watchdogs, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), feel that current TSA screening policies may infringe on the Fourth Amendment’s constitutional protection.

At odds here is the definition of “unreasonable.”

If expecting any American who wishes to board a domestic aircraft to endure a full-body x-ray scan with the possibility of an enhanced pat-down, wherein “a TSA officer slides his or her hands over an individual's breasts, buttocks, groin, and inner thighs, and inserts his or her fingers inside the entire circumference of the pant's waistband," is not considered an unreasonable precaution, then there is no constitutional issue.

Napolitano is convinced the augmented screening is keeping America safer.

As evidence of a reduced terrorist threat, she offered: "We pick up more contraband with the new procedures."

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