Woman Says She Was Cuffed And Booted From Airport For Questioning Body Scanners

Meg McLain claims that the TSA ripped up her US Airways plane ticket and called police who restrained her in a chair, cuffed her, and escorted her out of the airport after she opted out of the backscatter can. Her radio interview describing the incident is at 390,000 hits and growing, and the TSA has posted CCTV of the incident on their blog.

Read: Interview With Meg McLain, Ejected From Airport After Questioning Body Scanners

Reached for comment, Meg McLain admitted that she may have misplaced some details in her radio interview, which occurred 30 minutes after she left the airport and was still a bit distraught. She said, “A lot of people are focusing on the specifics of this. I told the story as best I could recall and I’d like people to more focus on the issue at hand. We don’t have to subject ourselves to this, it’s not necessary, and it’s overstepping all bounds of humanity. People really need to stand up and say no, because if enough people say no, there’s nothing they can do.”

She has also posted a public statement on her blog and done a followup interview to address questions about the TSA video.

A request to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for police reports surrounding the incident was deferred to the TSA.

We’ve reached out to the TSA, and US Airways for comment, and will update when we get more info.

Here is McLain’s version of the events as she recounted them on a radio show 30 minutes after it happened:

Here is CCTV footage released by the TSA of McLain going through the checkpoint (she shows up at 1:13). Note that there are several minutes where she is off-camera and we don’t see what happens in-between this clip and the one where she leaves the airport. The lack of sound also removes a lot of contextual information:

Here is CCTV footage of McLain exiting the airport:

On their blog, the TSA was circumspect, writing, “You can listen to her radio interview, and then you can view our airport CCTV footage. We’ll let you decide what really happened.”

Isn’t the procedure for when you opt-out of a backscatter scan they give you the pat-down? It’s unclear why this passenger was ejected from the airport in. It would be more helpful if the CCTV clips had audio as well.

Here is the followup interview she did to answer questions about the TSA video:

Radio Host Cuffed for Refusing Full Body Scan at Airport [NBC Miami]
Response to “Female radio host cuffed to chair, ticket ripped up…” [TSA.gov]
My Continued TSA Saga [FreeKeene]
Meg Addresses Tough Questions About TSA’s Video “Evidence” [FreeKeene]

Comments

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  1. dolemite says:

    Well, we only got to see 10 minutes of it, and she said she was there an hour (which makes sense to me…when have you EVER been through an airport in 10 minutes?

    Point is, you shouldn’t be subjected to having naked photos (which may or may not be stored somewhere) of your body taken, just to fly. And it was obviously a big issue with the TSA agents, as you can see the scorn/concern in their faces and posture.

    • Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

      Considering the scanners don;t actually work and spot on with the images stored idea; perhaps people are finally waking up the fraud that is the TSA’s security theater.

      http://boingboing.net/2010/01/22/naked-airport-scanne.html

      • ihatephonecompanies says:

        The security theatre doesn’t keep anyone safer from terrorists, but it does work. What it does is keep the public preoccupied with the idea that the government is keeping them safe and that it’s business as usual and the economy must keep chugging along. No “enhanced security” = less air travel = bad for the economy. None of this goes away until public fear of terrorism falls from its overblown heights to more closely match the actual risk of terrorism.

        • Murph1908 says:

          Incorrect.

          Increased security is lowering air travel. Europeans are choosing not to visit the US now due to these scanners, affecting airlines, hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, and the economy in a significant amount.

          The feeling in Europe is that getting in and out of the US is harder than it was to get in and out of East Germany.

          And the increased time and hassle due to security theatre has many people driving, taking trains, or just not going.

          Time to abolish the TSA.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Don’t they require the scanners in some of the EU countries, and places like England?

          • ihatephonecompanies says:

            Irrelevant.

            The appropriate comparison isn’t between pre- and post- event, but between real post- event and hypothetical post- event. Fake security avoids the hypothetical post- event scenario where nothing [visible] is done and people, in a panic, stop flying en masse, all at once, which would be very bad for the economy. Even if it’s a given that air travel is going to drop, it’s still better to have a soft landing.

            • bravohotel01 says:

              You’re assuming that if the security theater was not implemented, then the public would not fly.

              You have no proof of this, only conjecture.

              • ihatephonecompanies says:

                Clearly. This is the nature of speculating about hypothetical situations.

                • LandruBek says:

                  If you think everyone would just quit flying, you are not merely speculating, you are speculating wildly and contrary to common sense. That’s nutty. That would never happen. Many, many people need to travel, and air is often the only feasible way.

                  • ihatephonecompanies says:

                    Well, yes. If I had said that everyone would stop flying that would have been crazy talk. Good thing I didn’t say that.

                • sagodjur says:

                  Your first statement was that a comparison of two observable, real scenarios was irrelevant and that the more appropriate comparison was of one real scenario with a hypothetical scenario, and now you’re agreeing that you can’t be certain of anything when conjecturing, even though the first comparison of which you were critical didn’t require conjecture? Your logic isn’t helping your argument.

            • Chaosium says:

              “Irrelevant.”

              It is relevant, in that it’s bad for the airline industry, and the prison industry that lobbies for these technology contracts are making bank.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            there’s an idea…. a friend of my mom’s escaped from east germany [technically - his mom was pregnant with him at the time] in a hot air balloon. i’d rather fly in a hot air balloon than go through airport security

        • TPA says:

          As the TSA has increased security, my company has cut back substantially on travel. Where people used to be on the road for 2-3 weeks a month, usually only in one city for 4 days, we’re now seeing people only travel for one week every 3 months.

          I personally refuse to travel by plane unless absolutely necessary due to the TSA and UK bullmanure.

          Sadly, the American Sheeple just keep on taking it. “For the good of the children!” “If it makes us safer!” and a whole other slew of spineless and meaningless non-reasons. The pre-9/11 rules worked perfectly for 20+ years. If they were followed on 9/11, the attacks most likely would have not occurred.

          If anyone had suggested 20 years ago that we’d have to go through this crap to board an airplane they’d think you were crazy. And indeed they would be correct. We’re crazy to put up with it.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      ctually, it looks like she was in for 20 minutes. 10 minutes from the first video, where you see her walking out, and 10 from the second, where you see her walk in, and then out.

      • ecwis says:

        There are no time stamps so we don’t know how much time is in between the first and second clip.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          But we do see the entry lane in the back of the exit lane video, and the same people are holding the same thing between both videos. She walks around the roped in area, along with the tall blonde haired gentleman, and the TSA screener with the vest on is carrying her bag. The same people walk into frame, carrying the same items in the 2nd video, from apparently the same direction area. There is an exit lane and a entry lane, and you can see the entry lane from the exit lane. So unless they led her off camera towards the exit lane, spent time, then walked back, before walking to the exit area, which would contradict her story, as she only mentions moving once after being handcuffed for an hour in the roped off area in front of the scanners, which according to her, prevented anyone else from using the scanner, then where is the missing time?

          • ecwis says:

            That might be true but we don’t have enough evidence. I’m curious why there aren’t timestamps. Don’t all surveillance cameras have timestamps? I know dashcams do. I wouldn’t be surprised if the TSA cropped out the timestamps.

            • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

              Still doesn’t explain the hour she says she was in the roped off area. Unless you are saying they used clever editing to compress 1 hour to 10 minutes.

              • ecwis says:

                I don’t believe her entire story but it’s possible that something happened in between the two clips. I’m sure the TSA has another camera angle or clips with timestamps. I’m still skeptical. The TSA needs to provide more evidence if they want to prove the woman wrong.

                • coolkiwilivin says:

                  I think some skepticism is always warranted when it comes to any large bureaucratic groups, private or public. My wife and I were coming back from LA and the TSA agent was power tripping that day. He tells her to do one thing but then says I don’t have to make you do this if I want to. WTH? Either there are laws and procedures or their not. He is NOT the maker of the law. We can’t have common sense rules like a 90 year old woman in a wheelchair probably doesn’t need to be patted down b/c TSA agents like we experienced. Sorry for the nerd reference but it felt like TNG when Picard was captured by the Cardassians. “How many lights are there?” There were like 4 but the guy wanted Picard to say 3. If Picard would simply lie his life would be immeasurable easy. Same deal with this TSA guy. We do NOT serve the TSA, they serve the public.

                  • HogwartsProfessor says:

                    Amen. The problem with these things is they’ve put them in the hands of a group of people who are inadequately supervised, poorly trained and educated and basically let them arbitrarily do whatever they like.

                    It might be different if the TSA were better trained and the rules were better implemented, and consistent everywhere. Then opting out of the scanner would be an easier thing. A good pat-down by a trained professional doesn’t take that long.

                    Their nasty attitudes, power-tripping and abusive tactics would get anyone else fired.

            • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

              You know, timestamps are the easiest thing to create. It’s funny that you won’t believe the tape until someone inserts a time stamp, when that is something a 10 year old can edit into a video using a PC. And the TSA blog confirms that these two videos comprise the TOTAL time she spent in the screening area.

              • ecwis says:

                Right but I do have some faith in the TSA that they wouldn’t do that. I’m sure that’s a major violation of federal law.

    • spamtasticus says:

      Passenger: “So what are my options Mr TSA?”

      Mr TSA: “Radiation or Masturbation”

      Passenger: “May I please pick the officer?”

      (Funny if it where not actually true.)

    • spamtasticus says:

      They quite simply want to simply make it as uncomfortable as possible so that people stop opting out until they can make it illegal to opt out. Everyone needs to call their congressman and tell them they will not stand for this and then call the airlines and tell them you will stop flying.

      • Griking says:

        Except some of us don’t have a problem with it.

        • Genocidicbunny says:

          “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither”

          • yusefyk says:

            Why’s that?

            • RvLeshrac says:

              I’m not sure, but I’m sure there are some Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Gypsies, Jews, Cathars and Tibetans who could give you some examples.

            • Pax says:

              You’d have to ask the man who originally said those words … [b]Benjamin Franklin[/b] … one of the signers of the Constitution.

          • Southern says:

            I’m sorry, but I just don’t see body-scanners as a “liberty” issue. Liberty is the freedom to make certain choices and freedoms, such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of petition (amongst others). Liberty is not about having to do something that “you don’t want to do”. If you don’t want to be body scanned, you don’t have to. No one is forcing you to fly. You can always ride a train, or drive, or rent your own personal plane or even hitchhike, as long as it’s not on the Interstate. :-)

            Now if they (such as the government or police) were to drive around in trucks with body scanners and force people to be scanned just whlie walking down the street or something, then yes, I could see that as a personal liberty issue, specifically illegal search.. But making body scanners a requirement to fly? I just don’t see that as a “liberty” issue. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to fly. That’s your choice. Drive. Take a slow boat to China. Whatever. :-)

            • spamtasticus says:

              You are right. If you don’t like being scanned just don’t fly. How do you propose I get to France for my meeting next week? Swim? Kayak? Ignorance is bliss.

              • Southern says:

                Well I did say you could take a boat. :-)

                You could also get another job that doesn’t require you to GO to France in the first place.

                No one is “holding a gun to your head” and making you step into that scanner, that’s my point. Therefore it’s a CHOICE, not a “Liberty” issue (IMO).

            • TrinityLast says:

              They came first for the Communists,
              and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

              Then they came for the trade unionists,
              and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

              Then they came for the Jews,
              and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

              Then they came for me
              and by that time no one was left to speak up.

              It’s fine with you if it’s just for flying, because you can choose not to fly. But soon it’ll be trains. Well sure, you can choose to drive. Then it’s whenever you cross a state line in a car.

              You see where I’m going with this.

              It’s an assault. We call it that when an adult feels up a child, when someone assaults you on the train, when you’re raped. Why is it suddenly alright when it’s the government?

              It’s NOT. It’s never alright. And that is simply fact.

        • verdegrrl says:

          You’re ok with receiving an unknown amount of radiation (no 3rd party testing or dosimeters allowed) for the fact that if they can’t see you private parts clearly enough, they will grope you so intimately you’ll think you are on a date with a psycho chick? Even though you’ve done nothing wrong?

    • CoachTabe says:

      Actually, on my last trip, from an international airport in the Inland Northwest, I checked my bags and went through TSA security in *7* minutes. That was pretty dang great, I must admit.

    • cowboyesfan says:

      I’m ok with the whole thing as long as it keeps bombs out of the cargo hold of my airplane.

  2. sir_eccles says:

    Maybe she threatened people with an inkjet printer.

  3. sufreak says:

    I sense a shift in policy coming soon. Be it from more incidents like this, the pilots/stewardess, or people generally being up happy with it. Once airlines start loosing money, they’ll speak up as well.

    And frankly, it speaks volumes that this girl says they they got loud and angry when they didn’t have answers to questions.

    People on a power trip.

    • ARP says:

      The cynic in me says there will be no shift in policy. No politician wants to relax security and have something happen. No, I think security will only go in one direction unless both parties agree its gone too far (and in this political climate, it will never happen). That’s one of many reasons why Obama hasn’t eased up on the civil rights, detainees, etc. issue. On the off chance that something did happen, it would ruin the political party for a generation (you may think its already happened).

      • KeithIrwin says:

        Yeah, if an administration were warned about possible terrorist attacks and then didn’t make every effort to prevent them and thousands of Americans got killed, I’m sure that no one would vote for that party for decades. Oh, wait.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      You need to remember that when you release a story, and then video or other evidence comes out to disprove what you said, you then get looked at as a “crank” or “crackpot” and you then lose much of your credibility, even if you were partly correct.

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Glad to see there were plenty of Security Theater puppets standing around instead of just giving her the fucking pat down.

  5. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    How many responses will we get before anyone could have listened to the whole interview and watch both videos?

    • probablykate says:

      I started listening to the interview but after they started going on about how good looking she was, I said “I don’t have time for this” and gave up.

    • nbs2 says:

      I don’t have access to YT at work, so I can’t access any of the posted content, but I would point out that Consumerist is hardly the place to go to for breaking news on the TSA. I spend a fair bit of time both here and at flyertalk.com. The story was posted there yesterday at 1:51pm.

    • sufreak says:

      I listened and watched. I think she may be a bit dramatic, but she certainly didn’t seem confrontational. She looked like she was trying to talk, and they had to call in the troops to ‘overwhelm’ her.

    • full.tang.halo says:

      I’d say right below your comment GSD…lol

    • abberz3589 says:

      This was posted a while ago. I watched it this morning.

  6. bigtxpapa says:

    This girl is full of crap! I hope the TSA makes nails her for defamation. She was never handcuffed and TSA doesn’t even have handcuffs. I travel all the time and have never seen a single screener or even manager with handcuffs. Good for TSA for finally showing that yes travelers do LIE and embellish their stories to try and get publicity. Surprise Surprise Shes a Radio Personality!!!!!

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Glad to see the TSA has their representative here.

    • full.tang.halo says:

      good to see you didn’t even listen to the interview, TSA didn’t handcuff her, one of the 12 police officers, which I can assure you DO carry handcuffs, handcuffed her.

      Thanks for playing though

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Just to humor me, please tell me at what time code I will see 12 police officers and/or 7 TSA agents. I’ll wait.

        • ecwis says:

          There are no time codes.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            There is on youtube. So tell me what time ON YOUTUBE you see 12 police officers. Unless 9 of them are wearing airport camouflage as they escort her out, I don’t see them.

    • MikeB says:

      Are you certain she wasn’t handcuffed? What about the 2nd video where she is off screen? In the 2nd video we see her for about 40ish seconds out of a 10:41 second video.

      I saw nothing wrong in the first video, outside of one TSA agent appearing to talk “sternly” to her (around the 3:30ish mark).

      I am not sure why the TSA released these are they do not refute everything she says as there is a large block of time when she is off screen.

      One thing the videos do prove is that they do not care about other peoples privacy and have no issue when displaying the faces of everyone else going through the checkpoint, even when the lady in purple gets felt up.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        There’s that whole public place and photography thing, which you then couple with the FOIA, which means that they almost can’t censor it, because that would be altering a official government document and then you would have to show why you censored it.

        • jessjj347 says:

          Taking pictures of other people in public and then publishing them is still a violation of privacy…

          • hypnotik_jello says:

            No it’s not.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            I’ll let people who take photos and have links handy to show you are wrong post the links because they know the issue better than I do.

          • bluline says:

            If you are in a public place, anyone can take your picture and publish it. If they try to sell it or do something like make it part of an advertisement without your permission, that would be a no-no. But simply publishing it is perfectly okay.

            • physics2010 says:

              Unless you are shooting upskirt video. Then apparently its not okay to take people’s picture in public. Just sayin.

          • Gulliver says:

            Who told you this lie?

      • crazedhare says:

        I am personally NOT certain that she was NEVER handcuffed.

        I AM certain that she was NOT handcuffed at the time and in the place that she says she was handcuffed, since she reported that this occurred before being taken away and we can see her – not handcuffed – at that entire time. I am sure it is possible she was later handcuffed, however, that is not what she is claiming.

      • Gail says:

        You can see her for about the whole time in the video – she’s towards the back of the cubicle like area – her head is in most of the shot. She couldn’t have been sitting down, thus, no handcuffed to the chair.

      • Pax says:

        It’s more than 40 seconds.

        Pay careful attention to the video – watch her HEAD.

