TSA Chief Admits The New Pat-Downs Are 'More Invasive'

For the second day in a row, TSA head Jon Pistole was testifying before Senate about the recent negative attention that the agency’s full-body scanners and ‘enhanced’ pat-downs have received. And Pistole admitted that the newer, hands-on procedure is more touchy-feely than it had been previously.

“Yes, it was more invasive than what I was used to,” Mr. Pistole said about his own experience with the new pat-down procedure. “The bottom line is we need to provide for the best possible security.”

Pistole explained that the rationale for the controversial procedure is thus: If a passenger opts out of a full-body scan, they still need to have a pat-down that is just as thorough as the scanner would have been.

Perhaps believing the CBS poll which said 81% of Americans approve of full-body scanners — and not believing the 87% of Consumerist voters who disagreed — Pistole, who loves the phrase “bottom line,” said the “Bottom line is, few people will actually receive those pat-downs.

He used the analogy that if passengers had the option of getting on two planes to the same destination — one which had been fully screened but which took a little longer and required scanners or pat-downs, and the other with no screening — “I think everyone will want to opt for the screening with the assurance that everything is safe and secure.”

Feel free to watch the thrilling video here. Skip to around 23:00 to bypass all the Senators’ opening remarks about their hip and knee replacements.