ACLU objects to “enhanced pat-down”

August 30, 2010

The ACLU is objecting to the new “enhanced pat-down procedure” being applied by the Transportation Security Administration. This is the new term for what is done to passengers who refuse to be irradiated and undressed by the so-called “naked body scanners” now appearing in airports. Fliers going through airports in Boston and Las Vegas who won’t use the scanners are being subjected to what is described by a TSA official as “a palms-downward, slide-down procedure.” More than just a pat-down, this is a glom-on.

The term “enhanced pat-down” implies that airline passengers are typically subjected to a non-enhanced pat-down. In fact, until now, people just went through the metal detector, and may have been “wanded” for additional metal detection. But a “pat-down” or “frisking” is something that more typically happens to newly-arriving prisoners. The Supreme Court has ruled that pat-downs necessarily include:

“… a search .. of the prisoner’s arms and armpits, waistline and back, the groin and area about the testicles, and the entire surface of the legs down to the feet…”

Lately at airports, women are also having their breasts squeezed to ensure that they aren’t concealing bombs, and even going through the full-body scanner won’t protect you from that. The ACLU has objected to what they termed “the seemingly constant erosion of privacy.”

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