Over the weekend, TSA agents at the Kansas City International Airport felt the full furor of the internet when a camera phone image of a baby being patted-down hit the web. The world wanted to know if we’d moved from worrying about dirty bombs to hunting for poopy bombs. In an attempt to diffuse the explosive situation, the folks behind the curtains of Security Theater took to their blog to offer an explanation.
From the TSA Blog:
We reviewed the screening of this family, and found that the child’s stroller alarmed during explosives screening. Our officers followed proper current screening procedures by screening the family after the alarm, who by the way were very cooperative and were on the way to their gate in no time. The child in the photo was simply receiving a modified pat-down which doesn’t even come close to what the headline implies…
[O]ur Administrator is looking into ways to move past the cookie cutter approach to screening. Recognizing that terrorists are willing to manipulate societal norms to evade detection, TSA has been actively assessing less invasive screening methods for low-risk populations, such as younger passengers, while still maintaining a high level of security.
The photo was snapped by a Kansas City pastor who had just been through security when he captured the scene on his phone and Tweeted it.
“I travel every week, and I’ve never seen anything quite that bad,” the photographer told
travel writer Christopher Elliott in an interview.
As we reported last week, the TSA is looking into a new policy that wouldn’t automatically assume everyone is a terrorist, which could make air travel less of a huge pain in the butt.
Which is a good thing, because Senator Chuck Schumer is out to completely ruin train travel with his not-at-all-paranoid “no-ride list” suggestion for Amtrak.