        At the 0:00 mark, she starts walking across the camera’s field of view. She is then SEATED, in a ROPED OFF AREA, and remains there. For several minutes.

        The shadows you think you see, walking down the other side of that partition, are in fact reflectionsof the people walking down the exit lane. The woman has NOT been escorted to the exit lane, but rather, moved to a less-public holding area.

        While in this area, everything below her shoulders is hidden from the camera’s view. We don’t see the whole of her until 10:27 on the video, when she is led (by a officers carrying the woman’s things) around the corner to the exit lane.

    • Scoobatz says:

      Obviously, you didn’t listen to any of the videos. Out of curiousity, did you even click on it? Or, are you basing your comments on the title of the post and the first image below it.

    • nbs2 says:

      Is that you, Ron?

    • evnmorlo says:

      I think several police were involved too.

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      Um, it appears to me that at the end of video two, she’s shown wearing the bracelets. Look right around 10:37 in the footage. Just sayin’.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Who cuffs in front? You cuff behind the back. It stops someone from easily grabbing anything, and also allows you to lift on them to control the suspect.

        • ecwis says:

          The woman isn’t a threat. They’re just handcuffing her to discipline her.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            You still cuff behind. Cuffing is not a discipline thing. It is a restraining thing. You are restraining someone to limit their actions.

            • ecwis says:

              Maybe they thought handcuffing a law-abiding citizen in the front was not as bad as handcuffing them from behind.

            • wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

              I’ve seen front-cruffing before. It’s when someone really isn’t a threat. Totally up to the cop doing the cuffing, though.

            • tjustman says:

              Why the heck are we talking about how the woman was handcuffed? She committed NO CRIME except wanting to take a bloody flight without a humiliating rectal and gyno exam. Whether she was cuffed in front, sideways, or behind, the point is she should NEVER have been cuffed. She was no more a threat than any of the people walking past the checkpoint in the unsecured area.

              • crazedhare says:

                Because it is relevant to the point of whether she was actually handcuffed at all, which there is reasonable basis to believe did not happen.

            • jamar0303 says:

              Which the security people probably wouldn’t know. They’re trying to make a point, they just want the cuffs on, who cares where or how. Which strengthens that part of the claim.

        • daemonaquila says:

          You’ve obviously never been in police custody, done criminal defense, or otherwise had contact with prisoners. Cuffing in front is incredibly common, particularly when they’re not that worried about flight risk and they think someone may be sitting around a while in a holding cell for booking, etc.

        • jamar0303 says:

          And point 2- security cameras. Cuffing from the back would leave no question as to what happened on camera. Not good for the public image. This way… well, look what we’re debating now.

      • jesirose says:

        I think it looks like handcuffs too, but she also holds her hands the same way in the beginning. It seems like she has a habit of holding her hands like that.

      • roothorick says:

        In the first video, she’s clearly wearing some kind of bracelets, and they are NOT handcuffs, as she can be clearly seen putting one hand on each edge of the chair. Furthermore, the aforementioned holding-hands-in-front is on full display throughout the first video, at a time when she is provably not handcuffed. It doesn’t prove she wasn’t, but there’s nowhere near enough to argue she was.

        And even then, it would contradict her story; she said she was handcuffed “to the chair”; to move her while standing, they’d have to remove her from said chair, no?

        It’s bullshit like this that makes me want a microphone on every security camera. Without audio, you can prove little more than who was where and when; when you watch silent security footage, you’re missing well over half the story.

        • goodfellow_puck says:

          Agreed. She’s wearing bracelets on both arms in the first video BEFORE she even gets to the chair, and demonstrates full movement of both arms on either side during that video. You also don’t ever see someone cuff or uncuff her.

          Maybe they moved her to another area off camera in-between videos one and two, but point is the bracelets in the second video are definitely JUST her bracelets. She also said that all of this stuff happened almost immediately after the opt-out, and she describes the area in the first video, so I have to believe TSA on this one. Especially given her exaggerations that do not pan-out in the video (IE “NO ONE the entire time I was there, had to go through the body scanner and the pat down” Uhhh…that’s a lie.)

      • OolonColluphid says:

        Can anyone point to when she was cuffed? I don’t see it happening. Furthermore, she claimed she was unable to wipe her eyes or nose because she was cuffed. She’s clearly not cuffed, and a TSA agent BROUGHT HER TISSUES. And she said she was singled out for the scanner? I saw people getting violated by that infernal machine like clockwork the whole time. A dude walked out of it right in front of her as she was waving the TSA agent off to opt out. Look, I am as indignant about this BS invasion of privacy as anyone, but this lady is not being entirely truthful.

        We cannot know what was said, but her version of events doesn’t match the video footage. I believe both she and the TSA agents probably dealt with the situation poorly. I ASSUME that she dropped some pretty strong ‘tude, which is fine, but not very mature. I also ASSUME that the TSA agents reacted very poorly to that and had her removed from the airport. A stupid situation caused by bad decisions on both sides. Now this woman is using it to further her own ends, and I believe is being somewhat disingenuous.

  7. Darrone says:

    At no point does she do anything that would requre her to be physically arrested/removed. It appears as though she asks questions, and asserts her right, assuming she did not make any verbal threats, this is an ABSURD abuse of security theatre.

    • Reading Rainbow says:

      Although true, i really want to know what she said when she said she didn’t want the body scanner. Literately 6 agents from around the area immediately start looking her way and start to approach. Somehow I don’t think it was as simple as “I don’t want this, can you pat me down instead please?” in a nice tone. That said – unless she’s threatening or yelling it shouldn’t matter – she can refuse the body scan for a pat down.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Well, to be fair, two of those agents had her belongings and her bags, and after walking them from the scanner to where she was, walk right back to the machine. The other ~3 were females, whom I assume are the ones who are allowed to handle female passengers.

  8. menty666 says:

    I don’t see why it requires 4 people to say “ok, you don’t want the cancer ray gun arms out” then pat/wand/etc and go on with their day.

    It’s not that tough.

    I can see if the passenger is being a jerk that it’s an irritation, but jeez, just do your job.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      She refused the pat down because she read they molest you.

      • KrispyKrink says:

        They do.

      • Chaosium says:

        Ask for it next time. They do “meet resistance” and hand over your genitals several times by requirement.

      • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

        Maybe it’s the pervert in me, but I wonder how many people would opt for the pat-down to get some action? There has to be someone out there who has a fetish for being groped by random strangers in public.

    • Stiv says:

      According CNN’s Dr. Gupta:

      “In fact, passing through this backscatter X-ray scanner actually exposes you to a hundred times less radiation than a flight from say Boston to Los Angeles”

      You’re free, of course, to gauge his credibility as you see fit.

      • menty666 says:

        That’s also assuming the machine is working properly and was set correctly by a trained professional.

        And for years, policemen were told the handheld radar guns were perfectly safe, and then a large number of them developed cancer in their crotches from where they rested the gun day in and day out nabbing speeders.

        I’ll take the free groping.

      • Crass says:

        Its true. A properly calibrated backscatter machine will expose you to roughly 0.009 millirems, depending on solar activity, you are exposed to 3 to 5 millirems of radiation on a cross country flight. Several orders of magnitude greater.

        The average person adsorbs 360 millirems of radiation over the course of a year, from natural and man made sources. A dose of 200 millirems is enough to induce radiation sickness.

        • LanMan04 says:

          Yeah, except ALL of that radiation is concentrated in the skin. Which makes it several orders of magnitude more dangerous.

          • AUBrian says:

            The type of radiation on the backscatter machines penetrates skin, just like an xray at the doctor’s office. That notion of it being “concentrated on the skin” is a bunch of hooey by people that don’t understand the different types of radiation that exist. In fact, radiation being concentrated on the skin is the best thing that could happen, since we shed skin cells so quickly. It’s radiation inside your body (like if you breathe radon for an extended period of time or eat a lot of bananas or avacados, which contain potassium, which is radioactive in its natural state in foods that are high in potassium) that causes the real problem.

        • AUBrian says:

          You are confused. 200 mrem won’t affect you. (Won’t make you sick) 200 REM (1000 times as much) is considered to be the lower threshhold for radiation sickness induction.

      • ecwis says:

        I wouldn’t put all my trust in a former neurosurgeon regarding radiation. He’s just regurgitating marketing materials from the manufacturer.

        “The San Francisco group thinks both the machine’s manufacturer, Rapiscan, and government officials have miscalculated the dose that the X-ray scanners deliver to the skin — where nearly all the radiation is concentrated.”

        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126833083

  9. dragonvpm says:

    I find it hard to believe that they don’t have video showing what happened after the second video. Are they really so stupid as to think that 15 minutes of video that shows her being led off somewhere explains here claim that she was there for over an hour?

