TSA orders dying, 95-year-old woman to remove diaper during 45-minute search

http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-national/tsa-orders-dying-95-year-old-woman-to-remove-diaper-during-45-minute-search

National / Politics / Independent
TSA orders dying, 95-year-old woman to remove diaper during 45-minute search

June 26, 2011 2:38 pm ET

Continue reading on Examiner.com TSA orders dying, 95-year-old woman to remove diaper during 45-minute search – National Libertarian | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-national/tsa-orders-dying-95-year-old-woman-to-remove-diaper-during-45-minute-search#ixzz1QWeiQkab

Residents of the Sunshine State can exhale, comfortable in the knowledge that the Transportation and Security Administration has their backs. Last weekend, TSA agents at Northwest Florida Regional Airport ordered a 95-year-old woman dying of leukemia out of her wheelchair for a lengthy pat-down. Clearly, these stalwarts know a terrorist when they see one.

The woman was being escorted by her daughter to Michigan to spend her final days among loved ones when her wheelchair reportedly triggered an alarm.

The daughter, Jean Weber, states that security personnel first moved her mother into a glass-partitioned area and patted her down. They then took her to another room to protect her privacy during a more extensive search. Weber was required to remain outside during the investigation.

At one point, an agent emerged to tell Weber she would need to remove her mother’s adult diaper, which was soiled and interfering with their search.

Weber has filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security over the needlessly intrusive search. She is quoted by the Panama City News Herald as saying:

It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil. Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.

I don’t understand why they have to put [aging citizens] through that kind of procedure.

A spokeswoman for the TSA explained that the procedures are the same for everyone and are there to ensure national security, adding:

TSA cannot exempt any group from screening because we know from intelligence that there are terrorists out there that would then exploit that vulnerability.

Maybe so, but what cost are Americans willing to incur to their freedom to ensure they are safe from another terrorist attack? And why did TSA employees need 45 minutes to determine that Jean Weber’s elderly mother was neither herself a security threat nor carrying explosives that some cunning terrorist had planted in her wheelchair or diaper? And if the TSA is doing such a bang-up job with the mentally challenged and passengers young enough or old enough to require a diaper, why are they unable to locate actual weapons when they are smuggled through security?

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