On Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sent letters to President Obama and leaders in Congress requesting a new law that clearly grants Federal governnent officials, includibg TSA screeners the right to search minors at will regardless of parental consent. In the letter, Secretary Napolitano writes:
“With the unrelenting threat of terrorism, we must constantly evaluate the security of our country and close off loopholes before they emerge. There are people in this world who would stop at nothing to undermine our great nation, to destroy our way of life, and steal our freedom. That is why we must act now. Every child that is waved through security by virtue of their age is a walking vehicle for the diabolical devices of our enemy. We must do what we can to close this loophole before it gets exploited.”
Napolitano’s request counters that of Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz’s bill introduced two days before that would prohibit pat-downs of minors without the consent and presence of a parent. Rep. Chaffetz reportedly sent a letter to TSA chief John Pistole calling the incident a “shocking violation” of TSA protocol.
Both requests were triggered by a video that surfaced on YouTube of a six year old Anna, who was reduced to tears
during a pat-down at Louis Armstrong airport in New Orleans.
Anna’s parents decided to post the video on YouTube after their request that their daughter be re-scanned rather than patted down was refused. The child told her parents that she was afraid that she had done something wrong.
The video caused public outcry, and once more Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and TSA Chief John Pistole defended the actions, saying the TSA female screener followed protocol.
Time will tell if parents and children’s rights advocates were outraged enough to band together and tell Congress that Napolitano has crossed the line. If so, they will be successful, have you ever seen a mother defending or protecting her child?
During a conference call, Secretary Napolitano was asked if she would mind if her own younger relatives were subjected to the same type of search seen in the video?, she responded, “I don’t see how that would be necessary. Remember that I’ve gone through the process once before in a simulated experience in my office, so I understand how every business traveler and vacationer feels in that situation.”
Secretary Janet Napolitano tells Americans “If you see something, say something” and my inbox is full of outraged citizens that are doing just that. Did she mean “If you see some things, say something?”