    IF they really wanted to make their case they’d show all the video right up until the moment she was escorted out (to at least corroborate or contradict how long she was there). The fact that they don’t and that their whole defense is “look at the video” speaks volumes. I don’t want to draw conclusions, I want to hear their actual story and an explanation of why it took that many people to deal with one small unarmed woman. She had just gone through the metal detector and if they thought she might be armed they should have searched her. IMO their posture and their behavior makes me think that they had ZERO fear of her and were actively trying to intimidate her while making it clear that they were in total control… Apparently the TSA likes hiring bullies.

  10. sufreak says:

    To echo another sentiment, I also find it hard to believe that the crucial stuff happened ‘off camera’. There are plenty of cameras there.

  11. crazedhare says:

    I’m totally sympathetic to this cause, as someone who flies frequently but would – you know – generally prefer not to have strangers see me naked or grope me.

    However, in watching the video and listening to her statement, I see some glaring inconsistencies in her story.

    The first thing I noticed is that she claims she was “the only” one selected, no one else. Furthermore, the claim is bantered about that she was selected not randomly but based on her claimed physical beauty. I watch the CCTV and see others go through before and after her – older folks, heavier folks, etc.

    Second, she claims to have been grabbed toward the screening area – “she grabbed my arm and started pulling me toward this area”. This does not occur in the video, I just watched her walk calmly over without anyone in her close personal space, much less touching her, much less grabbing or pulling.

    She claims she was ‘screamed at’ (at the top of lungs no less) and while I admit we can’t see all of the officers on the screen, none of them seem to be moving their mouths or gesturing in a screaming manner, nor do other passengers seem alarmed. Based on human nature, my sense is that if a young woman was being screamed at – at the top of lungs – people nearby would be looking with more than casual glances. Not one person whose face I can see is yelling.

    Also, during the video, she appears to be moving her arms freely. Where/when is she cuffed? I don’t see it. She moves around, she covers her mouth, etc. She gets up and walks away. People still aren’t staring at her.

    I do not err on the side of TSA. Regardless of how she was treated, I oppose the machines and the enhanced patdowns. I opt out when I fly, which is frequently (and I haven’t had a problem doing so). But lying about or exaggerating these situations undermine real efforts to change the policy.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Looks like we watched the same tape. :)

    • ChickenMcTest says:

      Yes but we only have 10 minutes of video.

      I find it convenient for the TSA that the other 50-60 minutes of her detention happened off camera.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Is there another 50-60 minutes besides this 20 minutes we see? From what I recall from the few airports I have been in, there is an entry and an exit lane to the terminals. We see her walk out of the entry lane at the end of the first video, and into the exit area in the beginning of the 2nd. That makes 20 minutes. Unless they escorted her somewhere else, spent 50 or 60 minutes, then escorted to somewhere else for another 10, then she left. But her story doesn’t seem to imply that.

    • DrLumen says:

      I was thinking the same thing.

      It looked like a few people may have been laughing or smirking but there were an awful lot of people that were really relaxed to have been screaming. I too think she badly trumped this up. I know sometimes over-emphasizing for effect can get a foul thrown (sports) but she did this too poorly.

      For others, if you watch between the scanners about the :34 mark you can see her with the TSA gal. You can see the TSA person actually turn her back on her while she radios for someone.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      What is even worse is how people are now anomaly hunting to try to get us to forget how much of her story was false. “There’s no time stamp”, or “it’s not really clear” or “you can’t see part of the area”. And of course, even though she was so wronged, she didn’t take 20 minutes to watch the footage herself all the way through. Instead she’s been busy spouting off what she said happened, but refuses to look at the tape. She is no worse than that killer, Jenny McCarthy who refuses to look at studies and facts, and keeps parroting the same talking points about how vaccines are bad. When asked if she checks studies that might prove her claims false, she explains she’s not a Dr, and is a busy mom. Yet she can spend so much time telling other parents not to vaccinate, and literally causing the deaths of children.

      Look, you were either handcuffed in the area you said you were, or you weren’t. Don’t try to change the focus by saying that the whole area isn’t covered. If you are saying that while you were not on camera you were cuffed, then how do you explain why on the first video, before you walk off, you were only off screen for MAYBE 2 minutes. So that’s the 2 minutes you were cuffed, and the rest of the time after that, when you are on-screen in full view, you aren’t?

      At first I wanted/was willing to believe she mis-remembered. Now I think she’s purposefully mis-remembering, and is trying to deflect all attention from the video because it proves she was not telling the truth. The big thing is that this video shows that in small parts, what she said happened, happened. She opted out, was led to a screening area, was led away, met with police, and left the airport. However, all the hyperbole she added is DISPROVEN by the same tape. She can not have it both ways.

  12. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I admit I haven’t watched the entire exit tape, but after listening to the interview and watching the checkpoint tape, Wow, there are SO many differences in her story and what the video tape shows. She says she couldn’t wipe her face, yet someone clearly comes up with a roll of paper towels and gives her some. She says the TSA agents were screaming at her initially, but the reactions from the other passengers don’t seem to show that, I mean, they barely give her a sideways look when they pass by, let alone when they are gathering their stuff.. She also clearly wasn’t the ONLY person to be screened by the scanner, as many people walk through it before/after her, even during the hour she said that no one could use the scanner, because she was being restrained there. I also see her walk over, not grabbing her arm and dragging her, like she states.

    This seems like the TSA took my Baby away story.

    • Azzizzi says:

      She also said something about being the only person singled out to the scan, but the video starts with someone in front of her and a steady stream of people after her.

    • crazedhare says:

      Hey I like the way you think :)

      • Stiv says:

        You mean critically? I agree.

        I know the Golden Rule here is to never criticize the OP, but damn if some people aren’t willing to hyperbolize or even flat out lie, particularly to give their story more weight. However, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with expressing a littlest bit of incredulity.

        • crazedhare says:

          Agreed – I think there is a line to be drawn that differentiates thinking critically about different sides to or interpretations of a story, and criticizing an OP. Here, I don’t know if she is exaggerating/lying/manipulating, or if (as she commented on YouTube in response to similar criticisms there) her memory of the event was shaded by extreme emotion.

          What I do know, is that since I strongly oppose the current naked-picture-machine-or-groping standard, I don’t want to create the false impression that it’s not all that bad because those who recount bad experiences are lying. I don’t want a crying wolf type of situation, because I want complaints to be taken seriously. So I am ticked off, whether she is lying or truly believes her version of events.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Thank you both. I’ve been called an OP blamer, but I think of myself more as a Devils Advocate player. The difference is if you show me proof, I will believe you. I also blame years of watching the media spin things to one side or the other, and wondering what the truth is. I also am tried of our blame culture where people don’t take responsibility for their own actions. I’m heavy because I get hungry, and eat. Not because McDonalds made me fat.

  13. DevsAdvocate says:

    If the government is going to treat us like terrorists….

  14. Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

    Considering the scanners don;t actually work and spot on with the images stored idea; perhaps people are finally waking up the fraud that is the TSA’s security theater.

    http://boingboing.net/2010/01/22/naked-airport-scanne.html

    • ludwigk says:

      I don’t know what kind of scanner they were using, but that is not what the output of a millimeter wave scanner used in this country looks like. The images are black and white, and in MUCH greater detail. Not saying they would find whatever bomb supplies a person is packing, but these are not the scanners used in the US.

  15. xamarshahx says:

    where is the other 50 minutes of the video?

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I think it’s in her mind, honestly. From what she said, the “hour” she spent handcuffed was in that roped off area, during which “no one else could be scanned with the scanner or patted down”, but which we see her leave after maybe 10 minutes(she also walked out of the area just like she walked in, on her own and with no one holding/dragging her).

      Just like the 12 police officers she said she counted, wiping her face with the paper towels they gave her , but didn’t give her, I think the stress made her remember it incorrectly.

      • peebozi says:

        People who are detained and humiliated in public often lose a sense of time.

        it would be like me waterboarding you for 30 seconds…unless you’re different than EVERY OTHER HUMAN WHO HAS BEEN WATERBOARDED AND ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT IT, you would guess that the time was much longer…perhaps twice or thrice as long.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Wow, just wow. If you read what this lady has said, she seems to know pretty much when she did things. When going to an airport, you are supposed to be there between x and y o’clock to make your flight. So she knows WHEN she got there. She called the radio station on a phone, which has a clock on it. She knows when she called. It’s not like she was stuck somewhere where there are no time references.

  16. Elsydeon says:

    Notice the position of the people being scanned, hands over their heads. The TSA is still bound by the ADA, so will always be required to offer pat-downs to those whom cannot stand with their hands over their head (among such is Senator and 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain, whom can not raise his arms due to injuries incurred during his torture in Vietnam). They must also offer them to children at parental request (under laws dealing with the production of child pornography, this means anyone under 18 since the scanners could be considered the production of child porn).

