On the afternoon of October 14th, 2012, TSA agents in terminal four at the Phoenix Airport forced me into a private room where their “enhanced screening” included pressing down repeatedly upon the front of my vaginal area.
It began after I was “randomly selected” for an additional screening which consisted of swabbing my hands with paper strips. The strips were then taken to a machine for analysis and an alarm sounded. TSA agents determined that I had a suspicious, possibly explosive, residue on my hands and required another, “enhanced screening.”
Read here why these tests are unreliable.
I was, of course, aggravated, as we arrived two hours early and already 15 minutes had gone by due to the amount of time I had to wait on agents and the swab. During this time an elderly gentleman behind me and in front of my husband was forced to stand (despite having to use a cane and being unable to do so well alone) and not permitted to lean on anything or given a wheelchair, despite my husband requesting one.
The agents finally gathered my belongings and led me away from the populated security lines to a more secluded area near the private rooms. I asked twice for a public screening and was denied.
They performed the regular pat-down and then the agent informed me that she would be using the front of her hands to “sweep” my groin. She pressed and swept across my crotch three times horizontally and three times vertically. In any other circumstance this would be sexual assault.
The agents themselves were friendly and smiled, yet I was still denied a public screening and no witness of my own present for the screening itself (a second agent was in the room at the time). I had no reason to be angry with the agents themselves, yet I was angry, and still am, at the regulations which require them to routinely violate men, women, and children in the name of a false sense of security.
Read about my similar experience with Providence, RI’s TSA here.
After concluding that I wasn’t a terrorist hiding weapons in my vagina, the TSA agents allowed me to go. They also gave me information about pre-check, which they said would help me avoid such procedures.
Unfortunately, pre-check isn’t available in all airports and innocent Americans shouldn’t be subjected to a full FBI check simply to board a plane. Also, I doubt we would pass the test considering Janet Napolitano put conservatives like me (and many others) on the DHS domestic terror watch list back in April 2009. Here is the MIAC report in which they listed conservatives, libertarians, patriots period as ‘potential threats.’
The above is video of what happened this afternoon, filmed by my husband. He filmed it vertically so as to avoid detection. They forced me to stop filming, against their own rules (I wasn’t impeding the procedure and was not near monitors) last time.