Necessary measures sometimes leave us feeling violated, but we must do it

Earlier this month, a 6-year-old girl received a pat-down from a TSA employee while passing through security at the Louis Armstrong International airport.

According to a Reuters news report, the parents are outraged that their daughter, Anna Drexel, was subject to the physical security measure.

In a video that can be seen on Youtube, 6-year-old Anna seems clearly confused after receiving the pat-down procedure.

Commenting on the incident and his daughter’s confusion, Todd Drexel said, “we were struggling to explain it to her, because we had really stressed to her that it’s not OK to be touched in certain places, and now she’s been pat down in a public setting.”

The situation seems to be an inevitable product of a one-size-fits-all system. Airport security measures are never going to be perfect, and someone will always be unhappy with the procedures that are used. In order to reach a level of safety in today’s environment that protects the maximum number of people from the evil of others, we have to give up common freedoms.

TSA should constantly be trying to implement faster, more effective procedures. Designing a separate line for children may not be a bad idea to consider. Any policy that is redesigned must be given a strict, scrutinizing test to ensure that safety and efficiency are both improved.

This incident is a clear reminder that while some things may seem extreme or unnecessary, the freedoms we give up are for the benefit of our own safety.

The days of flying on a plane without being asked to take off your shoes in addition to being frisked may be gone forever. In today’s world you have to take all reasonable measures possible in order to prevent disasters from happening at the hands of the worst among us.


  • Only American children are subject to this kind of groping. If this were a six year old Muslim child it would not be permitted.

    • American describes a nationality. Muslim describes a religion. One can be a member of both groups.

  • TSA Screener training includes the method to pat down infants, including diapers where explosives could be hidden. It's sad but true. I was a screener in 2002 when the federal agency was rolled out, for a total of 13 months before I was luckly enough to find another federal position. Screeners have a thankless job and the verbal abuse they are subjected to is outrageous. I was once told by an adult passenger whose luggage I had to screen, "I hope you eat #@$% and die!". That was commonplace.

  • To those who think that the screening process is not necessary – Ask yourself if you would like to fly today with the screening process that was in effect prior to September 11, 2001. The people that do not like the AMERICAN way are today still trying to change it and TSA has prevented it in airline travel, that is why the BAD guys (who ever they are) are trying different ways to destroy America and the freedoms we have. Just look at the conditions in the countries where they are living today and be thankful that we live in AMERICA.

    If those people who do not like being pat-down – then there are other means of travel.

    • You are a sniveling coward and a traitor. No one is made any safer because we pay thugs to sexually abuse children and others who are not suspects in any crime. In fact, strangers shoving their hands down the pants of little girls and grabbing at my labia and clitoris is pretty much my definition of unsafe. The TSA's disgusting ritualistic sexual humiliation is causing me and many other people who value themselves and their humanity to drive where they'd like to go. The TSA causes at least one thousand needless deaths on the road every year by discouraging people from using the safest mode of transport: air travel. Anyone who thinks the TSA is saving lives can't count.

      • "The TSA causes at least one thousand needless deaths on the road every year by discouraging people from using the safest mode of transport…"

        And the data (empirical or otherwise) to support this claim comes from where?

  • This has not the tiniest relationship to security. You could see clearly that that small 6 year old girl did not have a bomb: there was no place for on her small body. Nor is there any history of terrorists using 6 year old American girls. The TSA officer knew all this with absolute certainty before she searched the child, and security played no part in the decision to conduct the search.

    Ironically, the child was groped for one, and only one, reason: political correctness. El Al doesn't do this, and their record is much better than ours. But if we tried to find persons who actually are terrorists, we would wind up searching Muslim adults much more often than non-Muslim 6 year old girls. And that, somehow, wouldn't be fair: and so we consent to child abuse.

  • There is no way to defend these absurd and intrusive procedures by TSA. In the name of politacl correctness they aggressively inspect small children and old women and ignore those whose heritage is closely associated with those who engage in terrorism. We need to set aside politcal correctness in the name of National Security and perform inspections on those who clearly need inspecting. Leave the little kids and old ladies alone.

  • What freedoms are we giving up. You still have the freedom to buy a ticket get on a commercial air plane and fly to wherever your little heart desires. You must be living under a rock, have you heard of Al Qaeda? Do you remember 9/11. Well, that is why we have this current system in place. You come up with a BETTER one!

    • Who cares about 9/11. Unless you actually lost a family member it makes no difference. Having inconvenient pat downs and the existence of TSA should cause people not to fly. The airport security measures are just a pain and wont actually stop any significant plane bombings…

  • What freedoms are we giving up? You still have the freedom to buy the best ticket money can buy, get on a commercial air plane and fly to wherever your little heart desires. You must be living under a rock, have you heard of Al Qaeda? Do you remember 9/11. Well, that is why we have this current system in place. Y'all come up with a BETTER one! Many of your comments are exaggerated and over the top, security is necessary in this day and age. Though TSA is not perfect I think they are doing the best they have. For real tough security look at what Israel does for aviation security.