    This means the TSA is required by law to have both male and female operatives whom are trained in providing pat-downs due to disability (ADA) or age (18 USC 2257 is the most famous of the anti-child porn laws, it requires records of proof of age be kept for all “actors” in a pornographic production to ensure they were 18).

    Considering her occupation, it is quite probable that she was attempting to troll the TSA to get ratings and make news instead of reporting it.

    • ihatephonecompanies says:

      So… you can’t take a picture of a kid because it’s porn, so you gotta feel em up instead?

      • DevsAdvocate says:

        I hate how it’s come down to only 2 options… why need a scanner or a pat down?

        • Chaosium says:

          Because it’s another multibillion dollar contract.

          • 99 1/2 Days says:

            Huh?

            • LandruBek says:

              It’s not complicated: the security-industrial-complex makes big bucks selling these scanners, but for pedantic legal reasons, not quite 100% of flyers can use them, but the alternative must be slow and distasteful, otherwise the market for hyper-expensive gizmos would weaken. If there multiple easy alternatives, that would jeopardize billions of dollars of contracts.

    • Chaosium says:

      “They must also offer them to children at parental request (under laws dealing with the production of child pornography, this means anyone under 18 since the scanners could be considered the production of child porn).”

      You seem to believe that the government operates under the same laws that we do.

  17. Murbob says:

    Wht ld f pblct skng bll$ht. Y knw wht? f y dn’t fl cmfrtbl bng srchd b wmn thn dn’t fl cmfrtbl hvng y n m pln. f y dn’t lk t, prtst b NT FLYNG !!!! Tk bs y whn lttl b!@#$ fl srr fr th flks t th TS fr hvng t dl wth prtnts sympth mgnts lk ths grl.

  18. Anthrodiva says:

    Why is she being referred to as a “girl?”

  19. nybiker says:

    Why don’t the recordings have a date/time code shown on them? Is it because they don’t want anything to block the image? I would think if we all could see such a code, then we (and Meg) would know how long she really was kept in the various locations.

    I’ve watched both videos and listened to her phone call to the radio station and unless there’s something a la the 18 1/2 minute gap (see Nixon), her situation doesn’t match up exactly to her radio report. Sure there’s no question, she’s detained, but I don’t see a group of 12 LEOs. Again, maybe the experience caused her to misremember it (and therefore see 12 when there might have been 2 or 3). Same for the ‘screaming / shouting at the top of their lungs’.

    I guess we shall have to wait for more info to come out.

  20. Gail says:

    For those of you who don’t want to watch the whole video, there are many innaccuracies in her description:

    1. She was not grabbed by the TSA agent and put into the secondary screening area. The TSA agent just gestured towards the area, and the person got upset and started to object.

    2. There’s a steady stream of people going through the body scanners, before and after she said she didn’t want to go through.

    3. She was not handcuffed at any time – they even gave her paper towels to wipe her eyes.

    4. She also was not surrounded by 12 cops and 7 TSA – there were maybe three security guys and two or three TSA agents, including the manager. That was only after they took her out of secondary screening.

    5. She was not held for an hour – she was 15 minutes in secondary screening, 15 minutes off to the side.

    6. She was escorted out by maybe 5 people, and two of them were carrying her things.

    7. There’s no sign of the ticket being ripped – one tsa officer did have it. It might be in her things when she finally was escorted out, but I couldn’t if the white item was it, or something else.

    Also, they apparently were willing to do the enhanced pat down – the person in the interview said she wouldn’t do it.

    • Azzizzi says:

      In the interview, she’s inconsistent in her explaining of the pat-down. In the beginning, she says something about how (in the past) they grabbed her breasts and twisted them and it was very painful.

      Toward the end of the interview, she says she read about it and saw video and it looked painful.

      • dourdan says:

        that si what confused me as well. i was willign to give her pity if she actually had a bad experience but when she switched to “read and saw video”, i had to scroll back to make sure i heard her correct the first time.

        she is a total attention whore. i am suprised she diden’t have a realitytv film crew with her.

      • jesirose says:

        She was referring to another time, not this time.

      • jesirose says:

        In the beginning she does say “I’ve read about them and had them done” . Approx 2:08 That’s the first time she mentions the treatment of her breasts in a pat down. And she says from the very beginning it was NOT this time but in the past and from other sources.

    • moderndemagogue says:

      I’m not really sure what your point is. When she approaches, from the nonverbals of everyone on camera, its pretty clear that the “opt-out” was yelled and escalated a situation, additionally, a TSA agent off camera says something, which causes the girl to react a certain way, and then 7-8 TSA agents converge within a second. Something happened which should not have.

      The video is not time-stamped, and is non-contiguous. Perhaps she exagerated, perhaps we have not seen the whole story. Regardless, the TSA staff responded to this young girl as a threat to their authority, not as a threat to the aircraft.

      Finally, you seem to be missing the overall point — the TSA has no authority to violate ones civil rights. Both backscatter screening, and the revised pat-down are pretty clear violations of a right to privacy, and qualify as unreasonable searches. She has a right to refuse both, and be permitted to fly.

      I have never been patted down, or backscatter screened in my life, and don’t anticipate it happening; I am a highly unlikely target for secondary screening. That said, others shouldn’t be forced to suffer injustices.

  21. zantafio says:

    Just like the “hey I found a time traveler in a Chaplin movie” guy, this is just another attention whore.

  22. shamowfski says:

    I got naked scanned and fully pat down last time I flew. Apparently the naked scanner was inconclusive. Probably my bomb shaped genitalia.

  23. Ilo says:

    I’m confused. Please point out where I am wrong.

    You voluntarily agree to go through TSA screening.
    If not, then don’t fly. No constitutional right to air travel (yet)
    You may be flagged for secondary/advanced screening.
    The criteria for who is flagged is confidential (for good reason)
    When you have been flagged for secondary screening, you have two options:
    1) Whole body scan
    2) Pat down
    The conduct of the pat down is set by TSA policy based on the least intrusive exam necessary for safety. (Remember, a guy stuffed explosives in his crotch and tried to blow up an airliner in Chicago last Christmas)

    If you have “questions” read the website or call your congressman BEFORE you get in line at the airport.

    If you try to bail on the screening AFTER you find out that you have been flagged for secondary screening, then it is EMINENTLY reasonable for them to interview you or even call the cops. This is exactly what a religious zealot murderer would do if they were carrying a bomb that might be found by secondary screening. They would keep trying on different days at different airports until they found a way to get through without being flagged and searched thoroughly. Odds are they will just escort you out, but you have to remember that you are acting suspicious. If you were opposed to secondary screening, or had “questions,” you never should have gone to the airport in the first place.

    “OMG 12 cops” Who cares how many cops (other than the taxpayer in that town)? I would much rather have 12 than 1. The larger the number, the more certain I am that they will follow procedure exactly and not try to abuse me when no one else is looking.

    They are not obligated to give you a Groucho Marx mask and escort you out a secret side door so no one will see you. You are the one who got in a line for something you knew you weren’t going to agree to.

    I’ve been flagged for secondary screening several times. Usually it is when I have left my photo ID at home, or when I was travelling alone on a last minute one way ticket purchase. Sometimes it seems totally random. I’m not a “hot chick” and I don’t have brown skin or a foreign accent.

    The poor shmucks who end up erroneously on the “no fly” list, them I feel sorry for. I even oppose the “no fly” list in general, except as a sanction imposed only after being convicted of a relevant crime in a trial by jury.

    This girl: grow up. You panicked during a voluntary security screen. Sorry about that. What happened is pretty much what you should have expected.

  24. Ilo says:

    I’m confused. Please point out where I am wrong.

    You voluntarily agree to go through TSA screening.
    If not, then don’t fly. No constitutional right to air travel (yet)
    You may be flagged for secondary/advanced screening.
    The criteria for who is flagged is confidential (for good reason)
    When you have been flagged for secondary screening, you have two options:
    1) Whole body scan
    2) Pat down
    The conduct of the pat down is set by TSA policy based on the least intrusive exam necessary for safety. (Remember, a guy stuffed explosives in his crotch and tried to blow up an airliner in Chicago last Christmas)

    If you have “questions” read the website or call your congressman BEFORE you get in line at the airport.

    If you try to bail on the screening AFTER you find out that you have been flagged for secondary screening, then it is EMINENTLY reasonable for them to interview you or even call the cops. This is exactly what a religious zealot murderer would do if they were carrying a bomb that might be found by secondary screening. They would keep trying on different days at different airports until they found a way to get through without being flagged and searched thoroughly. Odds are they will just escort you out, but you have to remember that you are acting suspicious. If you were opposed to secondary screening, or had “questions,” you never should have gone to the airport in the first place.

