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TSA Protests Against Full Body Scanners A Non Event

TSA Protests Against Full Body Scanners A Non Event - Was the media's coverage of the threat of protests over the Transportation Security Agency's use of body scanners and more-intimate pat-down searches overblown?

Judging by what happened on Wednesday at Lambert-St. Louis International and other airports around the nation, you might say yes.

Ken Leiser of the Post-Dispatch reported in Thursday's edition that despite the 10-day barrage of television, radio and print stories warning of the possibility of bottlenecks at the security stations at the nation's airports on Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year, everything went pretty smoothly at Lambert.

And the Associated Press reported that bad weather, not protests, caused the most problems on Wednesday.

This countered what was expected, based on stories leading up to Wednesday.
The issue was that some people believed the new body scanners' technology would give passengers dosages of radiation they didn't want and constituted an illegal search. But if passengers were chosen for the scanners and opted out, they would be subjected to the TSA's more thorough pat-downs, which could make some travelers a little uncomfortable.

Civil libertarians argued the scanners and pat-down searches violate passengers' Fourth Amendment rights. Others argued the new procedures could violate passengers' sense of modesty and were the equivalent of sexual assault.

So incensed were some that a boycott was called for. Passengers, if chosen for the body scanners, were to opt out, forcing the TSA to conduct more pat-downs and in turn choke traffic at the security checkpoints.

Meanwhile, the debate extended into the political spectrum, with some saying it was a controversy created by conservatives to be used as fodder against President Obama's administration, while others say it was a symbol of government overreach. Members of Congress grilled TSA officials over the procedures.

TSA Protests Against Full Body Scanners A Non Event


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