  • The Supreme Court said Congress has the power to regulate the channels of commerce, the instrumentalities of commerce, and action that substantially affects interstate commerce. If you believe that commercial air traffic is a form of commerce as spoken of by the Court, then ONLY Congress, not the ad hoc policy making activities of a government agency such as the TSA, has the power to implement a search and seizure policy for anyone wishing to participate in a constitutionally protected form of interstate commerce (such as being a fare-paying passenger on a commercial airplane flight). Seems to me, TSA has done an end-run around Congress and the wishes of the American people.
    If you believe that the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution places limits on the power of the government to make arrests, search people and their property, then the search and seizure provisions of the Fourth Amendment (which are all about privacy) apply to activities associated with your lawful participation in interstate commerce (i.e., commercial flying). Apparently, TSA considers all of us criminals until and unless they put their hands down our pants and pronounce us otherwise.
    Until this out-of-control agency needs to be brought back to it's senses. For starters, I think Janet Napolitano should post an un-retouched photo of herself as seen though the lens of one of her so-called security cameras.
    I will not give any airline one red-cent of my money until these mindless TSA procedures end.

  • Do not kid yourself, this is Political Correctness gone steriod. Islam is at war with us , Dah~
    So you check Muslims period , case closed, end of discusion.

    • And, pray tell, Stever…what exactly does a "Muslim" look like? Perhaps a "Muslim" looks like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (a.k.a. the "Underwear Bomber"), but then you'd have to search every male who looks like any other African-American. Or, maybe they look like Jack Roche (a.k.a. "Jihad Jack", a "Muslim" convert from Australia convicted for his terrorist plot against the Israeli embassy in Canberra). Of course, now you've narrowed down your search criteria to include all caucasian males. Oh wait! Maybe we can mandate that Muslims bear a Scarlet Letter. Wouldn't Hawthorne be proud of your intelligent enlightenment. I'm not thrilled that my children must undergo such scrutiny, but if you understood the true nature of the lengths our misguided enemy will go to kill us you might be less apt to be so generous with your stupidity. Check out this web site for an idea of just how evil terrorists (which is NOT synonomous with "Muslim") are: http://www.falsemessiahs.com/terrorists/teaching_….

      Then come back ready to engage in some intelligent discussion…

  • After reading all of these postings concerning the TSA, I am more concerned about the radicals that call themselves "American's whose rights are impinged" than I am of the the issues they protest. Everyone has a complaint but no one has an intelligent/logical solution. I'm not defending the TSA by any means or any other "Government Procedure", but I do wonder how most of us would feel/react if we or someone we loved had been on one of those flights of 9/11? Just being in America allows the "Good" and the "Bad", the Citizen and the Non-citizen Equal and often unearned rights. How can we tell who is who anymore?

    • "no one has an intelligent/logical solution. I'm not defending the TSA by any means or any other "Government Procedure". the "intelligent/logical solution" is simply to put political correctness aside and perform searches on those who fit the profile. All we ever hear about is intrusive searches being performed on little old ladies in wheel chairs and small children who are not associated, either by race, ethinicity or heritage country, with any terrorist organization. Stop the insanity.

    • Or, alternatively, learn to deal with the risks. Absolute risk mitigation is impossible, and that way lies madness. Do we scan people before entering stores, university buildings, trains, buses, and planes, or do we simply learn to deal with it? After the Madrid train bombing of 2004, did Spain go gung-ho and start X-raying people before they entered trains? No. They carried on with life.

      I would much prefer to live in a country where I am not treated as a terrorist just because I want to get from point A to point B in 3 hours rather than 20.

  • It is sick to do this to a child. The whole process is a violation of our 4th amendment rights. It is not "reasonable" to do this to a child.

  • And everyone complains about the cost of Medicaid and other health costs. When children are essentially molested, and then become disturbed, then get passed off onto the mental health issues, eventually end up on medicaid because middle class families cannot afford psychiatrists and therapies needed after the child's molestation at the hands of authorities…$$$$ This will cost the government more and more money, leave less growing children that are allowed to later serve in the miitary (if the child gets labled during the 'process', then the child may not be able to get clearance to serve in mlitary, later creating an even bigger security problem in the USA) Letting the system go, and not facing up to CONSEQUENCES of one's current actions, is just STUPID!!!!! Stop it now. The government should just stop it. use those cancer causing xray machines on the kids… it would take longer to end up on the dole, getting cancer at a later age…. Life in the USA is getting stupider and stupider.

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