    “OMG 12 cops” Who cares how many cops (other than the taxpayer in that town)? I would much rather have 12 than 1. The larger the number, the more certain I am that they will follow procedure exactly and not try to abuse me when no one else is looking.

    They are not obligated to give you a Groucho Marx mask and escort you out a secret side door so no one will see you. You are the one who got in a line for something you knew you weren’t going to agree to.

    I’ve been flagged for secondary screening several times. Usually it is when I have left my photo ID at home, or when I was travelling alone on a last minute one way ticket purchase. Sometimes it seems totally random. I’m not a “hot chick” and I don’t have brown skin or a foreign accent.

    The poor shmucks who end up erroneously on the “no fly” list, them I feel sorry for. I even oppose the “no fly” list in general, except as a sanction imposed only after being convicted of a relevant crime in a trial by jury.

    This girl: grow up. You panicked during a voluntary security screen. Sorry about that. What happened is pretty much what you should have expected.

    • evnmorlo says:

      Rights are not given to you by the constitution, you are born with them. And these secondary screenings will soon become the new primary. Then the secondary will involve you stripping for an ultrasound and/or x-ray. Oh, how silly of me: if you don’t travel there is no problem! They could have a anti-bomb-robot shoot every passenger with a shotgun to disable any devices and it would totally be OK, because those people asked for it by not staying home.

    • Chaosium says:

      “No constitutional right to air travel (yet)”

      http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment04/

      • dago_31 says:

        Key word: “unreasonable”. Not mentioned in amendment: When you buy a plane ticket, you agree to be searched.

        • Chaosium says:

          When you buy a car and drive on roads, you do not agree to be searched.

        • crazedhare says:

          And should that be the case? Should we worry that soon, purchase of a home or a car or a cat will be treated as implied consent to a search based on fine print or imposed regulation? Should purchase of a computer contain a mandatory pre-authorization of unlimited search? Should that right stop at some reasonable point, for example genitalia? There certainly *is* a constitutional right to travel from state to state, and so forth, and to require the surrender of one constitutional right (freedom from searches absent warrant or probably cause) for another (freedom to travel) certainly raises at least a good faith constitutional debate.

  25. catskyfire says:

    It wouldn’t be more helpful if the CCTV had audio. It would be audio of everything it could hear, which might include the woman and TSA, but would also include the general hubbub and chatter that is an airport. Audio quality would likely be low, and a transcript would have a lot of “indecipherable.”

    Yes, it might be possible to single out a single person or two, but at that point, it’s sound manipulation, and no longer fully trustworthy. (Plus, it’s never as easy as it looks on CSI.)

  26. dourdan says:

    i watched the first one and she annoys me.

    you need to be nice to TSA. it is just 5 minutes of your life- take the stupid pat down.

    i have been in the following situations:
    -my mother in law packed a “christmas present” in my carry on without my knowlage- a bath lotion set. did i cry? no i said toss it and i was let through.

    -at the gate 3 TSA agents were doing random searchs. I had already put my bag back together after going through secutiry but they wanted to see it again. did i complain- no. i unpacked again, and they looked through. it took all of 30 seconds.

    - and on top of that EVERY time i go to the airport in a skirt i have to get a pat down. FYI even if no alarm goes off, if you are wearing sweats, a skirt or anything baggy you win an automatic patdown!

    it takes only 30-60 seconds.

    smile, be polite, and you will be on your way- it is not a big deal.

    i will be going to my in-laws this christmas and if i am told to go to the scanner i will.

    • evnmorlo says:

      Congratulations, you have passed the pre-selection.

      -May we yank your hair?
      -May we administer a mild electric shock?

      Note: it will only take 5 minutes.

  27. Macgyver says:

    She said she was randomly picked out for a body scan. Yeah right, everyone was going through the scanner.
    Where was she handcuffed?
    She didn’t want a pat down or a body scan. So they threw her out.
    Also a body scan is not naked pictures, they are on xrays, nothing else.

  28. njack says:

    She shows up in the first video at around 1:13, by 3:58, at least 4 people have gone through the scanner, so her claim that nobody else was subjected to it because she was occupying the secondary screening area is incorrect. Of course she likely wasn’t paying any attention since she was in her ‘ordeal’.

    I also agree that it doesn’t appear that anyone was yelling at her, screaming at the top of their lungs, etc. It doesn’t appear the TSA has done anything wrong here.

    I fly a ot and I’m not a fan of the scanners and I’m even less a fan of the pat down. It is security theater, but based on the current policies, it appears nothing was violated.

  29. chaesar says:

    lawyer up!!!

  30. KrispyKrink says:

    Well, at least she wasn’t sexually molested by a male TSA agent like they do to 14 yr old girls. The TSA is now the largest US employer of child molesters and pedophiles.

    • Chaosium says:

      They’re pretty much looking at naked children 24/7. All day and night. It’s revolting how we’ve allowed this police state to occur.

  31. mannyvel says:

    Why does the TSA release videos? Instead of doing this for every ‘problem’ passenger, why not just live stream all the checkpoint searches?

    That way we can see for ourselves how professional the TSA screeners are.

  32. mannyvel says:

    Why does the TSA release videos? Instead of doing this for every ‘problem’ passenger, why not just live stream all the checkpoint searches?

    That way we can see for ourselves how professional the TSA screeners are.

    • crazedhare says:

      I am surprised they released it – I understand they are currently fighting a PR battle, but lots of non-involved people are shown in that video. I know and understand that one is or should be aware of cameras in an airport, and I believe there are signs disclosing same, but I personally would have thought there would be somewhat stricter standards about releasing the videos. Not the world’s most important thing, but another thing that contributes to my unwillingness to fly other than when required to do so for work.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      When bloggers or people start going to the media/their blogs with grandiose stories about the TSA stealing their babies or children(and it’s funny how many of these really extreme stories happen to people who run blogs/podcasts…), or other such claims, they will usually release the video to show what the video shows vs. what the person says. In cases like these, the people with the stories end up destroying any credibility they have when their stories don’t jive with the video released, which allows the TSA to not have to engage in a drawn out battle in the press. Like in the baby case: http://consumerist.com/2009/10/tsa-takes-baby-away-from-mother.html

  33. Chaosium says:

    You really don’t freak out at all with the TSA, just ask for the opt-out screen. I won’t say that it’s pleasant or quick, but people need to specify it, and the TSA screeners should be OFFERING it before people get irate. But, again, customer service isn’t what the TSA exists to offer. It just sucks for the people who don’t know about it already from research.

    Also, the scan image in the original video, that’s inaccurate. A much older version of the tech. The version they use is perfect, if inverted (and easy to invert again.)

    So yeah, if you don’t like it, don’t passively-aggressively go along with it. Specify that you want the opt-out screen, and be firm, but not rude. They will play dumb and hope you walk through anyway, but press on.

  34. 3rdUserName says:

    She seems kinda attention seeking.. She isn’t coming across as very believable..

    Check out her Goggle Buzz profile.. She seems kinda rage against the machine..

    http://www.google.com/profiles/meg.mclain#buzz

    • Chaosium says:

      It’s possible. It doesn’t change the nature of full-body scanners, and why people that are far more reasonable should still be able to opt-out without trouble.

    • CookiePuss says:

      TSA should bid on the tattoo auction shes running and make her get “I

  35. Buckus says:

    Perhaps if enough passengers just say “No thanks” to the full-body scan, the TSA will re-think them.

    Still waiting for all passengers to be frozen in carbonite before being allowed to fly.

    • Stiv says:

      Yeah, it shouldn’t be too long before some numnutz decides that we’ll all have to change into TSA issued jumpsuits, be escorted on to the plane one at a time, and then restrained in our seats for the duration of the flight.

  36. ClaudeKabobbing says:

    I cannot comment on this incident, but I can say from personal experience, the TSA personal in Florida Southwest Regional Airport in Ft. Myers (yes I know that is not all of Florida) to be the rudest, and unfriendliest and most unhelpful of all airports.

    • dourdan says:

      i think O’Hare was pretty bad. once i had a sharp object that someon else put in there (a family member, thinking i needed it.)

      I asked “can i send my husband to the gate, the flight leaves in 5 minutes” I could see the gate from where i was standing. (i had 5 minutes because i used a cheap site and booked a layover that required a airline switch.)

      his TSA buddy said “there is no plane leaving out of that gate.”

      the other guy nodded like i was an idiot. – TSA are the all knowing airport gods.

      so i politely said “why does my ticket say there is.”

      i have flow out of over 40 airports on my time int hye military. that was my worst experiece.

    • Wei says:

      I live in ft myers and they can be pretty bad

  37. ClaudeKabobbing says:

    I say we have protest day where everyone opts out of body scan. Also everyone should just say no thanks I will drive, take the bus or teleconference. When airlines lose money because we the customers are not going to put up with having to ahve naked photos taken, then the airlines will work with the government to make it better.
    But then again we are too lazy and dont care so nothing will change.

