Begich addresses TSA methods of screening passengers

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  1. AmericanGirl
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    AmericanGirl Silver Member

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    I was torn between posting this here in TS or under Newstand. Bolding/Italics mine.

    The Cordoba Times / February 28, 2011 6:15 p.m.
    Begich addresses TSA methods of screening passengers


    Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, raised concerns today with the Transportation Security Administration over the agency's handling of security screenings of some travelers, particularly those with prosthetic devices.​

    In a phone call with TSA Assistant Administrator for security Operations Lee Kair, Begich spoke about an incident in mid-February involving Rep. Sharon Cissna, D-Anchorage, at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.​

    Cissna went through a full-body scanner, which detected that she had had a mastectomy, and TSA flagged her for an additional pat-down search. When Cissna refused a second "intrusive" search, as she said, she was not permitted through security, and had to return to Juneau via rental car and later the ferry system.​

    "What happened to Representative Cissna is just the latest grievance we have heard from Alaskans as they fly to and from and throughout our state," Begich said. "I asked the TSA to adjust their procedures to avoid further traumatizing travelers who have already faced often traumatic situations in their lives through disease, illness or some other tragedy. Alaskans and others shouldn't have to sacrifice their personal dignity to comply with TSA procedures."​

    Begich was told the TSA is working to improve its operations and in response to the incident with Cissna, the TSA will be updating online information regarding passengers with prosthetics.​

    Begich also secured a commitment from the TSA to work with groups experienced with those with prosthetic devices or who are victims of sexual assault.

    Assistant Administrator Kair accepted an offer from Begich to host a dialogue with Alaska groups that assist victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Such interactions would help the TSA develop a more sensitive screening policy which respects the trauma these victims encounter. ​

    Sen. Begich said he supports a "sense of the House" that passed in Juneau last week saying 'efficient travel is a cornerstone of our economy and our quality of life especially here in Alaska, and that no one should have to sacrifice their dignity in order to travel.'"​

    No real dialougue or commitments from DHS going on in Washington, so one can hope this comes to fruition.
     
  2. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    In the grand scheme of things, I don't think this will add up to much.

    Rep. Cissna's experience is, unfortunately not an isolated incident. There was a minimal amount of news coverage on this. History has taught us that the TSA seldom acts to right a wrong unless there is widespread negative publicity from it.

    I also think that having a subordinate handle it, not Pistole himself, tells how much the TSA cares about this.
     
  3. AmericanGirl
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    AmericanGirl Silver Member

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    I agree. What struck me was the so-called comittment. DHS never comits to anything regarding requests for better training of TSA, et al.
     

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