  38. crazedhare says:

    I’m going to restate that like this:

    “You’re already submitting to a lot of unavoidable risk, so what’s a little more?”

    The radiation on the flight is NOT avoidable. The radiation from the backscatter machine is.

    • jesirose says:

      It’s avoidable because most of us can choose not to fly. I realize some people do it for their job, but if you don’t want to fly, you don’t have to. We’re driving across the country instead. Flying is something you can avoid.

      • crazedhare says:

        I am one of those people for whom flying several times a week is a job requirement. If my employer chose to submit me to an unsafe workplace, for example through exposure to radon or pollution, I would have a claim.

        Also, should you wish to fly in an airplane, the exposure is unavoidable. You cannot BOTH fly AD not fly. The extra screening is avoidable. One need not accompany the other, and we should question whether they rightfully must.

  39. wellfleet says:

    I refused a body scan on Tuesday evening in Ft. Lauderdale. All TSA agents involved turned quite cold and abrupt. They weren’t overly rude or mean, they just became uncooperative and standoffish. I’m not one to get butt-hurt over someone not being chipper and friendly, but their attitude clearly changed.
    To preface, I am beyond polite, sweet and friendly. I say please and thank you to everyone in any service capacity. Having worked with the public, I know it’s a challenging role so I am extra kind to the agents. When they asked me to go into the scanner, I said “I’d rather not do that please”. The female agent glared at me and said “if you don’t go through it, I will have to give you a complete patty-pay-down.” I said I understood and that this was ok. They then barked at me not to move, as my carry-on items (with my wallet, ID, laptop and valuables) are slowly disappearing out of sight and through the conveyer. Then they had me stand there like an idiot for five minutes while they were dicking around.
    Their tactic was clearly to waste my time and push me into the scanner. I had a very large amount of time to kill, so I smiled and played along. The female agent was “busy” walking back and forth doing exactly nothing except whispering to the male agent. I spoke up and said that I didn’t mind being frisked by a male agent if it would make things easier for them. The male agent barked that “all I do is watch the scanner and if you don’t want to go through it, I can’t help you.” I said ok. I love the fact that they ignore that the female agent can also touch a female passenger inappropriately.
    They then ushered me and my stuff (which I wasn’t allowed to touch) into a cordoned off square in full view of everyone in security and a female agent did the pat-down, checking my ponytail and chest for weapons.
    I strongly believe the public pat-down is with intent to bully and embarrass those who are thinking about refusing or are refusing. The whole exercise took 10 minutes and was so stupid as to be laughable.
    I kept a sense of humour, was “yes ma’am/no ma’am” the whole way, and killed them with kindness.

    • Gail says:

      I believe you can also ask to be privately screened – at least, there are always signs up saying that at the airports I’ve flown through.

      • tooluser says:

        Yes, so that in private they can do anything they want to you, and you will have no recourse, evidence, or witnesses. Great idea.

        The government has now institutionalized sexual abuse. You will take it and like it. Obey. Submit.

        • crazedhare says:

          Agreed. I personally am more worried about not having witnesses. Evidence – here, in the main screening area, she was on camera, and subject to oversight, but apparently they took her somewhere absent camera oversight. Sad and pathetic to have to rely on CCTV for enforcement of constitutional rights as a against a government contractor.

        • arcticJKL says:

          You can also ask for a witness to be there.

    • Chaosium says:

      “I strongly believe the public pat-down is with intent to bully and embarrass those who are thinking about refusing or are refusing. The whole exercise took 10 minutes and was so stupid as to be laughable.”

      Yep. Why else would they put you in the middle, on display to warn others, more easily embarrased? I did it and it gave everyone a nice show, thankfully I choose my principles over embarrassment.

    • Chaosium says:

      “I strongly believe the public pat-down is with intent to bully and embarrass those who are thinking about refusing or are refusing. The whole exercise took 10 minutes and was so stupid as to be laughable.”

      Yep. Why else would they put you in the middle, on display to warn others, more easily embarrased? I did it and it gave everyone a nice show, thankfully I choose my principles over embarrassment.

  40. dago_31 says:

    “I was one of, actually the ONLY random person chosen for the body scanner.”

    Um, no, in the video there was one person who went before you were selected and ELEVEN afterwards.

    “They handcuffed me to the chair and I was crying and couldn’t wipe my face.”

    Um, no, you were NOT handcuffed and a TSA agent actually came by and gave you paper towels with which you DID wipe your face.

    “It took over an hour”

    Um, no, it took about 25 minutes.

    “They tore my ticket in half”

    Um, no they didn’t.

    What wasn’t said: “I had a dime bag of weed on me that wouldn’t be picked up by metal detectors, but would be by the scanner and/or pat down, so I refused both and they wouldn’t let me fly.”

  41. erratapage says:

    You know what I find offensive? Those who demand laser like, verifiable accuracy from what is obviously an incredibly emotional, frustrating experience. What I see from the first video are three distinct periods: 1) She opts out. A TSA agent directs her to a roped off area where no one else appears to be taken. This TSA agent may or may not touch her (the agent is not always visible during this period). 2) Not just one, but three or more officers engage her in conversation. There is a lot of hand waving. We have no way of telling whether anyone is yelling at the OP. She is directed to sit down. 3) The supervisor arrives. There are more discussion. We have no way of knowing whether someone is yelling at the OP. At the conclusion of this period, an agent arrives with a boarding pass-shaped paper and moves out of the frame.

    In the second video, we see our OP escorted away in a caravan of officials.

    I see nothing to disprove key features of her story, even if the video doesn’t align to the interview. I remember that I once saw an accident on the freeway. By the time the police arrived to take my statement, I was completely unable to tell a coherent version of the accident. I’m a fairly coherent, reasonable person under normal circumstances, and I can observe and relate events very well usually.

    I don’t think the apparent inconsistencies are important to this message, which is that the TSA is detaining and humiliating people who opt out of exposing themselves to the invasion of privacy involved with being scanned, poked and prodded.

    • Gail says:

      I’m completely against security theatre. And I’m against the full body scanners. However, how do you “remember” being handcuffed when you weren’t at all? And she wasn’t touched when directed to the roped off area, like she alleged.

      I’d understand being fuzzy on the number of people surrounding her. But a lot of the other details were dead wrong – in the video, you can see her turn her head and WATCH people going through the full body scanner.

      • crazedhare says:

        I agree with you completely. I absolutely understand the psych/neurological effect where very strong emotions or traumatic experiences literally changes the memory of the event. So I understand how, without intending to or realizing it, one can conflate, create, exaggerate circumstances. And that could be what is going on here, but since the McLain (at least the last time I read her buzz feed a couple of hours ago) has not really piped up and acknowledge that, clarifying, I remain cautiously critical. If that is what happened, she should say so, to demonstrate she was acting in good faith and to encourage honest, legitimate and effective debate.

    • Azzizzi says:

      I don’t demand verifiable laser-like accuracy, but her story doesn’t match up. She says she’s the only one that was singled out. She wasn’t. She said she was handcuffed to a chair. She wasn’t. If she was, it’s not in any of the video.

      If she says someone yelled at her, that’s somewhat subjective. Maybe someone did yell at her. Maybe she just felt like someone yelled at her.

      She said there were all these TSA officers and police officers and there don’t appear to be that many in the videos. That’s okay, too. If they did have a dozen cops there, what’s wrong with that? The fact that she had a problem remembering casts more doubt on her story. She either doesn’t remember correctly or she purposefully fabricated details. Either way, her story is different from the actual events that happened.

  42. demonicfinger says:

    whatever she did I don’t think they have a right to rip up her ticket just like that. she purchased the ticket with her own money and even if she did not agree to the pat down she should have received a full refund.

    if this is what the procedure is going to be to fly, imagine what happens when terrorists start to hijack buses, trains or taxis. are we going to get a naked scan before boarding those too?

  43. Lukecadet says:

    Did anyone else notice how it seems you have to put your stuff in the xray machine and then go stand in the large body scanner without being able to keep your eye on your belongings? I don’t think I want to trust that no one is going to walk off with my stuff while it is out of my sight.

    I am flying next week. This is going to be interesting.

  44. maynurd says:

    From what I have seen of these cameras, the majority don’t have sound and are fixed cameras. Also these cameras are monitored by airport police or other entities, and not the TSA. Just saying….

  45. JamesBE says:

    “Girl?” That’s a woman there jag-offs.

  46. mdoneil says:

    I don’t believe a word of it. There is not room for 19 people to escort her from the airport. There are not 12 police officers on duty at the airport at any given time. It is not a large airport.

    The woman in question styles herself as a filmmaker and activist. I believe she was trying to start something and while she tried her best it seems she is full of nonsense.

  47. Megladon says:

    I hope for the obvious lies that she ranted about that she’s either put on the no fly list or the ALWAYS “random” full body screen list, if not has some charges pressed against her.

  48. mcgyver210 says:

    Going to an Airport is like going to a third world country since you have NO RIGHTS at all & a bunch of power hungry bullies have your life in their hands & will make up what ever they please to make your side of the event look bad.

    TSA really is a new KGB & the stair steps to Socialism which is happening. I don’t know the girl at all but I will say this if a Government Agency is involved I would believe her first since they can manipulate all the evidence.

  49. FrankReality says:

    TSA = Jack-booted Thugs ‘R Us. Glorified unaccountable rent-a-cops. Ever notice how the cameras never cover the areas for selective/special treatment. The cameras aren’t there to protect you.

    I think if every person insisted on the manual check rather than go through those machines, the bottlenecks would force the TSA to get reasonable – the airlines and airports would be screaming.

    I don’t fly any more unless I absolutely have to. And since I have a touchy prostate, they might just get peed on if they get too rough.

  50. CapitalC says:

    Yeah it’s short, it’s not cold, I was born that way. Get a good look and carry on. Seriously, what is the big fvcking deal? Someone saw me naked the day I was born and someone else will see me naked the day I die. Anything else in between is fun.

  51. deprina c says:

    I’m a frequent flier and do whatever I can to just get through the checkpoint quickly. I’ve done the body scan and it doesn’t bother me – in fact, I like it because I have a metal knee, so when I go through it, i don’t need a pat down anymore.

    If the woman refused the body scanner AND the pat down, she refused to be screened. If you refuse to be screened, they’re not going to let you on a plane. And if she wasn’t going to be screened, there was no reason to keep her at the checkpoint any longer. They just can’t say – “oh you don’t want to be screened, then just be on your way.”

    She went back to the ticket counter to rebook her flight and the officers carried her bags for her. How nice. Also nice was the TSA agent giving her a tissue when she cried.

    If she made up that she was cuffed, made up that she got the pat down and had her breasts “squeezed and twisted,” and made up that she was dragged by they arm, why should I believer she was there for an hour when the tape doesn’t back that up either?

    The woman is clearly a liar.

  52. Jennlee says:

    Toward the end of the 2nd video it looks like she’s cuffed. And I’d believe stuff is missing given the separate recordings released and no timestamps.

  53. newage44 says:

    Another example of the governments total embarrassing attempt to undo 9-11 and provide the type of security we need to prevent mass destruction. As a frequent flyer, I do mind being scanned and have my wife subjected to this as well. Yes, I was in the service during Vietnam and had to be exposed to physicals “au natural” as well. But, big difference, I enlisted and knew about all this in advance. I am not enlisting in the TSA “flying circus” when I fly and don’t want pix taken nor do I want assurances from Uncle Sammy about how safe and secure I will be.

    I believe what our founding fathers said about a healthy distrust of our government. Remember all those soldiers that were exposed to severe radiation when A bombs were being tested?
    Yeah, trust indeed.

  54. newage44 says:

    Another example of the governments total embarrassing attempt to undo 9-11 and provide the type of security we need to prevent mass destruction. As a frequent flyer, I do mind being scanned and have my wife subjected to this as well. Yes, I was in the service during Vietnam and had to be exposed to physicals “au natural” as well. But, big difference, I enlisted and knew about all this in advance. I am not enlisting in the TSA “flying circus” when I fly and don’t want pix taken nor do I want assurances from Uncle Sammy about how safe and secure I will be.

    I believe what our founding fathers said about a healthy distrust of our government. Remember all those soldiers that were exposed to severe radiation when A bombs were being tested?
    Yeah, trust indeed.

  55. LaughterandLiberty says:

    Meg came to NH by way of donated money during the 08 Ron Paul campaign. It was a special mission called Operation Live Free or Die started by Vijay Boyapati. During her first months in NH she caused all kinds of problems. The house she was staying in was a rental provided by the group, all funded by donations. She started many fights while she was there and was caught doing drugs. Her intentions coming to NH were supposedly to do a documentary on the effort, however this documentary never surfaced. At the end of the effort when the people in charge of the rental house were going to move the effort to Las Vegas, she was stranded saying her mother canceled her plane ticket. The people let her stay a couple nights after they left with the promise to keep everything clean. She was upset that they didn’t bring her to Vegas with them, even though they didn’t have room. During that time she completely trashed the house, and then blamed it on the people who let her stay there. She had also pitched in $75 to help cover her groceries, and transportation costs during that month, which she later tried to get back from paypal by lying and saying she didn’t recieve a product. These people were stranded in Vegas because of her lies, and had to borrow money to drive home to Missouri. During their time trying to get home she started many lies about them, tarnishing their name within the movement, causing them many problems. Luckily the people had pictures to prove they had left the house in good condition, but not in time to not cause damage. They also got their money back from Paypal, but again, not before causing them more financial distress. She was suspected of doing drugs then as well, and her actions made the whole group look bad. This girl has been mooching off of people for over 2 years. Always doing dramatic things for attention. She has yet to admit to these mistakes, or apologize for them, and still causes them grief, although inadvertently.

    • Chaosium says:

      Fascinating, and not exactly surprising, but I think we all agree that she should not be used as an example to deligitimize complaints about scanners and screener behavior.

  56. neoeinstein says:

    From the radio interview, she indicates that she would not go through with a pat-down search based on stories she had heard, not from her own experience here. If you don’t go through the body scanner, and you refuse a pat-down, no admission for you.

    The policy that you must conform to the security measures or reasonable alternatives offered in order to be admitted to the “sterile” side of the airport isn’t new, and is codified in law, not TSA regulations.

  57. Karnivore says:

    George Carlin was spot-on when he said that we have no rights in this country, only temporary privileges.

  58. Spanky says:

    Why not make a game of the pat down? Just make a bunch of low moans and “ooooh yeaaah”s when gettin’ fondled.

    Or stuff a sock down your pants. Works for men or “ladies”!

  59. rng72 says:

    Sorry I hate people crying wolf and blowing things out of proportion. Libertarian, whatever.

  60. q`Tzal says:

    We are training the terrorists to wait to go through screening until JUST AFTER a random enhanced screening or JUST AFTER a distracting incident occurs.

  61. roscoe says:

    Before you fly go to the TSA website and get a copy of the regs so you can show any over officious jerks who don’t know them where they go wrong. I was sent to a room and had to drop my pants to show them my leg brace. That was a violation of the rules but I didn’t know it then. I haven’t flown recently so I suppose the whole thing has changed. To the TSA, just use a little common sense. All of these TSA agents circling a diminutive girl for what a throw down? And twelve cops? She must have been very frightening to these guys with mace, guns and body armor. To the passengers; what would you rather have, a pat down or some guy with a bomb up his butt on your plane? Flying is not so much fun anymore.

  62. Clyde Barrow says:

    lol,,,this shitstain kid thinks she going to change the world? I’m glad she got arrested. Maybe her ass should be thrown into the USMC or the U.S. Army to learn some respect for authority and then sent over to Afghanistan to find out why our servicemen and women are getting their heads blown off for idiots like her. Let her rot in jail.

    Time to grow up little girl.

  63. pot_roast says:

    “Meg McLain admitted that she may have misplaced some details in her radio interview, “

    Of course. She (and her friends) are apparently well known attention seekers with some libertarian movement. This was well covered at Reddit. http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/e4o66/tsa_posts_video_of_girl_who_said_she_was/c15b202

    “I’m familiar with this woman. Her name is Meg “Smeg” McLain and she is a member of the Free State Project/”Free Keene” in New Hampshire, which is a far right-wing “libertarian” movement which seeks to turn NH into an Ayn Rand Land. Basically, a good portion of people in their “movement” participate in stupid stunts to get themselves arrested (like running around the NH city of Keene naked and high on weed) and then exaggerate about how harsh the police are.”

    Basically, she embellished the entire incident for her ‘movement’ – and the free publicity, which clearly she got.

  64. phat59 says:

    Ok, she says in the follow-up interview that it is “disturbing” that there isn’t video coverage of all areas of the airport! Wait, does she want greater security measures, or more freedom? I don’t think you can have both.

  65. AquaAmber says:

    It is so frustrating that our choices as flyers are now either have naked pictures of us taken, possibly being stored and then leaked to who-knows-where, or getting felt-up even worse than before. So you say – “Fine! I won’t fly!” But next month, they decide trains aren’t safe enough, and do the same thing there. So you say “Fine! I won’t take the train!” But now there are pat-downs and scatter things at border crossings. So now you’re sitting at home in your home going nowhere in order not to feel totally degraded when getting from place-to-place.

    What the heck are we supposed to do?